T Nation

Powerlifting - Where to Start?

After drifting a bit in my training goals over the last two years, I’ve decided I want to try raw powerlifting. My numbers, thanks partly to shoulder injuries and ankle surgery, aren’t great:

Bench: 130 kg.
Deadlift: 180 kg.
Squat: Unknown (haven’t been able to squat since breaking talus in ankle in 2004, hoping to finally get under the bar again within 2 months, had surgery in August)

I’ve read a fair amount on Westside, mainly at EliteFTS, and have been trying to work their principles into my training, but am now starting to wonder whether a higher volume routine, i.e. Smolov or Sheiko, or even something basic like 5x5, wouldn’t be better. Given my strength levels, where should I start?

To give an example, here’s what I did last week:

Mon - RE Bench

Dips: warmup, then weighted 3x8
Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions: 4x10
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press: warmup, then 4x8
Pronated Grip Chest Supported Rows: warmup, then 4x6
Rear Delt Reverse Machine Flyes: 3x12-15

Tues - Lower Body Hamstring Emphasis

Good Mornings: warmup, then 5x5
Lying Leg Curls: 4x10
Sidebends: 2x12
Chinups: 4x5-7
CoC Grippers: 3x5-8

Fri - ME Bench

Incline Bench Press: warmup, then worked up to 1RM, three sets over 90%
Rack Lockouts: warmup, then 4x5
T-Bar Rows: warmup, then 4x6
Seated Dumbbell Cleans: 4x10

Sat - Lower Body Quad Emphasis

Leg Press: warmup, then 5x5
Back Extension Holds: 2x120 sec.
V-Bar Lat Pulldowns: warmup, then 3x8-12
Barbell Curls: 4x3-6
CoC Grippers: 4x8

Most exercises were done to failure on the last set, usually a bit short of that in preceding sets.

As you can see, no squats or deadlifts yet, doctor told me to wait a bit longer before putting heavy weight on my ankle and its cartilage (actually, he told me to basically no longer lift lower body heavy or run, but my physical therapist was a bit more understanding of where I was coming from).

Hope to be doing em both by Christmas, and hopefully in more like a month. Didn’t get any neck work in this week either, took a week off from it before ramping it up (see another thread).

what ever system you use the thing is to not complicate it. Just consistantly get under the bar and lift heavy shit. #1 learn to listen to your body spot your weakness and attack it.

Sure more volume may be in order. hell coming back from injury higher rep and easing into big loads is smart. go slow build a base up. slowly work up to triples etc then hit the larger weights.

Sorry if this is vague but it has to be no matter the system its a temaplate and has to be made to fit you by you. Much like diet the training is adjusted to fit the individual at any given moment.

I suggest you start keeping a log join us onn the west side powerlifting log them we can all chime in help spot things etc no matter the syatem you choose.’

again dont over complicate it stick to the basics and atack your weak spots,