What Program to Start With for Pure Strength?

LP like Stronglifts or starting strength for a limited run/until first stall(+ start light)
…Then a classic 5x5 like Bill starr/madcow/texas method for 12 week run(again, start light)

…Then run through Tnation ‘powerbuilding’ programs. eg:

IMO Super squats/20 rep is totally fine to throw in the mix somewhere also and a great rite of passage

I have never seen a thread with such needless splitting of hairs in my life

As usual @dagill2 is in here dropping the truth - rep range probably won’t matter a whole lot for someone who is new.

Getting stronger as a newer lifter is a side-effect of developing efficient technique and building bigger muscles. Both of those things will happen more or less regardless of the rep range


How can we give good advice if there is no picture of the OP holding a shoe?


If you are truly a beginner, then the very first thing you’re going to be doing is learning the lifts. Squat, Bench, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Barbell Row, Chinup or Pullups.

That’s your bread and butter as a rank beginner. Get out the old 20kg barbell, and start learning these lifts. Some you ‘Get’ straight away. Some you wont. Doesn’t matter, keep practicing. Find good advice on the techniques, and get to work learning them. Use THIS forum for form checks. There are plenty of lifters here. Do it now!

Right at the start you want simple. You don’t want fluff, not yet. You don’t want noise from too many exercises. You want basic. And you want to become Good at these basics.

Reps? Eh who really cares. 5-8 for everything. Pick one, stick to it for a few months. If something stalls out (it wont all happen at once at all), take a slice of humble pie, pick a new rep range, drop the weight a little bit, and go again. Again, start with the empty bar for first week. Then from there, look to add weight every session in 2.5kg increments. You’ll go a long way with this if you are eating.

Honestly if you gave that your full effort and attention for 12 months, and ate like you mean it, getting plenty of protein along the way, you’ll end up with a fantastic strength base, and honestly, be better than most gyms rats in most commercial gyms. After that, or maybe even well before, who knows, you can check out other methods of programming that target more specifically what you seek. GZCL (swole at every height blog) is an outstanding resource for no BS training.

It sounds boring. It sounds basic.

It is. But it works.


Reading this reminds me of Marcos old beginner routine, so simple but it works.


so many aussie powerlifters started this way. including me. lol.


IMO, the OP must build a foundation to build upon, whether it is size or strength. The wiseman83 advise is very solid. The beginner needs to develop good form on all exercises, and core development must be part of his program. I like reps in the 8 to 10 range to learn proper form. And IMO, you don’t want to go to failure on many sets. Last reps at failure usually occur along with a break in form.

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I have done some work with dumbbells,

50kgx10 overhead press, flat bench 50kgx15 and lat puldown 55kgx5.
3x3 85% of 1rpm for OP is 57kg, FB 64kg, LP 52kg, for squat and deadlift never try. Is good to go with 3x3 or 3x5 for beter progress?

No real secret. Program simply.

Wk 1 warmup and start worksets at 50% of your max for 5 reps. Add weight each set according to your current level of strength. Always get the 5 reps. If you don’t think you can get 5 reps on the next jump in weight, stop there. Do your bodybuilding stuff after.

Wk 2 same thing but 3 reps per set. Should be able to go heavier than previous week.

Wk 3 same thing but 2 reps per set.

Example 300lb bencher: 155x5 185x5 205x5 225x5 245x5 but 275x5 ain’t gonna be there. Stop there.

Use 45/25/10lb plates unless you’re really weak or want to PR. Say you did 245x5 at one time and the next 5 rep week you wanna try 250x5, go ahead and do it.

Powerlifting is simple. Its just work. Run this program for 3 cycles (total 9 wks) then try a heavy single on week 10. Repeat again and keep climbing.

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You’ve basically repeated this question 4 times.
-as myself and other have said already look up Stronglifts/Starting strength(based around 3x5) or run a classic 5x5 template.

You don’t realise it, but the information people have given you in this thread(for free) is more than enough to make 18 months+ continual progress


definitely the hardest program I’ve ever run, but also soooo effective


I think some of our regular posters easily forget how confusing it is to the person asking the initial question when they split these hairs. I often have a very different opinion of what is ‘best’ when I read threads like these, but I recognize that the impact of me voicing that opinion can have a negative effect on the beginning lifter, even if I’m technically correct.

Because as I have said over and over and fucking over again, the only thing that ACTUALLY matters is working hard and working often in the gym, over a long period of time. When we argue about the technical merits of x y or z program, and disagree with each other for really silly reasons, nobody wins. These arguments should at the very least be reserved for other sections of T Nation. Beginners don’t need to see this, nuance is not important to the success of a beginner. It’s like adults who argue in front of their children. Just don’t fucking do it.

Keep it simple, guys. The beginners section is not the right place for advanced lifters to be debating the merits of various programs, unless you happen to see some absolutely horrendous advice, lol. Call that stuff out.