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Human Kinetics

Bigger Faster Stronger 3rd Edition

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Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS) is the premier performance program for high school and college sports. BFS and the book Bigger Faster Stronger have led teams to more than 500 state championships

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Book Description

Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS) is the premier performance program for high school and college sports. BFS and the book Bigger Faster Stronger have led teams to more than 500 state championships, and that was just the warm up. Now in its third edition, Bigger Faster Stronger is ready for the next generation of athletes and the next level of performance.

Inside, you’ll find training guidelines for in-season and off-season weight training, as well as the latest strategies for breaking through plateaus, developing peak strength, and increasing power, flexibility, speed, and agility.

You’ll learn the proper exercise techniques for the big four lifts, as well as multiple variations and safety protocols. You’ll also find recommendations for integrating new equipment, athlete monitoring systems, and other technology into your program to ensure maximum effectiveness and performance gains. Bigger Faster Stronger can accommodate any sport and every level of competition. Safe, effective, and relied on by thousands of athletes, coaches, and administrators, it is the proven performance program you can trust.

The primary audience for Bigger Faster Stronger is high school coaches who work with athletes in all sports and are seeking BFS certification or recertification. The secondary audience is athletes of all levels.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Unified Approach to Training

Chapter 2 BFS Rotational Set-Rep System

Chapter 3 BFS In-Season Training

Chapter 4 BFS Readiness Program

Chapter 5 Six Absolutes of Perfect Technique

Chapter 6 Parallel Squat and Squat Variations

Chapter 7 Power Clean and Quick Lifts

Chapter 8 Hex-Bar Deadlift and Deadlift Variations

Chapter 9 Bench Press and Bench Press Variations

Chapter 10 Sport-Specific Auxiliary Lifts

Chapter 11 Agility and the BFS Dot Drill

Chapter 12 Five-Phase Plyometric Program

Chapter 13 Speed Training

Chapter 14 BFS 1-2-3-4 Flexibility Program

Chapter 15 Organization and Weight Room Design

Chapter 16 Safety and Liability

Chapter 17 Strength and Conditioning Technology


Greg Shepard, EdD, is the founder of Bigger Faster Stronger (BFS), the most widely followed strength and conditioning program in the United States. Providing strength training programs to high schools and colleges since 1975, BFS has a staff of more than 30 coaches, who conduct an average of 300 clinics a year and train thousands of coaches and athletes annually. Shepard’s BFS Magazine touts a readership of 500,000 coaches and athletes.

Shepard has a master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon and a doctorate in the same field from Brigham Young University. During his professional career, he has been a strength coach at Oregon State University, the University of Oregon, and Brigham Young University, where his powerlifting team won a national championship. He was also the strength coach for the NBA’s Utah Jazz from 1981 to 1997. At the time he was hired by the Jazz, Shepard was the only strength coach in the National Basketball Association.

Shepard lives in Provo, Utah.

Kim Goss, MS, PICP Level 1, has been a strength and conditioning coach and editor since serving in the Air Force from 1981 to 1985. He was the strength coach of the Air Force Academy from 1987 to 1994. While there, he designed all workouts not only for the football team but also for all 875 varsity athletes who used the weight room. Goss later ran a private gym and worked with numerous athletes who competed in the Olympic Games.

From 1982 to 1987, Goss was a fitness and strength writer and editor for Runner’s World Publications. He has been the editor in chief of BFS Magazine since 2005 and an editor and researcher with the Poliquin Group since 2009. He has written over 700 articles and edited over 25 books.

Goss earned a master’s degree in human movement science from A.T. Still University in 2009 and a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Cal State University– Hayward in 1985. He lives in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.


Although many athletes will be ready to jump right into the BFS set - rep system, others are more suited to starting with the BFS Readiness Program. Here are some examples.

Most athletes or physical education students in the seventh grade should begin with the BFS Readiness Program. Some orthopedic doctors believe that adolescents of this age are too young to start any kind of weight training, but the research proves otherwise, and we believe that the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Without weight training, few young people can reach their athletic potential. One of the major concerns about weight training for young athletes is that it could damage the epiphyseal (growth) plates. Although injury to the epiphyseal plates may cause bone deformity, the risk that this will occur with weight training is no greater than it is with most sports. As for the belief that weight training will stunt growth, premature closing of the epiphyseal plates is related primarily to hormonal influences, not injury. The late Mel Siff, an exercise scientist whose doctoral thesis examined the biomechanics of soft tissues, addressed this subject.

"It has never been shown scientifically or clinically that the periodic imposition of large forces by weight training on the growing body causes damage to the epiphyseal plates," Siff says in his book Facts and Fallacies of Fitness (1998). "It is extremely misleading to focus on the alleged risks of weight training on children when biomechanical research shows that simple daily activities such as running, jumping, striking, or catching can impose far greater forces on the musculoskeletal system than very heavy weight training."