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How Many Reps Do Powerlifters Do When Competition is Not Near ?

how many reps powerlifter do in when competition is not near ? and how much they train in week ?

10’s, 8’s, 5’s, bodybuilding stuff. Some train the same year around. Variations of squat, bench, & deadlifts to work on weak areas. I train 3-4 days a week most of the time. Some lifters train more days, some less


It depends, there are many different approaches to training for powerlifting.


Depends what you need and also what will transfer. Rep work transfers for my bench but hasn’t done shit for my squat.

Anywhere from singles to sets of 50 and tons of bodybuilding work four times week.

I think the reason you are getting such varied answers is your question is categorising training by person rather than outcome.

Muscle is muscle, and responds in the same way across populations irrespective of whether you want to get on stage or get on the platform.

We know lower rep range, higher load training results in better strength gains, over measured short and medium term time periods, through improvements in muscle fibre recruitment, technique improvements and neural adaptations, to a limit where these are functionally maximised for a given level of muscle mass. This can continue to provide strength increases in the long term because this style of training would, usually, also result in hypertrophy which increases the strength potential.

We also know that other styles of training, over the measured time periods, result in slightly lesser strength gains but greater levels of hypertrophy (bodybuilding).

How many reps anyone training will do will depend on what they are trying to achieve.

A powerlifter trying to get stronger within their current weight class, who is not looking to gain weight but continue to maximise their total, will probably continue with low rep training in the off season.

A powerlifter looking to try to put on some additional muscle, either because they feel they have maximised their strength gains for their current levels of muscle or just want to get bigger, might train in the higher rep ranges associated with bodybuilding.

How they train will depend entirely on what they are trying to do, why they are trying to do it, and whether or not they know what they are doing.


At the moment, for squats, I tend to work up to heavy singles, then drop it down and do a shit ton of back off sets. Depending on how I drop down it could be from anywhere from five to eight reps for 5/6 sets. I also chuck on some heavy chains for a few sets as I tend to stall just out of the hole.

Deadlift - Not much at the moment. I am far out from a meet and I prefer to utilise higher frequency squatting. It also transfers nicely to deadlifts without fucking up my recovery. Even deadlifting twice a week seems to fuck up my entire weeks training for me.

Bench. Just touch and go at the moment. Mainly dumbell and machine stuff for upper body work.

Shit ton of bodybuilding work overall at the moment.

5 months out from my meet.

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Getting away from the topic and speaking powerlifting specifically this is definitely true for me too. My biggest DL gains come when I train squat hardest, but the reverse is definitely not true. In fact If i don’t train squats and focus dead-lifts it seems neither progress.

I feel like my ideal training would be high frequency squats with deadlift once a week, and the deadlift sessions alternating between heavy weeks and technique weeks.

Yeh. High frequency squatting I dont have much of a problem with. I also find it transfers nicely to my deadlift. Also, my deadlift usually shoots up when I train it infrequently.

This is a good topic.

I’ll tell you from experience…bodybuilding and competition lift variations in the offseason. Higher reps and moderate weight.

Keeping the joints unloaded from the heavier weight when not prepping for a meet is SUPER important for longevity and injury prevention.

That doesn’t mean you can’t hit a semi heavy single just to feel the weight once in a while but keep it well under 90% of your max.

Take it from a guy who’s injured due to too heavy too often.

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Conjugate Training

This means combining different types of Strength Training into the same program: Limit Strength (1 Repetition Max), Power Training, and Hypertrophy/Bodybuilding.

Dr Michael Zourdos

Zourdos’ (Powerlifter) research determined that combining various type of strength training provides a synergistic effect. It amount to adding 2+ 2 and getting 5.

That means using using a variety of repetitions and loads.

Limit Strength Training: 85% plus of 1 Repetition Max X 1 - 5 Reps.

Power Training: Training with 48 to 62% of 1 Repetition Max with Traditional Lifts (Squats, Bench Press, etc) and 70-80% of 1 Repetition Max for Olympic Movements.

Hypertrophy Training: 65 to 80% of 1 Repetition Max for 8 plus Repetition Per Set.

The Research Study

Zourdos research broke each type of strength training down into whole body, separate days.

  1. Monday: Hypertrophy Training

  2. Wednesday: Power Training

  3. Friday: Limit Strength Training

Westside Powerlifting Method

Zourdos’ method reinforces the Westside Powerlifing Method that’s been around since around the early 1980’s.

Setting Up Your Training Program

There are various ways of setting up a Conjugate Training Program, providing you understand the concept and can write a good program.

For individual who lack the knowledge, it’s best to initially follow a Conjugate Training Program like Zourdos or the Westside Method.

"How Much They Train In A Week"

That depends on a variety of factors; meaning there is no “One size fits all” answer.

Kenny Croxdale