T Nation

Powerbuilding


#1

For the past few years I've been focusing almost exclusively on strength with the big 3 only building work capacity/conditioning and muscle for the sake of getting stronger.

But now, I want to take a more balanced approach. I definitely want to at least maintain the strength I've gained, maybe even continue to get stronger albeit at a slower pace.

First thing I want to do is build work capacity and get a bit a leaner. While I'm not overweight (overfat), I'm quite a bit softer and smaller than most at my strength level and even those well below it I see in most gyms.

FWIW, I'm currently:
5'10"
195lb
Squat: 455lb
Bench: 310lb that's with a slight pause
Deadlift: 545lb (closer to 500 without using the 'fishing rod' technique)

The routine I've made for myself is as follows:

Monday: Squat/Lower
Light Plyos for activation and speed
Squats-
*Week 1-3 work on 5's starting with an easier 5 on week 1 working up to a near max to max 5 on week 3.
*Week 4 deload, won't work up heavy at all on the main
*Week 5-7 Like 1-3 but with triples
*Week 8 deload
*Week 9-11 work with singles

Do some back off sets, 3x8 at around 60 percent for volume and practice

Hack Squat Machine supersetted with Swiss Ball Leg Curls (they took the leg curl machine out of the gym!!!)
3 sets of 10-15 with about 30s of rest between the two movements and 90-120s between supersets

Standing Calves supersetted with Seated Calves
Kind of like above except less rest since they're relatively tiny muscles

Lower Body Anaerobic Conditioning (stuff like tire flipping, sprints, complexes)

Wednesday: Bench/Chest and Back
Light Plyos

Bench- same progression as Squat
Followed by back off sets 3x8 at around 60 percent

DB Bench Supersetted with Cable Rows
3 sets of 10-15 keeping rest somewhat limited

FacePulls
3x15

Upper Body Conditioning

Friday: Deadlift/Midsection
Light Plyos

Deadlift- Progression like with Bench and Squat except 5 percent lower since what I've found is that with deadlift less is more
-Back Off sets except 3x5 instead of 3x8

Back Raises supersetted with Side Raises Supersetted with Weighted Crunches
-Keeping Reps fairly high since Deadlifts came right before these

Leg Raises
-For High Reps and Low Rest

Repeat Calves from Squat/Lower Day
-these need some work for those years of neglect so that's why they get two days

Conditioning

Saturday: Shoulder Girdle and Arms
Light Plos

Military Press-
-like with Squat and Bench except instead of 5s, 3s, and 1s, go with 12, 10, and 8
-Back off Sets

Close Grip with Chains Supersetted with Band Assisted Close Grip Pull Ups
-Like the other supersets. I don't do Chin Ups because they irritate my supraspinitus and wrists

Db Raise Triset (Front Raise, Side Raise, Rear Delt Raise)

Bi and Tri Superset with Smaller Exercise to a Pump

Upper Body Conditioning

If you took the time to bother to read through this than thank you haha. Except for the big 3 and Shoulder Presses, I'll be rotating through different but similar exercises to avoid overuse injuries and quite frankly boredom.

I figured the supersets for the moderate-high reps with the somewhat low rest will be good for improving body comp and work capacity and squeezing more volume in on one day.

The main lift remains low rep to maintain maybe even build strength.

I've found anaerobic alactic conditioning to be most effective because it puts very little strain on my recovery while boosting my metabolism.

Does anyone know any leg curl variations that don't require a machine that I can progressively add load with weight?

Edit: I forgot about my questions haha! For anyone that's tried a more powerbuilding type of routine what kind of stuff did you find most helpful and does this look like it could be effective or if it could tweaks or maybe even a total overhaul. Thanks!


#2

Well im purely a powerlifter but I guess you could call the way I train “powerbuilding” even though I dont really like that term. I do my main lifts 2x a week and my accessory work is more bodybuilding style. So I guess that qualifies. Your program seems fine as long as your recovery and frequency are appropriate for you, I prefer to squat heavy one week, then pull heavy the next.

As far as leg curl alternatives, do you have access to bands? Ive seen some creative ways to anchor one to a rack and loop it under your ankles and sit on a bench, but never actually tried it myself.

If you are interested to see the program im currently using thats got me close to a 700lb pull and a 600 wrapped squat:

day1: Squat (on a heavy week) work up by triples to a top set (light week) repout with 80% adding weight every week
beltless stiff leg DL generally for sets of 3-5
leg ext, leg curl

day2: seated barbell press, sets of 6-12
close grip bench for sets of 5-8
high rep back work, raises and direct arm work

day3: deadlift (on heavy week) work up to a heavy double adding weight weekly (light week) 5-8x3 around 75-80%
safety squat bar up to heavy triples
GHR, light rows and core work

day4: Bench (heavy week) 3x3 or 5x3 adding weight weekly (light week) rep out with 75-80%
weighted dips, raises, flys

sorry for the super long post but maybe this will be helpful for you


#3

Okay, by looking at what you do it looks like I’m on the right track. I might try something more similar to what you’re doing when strength is more of a focus for me.

By the way, nice lifts.

Do you pull sumo or conventional? I’m just wondering if that might have to do with why you don’t like to go heavy with squat and deadlift on the same week. My other guess is that it’s just because you’re at such a higher level and at that kind of the weight the body just can’t take it with that kind of split.

Thanks.


#4

You could also use that time to bring up weaker areas and train variations you arent used to, but it looks like you have a decent approach and grasp of your goals.

Ya I mainly pull sumo, if im not peaking I usually pull beltless conventional though. Ive kinda been forced to train like that due to nagging injuries adding up, but I think its paying off. Ive always fell victim to doing more than I needed and hindering progress