I found this program on leangains https://leangains.com/the-minimalist/

A (day 1) Bench press

1 set to failure

Immediately followed by pushups to failure

Followed by another set of bench (with a lot less weight)

Immediately followed by pushups to failure

and repeated one more round. 10 mins rest

Chins for 2-3 sets to failure

B (day 4) Breathing Squats (20 reps)

Leg extensions, 1 set to failure

C (day 7)

Deadlifts (started at 20 reps here, added weight and decreased reps until I was working in the 3-5 rep range after several months). 10 min rest Pullups for 2-3 sets to failure

The author had impressive gains, going 60kg to 100kg. Whereas, I, after having trained for months 5 months with a PT, went from a 60kg bench to a 65kg bench, and gained an impressive flab. I went from a bw of 61 to 69kgs

( The 5 month program was after a 1.5 years of training with SS, where I plateaued at 55 kg bench, starting from a bw of 48 kgs.)

I'm sure the internet is full of know-it-alls and the author of the article may very likely be a fake.

Nevertheless, i'm curious: is this a good program? Who is it good for? Is it only good for people with good genetics/high beginner strength?

1 Answer 1


It's an extremely minimal program, so probably only good for people who have very little time available to spend in the gym. Being extremely low volume, people are likely to plateau in a very short period of time on this program.

If the author really moved their bench from 60kg to 100kg on this program, with just 3 sets of bench press and 3 sets of push-ups per week, then I'd speculate that they must have amazing genetics, and that the average person would not see anywhere near those kind of results from this.

  • 6
    +1, completely agree. This program is terribly minimal and lackluster. You will probably plateau within months on this program.
    – MJB
    Apr 28, 2022 at 9:55
  • 1
    "If the author really moved their bench from 60kg to 100kg on this program" - Yeah, that's a big if, by the way.
    – Alec
    Apr 28, 2022 at 15:55
  • I've found that any kind of claim Martin Berkhan makes should probably be reduced by at least 80% to match reality.
    – DeeV
    Apr 28, 2022 at 18:24

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