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Full Body Powerbuilding Program for Early Intermediate

Hey guys! I’d like to hear your opinions on my program.

Front squat 3x5
Rdl 3x8
Chin ups and dips 3x8 as a superset
pendlay row 3x8
calves 3x15

Benchpress 3x5
Front squat 3x5
Pull ups 3x8
incline dumbbel benchpress and Dumbbel row 3x10 as a superset
biceps and triceps superset to failure

Deadlift 3x5
Front squat 3x8
Neutral grip pull ups 3x8
incline db benchpress and pendlay row 3x8 superset
facepulls and lateral raises 3x15 superset

I’ve lifted for over a year now using programs like SS and Madcow and I would like get in some more volume but still get stronger. I’ve tried upper/lower but I didnt really like it since my lower days were lacking of exercise while upper body days were too full. Also my legs are overdeveloped compared to my upper body, I had big legs even before I started lifting and they react really well to training stimulus. Reason for not having back squat is that I have long femurs and back squat causes me many problems and it doesnt really train my quads which are really weak. Front squat feels a lot better but I’m not quite sure what kind of rep ranges should I use to get them up.

I would lift every other day so it would be 4 days a week first and then 3 days the next week. I really like full body workouts and prefer them compared to splits.I like to use supersets since I train in the morning and they save me a lot of time. 3x5 sets would be like in SS so if I get the reps I add weight next time and in 3x8 sets I would try to get 3x12 and then I would add weight next time and do 3x8 again. Thank you in advance!

Honestly, it looks good. You have a compound focus, full body coverage and aren’t neglecting your legs or back. Id say go with it.

Its painfully easy to spend hours finessing and fine tuning a program, getting lost in the details and making sure you have every variation of every isolation. This is refreshingly simple and will be refreshingly effective.


Yeah will work. Can add abit of extra volume even, like 5x5 for bench and 5x10-15 for assitance if feeling good that day. Throw in military press somewhere every couple of weeks also.

Just push for PRs on the main lifts once a week, not every workout. A la madcow/Bill Starr templates -have one day that is a bit lighter for active recovery/work on form

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How far out are you from your next powerbuilding meet?


@T3hPwnisher Didn’t the older days of bodybuilding have a strength component?

I have heard of that. And stories of guys competing in a powerlifting meet in the afternoon and the bodybuilding show in the evening.

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Thanks but no thanks

Powerbuilding should just be people competing in the 3 power lifts mostly nude and oiled up. Chalk should help with grip but that bench could get dicey.

Edit: To stay on topic at least a little. With effort applied this routine should be plenty effective.


Haha too late for that! I like to plan things really well but I’m quite busy so I don’t have time to hit the gym every day and prefer to keep it simple. Also I think there are loads of studies to prove that full body is better naturals and also the fact that old school bodybuilders like Steve Reeves and Reg Park trained that way before steroids were used.

I had military press originally on day A but I’m not sure if there would be too much pressing then? I mean I am healthy and got no injuries but I’ve got friends who have injured their shoulders from pressing too much and I would like to be proactive since I’m still young. Would 3x8 db press on monday do the trick?

I also like 3x5 since in my experience it allows for more aggressive weight increases compared to 5x5 and 4x6. About squatting maybe I should use 3x5 on every day but go heavy-medium-light. 3x5 @80-85% on monday, then lower the weights by 10% on medium day and 20% on light day which happens to be deadlift day(had lighter weights on the front squat on that day already). Maybe some kind of reverse pyramid would do the trick as well.

Height weight strength level?

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6ft tall at 194lbs. Been cutting for a while from 225lbs and I would say I’m at 14% bf. I don’t back squat anymore but my best 3x5 set was 250lbs, for bench 200lbs and 1x6 for the deadlift was 350lbs.

Yeah thats fine, personally I would just substitute military for bench every 2-3 weeks.

Theres a difference between building strength and demonstrating it. Basically you will get much better results over the long term being a bit patient and getting in a lot of heavy-ish work over the week/months rather than trying to test your strength every workout.
If really want the option of PRs every workout look into 5/3/1. ‘Letter to young Wendler’ has a good full body template


Yeah I know what you mean. The thing with 3x5 is that it doesn’t take as long as straight sets of 5x5. Maybe 5x5 with ramped up sets would be better? One heavier day where I would work my way up to a new pr and if successfull I would add 5lbs next week. Other days would be lighter like you suggested. About the assistance volume I have understood that one shouldn’t add any extra volume if one is gaining muscle and strength from the current program since your body adapts to volume? Ie. only adding volume when you plateau. I’ve got an intermediate/advanced friend who said to me that his body is too accustomed to volume from years of doing 90-120min brosplit workouts.

I wouldnt worry about that -if just training three days a week and also one is a light day then you can really crank up the volume of assistance work on the other two and only reap good things( as long as eat big protein, good sleep etc)

Volume and intensity cycling can be made over complicated but basically take the approach below and go back and forth through different types of templates off this site and you can see fantastic gains over the long term.

Thank you for your answer! I thought I had answered you already but it seems my internet connection died earlier and I noticed just now it didn’t post, hence the delay. I have been following my program for a few weeks now and it has been working well so I will keep following it for a few months to see how it works in the long run. Thanks to everyone else as well!