T Nation

New to Powerlifting


Hi, I have been going to the gym for about 6 months now and so far I have just been doing bodybuilding stuff. I go 5 days a week and do different muscle groups on each day, normally 3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise.

Last week I decided that I was going to try powerlifting because im more interested in gaining strength than size. I added an extra day peforming the squat and deadlift. For both exercises I started with a warmup then 1 set of 5 reps, 2 sets of 3 and 4 sets of 1. My 1rm for DL was 352 ibs (160kg) and squat was 286 ibs (130 kg). Are these good 1rm weights for a begginer or just average? if anyone has any tips about what I should be doing as a complete novice they would be much appreciated. My goal is to be very strong but not that big with a half decent body fat %. At the moment im 5,8-9 not 100% sure and around 220 ibs my body fat is prob around 20%.


Those, if real 1RM are not bad for a beginner so you definitely have something to work on.

As a novice I would defiantly do either Starting Strength 5x5 or Wendler 5/3/1.

I can't post links to other lifting sites but google them. Buy Wendlers 5/3/1 for powerlifters book


Ben, whereabouts in the uk are you?


Cheers ill check them out.


I live in Exeter (southwest).


Shame, I'm in th e northwest


Welcome to PL. The numbers aren't too shabby. As stated Starting Strength and 5/3/1 are both good programs for beginners. Just be aware that any linear progression model with reasonable programming will benefit a beginner. Make sure that you start working on the technical aspects of the lift. Technique is vital to long term success in the sport/lifestyle. Don't neglect working any bodyparts either. These include rear delts, biceps, abs, etc. This is important for assisting the big 3 as well as injury prevention.


Also keep an eye on your mobility. You don't have to be a contortionist but I you have the mobility of a 80 year old man, then you have a problem. Poor mobility usually results in technical and positioning issues as well as elevates the risk of injury.