T Nation

25lbs of Muscle in 12wks of Powerlifting


most of you probably don't care that a 160lbs 5'7 guy like me put on muscle. But after years of training various styles I found two that I really love. 1. Olympic liftin because it's freakin fun! 2. Powerlifting because I feel great doing it and after 12weeks of hard training I put on 25lbs (186.2lbs) and only gained 1.5% bodyfat 12.5% body fat.

The best part is that I created an ultra simple program. I'm hoping once I show you what I did, I can get some SUGGESTIONS ON WHAT I COULD DO FROM HERE FOR MORE STRENGTH or at least maintain my strength while I try to get back to 8-9% bodyfat? I don't want to lose my progress.

Here's what I did:
For all main lifts (Squat,Bench,Deadlift) I did a periodized weekly ramp up.
Week 1 & 2 2x8 with 3 progressive warm up sets Rest 2mins
Week 3 & 4 3x6 with 3 progressive warm up sets Rest 2.5min
Week 5 4x4 with 3 progressive warm up sets Rest 3mins
Week 6 3x1 with 3 progressive warm up sets Rest 4mins
Auxillary Exercises I did 2x8-12 Rest 60sec

Squat Day
A1: BB Back Squat
B1: Leg Press
B2: Hamstring curl
C1: Calf Press
C2: Ab wheel roll outs

Bench Day
A1: BB Bench Press
B1: DB Incline Press
C1: Dips
D1: DB Shoulder Press
E1: Cable Rope Press or Skull Crushers

Deadlift Day
A1: BB Deadlift
B1: BB Power Cleans (5 reps lighter weight max speed)
C1: BB Bent Over Rows
D1: Curl Bar Bicep Curls
D2: Ball Crunches with Overhead Med Ball

Pull Up Maint Day:
Cluster reps of Pull ups because I wanted to maintain my pull up performances.


3000 calories a day on non lifting days and 3400 calories a day on workout days.
4 liters of pure water
50-60% carbs
20-25% protein
20-25% healthy fats (nuts, salmon, avocado, olive oil,Flax, my wife's booty until she start working out too)

Whey Protein
Fish Oils
RE7 recovery drink


I don't post much around here any longer but just wanted to drop in and say I really like what you did here with your approach. I hope newer lifters take note of this and realize that for the vast majority, and intelligently organized progressive overload approach is the way to go.

Everything is simple, it makes sense...there's no way you could fail following this approach. Congratulations on your gains.

As regards your question about keeping the gains you made, why not repeat the cycle while your calories are down and look for 2.5 or 5 more pounds per lift each week than you worked with last cycle? At the very least look to hold your ground. If it ain't broke...

Another example of how you don't need a bunch of exercise variety, complex periodization schemes, or accommodating resistance to get strong. Keep doing what you're doing.


Thanks Ramo,

I think I will try doing a second cycle of this with 2600 - 2700 calories and I will definately be adding weight to the bar. I think I might also incorporate playing Squash twice a week with a buddy of mine for that extra calorie burn. Thanks again for the input on my plan, it just seemed logical to work myself up, nice to know keeping it simple is appreciated by a more experienced lifter. Take it easy.


I agree with Ramo, its a pretty neat looking program.