T Nation

Powerlifting for a Teen?

I’m 17 years old and have been training bb style for about 2-3 years, I’ve recently become very interested in powerlifting, can anyone point me in the right direction ? I need a decent powerlifting workout , as detailed as possible please and what should my diet look like ? Thanks alot!

2-3 years of good bodybuilding training should mean some considerable progress on the three lifts already, but I fear that “BB training” means a poorly-designed body part split. Either way, the best advice I have found is to stick to the basic, heavy lifts, and only reconsider when progress stalls.

My opinion is that, as a beginner, you should practise each lift more than once-a-week, with squats being trained three times, bench about the same, and deadlifts slightly less frequently, depending on preference. Any program should work as long as it progresses the big three, maybe try Starting Strength or a 5x5 variation.
Diet is partly trial and error, just aim to eat plenty of protein and vegetables, with a lot of your carbohydrate around training. I always set weekly calorie goals and log all of my food to hit it exactly (so it’s easier to adjust based on results) , but this probably isn’t necessary.

Good luck.

This would be a good program to start off with:

for diet we need to know more about you: height, weight, estimated bodyfat and activity level, and what your goal weight is.

I would also checkout powerliftingwatch.com and rawpowerlifting.com to get some more info. Powerlifting is awesome, I am sure you will love it


Thanks guys! I weigh only 170, around 5"10, I play rugby and I’d say I’m literally addicted to the gym so when I see these 3 day a week workouts I don’t really know… I usually go Mon-Fri , 5x a week . Is there a workout for a 4-5 day split for powerlifting ? That workout about getting stronger with the 3 day split, is it possible if I do the first three monday to wednesday and then on thursday I do 1 again and friday I do 2?

I loved DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards when I was getting started. Great for building strength while packing on a little mass, and it will also make you a much better athlete. That should put you a nice Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday split. But there are other 4 day splits out there as well.

Then you can always get in a couple extra workouts on Wednesday and then Saturday or Sunday if 4 days a week isn’t enough for you. Don’t lift heavy on these workouts, and leave the major barbell exercises alone. Just do some foam rolling and mobility work, a couple lifts geared towards a specific weakness or two you feel needs work, and then some conditioning.

I’d just like to add that 5 days per week doesn’t have to mean a 5 day split. I train at least four days a week, but still train more than one of the lifts each day; why not use the extra sessions to train the lifts an extra time per week?

Even in the article it says you can do extra stuff on off days, but just to be sure that you’re fresh for the workout prescribed. But there are other options for a beginner if you want to do the big lifts with more frequency.

For diet eat around 3500-4000 kcals per day, you should gain about 1 lb a week or so for a while. Eat 200+grams of protein, 100+ grams of fat (good kind) and the rest healthy starchy carbs and fruits and veggies.

This article has a 4 day split, I didn’t go to it immediately since you said you were already doing a bodybuilding split but you can do this if you want, use the strength guidelines

If you do other shit do core, cardio, light technique work, whatever on the other days. One reason why you might have a hard time growing is doing too much stuff. Most advanced PLer’s don’t lift heavy more than 4 times a week.

What are your current lifting numbers ?

As Tim already said doing too much can be just as bad as not doing enough. Like yourself, I started off with a BB template the first 2 years of my training. The hardest thing for me to do was take a couple steps back and reassess my training. Once I did that I was able to simplify my training drastically while seeing constant gains in all of my lifts. Best of luck with your lifting TC.