Weightlifting is something all men and even women should engage in, there are numerous health benefits but at the end of the day it just makes you feel awesome. Listed below are the five best strength training programs out there.
1. West Side For Skinny Bastards
The west side for skinny bastard program was developed by Joe DeFranco, and is made for individuals looking for athletic performance, strength and size. Despite its name it is not just for skinny people but rather for anyone who is looking to take power lifting techniques and adapt it to athletic performance. The west side style of training is meant for power lifters who can bench 500 pounds and squat much more, but this has been adapted to athletes and focus on more than just big lifts.
This program consists of 2 upper body days, and two lower body days. Below is a sample how to guide. You can use this as guide but you do not need to copy it exactly.
2. Neanderthal No More
The Neanderthal No More program is meant for individuals who have worked out using trandional programs for many years and need to balance out there body. Chances are if you have been lifting for any real length of time you have developed muscle imbalances. This program is here to help fix those!
The program is also split into two upper body days and two lower body days, but focuses more on back, external rotators, stretching and general balance. The details of the program can be found here.
3. Starting Strength
If you are new to lifting, or just took a long break from lifting it can be tough deciding which program to start with. Well, I am here to help! This program is great for someone just starting in weightlifting looking to get the most bang for your buck. It focuses on doing basic exercises squat, bench, pull ups; 3 times a week for not very many reps or sets. This is great for new lifters because it forces the lifter to use maximal weight for low reps to focus on form and to activate that under actived central nervous system.
Starting strength is super easy and simple to follow which is ideal for someone who “doesn’t know what he should do”. Here is the Starting Strength program.
4. Cross Fit
This might be the most controversial workout on this page, not because it’s not effective but because there are two types of people, those that love cross fit and those who hate it. Well I have never done a cross fit workout in my life, but I will tell your right now it works. Just look at the people who do it the testimonials and the crazy amount of money people are willing to pay to do it. The basic principle I like behind it is that it is a competition. Also it is a full body type workout program that also includes aspects of cardio.
Though I haven’t tried it yet I am planning on giving it a go sometime soon. I do not think a pure cross fit work out is the ideal one for me, but I think mixing it in can be something I would be willing to experiment with. To get started with crossfit click here.
I love the 5×5 program for gaining strength, and it in fact may be one of the best ways that you can gain both strength and size. I have used modified versions of this program to get insane gains in the past. Check out the program and see what you think for yourself. There are a lot of 5×5 geared programs out there, here is just one example.
All of these programs are extremely effective in their own ways, the key however is to picking a weightlifting program and stick with it for at least 4-6 weeks before decided if its time to try something else. Write down the weights you use, the reps you do and try to increase it and beat it next time. The key to gaining muscle is to slowly and methodically increase the amount of weight and or reps that you are doing. Feel free to make your hybrid program, or change these programs as you feel, just make sure to track your progress to make sure you’re not just wasting your time.