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Need Guidance on Current Programming

Hey guys, I just started power lifting this year so I’m new to all of this. I ran Calgary Barbell’s 8 week program and then the 16 week program and saw some pretty decent strength gains. However, these two programs are peaking programs designed for peaking for a meet. I don’t plan on competing any time soon so I’m not sure if these are the best programs for me to be doing right now.

Basically what I’d like to know is… should I continue running these programs? Am i wasting my time doing a peaking program if i’m not competing? I’m pretty overwhelmed by the number of different programs out there, so I’d appreciate some suggestions on a specific program, or at least what I should be looking for in a program as a beginner who has never competed.

I’m 26 years old and weigh 145lbs.

Squat: 340lbs. Bench: 235lbs. Deadlift: 405lbs.

Even if you don’t compete, peaking has a few advantages:

  • Lets you get a feel for peaking and how you respond so that if you do compete, you won’t go in completely in the dark
  • Changes training up a bit to give a mental break
  • Lets you see your peak strength, this can be pretty motivating
  • lets you clear some fatigue so you can attack your next block hard

You can balance these up with the downsides and decide if it’s for you. Plenty of successful coaches do both approaches but if it’s in a program that is working for you, I would tend to stick with that.

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You should probably focus on mostly on hypertrophy unless you are 5 feet or shorter.

I’m not into testing maxes on a regular basis, if at all outside a meet, but if you are doing something of that sort then maybe 3+ months between 1rm test is reasonable. You could also just skip the 1rm test and start the program over again (this is an RPE based program right?). Alternating between periods of high volume/low intensity and low volume/high intensity is generally a good idea, how much time you should spend on either will depend on you.

Someone on here is bound to recommend 5/3/1, I’m sure you could find a template that would work for you. All I can I say is to work on your technique and build some muscle.


It uses a mixture of RPE and Percentages.
Its been several months since I’ve attempted a true 1rm test on any of the lifts. I ran the eight week program (skipped the 1 rm test) and then straight into the 16 week program. I’ve hit few PR’s along the way on days that call for a 9 RPE. So maybe skipping the taper week and just starting over would be a good idea?

That could work, just base 1rm’s off of the RPE 9 numbers, that is about 95%.

Good shit. I’d love to peak more often, but been spending a ton of time doing hypertrophy.

I think a good non-peaking program is the Kizen Infinite program. It’s mostly 3x5 with an AMRAP set, then you set you increase/maintain/decrease weight based on what your AMRAP was.

I always find it easier and less overwhelming to plan my training in micro cycles of 6-8 weeks. Set a specific goal each micro cycle. You do not have to hit a 1 rep max at the end of these micro cycles. For example lets say you squat 295 for 5 reps. Make your goal for the training cycle to hit 310 for 5 reps. Once you have your goal set make your plan. First 4 weeks might be high/med rep ranges then it tapers off 5-8 to hit a new 5 rep max. The most important thing is to have a plan and stick to it. So many people have training A.D.D including me so i find it easier to train like this.

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