T Nation

Deciding on a Program

Hey guys.

I’m 21 years old. Been lifting for few years. Started on starting strength which lead to some great gains and then I got into more of a bodybuilding type of programs (Always started my workouts with the big lifts tho and went heavy on them so I didn’t completely turn over …)

I want to switch back to powerlifting programs now and add some good strength to my lifts. I’m having a little problem choosing a program and knowing if could be called advanced.

Here are my stats:
Height: 183-185cm
Weights 85kg (187 lbs)
Bench - 120kg (264lbs)
Deadlift - 210kg (462 lbs)
Squat - 175kg (385 lbs)

Which gives me a total 1111 lbs @ 187 lbs. I think that’s pretty good?

Would be great if I could get some good advice on powerlifting from more experienced lifters in here and ideas of a good program to progress from here. Maybe Sheiko?

  • Thanks

Train by feel based on proven principles. Learn how your body reacts to it. Listen to your body. This is the time to experiment using principles rather than rigid programming. It doesn’t matter how hard you train if your body doesn’t recover enough before the next workout. Everybody is different.

Set a goal. Know what you want. Go in that direction and don’t look back.

Each workout will be different so train accordingly within that session. Again, use principles that have been proven. It’s not about sets and reps at “X” percentages. Focus on moving more weight.

This is very generalized, but if you do your research and put it to work, you’ll get what I’m talking about. Cookie cutter programs only work for so long before you gotta find you.

whatever routine you decide, it will only work if…

  1. you eat enough
    2.you sleep enough
  2. you stick with it (you can not fear commitment)

with that being said i ,90 percent of the time, run a 3x5,5x5,10x3,etc. scheme and it still pays

it is also bleieved ed coan ran linear progression with sets of 5 even at his elite level

point is if you cant find a fitting program right away,you cant go wrong with linear as long as you start light enough

I agree with OSU about utilizing principles more than anything else. If you follow a rigid program exactly and it works or doesn’t work, then you know that SOMETHING about that program does/doesn’t work. If you follow principles and manipulate the variables yourself to see how you react then you learn a lot more. I’m definitely not the strongest guy out there, and a lot of that has to do with the fact that I “program-hop,” as the people who like rigid programming call it. But from doing that I feel like I know more about what works for me and what doesn’t than the majority of people at my strength level. You can do absolutely anything you want with this as long as it’s reasonable and at its foundation is a set of principles.

If you want something more rigid, then the Sheiko programs can work. They do allow for changes to made from athlete to athlete, but I’d refrain from changing the main lifts (accessory lifts are up to you) until after you’ve run at least a few cycles.

If you want just a framework but still want huge flexibility I’d recommend using a template similar to what Mike T recommends over at RTS. This gives you lots of room to play with frequency, various rep ranges, and assistance lifts (e.g. board presses, block pulls, etc.) and see how you respond to them.