Standing The Test Of Time

Whilst the debates rage on T- Nation and other web sites about the efficacy of total body and split programs, two of the most enduring and productive workouts of all time, have a couple of important similarities. One, is that they are both very simple in construction and two, they are ruthlessly efficicient in producing gains in size and strength.

Week 1
Monday – Squat/Pull      Thursday – Squat/Push  Saturday – Pull

Week 2
Monday – Squat/Push    Thursday – Squat/Pull Saturday – Pull

The programming within this is that you perform 2 exercises for each category on the Monday and Thursday and then 4 exercises for the category listed on the Saturday workout, sets and reps are adjusted for personal requirements and energy levels for the day.

To provide further detail on each program in order for you to launch into your new years “Get Strength” priority training each program can be fleshed out as follows.

Strongest Shall Survive

Monday (Heavy) – Clean Pulls, Back Squat, Bench Press

Wednesday (Light) – Power Snatch, Over Head Squat, Military Press

Friday (Medium) – Power Clean, Front Squat, Incline Bench Press

The standard set and rep structure was 5 x 5, but this can be altered to suit your needs, the original program calls for the use of just 3 exercises power clean, back squat and bench press 3 days per week with a 100% for 5 x 5 on Monday then using 70% on Wednesday and 85% on Friday.

Of Stones and Strength

Week 1

Monday – Power Snatch, Clean Pulls then Over Head Squat, Back Squat

Thursday – Military Press, Bench Press then Front Squat, Single Leg Sprinters Squat

Saturday – One Arm DB Snatch, Power Clean, Snatch Pulls, Clean Grip Dead Lift

Week 2

Monday – Push Press, Incline Bench Press then Step Ups, Front Squat

Thursday – Power Snatch from high blocks, Power Clean from high blocks then Back Squat, Splt Squat

Saturday – Steel Log Push Press, Thick Bar Military Press, Cambered Bar Should Press, Incline Bench Press

Add whatever prehab/rehab exercises, core and cardio work you need and you have a simple well rounded achievable weekly plan to get the gains in size and strength you are looking for in this new year. The first book I mentioned in this article was the first book I bought in the training area, back in 1980 at the Mr Olympia contest in Sydney, my life was changed permanently after reading this book, Bill Starr you have a lot to answer for thanks. The second is a must read for any strength training devotee particularly those of you that have a leaning towards the history and philosophy of strength, enjoy.


The two programs I am referring to are Bill Starr’s “Strongest Shall Survive”, 3 day a week heavy-light-medium plan using the pull – power clean, push – bench press and squat – back squat as the basis with a many variations and the three day a week routine of Steve Jeck in his and Peter Martin’s stand out book “Of Stones and Strength”. In the Jeck/Martin program you follow a 3 day per week program but this is spread over a 2 week period.

Ashley Jones

Ashley Jones specialist in the physical preparation of rugby athletes. He has worked with professional sports teams that include Sydney Kings, Newcastle Knights, Parramatta Eels, Northern Eagles, Crusaders, New Zealand All Blacks, and Australian Wallabies. Irish by Ancestry, Australian by Birth, Japanese by Accident and a Kiwi by Choice.

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