What is powerlifting?

When it comes to the gym, not everyone is created equally. Even though most bodybuilders want to be ripped and athletically muscular, powerlifters only care about one thing – the weight they are lifting.

Divided into weight classes, the sport is growing in popularity; it is separated into weight classes where participants are invited to meets which tests the lifter’s maximum 1 best rep for three lifts, including: the bench press, the squat and the deadlift.

The two main types of powerlifting are raw and equipped. By choosing equipped, users wear bench shirts and squat suits with other specialist items. This helps them to move as much weight at they possibly can. A classic in the UK, dressing for a raw powerlifting session consists of knee sleeves, a belt, wrist wraps, chalk and singlets – nothing else is allowed.

If you want to test your sheer strength and max rep, or you’re just looking to train for strength, powerlifting is definitely something that you should try. Together with MaxiNutrition, we’ve put together this powerlifting training programme to help you get the best from your new workout:

The benefits of powerlifting

The key components of a powerlifting programme are figured around three main compound lifts. These three lifts utilise the most muscles, placing the maximum amount of stress on your central nervous system based on the weights and thus releasing the maximum number of hormones.

Powerlifting training plans are written around these three compound lifts – not based on them. This is because powerlifting is designed to push your one rep maximum, which means that you’ll lift the maximum you ever have – pushing you to dominate competition and be the strongest that you’ve been.

You’ll not only grow stronger, but you’ll be able to build mental fortitude and strength as you attempt to tackle your personal bests.

As this workout only tests your one rep maximum, the plan doesn’t utilise isolations – meaning that you miss out on specific area muscle training, unlike plans used by bodybuilders. However, if it is strength that appeals to you, then keep reading to ensure that you’ll have the perfect powerlifting training plan.

Powerlifting training program

Before you start, make sure that you test your maximum one rep max in the bench press, the squat and the deadlift. These figures will help determine your programme.

Make sure you get adequate rest in between these training days. You’ll need to refuel with a protein shake, rehydrate and recover to maximise results.

Weeks 1-3 (Initial Volume Phase)

During this phase, you should aim to add to your workout each week. Push your percentage up by 2.5% each week. For example, if your bench press max is 100kg and in week 1 you are doing 5×5 at 75kg, in week two aim for 77.5kg.

Day A – Bench

Main Lift: 5 x 5 Bench Press at 75% of your 1RM. Ensure the bench bar touches your chest before pressing.

Accessory Lift: 3 x 6 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press. Pick a weight that feels heavy but comfortable.

3 x 8-10 Pull Ups.

Day B – Squats

Main Lift: 5 x 5 Low Bar Squats at 75% of your 1RM. Make sure you hit ‘depth’ – which in powerlifting is the crease of your hip going lower than your knee.

Accessory Lift: 3 x 8 Front Squats at 60% of your 1RM.

Day C – Deadlift

Main Lift: 5 x 5 Deadlift at 75% of your 1RM.

3 x 5 Pause Squats at 75% of your 1RM.

Day D – Accessory Lifts

3 x 8 Weighted Pull Ups.

3 x 8 Military Press at 60% of your bench max.

3 x 8 Bent Over Rows. Choose a weight around 90% of your bodyweight.

Weeks 3-5 (Heavy Phase)

You’ll now start lifting heavier for less reps. Allow your body time to get used to this by eating plenty of protein and getting rest between workouts.

Day A – Bench

Bench Press

Set 1: 5 x 85% 1RM

Set 2: 4 x 87.5% 1RM

Set 3: 3 x 90% 1RM

3 x 10 Weighted Pull Ups.

3 x 10 Bent Over Rows.

Day B – Squats

Low Bar Squat

Set 1: 5 x 85% 1RM

Set 2: 4 x 87.5% 1RM

Set 3: 3 x 90% 1RM

Accessory Lift: 3 x 5 Front Squats at 80% of your 1RM.

Day C – Deadlift

Deadlift

Set 1: 5 x 85% 1RM

Set 2: 4 x 87.5% 1RM

Set 3: 3 x 90% 1RM

Set 4: 1 x 95% 1RM

3 x 8 Pull Ups.

Day D – Specialist Lifts

Pause Squats

Set 1: 5 x 80% of 1RM

Set 2: 3 x 85% of 1RM

Set 3: 3 x 85% of 1RM

Pause Bench (pause at the bottom of the movement for 2 seconds before pressing)

Set 1: 5 x 75% of 1RM

Set 2: 3 x 80% of 1RM

Set 3: 3 x 80% of 1RM

Week 6 (Testing Week)

Day A – Bench

Bench Press

Warm Up

Set 1: 2 x 80% 1RM

Set 2: 2 x 85% 1RM

Set 3: 1 x 95% 1RM

Set 4: 1 x 105% of 1RM

Set 5: If successful with set 4 – 1 x 110% 1RM. If failure, 2 x 95% 1RM.

3 x 5 85% Incline Bench Press.

Day B – Squats

Low Bar Squat

Warm Up

Set 1: 2 x 80% 1RM

Set 2: 2 x 85% 1RM

Set 3: 1 x 95% 1RM

Set 4: 1 x 105% of 1RM

Set 5: If successful with set 4 – 1 x 110% 1RM. If failure, 2 x 95% 1RM.

Accessory Lift: 3 x 3 Front Squats at 90% of your 1RM.

Day C – Deadlift

Deadlift

Warm Up

Set 1: 2 x 85% 1RM

Set 2: 2 x 90% 1RM

Set 3: 1 x 95% 1RM

Set 4: 1 x 105% of 1RM

Set 5: If successful with set 4 – 1 x 110% 1RM. If failure, 2 x 95% 1RM.

3 x 5 Weighted Pull Ups – Aim for maximum weight.

Remember – this kind of training programme is only suitable for those in a decent physical condition. Make sure that you consult a training expert before engaging in this type of training programme. All fitness programmes are engaged in at the user’s own risk; GSK accepts no liability for personal injury, loss or damage you may suffer as a result of attempting any of the activities outlined in this training programme.

By Admin