What Program Next?

I’ve been wasting my time in the gym for the last thirty years or so and am trying to change that by following a program and keeping a log to make sure I am adding weight to the bar. I’m in the fourth week of Mass Made Simple and plan to stay with it for another four weeks before making a change. Since I have the attention span of a gnat on crack I want to figure out what’s next so I can spend the next four weeks obsessing about it and planning. I have looked at Stronglifts 5X5, Madcow, and 5/3/1 and they all look good.

I know I probably can’t go wrong with any of those listed, and will probably go through them all at some point, but if there are any suggestions I would love to hear them.

My understanding is that the guy who built Stronglifts 5x5 is some dude on the internet who trained for 20 years and achieved nothing (by his own admission) and squats around 400lbs.

The guy who built 5/3/1 is Jim Wendler.

By that alone, I feel the choice is pretty obvious, but I’ll include 5/3/1 is more a set of solid principles that can easily be adapted to suit whatever goal you have.


Although I think some of the pre-written templates are a perfect place to start to really get a feel for the system

WS4SB doesn’t get enough love as a beginner (or any level, really) program. It’s a damn fine alternative to all those variations of 5x5

I always forget about that program, but it’s another excellent one too. I know my biggest issue was misunderstanding the intent of the ME day. I kept chasing PRs rather than focusing on the strain. But it’s still really hard to mess up.

Yeah, I like that it’s not as boring as the standard beginner routines everyone always recommends like madcow, stronglifts, SS, etc.

5/3/1 in its original form is still probably the best program around but it’s so badly implemented by people I’m not sure I’d recommend it for beginners anymore. It’s like there’s too much freedom and people can’t cope with the choices. WS4SB has everything laid out.

For me, a long-duration program was the cure for a very long time of spinning my wheels. Pick any from a good source. I loved/hated the 531 28 week program. Thibs has put out some great stuff that spans over a few months. Waterbury has solid stuff. Tons of others too. The key is finding something you believe in, and committing to it for the long haul.

Yeah if in doubt just do 5/3/1. Triumvirate template from the original article is still hard to beat.

This is a classic if like fullbody…
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