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What's Up with BFS?


My school is using BFS (bigger, faster, stronger) lifting program. I have been on Madcow's 5x5 and am beginning to plateau and am looking for some change of pace in my workouts. Is BFS good to switch to? Or should I switch to a different program? If so any suggestions on which program? I play football and getting better at that is my main goal.


BFS has a proven track record of getting young athletes stronger for his/her given sport. There is no harm in giving it a try so long as you commit to the program long enough to quantify results. How much training experience do you have and for how long have you been plateaued?


I am a junior in high school and have been fairly consistently training since freshman year. I weigh 188 lbs. squat 405, bench 270, Power Clean 225, Shoulder Press 185, and Hex Bar Deadlift 425. I am beginning to plateau on Power Clean mainly, my last set of five will not pass 195. Bench is becoming more and more difficult and I feel I am about to plateau. All other lifts are fine though. I really would just like a change of pace since I have been following this program for a while now.


If you are no longer motivated to follow the program you are currently on, then by all means try out BFS. Given your experience I think you may need a little more than 5x5 to continue your progress. Is your shoulder press strict or is it like a push press? You have pretty good numbers. What position do you play? You should try out straight bar deadlifting off the floor. It may help give you a stronger base for you clean.


I play defensive end for a private school in Texas equivalent to a 1A public school, I was all state this previous season, we went to the championship but lost. We only had three losses at the end of the season. My shoulder press is strict, no push press. Any other recommendations for a better football lifting program?


I remember doing BFS in high school (1998-2002). It is a great program, simple and to the point. Use the boooklet (which I hope they still give athletes/students) and follow the program, I made good results and remember making PRs at such a young training age.


BFS is a good choice. I recommend reading the book if you haven't already done so.


Dr. Shepard, the BFS creator, was one of the orignal Westside guys. The only reason I am strong now is because my high school football coach employed these methods. It works very well for young athletes. If your coach allows you to lift on your own, look into 5/3/1 for football as well.

Personally, I think the ideal program for any high school football player would be to incorporate the BFS lifting sequence with the 5/3/1 for football template for everything else.


The rep/sets they use is great stuff. Other stuff is not. Bouncing of the DL is not a great one. I was a big fan back in the day until they dissed the great, late Stefan Fernholm after he had passed away. Stefan made BFS HUGE back in the 80's. After he passed they hardly said anything, not even a cover shot on their mag! My dad & I use to tell all the kids/athlete to look into BFS, now we tell them to look into Defranco.

Overall they have a very good program but Defranco stuff is more interesting, mixed up. You get bored easily doing the same stuff all the time. BFS needs more alternatives.

(hopefully what I just wrote makes sense, I just woke up, in a rush)

Peace, and RIP the the late, great, Stefan Fernholm. Dude was amazing.


do bfs, but if ur squat is that close to ur hex bar dead, then id recon ur not going down far enough in the squat. Stop doing such high reps on powercleans, its amovement that requires perfect form per rep and 100% explosive effort per rep so i would do more singles and doubles. If u do bfs, make sure to add more back work, they seem to skimp on that and leave u pretty imbalnced...


I strive for perfect technique on my lifts and have been told I have the best squat form at the school by the coaches. I just have a more powerful squat because I train it more than deadlift.