Jason Blaha's Off Season Linear Periodization Intermediate Strength Program #1

M&S Writers
Written By: M&S Writers
September 15th, 2014
Updated: December 28th, 2017
131.6K Reads
Jason Blaha presents a twelve week off season strength building program for seasoned intermediate lifters. Accessory work is left open based on needs and weaknesses.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Increase Strength
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration12 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Dumbbells
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

Editor's note: Assessory work is left open to the individual's needs, weaknesses and individual sport. This is intended as a general off season program for any athlete that needs to build strength.

Intermediate Strength Program #1
Week Percentage Sets x Reps
Week 1 70% 3x10
Week 2 70% 4x10
Week 3 70% 5x10
Week 4 75% 3x8
Week 5 75% 4x8
Week 6 75% 5x8
Week 7 80% 3x5
Week 8 80% 4x5
Week 9 80% 5x5
Week 10 85% 3x3
Week 11 Day 1&2 90% 3x1, Day 3&4 Test Maxes
Week 12 Deload 50% 3x5
Posted on: Mon, 01/24/2022 - 22:25

How much time should I be resting in between the sets of the compound movements

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/26/2022 - 19:49

60-90 seconds of rest should be sufficient, Eugenio. Start at 90, and try to gradually decrease the rest by five seconds until you're resting for 60 seconds between sets.

Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2019 - 01:34

Hey, how does weight progression work on this program? is it just after the weekly cycle you would increase all weight by 1.25Kg?

Posted on: Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:37

Do you think it'll be okay to throw in some conditioning once or twice a week ?

Posted on: Sun, 07/01/2018 - 10:01

I cannot progress in weight every workout, if I do, I will fail or injure myself. Is that normal? Or do you recommend something?

Posted on: Fri, 11/02/2018 - 18:58

You only increase once a week

Posted on: Sun, 04/15/2018 - 03:41

Am I supposed to do the same sets and reps for Deadlifts as Squats??

Posted on: Sat, 03/31/2018 - 17:55

On 2 of the rest days can I add extra hypertrophy workouts for biceps,medial and rear delts?

Posted on: Sat, 01/21/2017 - 20:41

10 sets of bench, row, and ohp the same day? Isn't that too hard?

Posted on: Tue, 06/27/2017 - 10:39

you are reading it wrong

Posted on: Mon, 10/25/2021 - 21:59

No! It’s 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each of those exercises: bench, row and OHP.

Sevio Stanton
Posted on: Tue, 07/12/2016 - 18:25

More information on appropriate implementation of accensors lifts is needed

Posted on: Mon, 08/08/2016 - 19:55

If you need help figuring out your assistance lifts, you are not ready for this program.

Posted on: Mon, 04/13/2015 - 15:27

5x10 squats/deadlift, *whimper* do calves/abs count for assistance work?

farhan piruzdelan
Posted on: Mon, 03/23/2015 - 08:00

Is this too much accessory work: Lower: Squat, deadlift, stiff legged deadlift, glute bridges,hyperextensions,one arm row, abs
Upper: Bench, bb row, press, chin up,incline db press, curls and extensions, abs

Posted on: Mon, 11/05/2018 - 12:39

I wouldn't do any rowing on your lower body day since it'll be one of your main movers on your upper body day. Other than that it looks fine, just go by how your body feels.

Posted on: Sat, 02/21/2015 - 21:38

How could i put this into a full body workout?

Posted on: Sun, 01/18/2015 - 15:38

Jason, have you personally hit 70% of your bench for a 3x10 and then done the same OHP? doesnt even make sense

Posted on: Mon, 01/19/2015 - 11:47

Using 90% of your max for your training max for OHP seems more feasible.

Posted on: Tue, 06/30/2015 - 17:06

I've been having trouble achieving every rep in the 4x5 and 5x5 weeks.

Posted on: Fri, 01/02/2015 - 09:08

Currently running the novice program, numbers are still slowly progressing, last week numbers were at OHP 150x5x5, Bench 260x5x5, Squat 315x5x5, Deadlift 415x5. Could one theoretically keep running the novice program by increasing the number of sets per week, and then increasing the weight once you hit 5 sets? Or would efforts be better spent switching to the intermediate program now?

Mikkel Jørgensen
Posted on: Sun, 12/14/2014 - 18:09

Just finished this program last week. Im currently in season so I skipped the lower body days and repalced the workouts with a typical "leg day" where I would hit up some front squats, romanian deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts or rack pulls and then some lunges or goblet squats, and I would hit different intensities and volumes depending on how beat up my legs were from the weekly rugby training and matches.

My bench press (I use a pause and a narrow 18" grip on all my pressing) increased from 110kg to 120kg and my overhead press increasd from 70kg to 74kg(projected 1RM from 60x8 and 55x11 after I failed to get 75kg twice). This is a great program, it does get quite boring after a while, but it is going to be so worth running towards the end.

For accessory work I did incline bench press 3 times and dips around 4 times after my main Bench, Row and OHP. The reason I did it so rarely and pretty much never did accessory work for my chest, tris and shoulders was that these muscles where already so beat up from the main lifts. Especially after the 5x10 week. Shoulders were sore for days... holy shit. Anyways for back I also threw in 3 sets of pull ups, 3 sets of bicep curls and 3 sets of rear delt flies and thats all.

Great program will run again soon/10

Posted on: Sat, 11/29/2014 - 18:00

Mr. Jason which numbers for squat, bench and deadlift make someone an intermediate lifter? Who is an intermediate lifter, how do you define that?

Posted on: Wed, 11/19/2014 - 13:03

Hey I've taken this approach and split it into a push pull legs set up. I do bench OHP and close grip then deadlift barbell row pull day and leg day is squat and stiff leg with about 2 to 3 accessory moves each day. I like it this set up, however I'm unsure about the amount of tricep work on my push day is it all right do three compounds all using tris in one day. I feel good now at 70% 4x10 but I'm unsure about progress later on. I don't want to kill my tris and risk a tear. I've been lifting for about 2 years and do 3 on one off workout split. Thanks for the opinions in advance.

Posted on: Thu, 12/25/2014 - 09:17

Currently starting the 5 sets of 8 rep range definitely seeing progress on all of my lifts while keeping great form. Strength is climbing like crazy! Definitely enjoy this linear set up even though I've customized it to my own style it's working awesome.

Posted on: Sun, 10/12/2014 - 03:53

Should I put close grip bench press on the squat/deadlift day or the bench/row/OHP day?

If I put it on the squat/deadlift day would it adversely affect my bench and OHP the following day?

Posted on: Tue, 11/25/2014 - 14:04

No, put it on Bench day, you get extra stimulation on your tris from the normal benching so they're prexhausted. Also it doesn't interfere with next bench session.

Posted on: Wed, 10/01/2014 - 11:47

2 Questions -

1) By 'Overhead Press' - does that equate to Standing Push Press (ie uses some legs) or Standing Military
2) Could you list some good 'accessory' work-outs which would work well with the current structure of the compound lifts

Posted on: Mon, 10/27/2014 - 16:56

He means strict military, no use of legs.

Accessory is all dependent on the personal goals of the individual.