Strength Building Workouts

Heavy Hillbilly Barbell Only Strength Workout

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This workout is by EliteDreams from the Muscle and Brawn Forum.

Seeing as this is my first go at writing a routine, I hope you can understand my reasoning.

First the routine, then a breakdown of each day. Here we go:


  • Squat 5×2
  • Bench Press 5×2
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row 3×5


  • Bench Press 5×2
  • Deadlift 10×1


  • Front Squat 4×4
  • Power Cleans 1×6
  • Military Press 3×5
  • Pullups 3x to failure


  • Dynamic Squats 12×2
  • Dynamic Bench 9×3
  • Inverted Rows 3x to failure

(30 seconds rest between dynamic sets)

The Heavy Hillbilly Strength Routine

This routine is based around using all compound movements. You will be using only a barbell 3 days each week. It is ideal for intermediate lifters who can modify the set/rep scheme based on their needs each day.

Although, for example, overhead pressing can be done with dumbells, I thought it best to keep this classified as a barbell-only routine for the strength trainer with limited equipment.

Monday is the important day. The other 2 days, Wednesday and Friday, are structured to increase the lifts each Monday, in turn, increasing your 3-lift total. So with this point in mind, here is a breakdown of each day:


There are two schemes that are to be used on this day, and are done using a rotation, or as the lifter sees fit. The two schemes are as follows:

  • Squat/Bench Press/Bent-Over Row


  • Bench Press/Deadlift

Monday is a maximum effort day. The rep schemes for the squat and bench, or bench and deadlift, are anywhere from 1 to 5 rep sets. I reckon an individualized program would start with a a 5 rep max set, then perhaps another set or two at the same weight.

The next week starts with a 4 rep max, then a 3 rep max, going to 2 and then a 1RM. I stress again, this should probably be used only by lifters who are experienced enough to plan their sets ahead of time and know their working weights.

The bent-over rows, of course, are done by feel. Perhaps a 3×5 rep scheme on the rows would be best. And some sort of ab work or rotator cuff work could be done, based on the individual.

I find it better to not do squats, bench press and deadlift all in one day. It is also hard to do deads and rows together. Hence the dual schemes for Monday.


Unlike Monday, the lifts on this day are set in stone, so to speak.

First up are front squats. I chose these because, well, it’s a squat. They are also great upper back work. Wednesday focuses heavily on the posterior chain. Rep schemes for front squats could be 3×3, or 4×4 – whatever you prefer.

Second are power cleans. I personally like doing these for singles. Perhaps somewhere around 6 singles.

Third up is military presses. Emphasis on STRICT. Perhaps 2×5 or 3×5.

Fourth, and last, are pullups. Or negative pullups or pulldowns, depending on the individual’s capability.


This is speed day. I’m basing the speed work off of Westside Barbell rep schemes, although I have found, as well as have been advised, that for raw lifters, slightly heavier percentages are better. 50-60% of 1RM for geared, 60-70% for raw.

Dynamic Squats. Again, this is why you edit these programs. Because this one is, well, based on my individual needs. For speed squats, 12 doubles, or 10 doubles with chains, or 8 doubles with bands. 30 seconds rest between sets (this is all based, again, on Westside).

Dynamic Bench Press. 9 triples, with the first 3 sets being close grip, the second 3 sets “medium,” and the last 3 sets using whatever grip (wider) the lifter uses in powerlifting meets. 30 seconds rest between sets.

To finish this day, a type of row that is easier on the lower back then bent-over barbell rows. Inverted rows are a good choice, can be done in the power rack or elsewhere for a lifter at home.

I personally do band pushdowns and ab work at the end of each day. Pushups could be added in.

And on Monday, I will do good mornings in place of squats sometimes.

Also note my personal rep schemes on the front squats, rows and such vary.

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