Larry Wheels has taken the Instagram fitness community by storm.
Over the past year or so I have watched as Larry has put out video after video showcasing his impressive strength and captivating training techniques.
After following Larry for some time I decided to go ahead and try out one of his programs (2nd version of the strength program)… and what I received wasn’t quite what I was expecting… but we’ll get into exactly what I mean in a bit.
Nevertheless, if you are interested in any of Larry Wheels’ programs, you can learn everything you need to know about Larry Wheels’ programs based on my experience so that you’ll know what to expect.
But first, you might be wondering who I am and why I bought one of his programs in the first place…
Who I am and why I bought the Strength Program (version 2)
My name is Ethan and for the past few years, I have been weight training. I have never been super big into strictly powerlifting per se like many of Larry’s followers, however, I have always been big on putting on as much muscle mass as possible. Of course, putting on size and powerlifting go hand in hand so I thought I would go ahead and try Larry’s approach. Focusing on training to lift as much weight as possible hasn’t been my approach in the past but I thought I would change things up a bit.
However, this is only part of the reason why I purchased the program. The main reason why I purchased this program is so that I could review it and share my thoughts.
Simply put, I have found that there are dozens of extremely popular fitness influencers on Instagram that sell programs, however, there aren’t too many people online verifying these programs or providing feedback on these programs. As a result, it’s really hard for people that are interested in these programs to tell if they are really worth the money or if these fitness influencers are trustworthy.
That being said, I took it upon myself to review some of these programs and to share whether or not I think they are worth the money. In doing so, I hope that my readers can benefit from the feedback I provide on these programs so they can make a more informed decision on whether or not to buy the program.
Who is Larry Wheels
Larry “Wheels” Williams undoubtedly had a tough upbringing. He grew up as one of the many children living in foster care in NYC. At age 12 he sought out his mother in the Caribbean where he first started to weight lift using nothing but broomsticks and cinderblocks. Upon moving back to the Bronx at age 15, he got his first gym membership and at age 16, he was stronger than any grown man at the gym. Soon he started to compete in his first powerlifting competitions and started crushing his competition. He now claims two powerlifting records and he even has won bodybuilding competitions in addition. The fact that he has dominated in bodybuilding AND powerlifting is an accomplishment in it of itself. Larry can bench 610 pounds, squat 810 pounds, and deadlift 855 pounds.1
Full overview of the Version 2 Strength Program
First things first it is important to note that this program is really designed for seasoned powerlifters. If you are looking for a program that will walk you through the basics weight training, this probably isn’t the best for you.
This program is deemed to incorporate the methods that Larry Wheels has used to improve his overall strength and ultimately break records.
The program its self is a webpage with the following features…
A Youtube video: The YouTube video shows John Gaglione, a powerlifting coach that works with Larry Wheels, going over part of the program. In this short video, John gives some quick pointers on how to use the program effectively. You can find this video here.
Exercise library and fundamentals PDF download: This PDF is a collection of videos from John Gaglione’s YouTube channel that goes over the proper training techniques and methods.
Guidelines and equipment list attached PDF download: Here you can find some brief comments on how to do the program effectively as well as some comments on the equipment you would need to do the program as it should be completed.
Weights calculator Excel download: This is an excel spreadsheet that recommends how much weight you should be using for your workouts based on your one-rep maxes for your squat, bench and deadlift.
Strength phase 1 PDF download: This is the powerlifting progress tracking spreadsheet you would use for the program.
Strength transition phase PDF download: This is the second powerlifting progress tracking spreadsheet you would use for the program
Straight bar modified version strength phase PDF download: You would use this in replacement of strength phase 1 if you only have access to a straight bar and not the other equipment involved in the program.
Straight bar modified version strength transition phase PDF download: You would use this in replacement of strength transition phase if you don’t only have access to a straight bar and not the other equipment involved in the program.
My opinion: What I liked and what I didn’t like
Overall, if I am being completely honest, I would give the program two thumbs down. There are a few reasons why.
To start off, there were no clear instructions on how to effectively use progress tracking spreadsheets in the program at all. You are simply given two spreadsheets (strength phase 1, and strength transitions phase), without any directions on how much weight you should be using for each set and how you should be adjusting that weight over time. Even trying to understand what exercises to do at certain times indicated on the spreadsheet is difficult because of the cryptic formatting. Ultimately, these spreadsheets are simply not intuitive and John Gaglione’s 6:17 minute YouTube video doesn’t do a good job at clearing the air.
I think the people who made these comments on the YouTube video would agree with me
Not only that but in the spreadsheet, there is also plenty of powerlifting jargon and abbreviations that can be extremely difficult to understand. Sure, if you poured over powerlifting notes before you would probably be better able to comprehend this stuff but for people that haven’t had too much exposure to this type of content, it’s extremely hard to understand. For instance, I have very little idea what “Wk 3 BB 3×5 Squat Reverse Mini/MM 85-90% 70% Wk 4 BB Squat 5RM go for PR OR 87% AMAP” actually means. If there was an index or footnotes where I could learn what notes like these mean, I would be much better off but such a thing doesn’t exist in the program.
Even if I did completely understand how to go about doing each exercise, and how much weight I should aim to use, I still wouldn’t know why I would be following those methods. The program simply doesn’t go into detail on the theory behind the methods and why they are effective for building strength. Simply providing a spreadsheet to follow gives me no explanation of the background of the strength building concepts that the spreadsheet is supposedly built off of.
To top things off, there are typos riddled throughout the program. Simple mistakes like that just make the program look carelessly thrown together without much attention to detail.
I always like to share a few positives about the programs I review but unfortunately, I don’t have many positive things to say about it. I will say that the tutorial lifting videos listed in the exercise library and fundamentals PDF download are great. However, you can find those on John Gaglione’s YouTube channel completely for free.
“Can I find this Larry Wheels program PDF for free? Is there a leaked version”
To my knowledge, you can’t find this program for free anywhere. However, even if you did find it for free, it still might not be worth the time. There are dozens of free powerlifting spreadsheets that you can find online for free like these ones for instance.
Ultimately, even if I could understand how to properly use the program spreadsheets, I still don’t know if they would be worth the money. After all, powerlifting and weightlifting in general is not rocket science and I know that Larry Wheels’ training schedule is not drastically different from any other basic powerlifting training schedules. The same strength-building principles apply no matter what.
Now if there was other great content that accompanied the progress tracking spreadsheets that delved into the theory for why you should train certain ways to build strength, I would maybe think the program would be worth it. However, a progress tracking spreadsheet, a recommended weight calculator, a list of good powerlifting equipment, and a collection of YouTube videos you can find online for free is not worth 20 dollars in my opinion.
That being said, I would NOT recommend the program.
I can’t speak for Larry’s other programs since I haven’t purchased them, however, I can only speculate that they are similar in quality.
- “ABOUT ME” www.larrywheels.com, https://www.larrywheels.com/about-me/