This thread has the potential to be very good. I would like to see what all the advanced PLers here have to say on this thread.
I hope many beginners can read this thread and learn how not to screw up their training and make basic progress. We should turn this thread into something many beginners who are looking to get into Powerlifting can read. Currently there isn't an equivalent of the 'Are you a Beginner' thread over here. Although this doesn't necessarily have to be, I think this would be a great opportunity for the advanced guys to share some ideas here.
Here's my take. OP, go to Elitefts and read the training articles there. Also, I know bodybuilding.com is frowned upon but there are some very knowledgeable PLers on the Powerlifting/Strongman section. Read the logs on the PLing Log forum there. Do the same thing at Elitefts.com.
If you can, find a powerlifter who trains at your gym and ask if you can train with him/if he can help you get started.
Here are a couple of good basic PLing templates:
WS4SB I - http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/westside_for_skinny_bastards
WS4SB II - http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding/westside_for_skinny_bastards_ii
WS4SkinnyVikingBastards - http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=920894
Madcow 5x5 - http://www.geocities.com/elitemadcow1/table_of_contents_thread.htm
Getting Ready to Powerlift (A great program but I would suggest you cut down the volume a bit if you plan on doing it) - http://www.elitefts.com/documents/getting_ready.htm
Some good overall articles to read:
Powerlifting And ADD (VERY important article for beginners) - http://www.elitefts.com/documents/powerlifting_and_add.htm
A Beginner's Guide To EFS - http://www.elitefts.com/documents/a_beginners_guide.htm
Beginner Mistakes - http://www.elitefts.com/documents/beginner_mistakes_part3_jimw.htm
Beginner ME Training - http://www.elitefts.com/documents/modified_max_effort_training.htm
You don't have to follow Westside, although it is a very productive way of training.
You can follow a more classical template as well.
Monday - Heavy Bench Day
- where you do obviously max effort bench work
- bench supplemental exercise (like db benching or incline benching)
- light tricep work (like pushdowns or skullcrushers)
- bicep work
Wednesday - Squat Training
- Your max effort squat stuff
- Supplemental squat stuff (some different squat than what you did your heavy work with, or leg presses)
- hamstring work
Friday - Assistance Bench Day
- Lighter Bench 'repetition' work
- Heavy shoulder work
- heavy tricep work (dips, cg bench, etc)
- bicep work
Sunday - Deadlift
- Deadlift heavy etc
- Low Back/Hamstring work (Goodmornings, Romanian Deadlift, pullthroughs, GHR, you get the idea)
- Lat work (pulldowns, chins/pullups etc)
This is just an example.