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Total-Package Strength with Anthony Fuhrman

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Welcome to Total-Package Strength! This six-week program was designed by world-class competitive strongman Anthony Fuhrman to help anyone, anywhere build a base of muscle and strength that will help them achieve whatever goals they have in mind.

Fuhrman does a lot of this style of training himself in the off-season, when he's not training for his sport and just wants to get generally strong and feel great doing it. He says the idea that "strength" and "muscle" don't go together in training is flat-out wrong. You'll move heavy weights for reasonable—not crushing—reps, while the pump-focused work is a great way to boost recovery, hold onto muscle mass, and build resiliency to carry over to whatever your sport is—even just the sport of life.

Here's what you need to know to get started.

Is this program right for me?

Total-Package Strength is designed for intermediate lifters, meaning you've spent some time in the gym lifting and you're not totally new to the big lifts. If you're more of a beginner, though, this program could still work for you. Just dial back the intensity as needed, choose more beginner-friendly lifts where needed—goblet squats instead of back squats, for instance—and focus on hitting reps rather than going heavy. After six weeks, you could repeat the program and do it as written.

If you're someone who has primarily been doing bodybuilding-style body-part splits but are comfortable with barbell training and ready for a more strength-oriented challenge, this program is perfect for you. Total-Package Strength has enough volume to feel familiar, with each day consisting of a main movement followed by hypertrophy work with isolation movements.

If you've been chasing something like a heavy bench or double-bodyweight dead and haven't found success with bare-bones strength-focused programs, this is a great way to sneak up on that program, then manhandle your goal weight for multiple reps—and be surprised by the physique you've built along the way.

Who is Anthony Fuhrman?

Anthony Fuhrman is a professional strongman and two-time World Strongest Man in the 105 kg weight class. He is also an ISSA Master Trainer and former contestant on NBC's "The Titan Games."

What's the schedule?

You'll train four days a week, following this split:

  • Monday: Lower body and squat focus
  • Tuesday: Upper body and press focus
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Back and deadlift focus
  • Friday: Accessory focus (alternating upper and lower body weekly)
  • Saturday and Sunday: Rest

Each workout should take around 60 minutes, or slightly less if you limit your rest time and keep moving during your muscle-focused work.

If you need to adjust your rest days to match your schedule, do it, but make sure you're getting adequate rest during the week. Cranking out these four workouts on four consecutive days could work for a couple of weeks, but as the weights go up, you could start to feel overwhelmed. This program is tougher than it looks!

What equipment do I need?

Fuhrman designed this program with a commercial gym in mind. Here's what you'll need to do the program as written:

  • A barbell, plates, and squat rack
  • Dumbbells
  • Cable stack
  • Common gym machines (lat pull-down, leg press, landmine, leg curl, chest fly, chest press)

If your gym doesn't have a particular piece of equipment, some substitution ideas will be provided. You can also use the exercise substitution tool in the BodyFit app to look for similar alternatives using the equipment you have.

Especially if you're an experienced lifter who can move some weight, it's a good idea to have a belt, squat shoes, and wrist wraps, but Fuhrman says he doesn't like to rely on any of them. He advises leaving support accessories off as long as you're comfortable, and only bringing them into play on heavy working sets. That way, you can allow your body to build pure strength and develop solid technique before belting up or wrapping your joints.

"But, if you have pre-existing injuries and these things give you relief, don't be afraid to use them!" he says. "Being tough doesn't make you stronger. It makes you injured. Listen to your body day by day."

What should I do after this program?

If you get to the end of this program and feel like you have more in the tank, great! You can turn around and do it again. Many people find they actually experience better results the second time through a program, since they're familiar with the movements and not as limited by muscle soreness.

If you liked the training but would like some variety, you could also swap out some of the exercises for something similar, like dumbbell incline presses instead flat bench presses or front squats in the place of back squats.

On the other hand, if you liked the dual focus on strength and size in this program but would like to try something new, consider one of these popular BodyFit programs: