man building size and strength

The Best 5 Training Programs for Building Size and Strength

Want to build muscle and increase your strength? Searching for workout plans online can be overwhelming, with numerous options to choose from. Don't worry, especially if you're new to the gym or have trouble gaining muscle, or even if you're a seasoned lifter. I have the scoop on five programs that can help you get pumped up.


Have you ever heard of Mark Rippetoe? His creation, Starting Strength, is perfect for beginners. It focuses on exercises that build muscle and increase strength. This comprehensive system will make you feel bigger, stronger, and more confident. The routine consists of barbell exercises that gradually increase in intensity.

Some people may find it repetitive due to the emphasis on compound movements. However, it's about mastering form and achieving impressive strength gains. Rippetoe has more than three decades of experience as a weightlifting coach and a competitive powerlifter, so you can trust his expertise.


For those who have been in the fitness game for a while, Eric Broser's Power, Rep Range, and Shock (PRRS) program is the way to go. Broser is widely recognized in the world of bodybuilding, having written over 400 articles and studies covering a range of topics from nutrition to training.

This program is designed to provide your muscles with a varied workout experience. By targeting muscle growth from different angles, it aims to achieve results while also boosting natural testosterone levels. Using a volume and low-frequency approach, it ensures progress while minimizing the risk of injuries.


Introducing the 5/3/1 Program, a companion to Starting Strength. Similar to its counterpart, this program focuses on determining your one-rep max for exercises. However, the key advantage lies in its adaptability to suit your goals and requirements. Jim Wendler, the mastermind behind this program, highly recommends it for lifters of all backgrounds.

With the 5/3/1 Program, you can expect full-body workouts three times a week. It is particularly beneficial for beginners who are eager to build mass and increase strength. Just remember to keep the assistance work light. The routine consists of squats, bench presses, overhead presses, deadlifts, along with some exercises like dips, chin-ups, neck exercises, and curls.


If you're looking to develop legs and glutes, Smolov is an excellent choice. But be aware, this one is quite challenging and suits experienced weightlifters. What does it offer? It promises to help you get bigger, stronger, and more shredded at once. Prepare yourself to increase your squat by 100 pounds in four months.

This program consists of five phases spread over a period of 17 weeks. Kyle Hunt, a trainer, saw his squat skyrocket from 495 to an impressive 600 pounds while also achieving a lean physique thanks to Smolov. Guess what? It's not limited to working on your legs—you can modify it for upper body gains as well. Ideal for bulking phases.


Skip La Cour's Max OT focuses on compound exercises that target every muscle fiber. It's a strength-oriented program with volume specifically designed for individuals who want quick results. The catch? Push each set to the point of failure while leaving out isolation exercises. The best part? You can complete it all within 45 minutes or less.

La Cour incorporates a week off every 12 weeks to keep things refreshing and exciting. Oh, and don't forget to have someone spot you if you decide to dive into this routine. The Top Five Training Programs for Building Size and Strength

These programs have been proven over time and created with long-term goals in mind. But don't forget, no matter which option you choose, it's important to vary your routine. Increase the number of repetitions, sets, or the amount of weight on the barbell. The key is to remain flexible and adaptable in your approach.

James Freeman


Meet James Freeman, a California native whose passion for fitness emerged during challenging times, reshaping his life. With over two decades of coaching experience, he's not just a coach; he's a real-life example, shedding over 100 pounds in a journey to a healthier lifestyle. Beyond his coaching career, James is passionate about inspiring at-risk youth and promoting wellness in schools. In his downtime, he enjoys swimming and cycling, connecting with nature. Join him on his Instagram and LinkedIn profiles for insights into his empowering fitness journey.