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Need Help Finding a Good Powerlifting Program

Hello, I’m new to this forum. I’m a male and 22 years old. The last time I powerlifted was when I was 16 years old. My max lifts back then was 130kg squat, 85kg bench and 170kg deadlift. I’m looking for an effective Powerlifting program to help me get back to what I was like in my early years.
I’m thinking about doing Stronglifts 5X5 to get back into the groove as it’s not too much and takes very little time. Any help is really appreciated. Thanks in advance, Kieron.

5/3/1 is versatile for most goals, especially strength


Could you elaborate on this matter please? What should I look for and how do I put this into practice? @Leash

There is a basic introduction, but you will easily find more with the search function.

Getting his books is highly recomended if the article sounds good to you.

If you are interested in 531 then you should buy Beyond and after that Forever. Two books by Jim Wendler. He has much more books but these two are a must to understand all the principles.

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Right, I’ll save up to buy the books but in the mean time I’ll stick to 5x5 into I get a full understanding of 5/3/1. Thanks for the help.

5x5 is okay. But it has a shelf life. It will get hard to progress after a few weeks / months.
531 can be used to get very big and very strong.

As an FYI - 5x5 and 532 are not power lifting programmes. They are programmes that use the bench, squat and deadlift (with other lifts) to get you stronger. They can be used to get good at BSD.

If you are after a power lifting programme - there are some more refined programmes out there. Including a 531 programme for powerlifting.

I think 5X5 is good for beginners or for people who are getting back into lifting after an extended layoff (Rippetoe’s name for it, “Starting Strength,” is more apt than he probably realizes). However, as others have pointed out, it will take you only so far before you start to stagnate. After that, I’d suggest Johnnie Candito’s linear program. It’s free on his website, and very nice for intermediate lifters looking to continue to make incremental progress once the newbie gains don’t come so easily anymore. It’s nothing fancy, but it will noticeably increase your lifts if you consistently put hard work into it.

you didnt mention any… please do, i am also interested in this.

I would say do 5x5 until it gets hard. I eventually ended up taking 2 hours to complete it, because each set just wrecked me. If you end up there, switch to something different.

I have run the Cube Kingpin a few times. I think the first time I put 60 lbs on my total after the 10 weeks. Second time was like 40 lbs, third was like 25-30 lbs. That is a lot of progress for 30 weeks, considering I started at an 1,100 lb total, and I am not someone who gets strong really quickly. I did find it pretty brutal though.

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My knowledge of powerlifting programs is next to 0. Not sure there any surprises there.

How ever I’m very confident in my knowledge that 5x5 and 531 will not produce world champion powerlifters. And this must mean there are more refined programs for powerlifting.

It’s not a hard sort of logic to follow.

And that’s all I’m pointing out to the OP. Who posted asking for a powerlifting program - in the powerlifting section. That while very good, if he wants to compete in powerlifting he might want to search out side of these two non specific programs.

You got a link to that kingpin please? Sounds like a really good program if you’ve added that much to your lift. I’m looking for something outside the box. Like standing barbell press and barbell rows ect. Any help is much appreciated.

I don’t think I can link it (forum rules). If you google cube lifting calculator, you can find it. I think the site was called black iron beast.

I know there is an ebook, and I think it is only like $10. This was a few years ago that I did this method. I did take away quite a bit from the program, and use it’s principles. I don’t do a speed work day anymore though.

Nice one, thank you.

I get 100% what you’re saying, the problem is world champion powerlifters don’t get there just because of a refined program.

They were already world champion capable and then the program just takes them further. Point and Case would be people going to Josh Bryant once they are already top 10 lifters.

The program doesn’t always make the lifter, but to your point 5/3/1 can get you to an elite level of lifting, you might have to make some tweaks and deviations but what can you really expect long term from a template. Eventually you got to find what will work for you and only you can know that.

Also with that in mind squatting 4 times a week isn’t the frequency you need, you just think it is :slight_smile: USAPL jab

Yeah, there’s no way in hell I’m going to start squatting 4 times a week. Three is enough for now while I get back into the groove of Powerlifting again.

Checked it out but it looks like I’m going to have to save and buy the book online to get a grasp of what it’s all about.

Well understood that mate.
But the fella asked for a powerlifting program. I was just saying 531 and 5x5; Great start and great way to get entry into the sport. But not powerlifting.

Not sure where the need for his comment came from is all.

People who say that 531 is not good for something usually havent read all the books and actually understood them.
531 is not even a program, its a phylosophy… when you start, you can use one of many programs, but after a while you will have to change something but thats what 531 teaches.
If you know the principles, those are universal. If you have some tools in the toolbox(experience with many programs Wendler offers) you can mix and create your own.
For example, LillieBridge method is just linear original 531 with no supplemental work but lots of assistance, and much much less frequency.
Lilliebridges being one of the best lifters in the world, also dont do heavy tripples or singles. They also amrap top set of the day and do some heavier work only on the last weeks before the comp.
In 531 you can include TM amraps, or even joker up to a heavy single if needed. Different plans for supplemental work also offer pretty heavy work, that some might want and need to get ready for a comp.
And there also is a book - 531 for Powerlifting.


I think that’s where you’re wrong though. There is no reason 5/3/1 can’t get you through a powerlifting meet several times. SBD IS powerlifting.

5/3/1 is a great way to get into lifting and a great way to continue to lift for a long time. Powerlifting at it’s core is SBD and trying to get stronger.

I think you and everyone else in response to you ( my self included ) just get hung up where you’re saying 5/3/1 is not for powerlifting. ( I’ll agree with 5x5 but it is a great way to get ready for powerlifting specific programming )

5/3/1 can take you very far if you play it right. Though eventually you’re going to have to tweak it, which is true for any and all templates ( save maybe 5th set but that’s a different story ).