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Performing a complete upper and lower-body strength workout two or three times a week is ideal. Recognized for his expertise, dedication and ethics as well as for his personal charisma, Fares continues to positively change lives with his specialized understanding of fitness and nutrition and how they apply to overall health and well-being. When comparing the calories burned during one hour of strength training to the calories burned during one hour of cardiovascular training, cardiovascular workout may win with a little increase in the total number of calories.
However, according to a study at Colorado State University in the United States, one hour of weights workout increases the post-exercise calorie burn and metabolic rate considerably more than one hour of cardiovascular workout, the biggest difference occurring during the first two hours post-exercise. Furthermore, the study found that the metabolic rate of those who completed the weights workout remained higher than normal up to 14 hours later.
The main difference between beginner programmes and intermediate or advanced programmes is that beginner programmes assume progression (increase in weight or reps) from session to session.
If you only train with barbells once a week, or you’ve never done a strength-focussed programme before (as opposed to a bodybuilding programme), then you might be a beginner in strength terms even if you have been training for a couple of years or more. Starting Strength is an excellent beginner programme – although Stronglifts (discussed below) might suit you better. It is good partly because of the structure of the programme and partly because of the wealth of guidance and technical knowledge contained in the book.
Likewise, anyone who has been away from training for a while, or has only ever had informal tuition in the barbell lifts learning from people around them, will probably benefit hugely from the technical guidance in Starting Strength.
It is a 3 day a week programme featuring the squat, deadlift, bench, military press and power clean.
Alternating these sessions three days a week means that one week you do Workout A twice and the next week you do Workout B twice. There is also an active forum (and many other popular forums have Starting Strength threads) so support and motivation is only a click away.
You might get bored if you are used to doing lots of different exercises and ‘mixing up’ your programme every six weeks as many PTs like you to do.
You’ll need the book (a good investment if you are serious about your training), and perhaps the Wiki. Stronglifts is very similar to Starting Strength in structure, but packaged differently and aimed at a more looks-conscious crowd. Most of the ebook is written in an FAQ style which is easy to read and gets the information over effectively. Like Starting Strength it is a 3 day a week programme featuring the squat, deadlift, bench, and various assistance exercises. There are more exercises included in the basic programme than Starting Strength, so if Starting Strength looks a bit boring you might fare better on Stronglifts. Many people have said that adding weight every workout gets quite difficult within a few weeks or months.
Jim Wendler is a powerlifter from the infamous Westside Barbell powerlifting gym who underwent a renaissance when he realised that although he had become enormously strong in the competitive power lifts, he was also extremely fat, out of shape and burnt out from lifting.
The eventual result of this change in philosophy was a programme which combines strength with some conditioning, can be done around a normal lifestyle and provides simple progression and regular personal bests.
The weight you use on the main exercise each week is worked out as a percentage of your max. As well as the main exercises, you add in whatever assistance exercises you want (dips, chins, rows, shrugs, good mornings etc). It is a classic powerlifting rep scheme, from 5 reps to 3 to 1, but the difference is that you don’t reach your absolute max – instead you try to get more reps at a slightly sub-maximal weight.
There is also the interesting mental challenge of not knowing how many reps you might get on that last set of 1+. The book does not contain detailed instruction in the lifts but includes good performance tips if you can already perform a squat, deadlift, bench and military press and are familiar with the assistance exercises. If you are happy performing the movements, the book is all you need: it even provides Excel templates and worksheets for you to put your programme together. 5×5 intermediate is a 3 day a week programme based on squat, bench, press, row, deadlift and assistance exercises.


Many people will find it hard to keep adding weight every week, but if that is the case, simply repeat the session until you make all your reps at the new weight. The Texas Method is described by Mark Rippetoe in the book Practical Programming for Strength Training and is one of the intermediate programmes following the basic Starting Strength.
Some intermediate lifters may fare better doing only one set of 5 on the deadlift on a Monday, rather than 5×5, especially when squatting the same day. It is one of the progressions from Starting Strength, utilising principles similar to other 5×5 variations. It’s quite hard to work out exactly what a full Texas Method programme would look like, as Practical Programming only gives examples for one lift at a time. Practical Programming is an excellent book if you are interested in the general topic of programming, but if all you want is a new programme to start, then getting a book like this is probably not necessary.
This programme is probably best for people who have done Starting Strength and like the Rippetoe approach, but have stopped making progress and need to alter their programming. You will need the book Practical Programming for Strength Training by Rippetoe & Kilgore.
Unless you are a complete beginner, you probably need to decide whether you need a beginner programme or an intermediate programme. Making a choice between the programmes available will largely come down to packaging and appeal. The purpose of this review was to give you an idea of what the programmes are like and a few of the pros and cons, not to rate them or attempt to say which is best. Hi there to all, since I am in fact eager of reading this blog’s post to be updated on a regular basis.
Poor form can prompt injuries and slow gains because you aren’t isolating muscles properly. Choose a weight that tires the targeted muscle or muscles by the last two reps while still allowing you to maintain good form.
Fares is a certified personal trainer who holds multiple specialty certifications including Sports Medicine Specialist, Technical Aspect of Weight Training, Lifestyle Fitness Coaching and Certified Sports Nutritionist. So, intense weights workouts are the best way to boost your metabolic rate and burn more calories in the long term. Of course there are various and lovely benefits to bodyweight training, kettlebells, sandbags, yoga and so on, but for just getting strong in a ‘lifting big weights’ kind of sense, you can’t beat barbells. A barbell programme is the best way to get strong legs, a strong back, strong upper body and a strong core. If you have access to a decent strength and conditioning facility at a sports club or university you will probably be fine, but if you just go to your local high street chain gym, you may struggle. If you are serious about your training, find a gym that takes your training seriously and can provide you with the basic equipment that folks have used for hundreds of years to get strong. At some stage progression every session will no longer be possible (as you get closer to your strength potential) and you then need a programme that includes progression from week to week, or from cycle to cycle. Starting Strength can also be good for intermediates who are still making progress on a linear programme.
For example, Rippetoe believes that the squat benefits more from ‘sets across’ (several sets at the same weight) than the deadlift, which is better done as one heavy set.
But if that is the case, you need to change your mindset because getting stronger is all about plugging away at a few key movements. It’s a great lift to learn but if you are not keen to take it on, Stronglifts (below) is a good alternative. The book contains all the technical guidance and the concepts behind the programme but it doesn’t contain an actual template programme.
The tagline is ‘build muscle and lose fat’, rather than ‘get strong’, although Stronglifts will get you strong as well, if you’ve not really trained strength before. The ebook itself doesn’t contain any ‘how to’ information on technique but all of this is available on the website. The power clean is rather more technical than squat or deadlift and will take longer to master.


As far as I know, it is still free, but only opens to new members periodically, so it may be a while before you can join.
One day is devoted to squat, one to deadlift, one to military press and one to bench press. This means that you get more volume than a traditional powerlifting programme but you still have to work hard at heavy weights, and so you get stronger.
It could also suit someone who is transitioning from ‘normal’ barbell training into powerlifting training, perhaps working up to their first meet. There are formulas for obtaining your one rep max but you might also want to test your one rep max first. This particular programme is useful because it is clearly set out by Madcow, based on an original programme by legendary American strength coach Bill Starr.
It contains the big exercises that will cause the greatest strength adaptation and it has you squatting every session. This gives the body lots of time to get fit and strong, and for those with less experience at the lifts, more opportunity to practise technique. But if you have basic technique in the lifts, this is a good beginner-to-intermediate programme for lifters and athletes.
For the Friday, for example, you may want to do 1 x 5 one week, 1 x 3 the next week and 1 rep max the week after. In fact, according to Glenn Pendlay, Wednesday is not for ‘light’ weights in the main lifts so much as exercises that are easier to recover from or exercises that the lifter is naturally less good at.
The deadlift being such a taxing lift, it tends not to require as much volume as the other lifts. You are expected to interpret the method for yourself, which some people may not be comfortable with.
For example, you might like the Stronglifts approach better than the Starting Strength approach, but both programmes will do what you want them to do.
Since most of us are busy, and unable or unwilling to maintain a strict diet in order to completely eliminate all the toxins from our body.
Sometimes switching speed—for example, lowering three counts, lifting for one count— is a useful technique for enhancing power.
The classic strength builders like squat, deadlift, power clean, overhead press are all best performed with a barbell. A basic barbell programme could be ideal for, say, a powerlifter who wants to get back to basics for a while, as well as an athlete needing to build strength for their sport in the off season. 5 rep sets are long enough to get good technique nailed and for strength adaptations to occur. There’s enough information in the book for you to create your own programme if you want, but if you would rather not, you can refer to the Wiki for programmes that Rippetoe and others have written using the Starting Strength concepts. You might be more motivated by ‘look good naked’ rhetoric than ‘get awesomely strong’ rhetoric.
For example, a powerlifter could do front squat on the Wednesday, since her front squat is likely to be significantly lighter than her back squat. If you’re doing a split strength session, you might do upper body on Monday, lower body on Tuesday, upper body on Wednesday, lower body on Thursday, etc. There is also more information on the Stronglifts website about nutrition and losing fat than there is in Starting Strength. Likewise overhead press can be used instead of bench press or power clean instead of deadlift.
The longer you are on a beginner programme making progress, the more likely you are to end up being a beast! If you add weight, remember that you should be able to do all the reps with good form and the targeted muscles should feel tired by the last two reps.



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