Every beginner has the potential to make more gains in the first few months. A new lifter with no experience in weight training can gain muscle from doing anything. As a beginner if you utilize this time period more efficiently you can gain more muscle mass with little effort.
Strong lifts and starting strength are the most popular beginner workout programs. Everybody recommends these programs because they have seen results with SL and SS. Yes, they are more effective than other bro split beginner workout programs. But they have some drawbacks. To overcome the drawbacks of SL and SS Ivysaur created 4-4-8 program for beginner lifters.
For understanding the drawbacks of StrongLifts 5×5 we have to analyse the program.
Disadvantages of StrongLifts 5×5
Majority of weight lifters says StrongLifts offers high frequency. But it is wrong. Because in a 2 week period of SL workout, you train your pecs, biceps, and shoulders only three times. A simple PPL program will offer more frequency than this. If you are following StrongLifts you are not utilizing your muscle protein synthesis efficiently.
Muscle protein synthesis is the main driving force for muscle hypertrophy and it lasts only up to 36 hours after training. To keep muscle protein synthesis at peak level you have to hit the same muscle groups after every 36 hours. To fix this problem in SL, you have to preform bench press and overhead press every workout along with other default exercises of StrongLifts.
- Ivysaur 4-4-8 program enable you to hit the same muscle groups after every 36 hours.
- Frequency of Ivysaur 4-4-8 program is ‘3’, which means in Ivysaur workout you will train every muscle groups 3 times per week.
- You have to incorporate more sets or reps to see good progression. In Ivysaur 4-4-8 program you will do optimum number of sets so that you can effectively use your initial months of weight training.
Lack of Biceps Training
- In Ivysaur 4-4-8 workout you will do Chin-Ups. It is one of the best exercise for biceps. Chin-ups will also do some extra work for back and lats. This will also help you to balance your increased bench progression.
Lower Body Heavy Program
Same Reps Range
- Ivysaur 4-4-8 program utilizes frequent AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) sets to make the program more challenging.
- Including AMRAP sets in workout will help you to incorporate more volume.
All credits goes to Ivysaur
Ivysaur 4-4-8 Program
Ivysaur 4-4-8 Progression
- Squat/Deadlift: 15 lb/week
- Bench/Barbell rows: 10 lb/week
- Overhead press: 5 lb/week
- If you hit more than 8 reps on AMRAP set, double next week’s progression rate for that exercise.
- Monday: On
- Tuesday: Off
- Wednesday: On
- Thursday: Off
- Friday: On
- Saturday: Off
- Sunday: Off
|Exercise||Sets x Reps|
|Bench||3×4 + 1xAMRAP|
|Squat||3×4 + 1xAMRAP|
|Exercise||Sets x Reps|
|Deadlift||3×4 + 1xAMRAP|
|Overhead press||3×4 + 1xAMRAP|
Ivysaur 4-4-8 Accessories
- If you want you can increase the set count to 5
- You can do chin-ups every workout. If you can do more than 4/8 Chin-ups, try weighted Chin-ups.
- Add 2 squat sets to deadlift days.
What to do when you hit a plateau?
You can’t add weight workout to workout forever. Eventually you will hit plateau. Plateau/failure is also part of bodybuilding. If you fail to reach the weekly progression goal, reduce the weight by 10% on that exercise next workout. Continue your weight progression and increase the weight workout to workout to meet the weekly goal.
Ivysaur 4-4-8 Spreadsheet
Enter your starting weights for week 1. All the rest will be calculated for you, rounding down to the nearest 5lb. Check the box to the right of the weight if you hit 8+ reps on an AMRAP set, and the next week’s progression will be adjusted accordingly. If you wish to deload, do so by manually adjusting the target weight for the week and exercise in question. This spreadsheet differs from Ivysaur’s 448 only in that there is an extra session of rows and AMRAP-based progression for rows on Week A, Day 3. I found this spreadsheet on a reddit thread. Unfortunately the author deleted the thread, so I don’t know who created this spreadsheet.
Click on the below button to download simple Ivysaur 4-4-8 spreadsheet.
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