Starting something new can contain both the hope of excitement, success, and fulfillment but also the fear of failure, loss, and regret.

But when you are thinking about starting a new training program specifically designed to help you obtain your fitness and health goals, aim your sights high.

By choosing the best program possible, you are setting up yourself for the best chance of success.

You may ask, “But Anthony, how do I know what the best strength training programs are?” 

Don’t worry because I boiled it down for you in this quick post. Check out my handpicked strength training programs that are worthy of your best effort.

From programs designed for fresh newcomers to seasoned fitness vets, I made sure you would not leave empty-handed.

Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 Program

By concentrating on the deadlift, squat, bench press, and overhead press, the 5/3/1 Program is the best for excelling at these compound exercises

Compound Exercises

Pros

Powerlifters and individuals looking strictly for strength gains benefit the most from this program. Moreover, the workouts are incredibly short that last typically less than 45 minutes.

Cons

This isn’t the program for guys looking to put on serious size for bodybuilding because all the rep ranges lean towards the powerlifting sector.

Brandon Lilly’s Cube Method

Through an admirable variety of rep ranges and intensity variables, the Cube Method stands to provide heavy, explosive, and high-volume training throughout the entire week.

Pros

Great for aspiring powerlifters looking to lift the heaviest amounts of weight they possibly can.

Cons

Not ideal for bodybuilders as there is only one day out of the week dedicated to accessory exercises.

Michael Matthew’s 5-Day Bigger Leaner Stronger Workout Routine

The 5-Day BLS Workout Routine is perfect for beginners or those who have been out of the gym for a while and looking for structure.

It compliments many peoples’ workweeks already by following a five-day schedule and two rest days. By lifting heavy, this program incorporates how to build strength yet size at the same time.

Pros

There are plenty of upper body strength and muscle building opportunities throughout this program.

V-Shaped Back

Aesthetically, most men are after a wide, V or T-shape which this program caters too. Especially with an entire day devoted to shoulders, building a strong upper body is certain with this program.

Cons

If your legs are already lacking compared to your upper body, you might have to incorporate another leg day or more leg exercises throughout the week.

With only one dedicated leg day, that certainly won’t be enough to bolster a strong pair of legs to keep up with four other days of intense upper body workouts.

Push, Pull, and Legs Routine

Arguably the most simple, classic strength training routine that exists, the Push, Pull, and Legs Routine will always be here for you.

Focusing on compound movements of pulling, pushing, and lower body rather than individual muscle groups, this program can provide you with all the tools necessary to build a formidable physique.

Pros

Tested time and time again, this routine is downright reliable for aspiring powerlifters and bodybuilders. Plus, it hits all the major muscle groups with a highlight on the upper body.

Cons

As far as bodybuilders needing to focus on particular muscle groups, this is where the program falls by the wayside. You can’t single out a single muscle group like chest without training Push Day multiple times per week.

Eric Helms Novice Bodybuilding Program

Bodybuilding

Most exercises are done in the 5-8 rep range for muscle size gains. Plus, the classic bench press, overhead press, squat, and deadlift are all utilized with a handful of bodybuilding accessory exercises thrown in the mix too.

Pros

Ideal for newcomers entering the bodybuilding space, this program targets optimal muscle hypertrophy.

Cons

You need to learn a lot about rep ranges, weight percentages, and heavy compound lift form upfront, which make take several weeks or more for a complete beginner.

Starting Strength

Mark Rippetoe introduces three fundamental fitness goals and how to achieve them in his book Starting Strength.

You can choose to learn how to get strong, pack on muscle size, or increase your athletic ability.

It is widely attractive to beginners and newer lifters as a way to learn everything there needs to be known about weightlifting and its compound exercises.

Pros

Simple in nature, Starting Strength revolves around six central, compound exercises necessary to deliver real results.

There is no time given to accessory exercises, which can make it easier to comprehend, absorb, and stick to the program as a complete beginner.

Cons

It is heavy on the lower body, which may be adverse for many inexperienced lifters or people, in general, wanting to focus on a strong upper body.

Starting Strength contains double the amount of volume for the lower body than the upper body.

German High-Volume Training

German Volume Training

More for experienced lifters, this type of routine will get your blood pumping to a whole new level. By working out two muscle groups in a day, get ready to do many, many sets.

For the most part, German Volume Training is usually around 10 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise.

Pros

This is a fast way to pack on a lot of muscle mass alongside a proper nutritional regimen for bodybuilders.

Cons

Takes a long time in the gym every time you work out. Be prepared to dedicate up to two hours in the gym, which may not be convenient for many people.

Greg Nuckols Strength Training Program

Great for seasoned lifters looking to bust through hardened plateaus. This program helps you keep track of everything diligently to figure out exactly what you need to lift and how to get there to the tee.

Pros

Weight goals are clear-cut, and everything is laid out crystal clear every single week. 

Cons

You might need to bring a calculator and notepad to keep up with all the math this program throws at you. Plus, there are only three exercises, which might not be conducive to your athletic advancement.

Mike Burgener’s Generic Beginner Program

Heavily designed around Olympic lifts, Burgener’s Program can catapult you from a complete newbie to knowledgeable lifter in a short amount of time. 

Pros

Perfect for beginners in the Olympic lifting space, this program teaches you safe techniques to snatch, clean, and shrug.

Cons

You need to have serious training time on your hands for this to work out in the long-run. Sessions can take at least two hours or more.

The Reverse Pyramid Program

Ideal for the most patient of fitness enthusiasts, you can expect to make gains slowly or maintain while losing fat.

Basically, you start at the bottom of the “pyramid” with light weight and high reps and work up to heavy weight with low reps. Then, work yourself back down again.

Pros

Easy to adjust and customize for a busy lifestyle because all you need is about two to four hours per week in the gym.

Cons

Not suitable for intermediate to advanced lifters because of the lack of volume and intensity won’t help your efforts to progress.

Conclusion

There are many different programs out there that are available. However, you should know that the no program will be perfect.

Most programs are not designed specifically for you. They are designed to be the most easily implemented.

This is why I have taken a substantial amount of time to educate you guys on exactly how to design your own strength training program.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the articles below.

Increase Physical Strength The Easy Way

Your Best Guide On Strength Training Programs

A Realistic Strength Level For Most People

Secrets Of The Russian Strength Training Program

Advanced Strength Training Programs

CrossFit Strength Training Programs


Tony G
Tony G

Anthony is a fan of all things gym related. Growing up very overweight and out of shape, Anthony whipped himself into shape and stunned his entire community becoming a "fitness guru". Tony then set his sights on strength sports (Weightlifting/Powerlifting/Strongman) and learned all about body mechanics, mobility work and injury prevention. Tony found his true love in the strength sports, particularly Olympic Weightlifting. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fitchburg State University in Exercise and Sports Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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