T Nation

Beginner Powerlifting Help


I am 19 years old, and currently a college student in the Northeast. I was introduced to a weight bench around the 6th grade, but have only been lifting seriously for about the past 4 years. Up until now I’ve basically done bodybuilding programs, pyramiding and the like, however in the gym the other day I met a guy who I followed through a powerlifting workout, and continued to do so for about a week after. I absolutely loved the program, however I admit it was far too much for a beginner. Basically what i’m looking for is a beginners training program, ideally comprised of 4 lifting days a week (this makes the most sense due to my class schedule). I usually cardio 2 times a week, and eat pretty clean considering its mostly cafeteria food. I am currently 6 feet tall, weigh 265, i guess about 20 percent body fat (give or take 5, i’ve never been able to use the caliper method). My max bench is currently 345, squat 375, and deadlift 350.

I appreciate any and all help I can get, and am open to any suggestions.

I’d recomend Starr/Pendlay 5X5 routine. That’s what I started on and still fall back to every so often. It’s a 3 day program, but you squat every workout. Elite FTS also has a lot of good articles and programs that are of great help to beginners. You might also want to post this in strength sports.

I came across a westside template that might suit your needs.

Give this article a read, and if you still have questions do a search here for westside programs.


Your best bet is to spend a lot of time reading the powerlifting articles on this site (and other sites, like elitefts), and compose your own program based on what you know about your strengths and weaknesses.

You say you are a beginner, the first things you want to make sure you are familiar with are principles of exercise technique. Make sure you know how to properly perform the various exercises you want to do in your programs.

Once your technique is down (I don’t know if it is or isn’t, you tell me), then spend time designing programs that are appropriate for your current level of development.

As soon as possible, learn to use your instincts when developing training programs.

I hope this helps. Good luck.