T Nation

DIY Powerlifting Program


#1

Kind of a rhetorical question, but I just want to get an idea what you all think of the program I've been using since January this year. I'm happy with it as it has been working well so far. What I'm most interested in is what you all think of it.

As a bit of background, it has evolved slightly over the the time I've been training for powerlifting based on what I've found works for me. It is broadly based on what I was doing in the last three months of 2014, except that was a very simple linear progression that I found beat me up a little more than I liked towards the end. I looked at various periodisation models and figured that while I didn't want to devote whole weeks to one attribute I might devote days because of how I train in terms of days on/days off. I train in blocks of two or three days, with breaks of two or three days - I work a rotating roster of 12 hour shifts so I find it easier to train on days I don't work. I also find having those regular rest blocks seems to really help me recover and minimise how much I need to deload between cycles.

For warm up I do about 10 or a bit less minutes of joint mobility. I do some basic static stretches at the end and in between lifts as well.

Block 1 - Day 1 - speed
Squat - Ramp up to 6x5 reps ranging from 60 to 70%. Last set AMRAP
Bench press - Ramp up to 6x5 reps ranging from 60 to 70%. Last set AMRAP. Do a set of 5 pull-ups between the first five sets.
Assistance - heavy dumbell rows, 3 sets AMRAP (target of 25 before increasing weight). I get to call them Kroc rows when I use 100+ lbs. Currently I'm on 90.

Block 1 - Day 2 - speed
Deadlift - ramp up to 10x3 reps ranging from 60 to 70%. Last set AMRAP
Deficit deadlift - 3x3 reps at 75%
Press - 6x5 reps ranging from 65 to 80%. Last set AMRAP
3-5 sets of pull-ups

Block 2 - Day 1 - heavy
Squat - ramp up to 2x5 reps @80%, 2x3 reps @85% and 2x1 rep @90%
Bench press - ramp up to 2x5 reps @80%, 2x3 reps @85% and 2x1 rep @90%
Assistance one - 6x6-8 reps dumbbell presses equivalent to about 60%
Assistance two - usually 3-5 sets of weighted pull-ups

Block 2 - Day 2 - heavy
Deadlift - ramp up to 10 singles ranging from 80 to 90%
Deficit deadlift - 3x3 reps at 75%
Pull-ups, usually weighted, 3-5 sets

Block 3 - Day 1 - assistance and volume
Squat variation - usually paused front squats 5x2 reps around 75-80%
Bench press variation - usually close grip 5-6x3 reps around 75-80%
Press - two waves of 3, 2, 1 reps peaking around 90-95%
Assitance 2 - barbell rows, 3x6-8 reps around 80% of bench press

Block 3 - Day 2 - assistance and volume
Deadlift variation/assistance - 5-6x3 reps high box squat (I'm pulling sumo this cycle) at 80% of deadlift
Deadlift assistance - 5-6x6-8 reps good mornings (around 120 to 145 lbs, but I might go heavier depending how I feel)
Assistance 1 - heavy single arm rows, 3xAMRAP
Assistance 2 - pull ups, 3-5 sets

Block 3 - Day 3 - assistance and volume
Paused squat - 6x3 reps @80%
Bench press - 6x3 reps @80%
Deadlift - 6x2 reps @80%

Block 4 - Day 1 - very heavy
Squat - ramp up to two waves of 3, 2, 1 reps starting around 80% and peaking around 95%. Second wave in wraps
Bench press - ramp up to two waves of 3, 2, 1 reps peaking around 95%
Pull ups - 3-5 sets, weighted

Block 4 - Day 1 - very heavy
Deadlift - ramp up to 8-10 singles ranging from 85 to 95%
Deficit deadlift - 3x3 reps at 75%
Pull-ups - 3-5 sets

Then I go back to block 1 adding 2.5% or so to each lift (or 2.5 kg, if that is easier). I do that for 12 weeks, then test my maxes and after a short break start again based on my new maxes and make changes (if necessary) based on what I've found to work/not work.


#2

All the proof of a pudding, is in the eating.

If it works it is by definition “a”, if not “the” right answer.

I trust that we should all count on lives long enough that we may take sufficient time to experiment and learn on our own.

Have fun. Prosper. All that.


#3

[quote]emskee wrote:
All the proof of a pudding, is in the eating.

If it works it is by definition “a”, if not “the” right answer.

I trust that we should all count on lives long enough that we may take sufficient time to experiment and learn on our own.

Have fun. Prosper. All that.[/quote]

Pretty much how I look at it. I look at it as a work in progress: it works now, so I’m happy with it; as time goes on I’ll make changes here and there based on what experience tells me will improve it.

The main reason I put it up was to just get an idea if it bears much resemblance to something someone else is doing.


#4

Punisher’s log here has been a big influence on me: think less about whether your program looks like someone else’s and more about whether it’s working. If it works, keep trucking. When it stops working, that’s when you reevaluate, haha. I do think some people make changes to a program because they anticipate a stall, instead of waiting for the stall to happen before modifying the program.

I do understand the natural desire to match what others are doing and/or mimic those who have achieved what you want to achieve. But really, I think you have to feel it out for yourself. I think your program looks sensible enough. If it’s working, carry on!


#5

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:
Punisher’s log here has been a big influence on me: think less about whether your program looks like someone else’s and more about whether it’s working. If it works, keep trucking. When it stops working, that’s when you reevaluate, haha. I do think some people make changes to a program because they anticipate a stall, instead of waiting for the stall to happen before modifying the program.

I do understand the natural desire to match what others are doing and/or mimic those who have achieved what you want to achieve. But really, I think you have to feel it out for yourself. I think your program looks sensible enough. If it’s working, carry on![/quote]

Quite. So far, its working. The higher rep ranges (5 instead of 3 on my heavy days) and changes to assistance work from last cycle are a challenge, but nothing I didn’t expect (not to mention I’ve got a beauty of a head cold which isn’t helping).