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Some Powerlifting Program

Hello. A powerlifter in my gym decided to take me under his fold. He wants me to train me and compete. He’s putting me in this program:

Week 1: Get 1RM for squat, bench and deadlift
Week 2: 3x15 @ 40%
Week 3: 3x12 @ 50%
Week 4: 3x10 @ 60%
Week 5: 3x8 @ 70%
Week 6: 3x6 @ 80%
Week 5: 3x5 @ 90%
Week 7: 3x4 @ 95%
Week 8: 3x3 @ 100%
Week 9: 3x2 @ 105%
Week 10: 3x1 @ 110% (new 1RM)
Week 11: 3x15 @ 40% of new 1RM

Monday: Squat + Squat Assistance + Back + Biceps
Wednesday: Bench + Bench Assstance + Triceps
Friday: Deadlift + Deadlift Assistance + Shoulders

I’m doing Smolov Jr. right now. The competition is in February. I’m kinda skeptical, but I think this is solid considering he got gold in the last competition and he trained someone the same way and got gold as well.

What do you guys think?

If you can do three doubles with 5% over your current max in 8 weeks I’ll be VERY surprised. Not to say it couldn’t happen. Just seems unlikely.

What have you got to lose by trying it? it’s only 11 weeks.

How long have you been lifting? I could see this working if you’re a n00b.

I for one could NEVER do that. I think that bottom line, long cycles can be problematic and maybe you should stick to shorter cycles, 4 to 8 weeks.

I don’t like applying one set workout to all lifts. You might need more of less volume on one lift than another…

[quote]Synthetickiller wrote:
How long have you been lifting? I could see this working if you’re a n00b.

I for one could NEVER do that. I think that bottom line, long cycles can be problematic and maybe you should stick to shorter cycles, 4 to 8 weeks.

I don’t like applying one set workout to all lifts. You might need more of less volume on one lift than another…
[/quote]

I’d be hobbling like an old man after high rep deads.

I’d also like to say that nothing over 6 reps is NOT conducive of a 1RM. Sounds like a progression program I made when I was 16 (thats not a good thing).

[quote]undeadlift wrote:

Week 1: Get 1RM for squat, bench and deadlift
Week 2: 3x15 @ 40%
Week 3: 3x12 @ 50%
Week 4: 3x10 @ 60%
Week 5: 3x8 @ 70%
Week 6: 3x6 @ 80%
Week 5: 3x5 @ 90%
Week 7: 3x4 @ 95%
Week 8: 3x3 @ 100%
Week 9: 3x2 @ 105%
Week 10: 3x1 @ 110% (new 1RM)
Week 11: 3x15 @ 40% of new 1RM

What do you guys think?[/quote]

With that progression you’ll be stuck somewhere around week 7 (where you do 3x5x90%) which would require a monster effort unless you’ve been doing 5’s previously with 90%. The previous work with 3x15-3x6 is too low intensity to give you any real base strength to break new records.

In my opinion you should spend more weeks (at least 4-6) in the 75-90% weights. And then finish off with 2-5 weeks above 90%.

Something like

w1: 3x6x70%
w2: 3x6x75%
w3: 3x6x80%
w4: 5x3x85%
w5: 4x4x85%
w6: 3x5x85%
w7: 3x3x90%
w8: 3x2x95%
w9: 3x3x92.5%
w10: 2x2x97.5%
w11: rest
w12: max

You can also add sets or do additional sets with lower intensity if you feel good (for example: after 3x2x95% you could do 2x4x85% etc.)

Thanks guys. I think the premise here is that at week 8, I’m already stronger, so 95% of my week 1 1RM could be just around 85-88% of my probable 1RM at that time. But I don’t really know.

In any case, you guys are probably right. Anything over 6 reps might be unproductive for direct strength gains, but could it build me muscle that can help me once I reach the later weeks?

I’m also thinking of making the 40%-60% weeks all dynamic effort with sets of 3. I just don’t wanna offend the guy for changing his program since he’s training me for free. I mean he competed and won gold many times. It should work, but I’m still skeptical. I’m actually torn and confused.

Once again, thanks. I wanna hear more from you.

I think high reps have their place every now and again. I’m coming off a high rep squat cycle (10’s and 12’s) and I just totally smashed my 5rm by 10kg with another 5kg or so in the bag (30 something lb like).

They’re not the holy grail, but nothing is.

[quote]undeadlift wrote:
Thanks guys. I think the premise here is that at week 8, I’m already stronger, so 95% of my week 1 1RM could be just around 85-88% of my probable 1RM at that time. But I don’t really know.
[/quote]

My concern is that doing reps with under 70% don´t really make you stronger.

Certainly majority of us especially beginners should devote some time doing over 6 reps to gain muscle. Also accessory lifts should be used for hypertrophy. This certainly will increase your potential to increase max strength later.

Again in my opinion (and not just my) majority of strength work should consist of doing lots of reps with weights between 70-85%. This will build correct technique, work capacity and strength.

So the major flaw as I see it in your outlined program is that the program goes too fast from 70% to weights over 90%. It could work with a relative beginner whose difference in those weights is not that big. But even though I am not a competetive lifter nor at that level of strength myself…this approach does not work on me. Jumping to big weights too fast, after long period of low intensity stuff, would kill me.

You have to start somewhere. So just go for it and report to us how it went. Like I’ve said many times…nobody can tell you that something will or will not work…its up to you to decide. If you don’t break PR:s, which I hope you do, at least you will learn something about what works for you and what doesn’t.

Those %'s look way too damn high.

The first 6 weeks look like a waste of time. And the percents are way too high in the last 5 weeks. But like Hanley said why not try it, its only 11 weeks.

I got to train with the guy today. He had around 6-8 assistance exercises for the bench, all 3 sets of 10. It looks more like a bodybuilding program than a powerlifting program.