Stan Efferding’s 20 rep program
I had been concentrating on powerlifting for some time when I ran a program similar to Stan Efferding’s 20 rep program.
Now I love powerlifting – long rest periods, lower repetitions, higher wandering around time – but it’s certainly not the most conducive sport to make you look and feel the best. Plus Summertime = less clothes.
Now Read: This guide to Powerbuilding
In lieu of that I ran more of a bodybuilding style program in order to increase repetitions and focus more on individual muscle groups.
Powerlifting over-develops your front delts and definitely doesn’t improve your conditioning. So Summer 2018 I ran a 10-12 week programme similar to Stan Efferding’s 20 rep training scheme: The Rhino’s 20 Rep Training..
As far as my weekly breakdown goes it looked something like this:
Monday: Shoulders | Back | HIIT
Tuesday: Legs | Chest | Arms
Wednesday: Rest [Bike Ride or Run]
Thursday: Squat | Deadlift | Back [Attempting to keep my strength up here]
Saturday / Sunday: Shoulders | Chest | HIIT [I usually played football or go for a cycle too]
You don’t have to burn out at 20 reps on set 1, but by set 3 onwards you may need to take a few deep breaths and recover after 12-15 reps or so. I did around 8 -10 sets of 20 reps for each muscle group.
So Monday would look something like:
- 4-5 sets of Shoulder Press
- 4-5 sets of Lateral Raises
- 4-5 sets of Bent-Over Rows
- 4-5 sets of Lat Pull-Downs
- Plus HIIT Training [I usually do boxing or circuits, battle ropes and skipping]
I still try to focus on compound movements and want to be done in an hour and 10 minutes at the very most.
This is an awesome program for conditioning and leaning out if that’s your aim. In terms of putting on size, I understand the importance of time under tension, frequency, volume when looking to increase size, but you never feel quite as dense if the base of my workouts aren’t low volume, high weight compound movements.
That’s why powerbuilding programs are always my go to if my goal is size and strength. Unless you’re ‘assisted’ I don’t think high reps with minimal strength building compound exercises will ever give you the mass you’re looking for.
So would I recommend running a program like this? Yes, but only if your goal is to lean out or improve your conditioning; and there are more effective ways to do so.
But; it will burn, you’ll get a great pump and if you keep the rest periods low you’ll be in and out quickly.
If you’re looking for more powerlifting specific programs, then the following should help:
- Guide to The Bulgarian Method
- Guide to The Texas Method
- 5/3/1 Program
- Westside Barbell: The Conjugate Method
Have you run Stan’s program? Let me know in the comments what you thought