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Training Information Vault - Programs, Exercises, Articles and More... -- START HERE

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Disclaimer: This does not purport to be a comprehensive collection of styles of training. Rather, it reflects some of the programs that are used most often and considered well-designed and effective by the members of this board. Very generally, this means you'll find an emphasis on compound lifts, progressive resistance, and higher frequency than in the typical "bodypart X once per week" BBing split.

The hope is that eventually you'll apply the principles learned from doing "cookie-cutter" programs to your own program design. A few journals by forum members are included to show what runs of each program look like and some potential modifications.

Starr/Pendlay/Rippetoe 5x5:

The 5x5 was originally popularized by Bill Starr as a football strength program, and it and similar programs continue to be used by sports teams and competitive athletes around the world. An excellent general/foundational style of training that can be customized to fit a nearly any individual's goals and experience level.

Madcow's old site is now copied over here - Excellent general training resource and intro to the 5x5. Do yourself a favor and just read everything here.

Direct links to different stages of the 5x5 for the impatient (note: "advanced" doesn't mean "better" - beginner = fastest progress, advanced = when you need it):

Journals (see the above site for more journals/results):
Rippetoe 3x5: GSP
Single Factor: anotherbutters, asdfzxcv
Dual Factor: Guinness5.0, Jim Ouini
Examples of extended DF volume phase with AAS: Guinness5.0, blut wump

Westside Barbell (WSB):

WSB's focus is on increasing the three powerlifting competition lifts, the squat, deadlift, and bench press. In addition to being good for those interested in powerlifting or addressing a weak point in one or more of these lifts, it's very flexible and offers a mix of types of lifting with its Maximum and Dynamic Effort days.

Journals: Guinness5.0

Hypertrophy Specific Training (HST):

The "Intro" link below goes into more detail, but, as the name implies, HST's primary goal is stimulating hypertrophy. It uses full-body workouts, and a cycle contains 15, 10, and 5 rep phases.

Not surprisingly, the best place for HST info is the official site...

Journals: Guinness5.0, Jim Ouini


Starting Strength - Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Overhead Press, Power Clean - 20-50 pages on each, with pictures and diagrams. Best $30 you'll ever spend.

Exercise and Stretch Descriptions:


PL Forum Stickies:

Pendlay/JS Rows (same as the BB Row links on madcow's site):



Tired of "regular" cardio?


Most questions about diet can be answered in the Diet Forum.

For our purposes, the salient point is that caloric balance determines whether you gain or lose weight. Madcow finally wrote a diet article because so many people mistakenly give credit (or blame) to programs for changes in weight.

Online Bodyfat, BMR, etc. Calculator (shouldn't be treated as absolute truth, but most find that it's pretty accurate)


Articles, programs, etc. to check out once you have a grasp of basic training theory (as usual, see madcow's site for that)

Article collections:
Dan John
Kelly Baggett
Strength Online Archives
Marunde-Muscle (particularly good for those interested in strongman)
Dr. Squat

Other Programs:
Joe Skopec PL Programs and Calculators (Smolov, Korte, and others - see Strength Online link above for full Korte explanation)
Eastern and Western PL Programs
WSB meets 5x5
Lyle McDonald's Generic Bulking Routine


  • The War and Peace of Training threads, the original 5x5 thread. Everything you need should be on madcow's Geocities site, but it's worth a look for the discussion and Q&A about all things 5x5 - Bill Starr's 5x5

  • ATF Squat form will differ a bit from person to person, but in general it should look similar to this. NB BiggT's posts about the difference between Oly and PL squats and the importance of core strength - Guinness5.0 325x5 (video)

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