T Nation

Powerlifting Programs


Hey guys, I'm gettin sweet newbie gains primarily because Im young and havenet been training for a while..I'm on the 4th week of CW's TBT..and I stop there (2nd time doin it) cause I want to primarly gain strength. I have a couple of programs in mind to do and all but I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any good powerlifting programs. Nothing Westside or anything like that...just some good ol fashion powerlifting programs!?!?
Whatcha guys got?


Westside is the way to go if you want to get stronger and compete in powerlifting. It works and works well.

But, I'm sure you can find some good stuff from Ed Coan, Fred Hatfield and some other powerlifters that utilized a different approach.

CW's Strength-Focused Mesocycle is a great program to boost your strength for one month.


I hear westside's good, but too much shit round it man..cause they have that equipped stuff they work with and all that..im just a RAW lifter...no belts, wraps, nothing...why..mostly because MMA and me are involved lol. I found an Ed Coan bench program that looks pretty good, I'll see what else I can find.

I think I'll try CW's program out. I'm goin for a 425 deadlift (all raw) in a couple of weeks, see if I can get that down:).


Equipped lifting can make your raw lifting stronger.

And you can practice conjugate training principles and still reap the benefits lifting raw.

I practice raw most of the time with the exception of like $20 groove briefs from Inzer(to save my hips when box squatting) and a belt.


You don't have to use all the 'equipment' for using Westside. It's all about the outline. I workout in my garage, no partner, no suits or shirts. I do use some equipment such as boards for bench pressing, chains for bench and squat, and a must for all gyms, an adjustable box for squatting. A milk crate works perfect for your low box. Read more about Westside, it makes sense and they're producing some huge numbers, so it's proven. I myself have seen huge gains.


The squatting wide is too wide for raw lifters...they have the suits which help them explode up from the bottom or "hole". Right now I'm just doing shoulder-width apart and I have a heel when doing my back squats. I think westside has CLEARLY told everyone how to do their programs, I even know how to structure it..but with the waves in intensity and assistance exercises is whats lacking..

Sure after 3-4 weeks of using the ME method you burn out and are supposed to switch..but I think it'd be better to use 90%, 92.5, 95% for your 3 lfits at or above 90%..but I think they should show ways how to cycle this for optimal gains..ALSO for the assistance they should help you adjust it..such as..if you do this amount of intensity..then lower your volume to this, and if your intensity is lower up your volume to this.


HORSESHIT - You can squat wide raw and get out of the hole just fine. If you're doing shoulder width squats right now you probably just need to drop the weight on your squat if you're going to go wide.

A template is meant to give you a rough idea as to how to progress - a template cannot tell you what is the best assistance work you should be doing, nor can or should it tell you how to structure your intensity and volume - that is all dependent upon how you personally respond to different volumes and intensities, your individual weaknesses and sticking points. All of these you should be able to diagnose yourself or experiment with until you are able to do so.


HORSESHIT - You can squat wide raw and get out of the hole just fine. If you're doing shoulder width squats right now you probably just need to drop the weight on your squat if you're going to go wide.

Man you can't squat as wide as them raw and get out of the hole just fine. I'm young and flexible, just try doing it bodyweight their super-wide stance...its hard, and feels weak as shit comin up. Now on the dieselcrew website theres an article called "Cleaning Up the Squat" and it shows switching from a closer to wider stance and such...For a raw lifter if they want healthy hips and such I think a bit wider than shoulder width for the wide stance squats and your good (wearing the flat shoe and all)...Question though: I've squatted a bit wider than shoulder width before with having a heel on my shoe..I feel stronger doing my squats this way and all, because when I have the flat shoes on and bend at the hips and sit back and down..I just dont feel the same when I get down in the hole..IF though I were to completely switch this way...you said "you're doing shoulder width squats right now you probably just need to drop the weight on your squat if you're going to go wide." - how long would it take me to go from the conversion to get my shoulder-width heeled back squat to the same number as a flat-showed wider stance?


I've squatted double body weight with a very wide stance with only a belt and knee wraps.

If you don't take steps to protect your hips, yeah, you'll have problems, but if you do you best to treat them right they'll let you squat however the devil you want.

And how fast your wide squat caught up to your closer squat would determine on how strong your posterior chain is.

If it's strong then all you have to worry about is form.


But I don't see the carryover..I've squatted a little over double bodyweight with the bit wider than shoulder width stance with the heel shoe and all, and i've never trained with wraps or a belt. I deadlift sumo, so my hips take a beating from that and I'm shooting for a 2.5 BW dead on that in a couple of weeks, if I don't get it tomorrow.

I'm only 16, I don't wanna mess up my body this young lol. I do a lot of hip mobility exercises..I bought the Parisi Speed Warm-Up video and follow their warm-up heavily with their hip mobility drills, hip activation circut and such. I also follow John Davies hip mobility stuff also. I'd say my hips are healthy but just the really wide stance aint that much of a benefit I don't think.

I don't wanna come off as hard-headed...if my squat comes to a halt and it won't improve, I'll look into the whole squatting wide and such to see how much I can improve, because i know A LOT of guys who lift A LOT of weight in the squat do it wide stance. Except for exceptions such as Kirk Karwoski, but thats another story.


I squat as wide as my rack permits me to do and have had no problems since getting the motion down. It took me about a month and a half to get my numbers back, but my training frequency was out of kilter due to the fact that I was starting a new job at the time. I think it is more a matter of learning and becomming comfortable with the motion than anything else. I don't use a wide stance as my only squat variation - This is something you should surely consider given your age and the likelihood that you still engage in some other athletic endeavous.


Hey mate, this should be the sort of thing you're looking for:


That is a great link, there are two Bill Starr programs on there which have been used for ages and are still popular. Designed for NFL players (Starr was the strength/conditioning coach for the Colts I think), so definitely suitable for a raw lifter. I made my best strength gains ever running them one after the other. Just took a week of light stuff in between, cause my shoulders were getting bit beat up. Use the spreadsheets to give you an idea. There are also heaps of really useful links to strength/power theory type articles.

Here's one to try after your gains slow on the original:


Another one used for American Foozball players, this time by the strength and conditioning coach at Arizona uni. That game might be boring as batshit, but there are some big strong fellas playing it.

All the programs can be used to do a lot of deadlifting/cleaning, so it should help you with your deadlifting goal.

Also, quick comment on the subject of Westside. It sucked for me, I went steadily backwards for 4-6 weeks or so before giving it away. There's no such thing as a program that suits everyone, just because most people are using it doesn't mean it will work for you.

I have doubts about its suitability for raw lifters too, as the raw records these days are not a lot higher than they were in the 70's, despite DE this and conjugated that. Equipped records are way higher now though, I've got a graph of it somewhere that I'll try and post up.


Here's a graph of raw records vs equipped over the last 60 years or so. I can't remember where I saved it from.

In case you're having trouble, the almost flat line is the raw record and the red one that rises sharply towards the end is the shirted record.