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Firstly, I must state that Doug Hepburn is one of my hero's and one of the greatest strength athletes in history. Therefore, I might be slightly biased in my reviewing of this program, but the program has been highly reviewed by others and used in principle by many athletes!


Doug Hepburn was a Canadian heavyweight weightlifter and powerlifter who gained fame during the 1950s and 1960s.


Born on September 16, 1926, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Hepburn quickly became one of Canada's most accomplished strength athletes of his time. Douglas Ivan Hepburn or ‘Doug’ for short was a Canadian national strength athlete and to this day is revered and respected as one of the greatest strength athletes.


He won a gold medal in the 1953 Word Weightlifting Championships in the 1954 British Empire Games. Doug was best known for his inhuman power, and was the first to bench press 500 pounds (227 kilograms), and at the age of 54 he squatted over 600 pounds (272 kilograms) with ease.


Doug was also a complete tank of a human, he stood at only 174 meters tall however weighed 300 pounds (136 kilograms). Not only this Hepburn was born with a club foot and vision distortion called esotropia (cross-eyes) and thus went through multiples surgeries.


Whilst training for the 1953 games he developed two programs called Program A and Program B. Yes, the names are far from creative or original, however, this was the fifties.

Hepburn's training focused on low repetitions, higher sets and heavy weights.


Doug Hepburn tended to train three to four times per week and split his training into a power and pump phase. The Power phase would be your strength training at 80% or 90% of your one rep max. The pump phase would be the hypertrophy training at 60% of your one rep max focusing on volume training. 


From my understanding from reading online sources you would run the 'Power' first then the 'Pump' phase during the same training session. Known for his remarkable strength and power, Doug Hepburn made his mark in the weightlifting world by setting numerous records and winning multiple championships.


He was the first heavyweight in history to bench press 400 pounds and squatted an astonishing 760 pounds. Hepburn's strength was extraordinary and unmatched during his era, making him a force to be reckoned with in the world of strength sports.


Hepburn's incredible feats of strength led him to various successes in weightlifting and powerlifting competitions. He won the gold medal in the heavyweight division at the 1953 World Weightlifting Championships. In addition, he set multiple world records throughout his career, solidifying his status as one of the greatest strength athletes of his time.


Aside from his achievements in competitive sports, Doug Hepburn was also a pioneer in strength training and developed his own training methods. He believed in a holistic approach to strength development, focusing on not only physical training but also mental and spiritual well-being. He believed that training should be a lifelong endeavor, promoting a balanced and healthy lifestyle.


Hepburn's legacy as a strength athlete and advocate for strength training continues to inspire athletes and fitness enthusiasts to this day. He paved the way for future generations of weightlifters and powerlifters by pushing the boundaries of human strength and demonstrating the potential that lies within each individual.


Doug Hepburn passed away on November 22, 2000, at the age of 74. However, his impact on the world of strength sports and his contributions to the field of strength training will always be remembered, making him a true legend in the realm of physical strength and power.


The Doug Hepburn Program A & B Program is a two-day-per-week strength training program that was developed by Canadian powerlifter and strongman Doug Hepburn. The program is known for its simplicity and effectiveness, and it has been used by many lifters to achieve impressive results.

The Hepburn Program A & B Program is based on a single principle: train each exercise twice per week, with a day of rest in between. On each workout day, you will perform two exercises, one for the upper body and one for the lower body.


Workout A

  • Squat: 8 sets of 2 reps
  • Bench press: 8 sets of 2 reps

Workout B

  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 1 rep
  • Overhead press: 8 sets of 2 reps


You will start each workout with a warm-up. For the first few sets, you will use a lighter weight and gradually increase the weight as you get closer to your working sets. For your working sets, you will use a weight that is challenging but allows you to maintain good form.


Once you have completed your working sets, you will cool down with some light cardio and stretching.


To progress on the Hepburn Program A & B Program, you will add weight to your working sets each workout. The amount of weight you add will depend on the lift and your individual progress. For example, you might add 5 pounds to your squat and 2.5 pounds to your bench press each workout.

If you are unable to complete all of your reps and sets on a particular lift, you can deload by reducing the weight by 10%.


The Hepburn Program A & B Program is a great option for lifters who are looking to improve their strength and build muscle. It is a simple and effective program that can be used by lifters of all levels.

Here are some tips for the Hepburn Program A & B Program:


  • Start with a weight that is challenging but allows you to maintain good form.
  • Focus on maintaining good form throughout each rep.
  • Don't be afraid to deload if you need to.
  • Get enough rest and nutrition.
  • Be patient and consistent.


Doug Hepburn Program A & B Program

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