Bulking

The Final Newbie’s Information to Powerlifting (With a Free Coaching Plan!)

The central theses

Powerlifting is a sport in which one repetition (each exercise) puts as much weight as possible on the squat, the bench press and the deadlift.
Although many people think that powerlifting only helps you gain strength, it is also a great way to build muscle if you follow an effective powerlifting routine.
Read on to learn how powerlifting competitions work, how to train powerlifting, and how to get a free powerlifting training plan!

Powerlifting has become increasingly popular in the past few decades and you have probably heard many different things about this sport.

Let's start with the obvious things.

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When most people think of powerlifting, they think of someone like Eddie Hall, one of the strongest men in the world:


eddie-hall-getting-shredded-transformation-header-1068x566


In other words, most people associate power lifting with tall and strong, but not very slim or "aesthetic". (Granted, Hall is a strong man, not a powerlifter, but this observation is still true).

There's even an old joke in the fitness world: "If you're not lean enough for bodybuilding, you can always try powerlifting."

Many people who are not yet familiar with power lifting also fear being injured.

For example, they see such videos. , ,

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And assume that powerlifting is about as good for your health as trying it out with a table saw.

Finally, there is the less common but still widespread notion that most powerlifters are only men and women with a crazy genetics to push and pull heavy things and if you don't have this Kryptonian DNA it doesn't make sense to try powerlifting.

For example, if you see this guy on the street, you probably wouldn't expect him to squat in the mid-500s, over 600 deadlifts, and over 300 pounds on a bench. , ,


Powerlifting Records


, , , but he can:

So if you have a lot of conflicting feelings about whether you should try powerlifting or not, I understand.

If you take a closer look at what powerlifting really is, you will quickly see the truth:

It's not about getting as big and strong as possible, no matter how much fat you gain.
It is not dangerous compared to most sports if done correctly.
It's not reserved for the crazy strong genetic elite.

Indeed, the reality of power lifting is that. ,

This is one of the best ways to build muscle and strength
It is an outstanding sport for beginners and advanced as well as for everyone in between.
This is one of the healthiest and safest ways to stay in shape, provided you follow a well-designed program and use the right technique.

The bottom line is that if you're new to weight lifting or an old hand interested in getting as strong as possible, you want to learn about power lifting.

Let's start by defining exactly what this sport is.

What is power lifting?

Powerlifting is a sport in which as much weight as possible is applied to the squat, bench press and deadlift for a single rep.

This means that you work to the maximum weight you can for a single repetition of the squat, then the bench press and then the deadlift.

You will do all three exercises at a powerlifting meeting, alternating with other lifters to see who can lift the most weight during these exercises.

How a powerlifting meeting works:

All competitors are divided into different weight classes based on their body weight the day before or the meeting (depending on the rules of the respective competition) and their gender.

The limits for different weight classes vary depending on which powerlifting association is responsible for the competition in which you are participating. Generally, however, they work in £ 20 increments for men and £ 10 increments for women.

For example, here are the weight class limits for USA Powerlifting and International Powerlifting Federation:

Men
women
<117 pounds
<95 pounds
<130 pounds
<104 pounds
<146 pounds
<126 pounds
<163 pounds
<139 pounds
<183 pounds
<159 pounds
<205 pounds
<185 pounds
<231 pounds
> 185 pounds
<265 pounds

> 265 pounds

They always compete in the weight class about Your actual weight on the day or before the competition (depending on the decision of the organizer). For example, I'm a 180 pound guy, so I would do the 183 pound weight class. If I had 185 pounds, I would compete in the 205 pound weight class because I would be too heavy to compete in the 183 pound weight class.

Each lifter receives three attempts to lift as much weight as possible on the squat, bench press and deadlift, a total of nine attempts (three per exercise).
In a predetermined order, everyone in a certain weight class makes their first attempt in a crouch. Once everyone is done with their first attempt, do their second attempt in the same order and so on until all three attempts crouch.
The process is then repeated for the bench press and finally for the deadlift.
Most lifters start with a weight that is slightly below their daily goal and try to reach a new best 1-rep maximum on the third attempt.

For example, if I'm aiming for a new £ 455 Squat PR, my attempts might look something like this:

Squat Attempt # 1: 405 pounds

Squat Attempt # 2: 435 pounds

Squat Attempt # 3: 455 pounds

Three judges observe each lift and judge whether the participant has completed the lift with the right technique or not. If a judge believes that the lifter has completed the lift with the correct technique, he turns on a white light. If a judge believes that the lifter has not completed the lift with the correct technique, he turns on a red light.
If a participant receives two or more white lights, the elevator counts towards their score. If someone gets two or more red lights, the elevator does not count for their score.
At the end of the meeting, squats, bench presses and deadlifts of each participant are added as the best repetition, which represents their power lifting total– or their best combination of squats, bench presses and deadlifts.
The person with the highest total in each weight class wins.

Suppose you went to a power lifting meeting and did the following:

squat

First try: 355 pounds

Second attempt: 375 pounds

Third attempt: 400 pounds

bench Press

First try: 250 pounds

Second attempt: 275 pounds

Third attempt: £ 300

Deadlift:

First try: 425 pounds

Second attempt: 450 pounds

Third attempt: 475 pounds

Remember that you add only the best attempt for each exercise. In this case, you would add the following:

Squat: 400 pounds

Bench press: 300 pounds

Deadlift: 475 pounds

Here's what math looks like:

400 + 300 + 475 = 1.175 pounds

So your total for this meeting would be £ 1,175.

Suppose you have two red lights on the third attempt at deadlift. In this case, your third attempt of £ 475 would be disqualified and you would use your second attempt to calculate your grand total.

Your results would look like this:

Squat: 400 pounds

Bench press: 300 pounds

Deadlift: 450 pounds

And the math would look like this:

400 + 300 + 450 = 1,150 pounds

All powerlifting competitions follow this basic format, but there are many departments of powerlifting that allow you to use more or less lifting equipment.

By doing raw You can wear a belt, stout shoes, wrist bandages and knee and elbow sleeves, but no other equipment. Many people consider this to be the "purest" form of powerlifting as you use a minimum of equipment to support your elevators.

This is how a lifter normally looks in the raw division:


Powerlifting Records


By doing classic raw Division you can use everything from the raw division as well as knee supports with which you can lift a little more weight.

This is what a lifter looks like that starts in the classic raw materials division:


Powerlifting Competition


By doing one or two layers Departments, you can use everything from the classic raw department as well as special weight lifting suits, which are either single-layer (single-layer) or two-layer (two-layer). With these suits you can lift significantly more weight than you could otherwise.

This is what a powerlifting suit looks like for squatting and deadlifting:


Powerlifting Competition


This is what a power lifting suit for bench press looks like:


Powerlifting benefits


Most newcomers to powerlifting compete in the raw division because they need the least equipment, but there is nothing wrong with competing in other divisions.

There are also strict rules on how to do each exercise.

For the squat you need to do a barbell back squat.

You can position the bar the way you want – on top of your traps or below on your shoulder blades – but you can't squat it over your shoulders like a front squat and you can't squat with one leg. You must also do full-range squats. This means that your hip bone will be slightly below your kneecap when you are at the bottom of each rep.

For the bench press you need to press a flat barbell bench.

You can keep the bar as wide or narrow as you like, or with a dumbless or normal grip, but you can't do a backward grip bench press, incline bench press, or weight bench press. You also need to bring the bar all the way down until it touches your chest, and your feet must stay in contact with the floor and your buttocks with the bench throughout the repetition.

Which one you choose depends on your personal preferences. Whichever style you choose, you need to raise the bar until your back is more or less perpendicular to the floor and the bar can no longer go higher without lifting your arms or leaning back.

As a rule, power lifters spend most of their training time practicing the "big three" – squats, bench presses and deadlifts. They do most of their sets in the range of 1 to 5 repetitions and rest between sets between 2 and 10 minutes or until they have fully recovered before the next set. (A common joke in the word powerlifting is, "If it takes more than 5 reps, it's cardio.")

Most lifters also do a few “extra exercises” to support their main exercises, such as: B. Romanian deadlifts, Bulgarian squats, bench presses and so on.

Powerlifters also tend to plan and even periodize their training months in advance to build muscle and strengthen weak spots a few months before a competition, and to work to get as strong as possible when doing squats, bench presses, and deadlifts approach the competition.

Powerlifting is often confused with Olympic weightlifting, but they are very different sports.

Olympic lifting uses two different exercises to lift as much weight as possible above your head: tearing and cleaning and jerking.

We don't have to deal with the details, but the long and short Olympic weightlifting is that it's a much more technical sport than powerlifting, which requires a lot more coordination and balance and is judged according to very different rules.

Summary: Powerlifting is a sport in which as much weight as possible is lifted in a single day for a single repetition of squats, bench presses and deadlifts. You get three attempts to lift as much weight as possible with each exercise, and the best attempt for each is added to allow you to powerlift total,

Can you build muscle with powerlifting?

Many people believe that lifting heavy weights only serves to get stronger or to do a sport like powerlifting, while lifting lighter weights for better reps is better for building muscle.

While this idea has a core truth, it is largely wrong.

You see, the truth is you can Build muscle effectively using a variety of rep ranges, including both very few (3 to 5) and very many (15 to 20) repetitions per set.

A good example of this comes from a study conducted by scientists at the City University of New York.

The scientists divided 20 men trained in resistance between the ages of 20 and 31 into two groups:

Group one did 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps with a 90 second rest between each set for all of their exercises. This was the "hypertrophy" group.
Group two performed 7 sets of 2 to 4 reps with a 3 minute rest between each set for all of their exercises. This was the “strength training” group.

Each participant completed a 3-day weekly push-pull legs training, which included bench presses and machine flying, lat-pulldown with a wide and tight grip and a seated row of cables, as well as barbell squats, leg pressures and leg extension.

The scientists adjusted the participants' training so that both groups lifted approximately the same amount of total weight each week (sets x reps x weight). They also continuously increased everyone's weights so that they failed at each set and grew stronger week by week.

Before and after the study, the scientists measured the participant's maximum number of repetitions for bench presses and squats, and measured their bicep thickness using ultrasound as a proxy for muscle growth.

All participants followed this training routine for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the biceps of both groups had grown by 13% with no difference between the two groups.

However, group two added £ 25 to their bank and £ 60 to their squat, while group one added only £ 18 to their bank and £ 48 to their squat.

When this study was released, the pro powerlifting crowd indicated that powerlifting is as good for muscle building as bodybuilding training. And it shows that the group that does low reps has as much muscle and strength as the group that does high reps.

On the other hand, there are some other aspects of this study that should give you a break before you start using low reps and heavy weights throughout your workout:

Group one, the group with the highest number of repetitions, finished their training in approximately 17 minutes, while group two, the group with the lowest number of repetitions, finished their training in 70 minutes. In terms of time efficiency, the group with the higher reps won.
The differences in strength increase between the groups were not too significant and the difference in squat strength was also not statistically significant.
At the end of the study, all members of the group with low repetition rates felt as if they had been thrown down stairs. To Quote The study's lead author, Brad Schoenfeld, said: "Almost all of them complained of joint pain and general fatigue, and the two failures in this group were due to joint injuries (and these routines were closely monitored in terms of shape, so we have all precautions to ensure safety, but the HT group (hypertrophy) believed that they could have worked much harder and created more volume. ”

So what should you think of all of this?

First of all, this shows that powerlifting training can effectively build muscle. It also indicates that powerlifting leads to greater strength gains over time than bodybuilding.

However, this study also shows that all of your low reps, high weights sets are a recipe for burnout, injuries, and a lot of waiting in the gym between sets.

For this reason, most lifters carefully plan their workout to split it between lighter weights and higher reps, as well as heavier weights and lower reps. Exercising with heavy weight and low reps helps you gain strength, and exercising with lighter weight and higher reps helps you build more volume and more muscle without burning yourself.

This way you get the best of both worlds.

You will shortly receive an example of what such a program looks like.

The bottom line is that you can build muscle with power lifting. Over time, however, you will make better progress if you incorporate lighter, higher reps into your workout.

Summary: Powerlifting is very effective for building muscle, but you also want to do some of your sets with lighter weights and higher reps to reduce the risk of burns or injuries.

Is power lifting dangerous?

Many people think that powerlifting is inherently dangerous, and I understand why.

If you compare squats, bench Pressand deadlifting gigantic weights for other forms of exercise, such as jogging, cycling or cycling gymnastics, Weightlifting looks more like a death wish than a discipline.

Ironically, research shows that this is actually one of the safest types of exercises you can do. , , if it's done right.

The proof of this comes from a Review study Under the leadership of scientists from Bond University, 20 different studies were conducted on injury rates in sports such as bodybuilding, strongman, crossfit and power lifting.

The scientists found that on average, powerlifters suffered only one injury per 1,000 hours of training.

To put that in perspective: if you do weight lifting five hours a week, you could do almost no injury for almost four years.

The scientists also found that most injuries tended to be mild pain that did not require special treatment or recovery protocols. In most cases, after some rest, they were fit like a violin.

Now that we're trying out more intense and technical types of weightlifting like CrossFit, Olympic Weightlifting, and Powerlifting, the injury rate has increased, but not nearly as you might think. These activities only caused 2 to 4 injuries per 1,000 hours of training.

For comparison, Sports like ice hockey, soccer, football and rugby have injury rates from 6 to 260 per 1,000 hours and long distance runners can expect About 10 injuries per 1,000 hours of pounding plaster.

In other words, you're about 6 to 10 times more likely to get injured doing exercise every day than going to the gym lifting weights – and so is powerlifting.

To learn more about your risk of injury when lifting weights and how to avoid injury, read this article:

How dangerous is weight lifting? What 20 studies have to say

Summary: You are far less likely to injure yourself while powerlifting than most other sports. Most of the injuries caused by powerlifting are usually minor and heal quickly.

How do I train for power lifting?

Browse the blogs and forums from Google, Reddit, and Weightlifting, and you will find enough powerlifting programs to turn your head.

Some people say you should stick to something minimal like initial strength until it stops working.

Others say you should use the most challenging program you can tolerate, such as: Sheiko. Smolov. Westside barbell, or the Bulgarian method,

Read on and you will find many other training programs that lifters have put together over the years, such as: Crazy cow. PHAT. GZCL, and other.

And then of course almost every powerlifter has its own training program for sale.

Which one should you choose?

Instead of reviewing each program and weighing up the pros and cons, it is better to look at the underlying principles that tick all the good power lifting programs. Once you've recorded them, it's much easier to choose the powerlifting programs that are worth trying.

Here are the three principles shared by all good power lifting programs:

specificity
Progressive overload
Restoration

(This is an oversimplification and there are many facets of power lifting that we could go into, but these are the biggies).

specificity refers to training that is as close as possible to what you will be doing in the competition. In powerlifting, this means that you spend the lion's share of your time in the gym and squat a lot, doing bench presses and deadlifts.

Why? No matter how many other exercises could help your powerlifting overall, nothing will move the needle like squatting, bench press, and deadlift.

For example, it's a great way to train your quads when you're strong in the front squat. However, this does not improve your back squats as much as in the back squats. Barbell rows are a great back exercise, but they don't help your deadlift as much as the deadlift. And although weight bench press is a phenomenal exercise in the chest, it doesn't improve the bench press as much as the bench press.

Not only the specificity of the exercise is important, but also the specificity of the rep range. Your strength is largely specific When it comes to rep range, you practice the most in your training, so you want to spend a good portion of your training time working in lower rep ranges. This is especially true for squats, bench presses and deadlifts, as the entire powerlifting point becomes as strong as possible for a single repetition of all of these exercises.

Progressive overload refers to the increase in tension that your muscles create over time. The most effective way to do this is to gradually increase the weight you lift.

In other words, the key to gaining muscle and strength isn't building a laundry list with different exercises, balancing on a BOSU ball, or seeing how much you can sweat on everything in the gym. This applies in particular to power lifting.

The key to getting stronger and building muscle is that you have to train your muscles harder over time. This is exactly what you do when you gradually force them to handle increasingly heavy weights and do more sets.

Restoration, sometimes as fatigue managementrefers to the strategic inclusion of rest in your training program so that you can adapt to your training and grow stronger over time.

This is one of the most underestimated aspects of proper exercise, not just for power lifting, but for every sport. Perhaps the number one mistake that beginners make is too much, too soon, and is either burned out, injured, or progressing more slowly than they should.

Proper recovery involves. , ,

If you understand these three things correctly, you are 90% ahead of people interested in powerlifting.

I have trained in many, many different sports and have known many very successful athletes. One of the basic rules they all learn is that in order to make progress you have to take your rest as seriously as your training.

If you understand all three principles, it is also much easier to find an effective power lifting program that suits you.

For example, an extremely high volume power lifting program like Smolov can work well for an experienced lifter who can handle large volumes, but in general it is far too much progressive overload and too little recovery for a beginner.

Likewise, simple, low-volume strength training like “Starting Strength” could provide the right mix of specificity, progressive overload, and recovery for a beginner, but would probably be far too easy for an experienced powerlifter.

Once you understand these principles, you can see why someone else's “best” powerlifting program may not be the best for you.

The best power lifting program for you depends on your goals, your training experience, your ability to recover from your training, and your preferences.

Summary: To be successful in powerlifting, you need to spend most of your time doing squats, bench presses, and deadlifts. You need to focus on getting as strong as possible when repeating all of these exercises, enough rest to effectively recover from your workout.

What is the best power lifting program for you?

As you read this article, I assume that you are relatively new to power lifting or strength training.

In this case, I recommend that you follow the guidelines below when setting up your powerlifting workout. These come from Eric Helms, PhD, powerlifting and bodybuilding coach, drug-free powerlifter and bodybuilder and member of the Legion's scientific advisory board.

Regarding training frequency or how often you do squats, bench presses and deadlifts, Eric recommends most beginners to train each lift two to three times a week. This way, you can do these exercises often enough to quickly improve your skills while leaving enough time for recovery.

In terms of volume or sets per week, Eric recommends that you aim for around 10 to 20 sets of squats, bench presses, and deadlifts per week.

Regarding the rep range, Eric recommends that you do about 60 to 80% of your sets in the range of 1 to 6 repetitions and about 20 to 40% of your sets in the range of 6 to 15 repetitions.

Regarding rest periods, Eric recommends that you rest as long as you need between sets to ensure that you can regain your strength and make maximum efforts on the next set.

And in terms of intensity, Eric recommends that you do all of your sets about 0 to 5 reps after failure. In general, squats, bench presses, and deadlifts require you to do about 1 to 3 repetitions to not fail, and the accessories to do 2 to 5 repetitions to not fail.

There are many good powerlifting programs to choose from, but one that fits these guidelines particularly well comes from Eric's book, The Muscle and strength training pyramid,

Eric has included both a 3-day and a 4-day powerlifting program for beginners in the book.

Here is the 4-day weekly schedule. I recommend that you follow this if you have time:


Beginners powerlifting 4 day option


And here is the 3-day weekly schedule:


Entry-level powerlifting sample program



A few tips for setting up this program:

Eric intentionally left some of the exercise recommendations open. For example, the “SL variant” on day 4 of the 4-day weekly plan stands for a one-legged variant of the squat. You can have Bulgarian split squats, dumbbell lunges, single leg barbell squats or whatever you want. As long as it's a one-leg, compound exercise that resembles a squat, it's fair play.
Eric indicated two different ways to measure your exercise intensity:% of 1RM and RPE.

It is worth spending a moment to understand both of these concepts as they are used in many power lifting programs.

A maximum of one repetition is the maximum amount of weight that you can lift for a single repetition of a particular exercise through a full range of motion with the right technique. Wenn Sie Ihre maximale Anzahl an Wiederholungen kennen, können Sie die optimale Trainingsintensität aufrechterhalten (und dadurch optimale Ergebnisse erzielen).

Sobald Sie Ihre maximale Anzahl an Wiederholungen kennen, können Sie anhand eines Prozentsatzes dieser Anzahl entscheiden, wie viel Gewicht Sie für Ihr Training verwenden möchten. Beispiel: Am ersten Tag von Erics 4-Tage-Wochen-Plan machen Sie Kniebeugen mit 70% Ihrer max. Wenn Ihre maximale Wiederholungszahl 300 Pfund beträgt, bedeutet dies, dass Sie mit 210 Pfund in der Hocke sind. (300 x 70% = 210).

In diesem Artikel erfahren Sie, wie Sie Ihr One-Rep-Max in Ihrem Training einsetzen können:

Ein einfacher und genauer Taschenrechner mit maximaler Wiederholungszahl (und Verwendung)

Das Problem bei der Verwendung von Prozentsätzen Ihres 1-Wiederholungsmaximums ist jedoch, dass das Berechnen und Verfolgen Ihres 1-Wiederholungsmaximums für einige Übungen nicht sehr praktisch ist. Zum Beispiel ist es schwierig und oft fehleranfällig, ein Maximum von einer Wiederholung für eine Isolationsübung wie die Langhantel-Curl zu schätzen. Da Isolationsübungen wie diese nicht so wichtig für Ihren Erfolg sind wie Powerlifter, ist es auch nicht so wichtig, ein ausgefallenes prozentbasiertes Fortschrittssystem zu verwenden, wie es für Kniebeugen, Bankdrücken und Kreuzheben der Fall ist.

Das ist wo RPE ist praktisch. RPE steht für Bewertung der wahrgenommenen Anstrengungund es ist ein subjektives Maß dafür, wie schwer sich eine Übung am Ende eines Satzes anfühlt, normalerweise auf einer Skala von 1 bis 10.

Beispiel: Am vierten Tag von Eric&#39;s Powerlifting-Programm sollten alle Ihre Übungen mit einer 7 bis 8-RPE durchgeführt werden. Am Ende eines jeden Satzes sollten Sie also das Gefühl haben, mit einer 7 oder 8 auf einer Skala von 1 bis 10 in Bezug auf den Aufwand zu arbeiten.

Wenn Sie Probleme haben zu bestimmen, wie viel Gewicht Sie gemäß RPE verwenden sollen, finden Sie hier eine kleine Übung, die Ihnen dabei hilft:

Fragen Sie sich am Ende eines Satzes, kurz bevor Sie Ihre Gewichte neu aufbauen: „Wenn ich unbedingt müsste, wie viele Wiederholungen hätte ich mit guter Form machen können?“

Ein 7 bis 8 RPE bedeutet, dass Sie in der Lage sein sollten, mindestens zwei bis drei weitere Wiederholungen mit guter Form zu erzielen, wenn Sie dies unbedingt tun mussten.

Wenn Sie nicht glauben, dass Sie noch mindestens zwei bis drei Wiederholungen hätten machen können, sollten Sie das Gewicht für diese Übung beim nächsten Satz um 10 Pfund senken. Wenn Sie der Meinung sind, dass Sie vier oder mehr Wiederholungen hätten machen können, erhöhen Sie das Gewicht für diese Übung beim nächsten Satz um 10 Pfund.

In this way, you can use RPE to add or subtract weight for certain exercises based on how you feel.

Read this article to learn more about how to use RPE in your training.

This Is the Best Guide to the RPE Scale on the Internet

With that out of the way, here’s how I generally like to set up Eric’s 4-day per week novice powerlifting program:


novice powerlifting program


And here’s how I usually go about setting up Eric’s 3-day per week novice powerlifting program:


Eric’s 3-day per week novice powerlifting program


Let’s go over a few more notes on how to do this program.

Warm up before each workout.

Before your first set of your first exercise of each workout, make sure you do a thorough warm-up,

A warm-up accomplishes several things:

It helps you troubleshoot your form and “groove in” proper technique (which is particularly important when you’re learning a new exercise).
It can significantly boost your performance, which can translate into more muscle and strength gain over time.

In weightlifting, a warm-up consists of doing one or two light sets of an exercise, followed by one or two heavier sets until you’re using a weight that’s about 70% as heavy as the heaviest weight you’ll use that day for that particular exercise.

Here’s how to warm up properly:

Do several warm-up sets with the first exercises for each of the muscle groups you’re training in that day’s workout.

For example, in Day One workout of the 4-day workout routine, your first exercise is the barbell squat, which primarily trains your legs, hips, and back. The next exercise is the bench press, which primarily trains your chest, arms, and shoulders. Thus, squatting isn’t going to do a great job of warming up the muscles involved in bench pressing, so it makes sense to do two separate warm-ups: one before you start your heavy sets of squatting, and one before you start your heavy sets of bench pressing.

Here’s what this would look like:

Barbell Squat

Warm-up

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Barbell Bench Press

Warm-up

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3

Now, let’s say you’re doing seated military press on Day Four of the 4-day workout routine. In this case, you’ve already warmed up for your one-arm dumbbell rows, which train many of the same muscle groups (indirectly), so you probably won’t benefit much by doing another warm-up before your sets of barbell military press.

Here’s the protocol you’re going to follow for the workouts in this article:

Estimate roughly what weight you’re going to use for the three sets of your first exercise (this is your “hard set” weight). Let’s say you’re doing barbell squats on Day One of the 4-day workout routine for this example.
Do 10 reps with about 50 percent of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute or two.
Do 10 reps with the same weight at a slightly faster pace, and rest for a minute or two.
Do 4 reps with about 70 percent of your hard set weight, and rest for a minute or two.

Then, do all three of your hard sets for your barbell squats, and then repeat the same warm-up procedure for your barbell bench press, before doing all three hard sets of bench press.

If you want to learn more about the importance of a proper warm-up and how to warm up for different workouts, check out this article:

The Best Way to Warm Up For Your Workouts

Try to do no more than two workouts in a row before taking a rest day.

For example, many people like to set up their 4-day workout routine like this:

Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Day 2

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Day 3

Friday: Day 4

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

And their 3-day workout routine like this:

Monday: Day 1

Tuesday: Rest

Wednesday: Day 2

Thursday: Rest

Friday: Day 3

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest

This ensures you get enough recovery between each workout to progress over time.

Try to add weight to every exercise every time you train.

You won’t necessarily do this every time you set foot in the gym and you don’t want to sacrifice good technique to increase the weight, but you should be adding weight to every exercise over time.

Make sure you eat enough food.

If you want to gain strength and muscle as quickly as possible, then you need to eat enough calories to recover from your workouts. If you don’t, you simply won’t progress as fast as you should.

Read this article to learn how many calories you should eat:

How Many Calories You Should Eat (with a Calculator)

Deload every 3 to 6 weeks, depending on how you feel.

If you’re eating enough calories, sleeping enough, and staying one or two reps shy of failure, but still feeling beat up and sore, take a deload. If you’re feeling good and progressing on most of your exercises, keep going.

Read this article to learn how to deload:

How to Use Deloads to Gain Muscle and Strength Faster

The Bottom Line on Powerlifting

Powerlifting is a sport that consists of lifting as much weight as possible on the squat, bench press, and deadlift for a single repetition.

In a powerlifting meet, lifters take turns lifting as much weight as they can on the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Whoever is able to lift the most weight on these three exercises wins the meet.

Many people believe that lifting heavy weights is only for getting stronger or competing in a sport like powerlifting, lifting lighter weights for more repetitions is better for building muscle.

The truth is that heavy, low-rep weightlifting, like powerlifting, is an extremely effective way to build muscle. The downside is that this kind of training also tends to be harder on your body, which is why most powerlifters supplement their heavy, low-rep training with lighter, higher-rep training.

Although many people think powerlifting is inherently dangerous, the reality is that it’s one of the safest forms of exercise you can do, when done properly.

There are many good powerlifting programs to choose from, but they all follow three basic principles:

Specificity
Progressive overload
Recovery

The right mix of these principles depends on your goals, how long you’ve been training, what you enjoy, and how well you recover from powerlifting-style workouts.

If you’re new to powerlifting, both Eric Helms’ 4-day per week and 3-day per week novice powerlifting programs are outstanding places to start.

Warm up before each workout, allow sufficient rest between your workouts, try to add weight to every exercise week to week, make sure you eat enough food, and deload every 3 to 6 weeks, and you’ll get stronger and stronger.

Happy lifting!

Oh, and if you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you like to hang out online! ?

What’s your take on powerlifting? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

+ Scientific References

Fradkin AJ, Zazryn TR, Smoliga JM. Effects of warming-up on physical performance: A systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(1):140-148. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0
Gabriel DA, Kamen G, Frost G. Neural adaptations to resistive exercise: Mechanisms and recommendations for training practices. Sport Med. 2006;36(2):133-149. doi:10.2165/00007256-200636020-00004
Schoenfeld BJ, Ratamess NA, Peterson MD, Contreras B, Sonmez GT, Alvar BA. Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(10):2909-2918. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000480
Videbæk S, Bueno AM, Nielsen RO, Rasmussen S. Incidence of Running-Related Injuries Per 1000 h of running in Different Types of Runners: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sport Med. 2015;45(7):1017-1026. doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0333-8
Moore IS, Ranson C, Mathema P. Injury Risk in International Rugby Union: Three-Year Injury Surveillance of the Welsh National Team. Orthop J Sport Med. 2015;3(7). doi:10.1177/2325967115596194
Spinks AB, McClure RJ. Quantifying the risk of sports injury: A systematic review of activity-specific rates for children under 16 years of age. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(9):548-557. doi:10.1136/bjsm.2006.033605
Keogh JWL, Winwood PW. The Epidemiology of Injuries Across the Weight-Training Sports. Sport Med. 2017;47(3):479-501. doi:10.1007/s40279-016-0575-0
Schoenfeld BJ, Ratamess NA, Peterson MD, Contreras B, Sonmez GT, Alvar BA. Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(10):2909-2918. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000480
Burd NA, West DWD, Staples AW, et al. Low-Load High Volume Resistance Exercise Stimulates Muscle Protein Synthesis More Than High-Load Low Volume Resistance Exercise in Young Men. Lucia A, ed. PLoS One. 2010;5(8):e12033. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012033

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