T Nation

Need to Get Stronger.


I have been messing around with bodybuilding now for about 4 years, and I just want to get a lot stronger. Therefore I feel that changing from BB training to powerlifting for a couple of years would do me right.
I am not sure which program I should follow. Can you recommend something? I am new to powerlifting.

17 years old
194 lbs
11% fat
5 ft 10
Bench: 290 lbs
Squat: 400 lbs (estimate, I have not tried my max for this lift)
Deadlift: 396 lbs

Any input would be great. Be as critical as you like. Do I need more mass? Should I just "shut up and eat"?
I would like to see my bench reach 350 lbs at the end of the year. All other lifts to increase with the bench in proportion. Thank you.


Smolov squat program +more food=big


I gained 70 pounds on my max after doing this program.(I had a really weak squat, so your gains probably won't be as large, but still a great program)


My first bit of advice would be getting down the technique for the big 3. As far as a program, there are plenty of good ones, but the first ones that come to my mind are 5/3/1 and WS4SB. I will say though a program is not 100% necessary, but if you want guidance, it's the surest way.


I would advise against using smolov since it's a squat specialization routine, as in you pretty much just squat. Are you interested in powerlifting, or just getting stronger and bigger? I and a lot of other people have had great success with programs that emphasize the basics, like 5/3/1, which is what I would recommend.


Also understand that in powerlifting, in order to claim a lift, you have to have actually done it.


I am not interested in powerlifting in the sense of going to meets and living for new PRs and the like. As you said, just to get stronger - getting bigger is just a nice spin-off. I was told by a guy in my gym that I need to get just a little bigger before I start shifting heavier weights; he recommended 5x5.

Are the techniques different between powerlifting and bodybuilding in these lifts? I checked out benching on youtube for example, and the main differences are a bigger arch in the back, those shirts and HUUGE triceps. Are there things I should look out for?

Ok, I'll see my max for the squat properly sometime soon, so I can actually claim a number.


The guy who said you need to get big to lift heavy weight was full of shit, there are plenty of people, man or woman who have lifted heavy shit while having a light body weight.

The techniques are a bit different because powerlifters and bodybuilders have different goals. Strength versus looks. A big differance is plers use more compound lifts to hit multiple muscle groups to increase strength and pl numbers, and bbers train more muscles individually to make them larger regardless of strength.

I wouldn't worry about bench shirts or suits, even if you did compete in a meet you don't have to use them.

I don't know enough to comment about 5x5, or 3x3 because I don't have personal experience with them, but have heard of good results from them. I would still recommend 5/3/1 because it gives you an option to use accessory work that promotes hypertrophy but still focuses on strength increasing.


Hope this helped.


For technical reference, it would be better to raw lifters. What you described sounded like a shirted bench. There's definitely more to it than an arch.


5/3/1 seems best for your goals


Regardless of goals, check your squat depth. Crease of the hips just below the knees.




x4. It works.