: Core program

by Milko Georgiev

This program is for you. It will give you strength, size, and high intensity endurance. You will grow real, hard, solid and functional muscle. You'll do it in 25 minutes.

Most people have the potential for great physiques. Most people waste that potential because they don't train intelligently. They jump from program to program, exercise to exercise. If they want to grow they use a hypertrophy program, if they want to shed some fat they use a cutting program, whatever, you get my point! Truth is you can't do any of that stuff unless you're strong. If you want to be successful you have to lift big and there's no way around it.

This spartan workout focuses on compound movements, perfect form, high intensity and progressive overload. It focuses on what your body is programmed to be: a hard functional whole.

Some basics


Strength is a skill. it's the ability to generate a number of neural impulses in order to realize a movement. It is important to know that this conscious effort is controlled and limited by a system which keeps a log of all of your successful and unsuccessful attempts to execute a movement with a given load. The more successful and less unsuccessful attempts you have, the more likely it is for that system to allow you to use the same or higher load with that same movement. In other words: do not go to failure. All of your unsuccessful attempts will hold you back.

Do you want to be stronger? Then work with higher intensities, at least 85% and higher. Use a 3 minute rest interval. If you give your nervous system great tension it will adapt for greater tension. Longer rest intervals will keep you from burning your nervous system out and losing your drive.


We all want it and even if we don't want it (c'mon, are you serious?) we all need it at some point in our training. That's your body's attempt to adapt to training stress by enlarging the muscle's contractile units. You can't get bigger lifting light loads. I designed SPIDER STAMINA with more than half of the sets being over 75% intensity. The lowest you go is 70%, since lower intensities have been proven ineffective for functional hypertrophy. You will also be using these lower intensities when your muscles are already exhausted from higher intensities, adding extra stimulus for growth.


SPIDER STAMINA is for trainees that are already experienced in doing compound movements. I do NOT recommend it for absolute beginners since they lack the neural ability and the intramuscular coordination to execute the movements correctly with the given intensity for the recommended amount of sets. Within SPIDER STAMINA every set will take you to your maximum ability for that set, and handling that requites experience.

As I said above strength is a skill. Each set within SPIDER STAMINA forces you to work at your maximum possible intensity for the given repetitions. Each set develops your ability to recruit a maximum amount of muscle fiber at the maximum possible intensity for that set. If the first three sets make you stronger because you use heavy hardware, all the sets use maximum software abilities. Strength is a skill.


SPIDER STAMINA uses compound movements: squat, deadlift, lunge, pull-up, dip, military press, side press, curl and Arnold press, cable push-pull, full contact twist, renegade row. You should choose compound exercises for both upper and lower body.

Training intensity


SPIDER STAMINA uses intensities that allow you to do every next set with the maximum possible load. Most training programs use "climbing weights" and when you reach the top you are already too exhausted to do a real maximum intensity attempt. That's why in stamina weights go down to let you use your RM at the start and in every following set. Some authors call this a reverse pyramid.

The first thing you need to do is determine the loads.
Use the table to calculate them. A good starting point is to use your 3RM or 4RM to determine the load. 1RMs are usually mentally hard and end up being lower than the estimated 1RM. Of course if you are a gifted lifter and prefer 1RMs, use your 1RM results. 

On weighted pull-ups and dips you have to subtract the weight of your forearms - approx. 5 kg.

your body weight (BW) = 80kg; you can do 4 reps with 20kg weight on your belt
1RM = ((BW - 5kg) + 20kg) / 0.90 = 105.6kg
Weight on belt for 87% intensity = (105.6 * 0.87) - (BW - 5) = 91.8 - 80 + 5 = 16.8 kg

Rest intervals

Rest intervals are based on intensity. The first three sets develop your strength and use 3 minute rest intervals. You are fried and need to take a break. The following sets are at lower intensities and allow for shorter rest intervals of one and a half minutes.


You will do 10 sets of 5 reps as follows:

Set% 1RMRepsRest
187%5180 s
477%90 s
1070%rip ;-)

To calculate you stamina program use Stamina Calculator.

How to proceed

Take a week off training before starting SPIDER STAMINA.

I recommend that you complete 25 workouts (each full workout is 2 staminas - upper and lower body - in the same day) and take a break whether you choose to continue doing SPIDER STAMINA or continue with a different workout program.

How to progress

If you feel like you can finish the last two sets at 73% of your 1RM  you can add 3% to your original 1RM and use that load in the next stamina.

If you can't complete all the sets of the stamina because you end up using lower intensities earlier in the workout you obviously have more strength than endurance. This could be due to genetic fiber type dominance or it could be an effect from your previous training goals and experience. If you have to use 70% before the 9th set, complete two sets at 70% and call it a day. Decrease your 1RM by 3% before starting your next stamina.

Using SPIDER STAMINA to break a plateau

You can incorporate a stamina within your current workout if you need to break a plateau. For example, you can place one stamina in the beginning of your workout and continue with your usual workout after that. For example if the squat is your priority then do a squat stamina in the beginning of your workout. You will need to modify the rest of your workout since you will most likely lack the ability to work with any overlapping exercises. That means a squat stamina will fit perfectly within an upper body day. If you are using SPIDER STAMINA to improve one movement you can use it for as long as you feel appropriate.


Most people report fat loss and increased endurance as side effects of the program. They also report improved concentration and better exercise form. They feel better prepared for 1RM attempts.
A lot of people like the simplicity of the workout.

Sample workout program

You have two options:

  1. Use only SPIDER STAMINA to become stronger and bigger for a total of 25 workouts. You will use two exercises per workout and you are free to add accessory exercises matching your current goals.
  2. Incorporate a stamina into your current workout and excel at the chosen exercise
3 day stamina
Day 11) side or military press2) squat or deadlift
Day 2rest
Day 31) pull-up2) full contact twist
Day 4rest
Day 51) cable push-pull2) lunge
Day 6rest
Day 7rest

4 day stamina
Day 11) side press2) deadlift
Day 2rest
Day 3 1) curl and Arnold press2) lunge
Day 41) pull-up2) full contact twist
Day 5rest
Day 61) cable push-pull2) squat
Day 7rest

5 day stamina
Day 11) side press2) deadlift
Day 21) pull-up2) full contact twist
Day 3 1) curl and Arnold press2) lunge
Day 4rest
Day 51) cable push-pull2) squat
Day 61) dips2) renegade row
Day 7rest
©2006-2024 Milko Georgiev