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'The Bridge' Questions

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  • 'The Bridge' Questions


    I am new to strength training and am eager to get started. I am just wondering whether I should start the SSLP or the The Bridge (or potentially another program). My 'training' history is that I've been following a bodybuilding program for about 3 months from about mid-September to mid-December. I then went to the gym off and on during the latter half of December up until now. I'm not sure what my exact numbers are for the squat, bench, and deadlift given that I didn't put a lot of focus on these movements in my prior program, but here are my numbers for the 3 main movements (along with some other info):

    Height: 5'11 and 1/2 inches

    Bodyweight: 160lbs to 165lbs (probably closer to 160lbs)

    Squat: 245lbs (for 1 or possibly 2 reps)

    Deadlift: 315lbs (for 1 rep)

    Bench: 195lbs (for 2 or possibly 3 reps)

    Sports/Cardio: I also have been playing tennis 2 to 3 times per week for the past 3 weeks or so, and will continue to play tennis 1 to 2 times per week for the upcoming months.

    My deadlift at 315lbs could have have been performed with poor form, but I don't think it was terrible and I just pulled that within the last week. Again, my squat at 245lbs could have been with poor form, but I don't think it was terrible form. In any case, I really want to run The Bridge program because I think it will be a more engaging program than SSLP. And I love being in the gym, so the added conditioning to The Bridge would be great to have. But, obviously, it's best for me to choose the program that would ensure long-term progress in regards to my strength, so any help with choosing what program I should run would be greatly appreciated. I apologize in advance if there have been posts that could have answered this question, but I couldn't find any.

    Also, just want to say thanks to BBM for putting out science-based information out there for the masses. As a young guy who just wants to maximize his potential in the gym realizing I actually had no idea what I was doing about a month ago, it can be hard to know who to trust. But I've found that you all have put a lot of effort into really understanding strength on a scientific level that I've never found on the internet before, while also with sharing a lot of this golden information with others which is awesome.


  • #2
    Welcome! We're excited to see your training take off, and I'd suggest you consider the BBM Beginner's Template. This has 3 phases of training, covers more movement variations than the SSLP, introduces you to RPE, varied rep ranges, and includes conditioning and some GPP work. Sounds like it would be a solid fit and a nice starting point. You can read more about the framework here-
    For an introduction to this program, please check out The Barbell Medicine Podcast: Episode #58: Programming For Beginners (and other musings on training) You can sign up to download the Beginner Prescription here. Introduction & Goals At Barbell Medicine, our mission is to promote health and successful aging by bringing the best of modern medicine together with strength,

    And the full program is here-
    The Beginner Template contains three phases of programming that can be run repeatedly for extended periods of time, as long as the trainee is continuing to demonstrate a trend of improvement.