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What Program After Rippetoes?


So I've been doing Rippetoes for the past few months (instead of a strength program I made myself) and it's going great. I can, however, tell that soon it's going to be time to switch programs as my lifts are slowly stagnating.

So, 'what program to do next?' I postulated. Well I plan on moving to some Upper/Lower splits such as ABBH2, and then WS4SB3. After that I want to Powerlift.

But right now, I think I should stick to the full-body stuff and aim to build my strength more. BUT I have truly had enough of low rep work to last me a while so I want to switch gears to a higher volume routine for more conditioning and size.

This is what I had in mind...

Tuesday 3 x 12
Back Squat (rep progression from Sunday)
Incline Bench Press (rep progression from Sunday)
Chest-Supported Row (rep progression from Sunday)

Friday 3 x 6-8
Deadlift (3 x 5)
Military Press

Sunday 3 x 8
Back Squat (weight progression from Sunday)
Incline Bench Press (weight progression from Sunday)
Chest-Supported Row (weight progression from Sunday)

As far as I can tell it looks alright. I'm sticking to the compounds to build strength but using more volume as a change of pace and because I didn't get hypertrophy from Rippetoes (and yes I know the program wasn't meant for that).

My plan for the long term is like this:

  1. Finish up Rippetoes (Full-body strength program)

  2. Do this full-body size oriented routine for a while.

  3. Move onto ABBH2 (keeping along with the hypertrophy emphasis)

  4. Finally start WS4SB3 with bigger muscles primed for strength work.

  5. the mysterious future...

Any comments or criticism? I was going to start Bill Starr's 5 x 5 but to be honest I just wanted to get away from the heavier lifting for a while. Just to give my joints and inner Schwarzenegger a massage.

I also looked at TBT but it annoys me. I hate constantly rotating exercises and parameters. My body doesnt need that much variation and it would just confuse the heck out of my CNS.

Anyway, what do you guys think? I'll probably only follow this routine for 4-6 weeks, depending on how I progress on it.

16 summers of age
198 lbs
6'0" or was it 1"?

Fledgling viking.

As I said comments are welcome.

I have an axe to grind...


Rippetoe's program includes back-off periods when progress stalls. See Practical Programming, pp. 156-164. Have you already tried this?


Yes. I've read the whole thing. I have also stalled once on rows and squats. I'm not quitting the program quite yet, but I am trying to formulate what to do when I do (which I can sense will be in the near future).


If you've tried backing off, but that hasn't worked, you're either [1] an expert lifter (i.e., you're squatting around 3x your bodyweight), in which case you probably need to switch programs, or [2] not eating and sleeping enough, in which case no program will help you get bigger and stronger.

You might also not be backing off enough. When you've been on the program for months, and you get really fatigued, it helps a lot to take two weeks off from lifting and re-set the program with your new maxes.


I don't think it's possible for anyone to get to 3 times bw on Rippetoe. Most people can get to bw or maybe bw and 1/2 but that's about it.


Der Candy

Bill Starr's Intermediate 5x5 as written by Madcow contains a built in deloading period. You start the program at about 90% of what you can do and the progress at 2.5% per week. You could do what you have listed for a while but after Rippetoe, the 5x5 wouldn't hurt. You can probably get 8 to 12 weeks, which is really 4 to 8 weeks of PRs since it takes you 4 weeks to get back to where you were. After you finish that start looking at advanced periodization type routines like Dr. Squat's ABC program:


You will probably notice that at this point there is no cookie cutter solutions. It's all a matter of hitting your weak points, managing the recovery/overtraining balance. You need to mix up your program to keep it fresh and to protect the gains you've made while you tackle your weak spots.

In the meantime try to milk the beginner and intermediate programs as much as you can to maximize your gains.



Those links are very interesting. Thank you.