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Powerlifting Program for Denser Muscle?

Hello my guys,
I kind of reached a point where I am satisfied with my muscle size (I only want to get a little bigger now) but the muscles aren’t as hard or dense as I would like to. After doing some research, I’ve only been able to find out that lifting heavy is the (best?) way to increase myofibrillar hypertrophy. I have been running kind of a 5x5 on M/W/F with bodybuilding in between or after those lifts. What kind of program out there can emphasize the strength gain while helping me add that extra amount of mass I still want to add on (or is this alright too)? Edit: Ignore the part where I said satisfied cause it’s throwing people off thinking I am done getting bigger. I meant to say that I want to focus more on strength / powerlifting more than bodybuilding in order to achieve my body and performance goals.

You are satisfied of your size? I have no idea how someone can be satisfied unless they are the size of a classic physique competitor. Everyone has different goals I guess. Even with a powerlifting program you will still gain size along with density.The book Beyond 5/3/1 by Jim Wendler has a couple of upgrades to the regular 5/3/1 to make it better suited for powerlifting.

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Height and weight? Current strength level?

~5 ft 8 in
~145 pounds
Current bests for lifts (I know the ratios are kind of funky)
Bench: 215 lbs x 5 reps
Squat: 275 lbs x 3 reps
Deadlift: 335 lbs x 3 reps

Im guessing you are shredded due to your weight and height ratio. Im 5ft 8 and 175 pounds and im not fat either, with visible veins and abs. Your pretty strong for your weight too.

Add 30lbs (as a start)


What are your specific goals?
What you have listed is too abstract…

If 5 8’ and 145 lbs is satisfactory, I’m guessing the goal physique is close to emaciated.


My weight goal I think is around 165 lbs. I kind of want most of it to come from gaining muscle density. I guess for a reference the Tiny N Tuff Diono/Dexter guy has a similar body type I want. Just a little more muscle than him though. Also I guess I misworded what I said earlier cause of course I want to get bigger but like I’m not trying to get as big like Russel Orhii or something. Kind of half way between the two.

Yeah I am really low in body fat but I am also kind of small. I do want more size and density maybe about 20 lbs more but not a whole lot.

Your 5ft 8. That is average height depending on where you live. While on a power lifting program you should probably increase your caloric intake. Adding 20 pounds of muscle and fat wont make you look like Kai Greene. Sets with a weight you can only handle for 1-8 reps will focus on myofibrillar growth which at a lower body fat will make you look more dense.

I was being polite for a change

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What is your current age ? and yes gaining 20 lbs of lean weight is a good idea at this point at your height.

I am 18. I started working out at planet fitness at 16 and moved to a gym with weights this past summer and now I go to my school’s gym. I started out as a twig but appearance wise, a lot of people think I am like 160 or something because I look big (compared to most guys my height) but my muscles are kind of light and aren’t that dense.

Do people actually still differentiate between “muscle size” and “muscle density?”

And what are “light muscles” made of anyway? Thin air?

What I believe the OP is looking for is what is also know as muscle maturity . Which requires several years to achieve.


Yeah but I’ve always thought that term just referred to a big, developed muscle that also shows detail because there isn’t much fat covering it.

thats part of it yes

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Anyway, for what it’s worth.

I’m slightly taller than the op and only slightly heavier, also being at a low bf%.

And I’m NOWHERE near being satisfied with my size. In fact, I feel as if I just started my journey. Now I have created a very lean base to build from and I’ll probably be happy once I’ve built 20 lbs of LEAN mass. So I’m a long way.

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A lot of people think you look underweight because you look big?