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Powerlifting: what you need to know

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Not everyone who goes to the gym has the same capabilities – not everyone is created equally. While bodybuilders might be ripped and aesthetic – powerlifters care about one thing and one thing only: the weight on the bar.

Powerlifting is separated into weight classes and participants compete in ‘meets’ where they are tested on their best 1 rep max for three lifts: the bench press, the squat and the deadlift.

Great WorkoutRaw and equipped are the two different stylesof powerlifting. Users who choose equipped don bench shirts and squat suits, among other specialist items, to help them move the most weight they possibly can. Raw (classic in the UK) only permits knee sleeves, a belt, wrist wraps, chalk and singlets – no other helpful equipment is allowed.

Powerlifting training is for all who want to get involved, whether it is to compete in competitions or just purely for strength.If you eat enough during the plan, you can boost your size.

What are the benefits?

When training for powerlifting, it is based on three different compound lifts. These lifts recruit the most muscles and put the most stress on your central nervous system – which in turn means they release the most hormones.

Powerlifting training plans are written around the use of the compound lifts. This is because they are designed to help you push up your one rep maximum and lift the heaviest you ever have so you can dominate a competition or just be the strongest you’ve ever been.

Not only will your physical health change, but also your mental. It will allow you to tackle the personal challenges you set yourself.

This plan doesn’t use isolations and this could be a downfall for some participants.You may miss out on the kind of area specific muscle toning you get from bodybuilding plans.

If you want to achieve more than what you currently are in terms of strength, continue to read our training plan.

Powerlifting The MaxiNutrition Powerlifting Plan

Before beginning this program, you need to complete a bench press, squat and deadlift to test your one rep max (1RM). We will aim to use these figures to create your program.

You should also make sure that you allow yourself a rest between days that you will be training. You’ll need to refuel, rehydrate and recover to maximize results.

Weeks 1-3 (Initial Volume Phase)

Each week, try to push your workout that little bit further. 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.

DeadliftWeeks 3-5 (Heavy Phase)

You will begin to lift 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.

All good things come to an end (or do they?)

By following this plan, you will hopefully break your 1RM. If you haven’t – you’ll have increased your strength at reps. Don’t worry if you can’t muster the big lift that week. Try again in subsequent weeks.

Start this plan again with the new 1RM. You can do this repeatedly in order to build strength, or look up other powerlifting training plans that stretch over longer periods.

All of the strength you acquire needs to be supported. Check out the Maximuscle range of protein shakesto help your body’s natural muscle building processes.

We advise you to only take part in this training programme if you are in good physical condition. Please consult a training expert before engaging in this programme. You engage in this fitness programme at your 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.

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