Tactical Barbell Program: For Strength and Stamina [Spreadsheets & Review]

by Nader Qudimat
Updated October 26, 2022
Powerlifting and strength
Experience Level
Linear periodization
6, 12 weeks
Made for busy professionals (first responders, etc.)
Effective and simple training
6 different programs to choose from
Not the most effective program for strength and mass development

Bottom Line

The Tactical Barbell program is designed for people who want operational strength. 

For example, law enforcement, military, firefighters, and other first responders may appreciate this program for its ability to increase functional strength. 

If you want to make the most out of this program then it's recommended to check out the Tactical Barbell book on Amazon which can be found here

For how to save spreadsheet instructions, click here. 

Click Here For Spreadsheet 

The Tactical Barbell program includes 6 templates that you can choose from. 

It includes the grey man, fighter, gladiator, mass, zulu, and operator programs in the same spreadsheet. 

Check out the book on Amazon that explains this strength program as it'll help you make the most out of this program. 

However, if you're not in the tactical field (like law enforcement special ops, military, etc.) and want to put on more size then check out the other program which is the Tactical Barbell Mass Protocol.

The below program is still effective for hypertrophy. 

Tactical Barbell Program Overview

The tactical barbell program contains 6 templates that are similar to each other. 

All of them have 3-week periods where volume is reduced and intensity is increased then resetting on week 4 with higher intensity on week 1, then reduces volume and intensity for 3 weeks then peaks on week 6.

It's fairly straightforward and effective.

Here's a quick overview of the Tactical Barbell program:


This is a strength program that uses 3 workouts per week with a day off in-between.

Benchpress and squat are done 3 times per week, with weighted pull-ups performed twice a week and deadlifts once a week. 

Training is done between 70-90% of the 1 rep max range, with reps ranging from 1 to 5.

Test your 1 rep max every 6-12 weeks. 


This is similar to Operator except it uses 4 days per week with 2 different workouts that alternate each session.

The main lifts are performed twice a week, meaning it has more deadlifting and overhead pressing than Operator but less benching and squatting. 

The sets and reps are similar to Operator if the "I/A" option. is picked.

If you want less volume, go with the standard configuration but the intensity remains the same as Operator.


Using 2 days per week, the Fighter template focuses on the 4 main compound lifts; squats, benchpress, deadlifts, and overhead press. 

It uses 3 to 5 sets of 3 reps of your 1 rep max on all lifts, so don't underestimate this program.

If you are limited on time and need something short and sweet, then the Fighter template is a solid pick. 


This is the next best thing to Fighter but instead of 2 days per week, it uses 3 days per week with the same workouts. 


Mass is like Gladiator but focuses on high reps with 4 sets of 6 reps and it doesn't go up to 95% on week 6. It uses 4 sets of triples at 90% of your 1 rep max on the final week.  

Grey Man

The Grey Man is a 12-week program that has less volume than the other programs and features 3 workout sessions per week. 

Tactical Barbell: 1 Rep Max vs Training Max

Tactical Barbell Program was designed for using a training max of 90% of your true 1 rep max.

The book recommends this.

If you're new to the Tactical Barbell Program then it's a good idea to use a training max. 

Programs like 5/3/1 and GZCL are proven to work and they use a training max.

If you want to successfully run this program continuously throughout the year, then you'll want to use a training max as you won't be able to sustain your training max of 90% every 3 weeks.

On the "entry tab", you'll have the option to pick either training max or true max.

Tactical Barbell Spreadsheets

You can find the spreadsheet for this program here:

Tactical Barbell Program Spreadsheets

You can also find the discussion for this program on their forum

Make sure you save this spreadsheet so you can edit it and use it for yourself. 

Tactical Barbell Video and Reviews

It's nice being able to know that this program works. 

Ben Mayz ran the Operator and Zulu for a while and said that it helped break his PR's on his 1RM lifts

He noted the downside being that the workout sessions can stretch out to 90 minutes as compound lifts need longer rest periods between sets.

Check out the video below on another user of this program:


If you're still unsure about the Tactical Barbell Program and have questions, then you'll likely find your answers here...

What is the Tactical Barbell Program?

This program was designed to help increase strength and conditioning for those involved in fields where functional strength and cardio are required. It's a balanced program to help you get stronger and faster. 

What is Tactical Strength?

Tactical strength is movements that require more than just pure strength. Think of firefighters or police officers who have not only strength but also the endurance to keep up with any challenge thrown at them. 

This program will help improve power, endurance, and stamina. 

Which spreadsheet should I go with?

Go with one that you'll know you'll stick with for a while otherwise you won't be getting optimal results and you'll be jumping from one program to another without making the most out of it. 

Get Faster, Stronger, and Bigger with The Tactical Barbell Program

This program is the most optimal for those looking to get a balance between strength and conditioning. 

It'll challenge everything required for someone who is involved in a tactical field like special forces and other first responders.

There are 6 programs to choose from to help you develop strength and endurance.  

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by the iron and cold steel, Nader takes his knowledge and hulks it up into this site.

Having to be stuck as a 110lb skinny guy in the early days, he has had no choice but to keep improving himself until he cannot.

Click here to check out his 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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