Which lifting program is the best for you?

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  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    psulemon wrote: »
    cglouie wrote: »
    This is a great list! Just wondering, though, is there a general consensus of when someone is a beginner vs. intermediate? Myself, I've been working with a trainer for a year doing full body strength training using compound movements/lifts. Because of this, I feel I have a good understanding of proper form and technique...at least for the most common lifts. I will be moving to maintenance soon and want to focus on re-comping. I'll be ending the training sessions soon (due to finances) so I'm looking for an established program to follow but not sure if I should be looking at the beginner or intermediate programs in this thread.

    Apologies if this is the wrong place to post. If it is, please let me know and I'll post my question elsewhere.

    I moved to intermediate when i was no longer able to make progress. I would never be able to squat 2x my bw or 1.5x for bench. So for me, the volume or programming must change when progress isnt occuring.

    Progress may not always be a good indicator since progress could be hampered by poor nutrition habits.

    There is potential for that but even through modification in my own diet, i still didnt see any increases. So i changed the program..
  • leajas1
    leajas1 Posts: 823 Member
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    Thinner Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews (for females) and Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews (for males). These are definitely suitable for beginners, but address some myths for moderate/advanced weight lifters. He also has One Year Challenge programs for both men and women who are past the beginning stages. This program got me down to 15.1% body fat and I'm doing my first bulk in the fall!
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    leajas1 wrote: »
    Thinner Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews (for females) and Bigger Leaner Stronger by Mike Matthews (for males). These are definitely suitable for beginners, but address some myths for moderate/advanced weight lifters. He also has One Year Challenge programs for both men and women who are past the beginning stages. This program got me down to 15.1% body fat and I'm doing my first bulk in the fall!

    So you have links to the programs or more information?
  • capaul42
    capaul42 Posts: 1,390 Member
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    Strong Curves has several different programs in the book, for all levels. I'm currently doing the beginner program as I'm new to lifting heavy even though I've done strength training.
  • KetoneKaren
    KetoneKaren Posts: 6,411 Member
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    bump
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
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    I'm thinking of starting PH3 next week. Just not sure I am "advanced" enough.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    Hornsby wrote: »
    I'm thinking of starting PH3 next week. Just not sure I am "advanced" enough.

    Based on your pictures.. you might be better suited for a noob program.
  • Hornsby
    Hornsby Posts: 10,322 Member
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    psulemon wrote: »
    Hornsby wrote: »
    I'm thinking of starting PH3 next week. Just not sure I am "advanced" enough.

    Based on your pictures.. you might be better suited for a noob program.

    Butthead!

    Well, my numbers aren't all that high on squat and deads. Something I have never really mentioned just cause it sucks was that I got a bulging disc in my back about a year ago and had to stop squats and deads for a while. I finally got the all clear from the doc about 3 weeks ago and have been focusing on squats and deads for the last few weeks making sure form was right and increasing weight gradually.

    Today did 315 for 3 on deads for 3 sets and did 225 for 6 for 3 sets. Strength is coming back pretty quickly, but I don't want to jump in to quick. In my mind, I feel like I have "catching up" to do though...plus, I missed those damn lifts.

    Bench is a 250 1RM for reference as well.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    Hornsby wrote: »
    psulemon wrote: »
    Hornsby wrote: »
    I'm thinking of starting PH3 next week. Just not sure I am "advanced" enough.

    Based on your pictures.. you might be better suited for a noob program.

    Butthead!

    Well, my numbers aren't all that high on squat and deads. Something I have never really mentioned just cause it sucks was that I got a bulging disc in my back about a year ago and had to stop squats and deads for a while. I finally got the all clear from the doc about 3 weeks ago and have been focusing on squats and deads for the last few weeks making sure form was right and increasing weight gradually.

    Today did 315 for 3 on deads for 3 sets and did 225 for 6 for 3 sets. Strength is coming back pretty quickly, but I don't want to jump in to quick. In my mind, I feel like I have "catching up" to do though...plus, I missed those damn lifts.

    Bench is a 250 1RM for reference as well.

    Haha. In all fairness, you are fairly advanced compared to most lifters i know. By far, ahead of me, so i wouldnt see an issue with going to PH3.
  • Michael190lbs
    Michael190lbs Posts: 1,510 Member
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    I have done Push pull method for decades and it just works. Abs after 10 min warm up then

    1. Chest shoulders tri's
    2. Legs
    3. Back, Bi's
    4. day off
    5. Start over It hits everything twice a week.
  • neldabg
    neldabg Posts: 1,452 Member
    edited July 2016
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    I have done Push pull method for decades and it just works. Abs after 10 min warm up then

    1. Chest shoulders tri's
    2. Legs
    3. Back, Bi's
    4. day off
    5. Start over It hits everything twice a week.

    Holy cow! That's amazing!!! I can't wait to earn the right to say the same.
  • DeadliftsandDonuts
    DeadliftsandDonuts Posts: 178 Member
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    Hornsby wrote: »
    I'm thinking of starting PH3 next week. Just not sure I am "advanced" enough.

    Go for it! You'll be fine, I bet most of the people that followed PH3 don't have the 300 Wilks score that Norton recommended before starting the program.
  • CaffeinatedConfectionist
    CaffeinatedConfectionist Posts: 1,046 Member
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    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!

    Those are two very different programs. What is your goal? How do you like to lift?
  • CaffeinatedConfectionist
    CaffeinatedConfectionist Posts: 1,046 Member
    edited July 2016
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    arditarose wrote: »
    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!

    Those are two very different programs. What is your goal? How do you like to lift?

    I have only done some cursory reading into each program, but from what I understand PHAT is aimed at increasing mass and strength through the mix of power and hypertrophy days, whereas Wendler appears more focused on gains in strength? My primary goal is to increase strength; adding mass is secondary, although still important to me (although I'm currently at a deficit, I'm looking into what program to switch to a bit down the road when I'm eating at maintenance).

    I really like the concept in PHAT of having separate power days and hypertrophy days, because to me this combination keeps lifting routines interesting, and would help with both strength and mass goals. But right now I would find it really, really difficult to lift 5 days per week given some of the other activities/workouts I have committed to.

    I think it would be easier to fit Wendler into my schedule, given that his program can be run three or four days a week, especially with the fairly short sessions. I like the relative simplicity of Wendler's routine, especially with the emphasis on one power lift per session. I also like the flexibility of assistance work.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
    edited July 2016
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    arditarose wrote: »
    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!

    Those are two very different programs. What is your goal? How do you like to lift?

    I have only done some cursory reading into each program, but from what I understand PHAT is aimed at increasing mass and strength through the mix of power and hypertrophy days, whereas Wendler appears more focused on gains in strength? My primary goal is to increase strength; adding mass is secondary, although still important to me (although I'm currently at a deficit, I'm looking into what program to switch to a bit down the road when I'm eating at maintenance).

    I really like the concept in PHAT of having separate power days and hypertrophy days, because to me this combination keeps lifting routines interesting, and would help with both strength and mass goals. But right now I would find it really, really difficult to lift 5 days per week given some of the other activities/workouts I have committed to.

    I think it would be easier to fit Wendler into my schedule, given that his program can be run three or four days a week, especially with the fairly short sessions. I like the relative simplicity of Wendler's routine, especially with the emphasis on one power lift per session. I also like the flexibility of assistance work.

    Yeah. You pretty much have them sorted out perfectly in your head. Just have to decide which you like. There is definitely a simplicity to Wendler's that is nice and works well if you have limited time, plus you can schedule accessory work as you see fit. PHUL would give you a bit of what PHAT does as far as separate power/hypertrophy days but done in 4 days.

    ETA Though I've done Wendlers as written, I've also done PHUL but calculated my compound lifts in the 5/3/1 fashion. I don't know if it was stupid or smart but it made sense at the time. If I did it again I would offset the squat and deadlift so that I wasn't on the same rep scheme for each, on the same day.
  • CaffeinatedConfectionist
    CaffeinatedConfectionist Posts: 1,046 Member
    edited July 2016
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    arditarose wrote: »
    arditarose wrote: »
    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!

    Those are two very different programs. What is your goal? How do you like to lift?

    I have only done some cursory reading into each program, but from what I understand PHAT is aimed at increasing mass and strength through the mix of power and hypertrophy days, whereas Wendler appears more focused on gains in strength? My primary goal is to increase strength; adding mass is secondary, although still important to me (although I'm currently at a deficit, I'm looking into what program to switch to a bit down the road when I'm eating at maintenance).

    I really like the concept in PHAT of having separate power days and hypertrophy days, because to me this combination keeps lifting routines interesting, and would help with both strength and mass goals. But right now I would find it really, really difficult to lift 5 days per week given some of the other activities/workouts I have committed to.

    I think it would be easier to fit Wendler into my schedule, given that his program can be run three or four days a week, especially with the fairly short sessions. I like the relative simplicity of Wendler's routine, especially with the emphasis on one power lift per session. I also like the flexibility of assistance work.

    Yeah. You pretty much have them sorted out perfectly in your head. Just have to decide which you like. There is definitely a simplicity to Wendler's that is nice and works well if you have limited time, plus you can schedule accessory work as you see fit. PHUL would give you a bit of what PHAT does as far as separate power/hypertrophy days but done in 4 days.

    ETA Though I've done Wendlers as written, I've also done PHUL but calculated my compound lifts in the 5/3/1 fashion. I don't know if it was stupid or smart but it made sense at the time. If I did it again I would offset the squat and deadlift so that I wasn't on the same rep scheme for each, on the same day.

    Interesting, thanks! I will have to look into PHUL, because I'm not at all familiar with that program.

    ETA: After a quick google of PHUL it does look like it might be a better fit for me than Wendler, just in terms of how I prefer to lift, but since I don't currently have access to machines I'd have to sub the cable exercises and leg curls. Definitely worth keeping on the radar, though.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,573 Member
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    arditarose wrote: »
    arditarose wrote: »
    I missed this post when it first came out, but I've been toying with the idea of switching up my program. I'd been thinking of PHAT or Wendler, but clearly I have a bit more researching to do first ^.^ Just wanted to say thanks for the tremendously helpful list of resources!

    Those are two very different programs. What is your goal? How do you like to lift?

    I have only done some cursory reading into each program, but from what I understand PHAT is aimed at increasing mass and strength through the mix of power and hypertrophy days, whereas Wendler appears more focused on gains in strength? My primary goal is to increase strength; adding mass is secondary, although still important to me (although I'm currently at a deficit, I'm looking into what program to switch to a bit down the road when I'm eating at maintenance).

    I really like the concept in PHAT of having separate power days and hypertrophy days, because to me this combination keeps lifting routines interesting, and would help with both strength and mass goals. But right now I would find it really, really difficult to lift 5 days per week given some of the other activities/workouts I have committed to.

    I think it would be easier to fit Wendler into my schedule, given that his program can be run three or four days a week, especially with the fairly short sessions. I like the relative simplicity of Wendler's routine, especially with the emphasis on one power lift per session. I also like the flexibility of assistance work.

    Yeah. You pretty much have them sorted out perfectly in your head. Just have to decide which you like. There is definitely a simplicity to Wendler's that is nice and works well if you have limited time, plus you can schedule accessory work as you see fit. PHUL would give you a bit of what PHAT does as far as separate power/hypertrophy days but done in 4 days.

    ETA Though I've done Wendlers as written, I've also done PHUL but calculated my compound lifts in the 5/3/1 fashion. I don't know if it was stupid or smart but it made sense at the time. If I did it again I would offset the squat and deadlift so that I wasn't on the same rep scheme for each, on the same day.

    Interesting, thanks! I will have to look into PHUL, because I'm not at all familiar with that program.

    Same concept as PHAT but a little less volume, conventional deadlifts, and 4 days. Brandon Campbell vs. Layne Norton
  • Noot30
    Noot30 Posts: 54 Member
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    This is a great post - thanks.

    I have recently finished the NROL, and trying to find something to progress to My husband got me the NROLFW, but it starts of a bt basic, so trying to find something more challenging.

    I´m thinking about the PHUL or Wendler, or maybe even 5 x 5, but want something to progress on, not sure if I am a beginner or intermediate. Certainly not squatting twice my own bodyweight....
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,413 MFP Moderator
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    Noot30 wrote: »
    This is a great post - thanks.

    I have recently finished the NROL, and trying to find something to progress to My husband got me the NROLFW, but it starts of a bt basic, so trying to find something more challenging.

    I´m thinking about the PHUL or Wendler, or maybe even 5 x 5, but want something to progress on, not sure if I am a beginner or intermediate. Certainly not squatting twice my own bodyweight....

    What are your goals?