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Barbell Club 21-weeks

Posted 30th January 2022 by Jenna Fisher

The next Barbell Club phase will run for 20-weeks and will be followed by a 1RM test week.

Tuesdays – MAX day, lower body

Thursdays – MAX day, upper body

Saturdays – SPEED day, lower body

Sundays – SPEED, upper body

The 21-week program:

Barbell Club – 21-weeks from February 2022

After the core lift, really focus on strengthening the following:

Upper body: triceps, lats, front delts, core

Lower body: lower back, hamstrings, core, upper back

Remember, your bench will only be as strong as your triceps and lats; your squat will only be as strong as your lower back and core.

Aim to increase your strength in these by recording your load and trying to improve each week. If you focus on making your triceps as strong as possible your bench will improve. Same with the lower back and core for the squat, and so on.


Aside from the max lifts, keep your rest to a minimum.

Aside from good mornings, focus on moving the bar as fast as possible; eccentric as well as concentric.

On the speed day, if you load too high and the reps become sluggish you will not be getting the benefit from this. Force = mass x acceleration.  Speed day = acceleration. Progress will come from speed.

On the max day, build the weight with a thorough warm-up and aim to lift as heavy as you can for that day – as heavy as you can *with good form*. You do not need to lift until your eyes bleed.

This program cycle is BASED on the Louie Simmons method. The aim is to give you the opportunity to experience a new format of training and a variety of movements.

The full method is far more complex and requires a change of lift every week. Since we are not professional competitive powerlifters I have adapted it to be appropriate for a wide range of people and for the logistics of delivering it in a class setting.

For background information you can read the previous post:

Barbell Club 20-week program background

New members and beginners are very welcome.

If you are new to the gym the coach will adapt the core lifts for you. The movement difficulty can be scaled and all sets for the core lifts on MAX days will be higher reps and lower loads. You will be guided through the movements step-by-step and will have the opportunity to get comfortable with the core lifts in your own time.

If you have some experience but are not quite ready for the band and chain variations there is no pressure to perform them. All lifts can be performed without and when you feel ready to try something new the coach will be happy to show you.

In large classes due to the need to share equipment, it may be the case that you are unable to perform one of the exercises as prescribed. You can either substitute with an alternative movement, do the same movement with different equipment, or complete a movement from the next week’s program and make a note to do what you missed in that future week.

If you have any questions do feel free to contact me: [email protected]