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Switching from LP to Beginner Template - which phase to start on?

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  • Switching from LP to Beginner Template - which phase to start on?

    I had about a 5 month layoff from early January until mid June, and restarted my training with a basic 3x5 LP (Starting Strength, but with pendlay rows instead of power cleans). I've now gotten to the point where my final sets on S/B/D are about RPE 8.5/9/8 and my press just stalled today, I could only do 4 reps on the 3rd set of presses. I have not yet stalled on any other lift.

    The reason I want to move away from 3x5 LP is because I presume I will benefit from more pressing volume as my pressing strength (both overhead and bench) is weak relative to my squat, deadlift, row, etc.

    How would you recommend I continue training from here? Should I continue with my 3x5 LP or switch to the Beginner Template? And if I should make the switch, then which phase should I start on?


  • #2
    Phase II.

    Phase I has the same volume of working sets as a 3x5 except for DL.


    • #3
      Congratulations on your progress so far. I can only speak from my experience. I did bodybuilding style training for nearly two years before I decided to pursue strength. So I ran SL5x5 and then two runs of SSNLP3x5. Didn't make good progress on either. (I thought I was at the time. But little did I know.) Then I learned of BBM and ran the full Beginner Template, all 36 weeks, from the beginning of Phase 1. I'm glad I did. I made great progress on it. I put the time and effort in and built a solid foundation on which to progress my training afterwards.

      Phase 2 of the Beginner Template is likely more volume than you're accustomed to, especially if you've been running 3x5, which is low volume and high intensity. My suggestion would be to start with Phase 1 and follow the instructions in the PDF to the letter. Do the GPP work too. When progress really stalls on Phase 1, then move to Phase 2. Don't rush through it. Give Phase 1 a minimum of 4 weeks of consistent, honest effort before moving on to Phase 2. Enjoy those easy gains while you can. You'll be glad you did in the long run. Set yourself up for success.

      Another reason to start with Phase 1 is to the opportunity to practice RPE-based training in a variety of rep schemes before you step up the volume in Phase 2. RPE is a skill. It takes practice.

      I really loved the Beginner Template. It's a well designed program. It is a great balance of strength and hypertrophy. Combined with RPE, I found the exercise variation kept things interesting and fatigue at a minimum while allowing me to make solid, consistent progress.

      My only criticism of the Beginner Template is that they named it the Beginner Template, because the vast majority of lifters, regardless of training age, are still undertrained. Despite having 3 years of consistent training prior to finding BBM and the Beginner Template, I was undertrained because I wasn't following good programming. Naming it the Beginner Template is the most logical name for it. But I think at least some lifters won't do it because they think they're not beginners. Maybe they should've called it the Strong & Jacked Template. LOL!

      Of course, good programming is only one piece of the puzzle. Nutrition and recovery have to be on point as well.

      Good luck and have fun!


      • #4
        Thank you for your insightful response Rod, I've had a similar experience to you with regards to innapropriate programming. I will run the beginner template from phase I, as Jordan has advised me to do so as well.

        My recovery and nutrition has been great for the past two months, hope I can keep it up.

        Good luck to you too.