Nerd Approved Favs

Looking for the best of what I’ve found? Then, keep reading…

Here is a list of my favorites! I’ll keep updating this list as I learn more.

Bookmark the page for your convenience.

Disclosure: Some of these are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy.

So what’s worked for me at least is to start with OSNB and then transition to a different program every 4-6 months then back to OSNB. Let’s me try out different workouts to see what I like 😄

If you want to work with barbells PLEASE read Mark Rippetoe’s and Dr. Sullivan’s books I list in the Fundamentals of Barbells section! I don’t want anyone to get hurt and their advice focuses around safe technique.

Nerd Fundamentals of Barbells

Personally, I started a barbell program after my first run of OSNB which is when I got the Olympic weights in my home setup.

No matter if you have lifted before with barbells or not EVERYONE should read Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength and Dr. Sullivan’s The Barbell Prescription .

Considered by many to be the reference for barbell strength training. Read their books and watch their youtube videos to get the why’s and how’s on lifting barbells safely and effectively.

Note that the Starting Stength Lifting Program is a linear progression program (start light and add weight every workout) and is NOT meant to be used forever. It is meant to get the novice barbell lifter familiar with the lifts and when you stop making progress, switch to a different program.

The Barbell Prescription goes into alternatives exercises and how progression changes for Starting Strength considering one’s age, for us more “seasoned” exercisers. Dr. Sullivan also outlines a long term workout progression.

Nerd Workouts

For Strength

Here are my (nerd approved) strength focused workouts!

  1. Starting Stength
  2. Pretty much a rip off of Starting Strength but it’s free Stronglifts 5x5
  3. Also free, The Bridge is an 8 week program to specifically transition from “Starting Strength” to other workouts

For Looks

Go for Golden ratio proportions between shoulders and waist

  1. Just dumbbells - Old School, New Body
  2. Adonis Golden Ratio
  3. Steve Reeves Bodybuilding Journal
  4. Vince Gironda’s Writings - Vince Gironda’s student Daryl Conant has released a few books that distills Vince Gironda’s teachings
  5. Vic’s Natural and his Youtube Channel

Nerd Nutrition


  1. No breakfast and skip lunch 3 times a week.
  2. Eat high fat, medium protein, low carb.

More about what I do.


These are the ones I tend to get. I get my ‘science!’ from a 3rd party like These are mostly for health benefits and not performance.

  1. Fish Oil - for inflamation get high epa vs dpa
  2. Maca - 1500-3000mg powder black/yellow/red color doesn’t matter
  3. Zinc - 10-30mg
  4. Magnesium - 200-350mg
  5. Vitamin D - 2000-3000IU with a meal that has some fat in it
  6. DHEA - 25-50mg
  7. Creatine - 5g - not what you think, helps gets that last rep out
  8. Protein Powder - If I want to add more protein, I get the TeamSkip protein mix (egg white/casein/whey) from here True Nutrition I use code “MINGTM” for an additional 5% discount during checkout.

Nerd Gear


  1. Ironmaster Dumbbells high quality - lasts forever
  2. Rouge B&R Bar 2.0 high quality - also lasts forever. This is a bar for power lifting with the occasional Olympic Lift. The center knurling is to help when you squat.

Power Racks

  1. EliteFTS 2x2 Power Rack - If you have $900, get this - best of the best for size
  2. Rogue R-3 - Almost as good as the EliteFTS for $700 but bigger footprint
  3. Rep Fitness PR-1000 - Value option for under $300 - don’t bother with the PR-1100, the spacing is too wide between holes
  4. CAP Squat Stand - If you don’t have the space for a full rack, this works for cheap. Just remember to get a powder coated one (brightly colored) its rated for more weight.