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Barbell Strength Training 2.0

Last month, I detailed the basics of our Barbell Strength Training program. Today, I will dive deeper and show you the 16-week programming cycle you will see in our Barbell classes.

“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.” - Mark Rippetoe

Our goal in Barbell is to get strong. But what does it mean to be strong, anyway?

Strength is the ability to produce force against an external resistance. Simply put, someone who deadlifts 200# is stronger than someone who deadlifts 100#. Now, most of the people in our community are not concerned with being a powerlifter (and that’s ok) but the benefits of strength training extend to everyday life. Being able to move heavier loads safely makes life easier. Strength training also helps increase bone density and prevents muscle degeneration (both of which are extremely important as we age). In terms of what you can do inside the gym, being stronger will make all other weightlifting and gymnastic movements easier.

Developing Strength - 16 Week Cycle

The movements we perform in our Barbell class are those that...

  1. Use the most muscle mass,
  2. Use the greatest effective range of motion, and
  3. Use the most weight possible (with proper form).

So what movements satisfy the above criteria?

  1. Squat
  2. Deadlift
  3. Bench Press/Press

The Program

Every time you train in barbell class, you will perform:

1. Back Squat 3x5

2. Bench Press 3x5

3. Deadlift 1x5

*Add 2.5-10# on every lift from last training session

If you attend barbell class more than once per week, you will modify with:

Workout A

Workout B

1. Back Squat 3x5          

2. Bench Press 3x5

3. Deadlift 1x5

1. Back Squat 3x5 (or Front Squat)

2. Press 3x5

3. Power Clean 5x3 (or Bent Over Row 3x10)

*Add 2.5-10# on every lift from last training session


*Working sets are sets across unless otherwise noted in class. That means that all working sets should be done at the same weight. The only variable we change every week is the weight used. We do not modify reps or movements. This is done to get as strong as possible in the shortest time possible. If you chase more weight every single set you perform (for example squatting 205x5, 225x5, and 245x5 as opposed to 225x3x5) you will only stunt your growth.

*The program only calls for 1 set of deadlifts because the deadlift, when performed with correct technique and at a heavy enough weight, is very fatiguing. We do not need as much volume with this movement as we do when squatting and pressing. Generally speaking, if you complete your working set of 5 deadlifts and feel like 2 more sets at the same weight would be easy, you aren't going heavy enough. This is also why we perform our deadlifts at the end of the workout. On the flip side, we perform squats first because they are the most technical and require our full attention.

*Only move up in weight from last week if all sets and reps were completed with proper technique. If you attempt your squat and get 5, 4, and 3 reps in your working sets, repeat the same weight next week.


Group Class Programming for Monday, January 1st, 2017:

*9:30am class only*

5 Rounds for time of:

20 Ring Dips

18 Kettlebell Thrusters (53/35#)



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Barbell Strength Training 1.0

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