Strength Training Programs Info

by Travis Hlavka

Here is the list of everything I’ve done since I started strength training. Originally I just wanted to be “bigger”. I was always fairly strong but I was also verrry skinny. I started learning about lifting weights when I was very young and started creating my own routines. Some of them were ok and some of them just sucked.

However, I never stopped learning and that’s the key to my success and the reason I’ve stayed healthy and relatively uninjured my entire life.

No matter what training you do, ALWAYS WARMUP PROPERLY TO AVOID INJURY!  NO, I am not talking about “stretching” before you workout.  Do NOT stretch before you workout!

When you’re looking for a training program, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is my ultimate outcome? Bigger? Stronger? Faster? All of these?
  2. Why? Are you competing? Want to look good for the girls? Don’t want to be a nanna?
  3. How long will I give this new routine before I re-evaluate the effectiveness?
  4. Do I have the time needed to dedicate to this program? (Some routines are quick and some will run longer than you want them to)
  5. Can I find someone to train with using the same program?
  6. How will I adjust when I miss a workout? (ie. Vacations, work, sick, etc..)


There are probably a lot more questions, but those are some of the big ones. Like anything in life, if you don’t have an outcome in mind and a specific way of achieving it…annnd, a way to deal with roadblocks… Then you’re gonna fail and be all ticked off that this “strength training” thing just doesn’t work. Strength training works for everyone that actually does it on a consistent basis. You may need to go through several training routines before you find one that fits you specifically.

I’ll try to expand on these more in the future, but here’s a condensed list:

  • Opposing muscle groups
    –Muscle groups in the same region are done on the same day to increase blood flow in a “region”
    –Ex. Chest/Back Monday; Legs Wed; Arms/Shoulders Friday
  • Push/Pull routine
    –Pushing movements and Pulling movements done on the same day
    –Ex. Chest/Tris; Shoulders/Legs; Back/Bis
  • Bill Starr (Madcow 5×5 version)
    –Basically just Squat/Bench/Deadlift
  • Sheiko
    –Sick amount of volume (Squat/Bench/Deadlift)
  • Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1
    –Start light, progress slowly, and concentrate on big compound movements
  • My own tweaked versions
    –Some worked some didn’t.

Basically, whether you’re into bigger muscles or bigger weight, you’ll undoubtedly have experiences with many strength training programs. Again, it’s an ongoing learning process and the more you learn and the more you remember that you don’t know everything, the more you’ll gain in your own DIY Strength Training efforts.

Travis Hlavka (9 Posts)

I may act like a 12yr old a lot of the time, but that's because I have a genetic defect that will not allow me grow up. HOWEVER, I do take strength training and fitness very seriously and I love using what I know to help others reach their fitness goals and avoid the bazillion mistakes I've made in my 25+ yrs of training. Since I don't know everything, I never stop learning. Note: I am no longer a "certified" trainer, but I truly understand more about fitness and health now than I ever did with that official piece of paper.

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