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Critique Intermediate Power Hypertrophy Program


#1

I have been training for 3 years and currently lean bulking (150 calorie surplus) for at least another 3 months aiming to increase both strength and size. Let me know what you think of this program.

Power Hypertrophy Program

Lower Power - Tuesday

Power Lifts:
Squat 3x 5/4/3
Deadlift 2x 5/4/3

Auxilery Lifts:
Walking Lunges 3x6-8 per side
Leg Curl 3x8-10
Standing Calf Raises 3x6-8
Icarian Seated Calf Raises 2x8-10

Upper Power – Wednesday

Power Lifts:
Bench Press 3x 5/4/3
Bentover Row 3x 5/4/3

Auxilery Lifts:
Shoulder Press 2x5-7
Pullups 3x8-10
Chest Dips 3x8-10
Lateral Raises 3x8-12
Bicep Curl 3x8-10

Lower Hypertrophy - Friday

Squat 3x6-8
DB Stiff Leg DL 3x6-8
Leg Press 3x8-10
Leg Curl 3x8-10
Standing Calf Raises 3x6-8
Icarian Seated Calf Raises 2x8-10

Push Hypertrophy - Saturday

Bench Press 3x6-8
Seated DB Shoulder Press 3x6-8
Hammer Strength Incline Press 3x8-10
Lateral Raises 3x8-12
Machine Flys 3x8-10
Tricep Pushdown 3x8-10

Pull Hypertrophy - Sunday

Bent Over Row 3x6-8
Hammer Strength Latpulldown 3x8-10
Seated Row 3x8-10
Facepulls 3x8-10
Barbell Shrugs 3x8-10
Bicep Curl 3x8-10

Power Movements

Lifts Used

Lower Lifts: Barbell Back Squats, Convential Deadlift
Upper Lifts: Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Bentover Row

Loading Schemes

Bench Press, Bentover Row

Week 1: 3x5 (starting at 80% of 1rm on first cycle or +2.5kg over previous cycle)
Week 2: 3x4 (+2.5kg of week 1 weight)
Week 3: 3x3 (+2.5kg of week 2 weight)
Week 4: Deload (2x3 @ week 1 weight)

Squat

Week 1: 3x5 (starting at 75% of 1rm on first cycle or +5kg over previous cycle)
Week 2: 3x4 (+5kg of week 1 weight)
Week 3: 3x3 (+5kg of week 2 weight)
Week 4: Deload (2x3 @ week 1 weight)

Deadlift

Week 1: 2x5 (starting at 75% of 1rm on first cycle or +5kg over previous cycle)
Week 2: 2x4 (+5kg of week 1 weight)
Week 3: 2x3 (+5kg of week 2 weight)
Week 4: Deload (1x3 @ week 1 weight)

Progression

Wave Loading.
Upper Body Starting Weight - 80% of 1 rep max for week 1 of first cycle.
Lower Body Starting Weight - 75% of 1 rep max for week 1 of first cycle.
Each new week add 2.5kg for an upper body lift and 5kg for a lower body lift and drop 1 rep from each set.
Each new cycle add 2.5kg for upper lifts and 5kg for lower lifts to each week if RPE was at 9 or less throughout the cycle if RPE is at 9.5 or higher repeat the same weight as last cycle.

Deloads

Run deload every 4 weeks.
Use 2x3 @ week 1 weight for all movements except Deadlift.
Use 1x3 @ week 1 weight for Deadlift.

Stalled Lifts

Complete current cycle as best as possible, run deload and repeat the same weight for the next cycle.
If 2 cycles pass with no improvement drop the weight by an increment for the next cycle.

Hypertrophy Movements

Intensity
RPE 7-9

Progression

Use Double Progression
Compound Lifts - Add 1 rep to every set each session until hitting the top of the range then increase weight by the smallest possible increment.
Isolation Lifts - Add 1 rep to just one of the sets each session until hitting the top of the range then increase weight by the smallest possible increment.

Deloads

Run Deload every 8 weeks and simultanously with a Power deload (every 2nd Power deload).
Drop 1 set and 2 reps per set for each movement when deloading. eg. 3x10 on last completed session beomes 2x8.
Work with the same weights if the lift is not stalled, drop the weight 2 increments if stalled.

Stalled Lifts

One Lift - Drop the weight by 2 increments if failing a lift 2 weeks in row.
Multiple Lifts - Complete current cycle, deload and revise loads and rep ranges of the stalled lifts for the next cycles progression.


#2

How has it been working out for you?


#3

It looks complicated. Is it working for you?


#4

Just over 1 week in so far and the workouts have felt great so far and the recovery feels spot on.


#5

Wait, so, the difference between your maintenance diet and “lean bulking” is, like, two eggs a day? That’s… not a lot.

What’s your current height, weight, fat level, and PRs on the big lifts?

The program does look like you’re trying to re-invent the wheel with the kinda-sorta 5/3/1 loading and the kinda-sorta PHAT split.

Whenever a split is separated into “power days” and “hypertrophy days”, I disagree with doing hypertrophy work (8-12 rep stuff, isolation work) at the end of the power days. There’d be nothing wrong with simply doing a bunch of good sets on the main lifts and calling it a day since you have other training days to specifically tackle “assistance work”.

I might also swap the bent-over rows on Upper Power day for hang cleans. Heavy 3-rep barbell rows can get ugly, form-wise, which may or may not be what you want. And, really, cleans are rarely a bad idea anyway.


#6

Progression scheme on main lifts seems very reasonable, but I wouldn’t worry so much about programming progression in isolation movements. IMHO, it takes focus away from what’s important. Train accessory lifts to a reasonable intensity and target them to your current goal(s). If they stop working, swap them for other accessory lifts that will help.

Also, I agree with CC’s critiques about diet (150cal is quite small) and doing a lot of hypertrophy work on power days. I’d pick just a few carefully chosen compound movements to act as assistance work and call it a day, stuff like OHP, chins, face-pulls, etc. Also, focus more on mobility/prehab on power days.

Overall, though, I do like your progression scheme. It reminds me of something I might write haha. Please keep us up to date, I’d be interested to know how it works out for you.


#7

When I do a 150-200 surplus I find I steadily put muscle on with almost hardly any fat gain but a 300-400 does not yield much more muscle gain at all over a 150-200 surplus and a noticeable increase in fat. The 400 odd surplus worked well when I was a beginner but as an Intermediate I can’t put on muscle that quick anymore.

I actually got the loading and progression of those Power lifts from an Eric Helms video on progression which I thought was quite a cool idea.

Also for the Bent Over Row I am concerned yes when I get to the 3s week the weight might be a bit too much and cause the form to break down and couldn’t really think of a pulling movement, don’t know why I didn’t think of Hang Cleans. Since I have already started I will see out this cycle with Bent Over Rows and see how the 3s week goes, only 1 way to find out. If it doesn’t work out I will switch to Hang Cleans.

I see where you are coming from with the hypertrophy work on the Power days and might consider taking them away from those days but again I will see the first cycle out and then make only necessary changes.


#8

Thanks I will keep you up to date. I quite like the idea of this progression since just adding weight or reps every session doesn’t work so well for me anymore on the big lifts.

So for the assistance work on the Upper power days for example something like this might be better.

OHP 2x5-7
Pullups 3x6-8
Dips or CGBP 3x6-8
Facepulls 3x10-12


#9

Yeah, that looks better. Personally, I’d do it a little differently, but I’m guessing that I lean more on the powerlifting side of the “powerbuilding” spectrum than you do. So for me, I might do my upper power day something like this because my primary objective of the day is increasing my bench press:

Assistance:

  1. Add 2 backoff sets to rows
  2. Pick one good compound bench assistance lift that targets a weakness (say CGBP for 4x6 for example). I switch this one out as my needs change or when the assistance starts losing effectiveness. This happens pretty regularly, so I usually don’t worry too much about programming progression on assistance work.
  3. Face-pulls
  4. Maybe throw in some rotator cuff work if I’m not feeling too lazy

But really, the bottom line is that it all depends on what your goals are. You seem to have a reasonable idea of what you’re doing. Experiment and see what works best. Just remember that assistance movements should be selected with a purpose in mind and that there are tons of good assistance exercises (i.e. you don’t have to do them all at once and can always swap them out later).