T Nation

Starting Back Up and Looking for Advice


#1

I’m trying to start back up into powerlifting after 5 years off. Trying to find a good routine that i can do in my off time, i dont get much time off, extremely early morning and somewhat late nights. I need to still be able to run and have decent cardio for pt tests but would like to be competitive at local meets and such.

Current stats
Bw:220 and a bit chunky (198 is easily doable)
Squat: 405 raw
Bench: 245 raw
Dead: 405 raw


#2

Sounds to me like you’re in a time crunch. If I had your schedule and only had two days a week to lift, I’d have a day for overhead presses, squats, and bench presses, and a day for rows, dead lifts, and chin ups.

And yes, I would do over head presses first because after squats I really like to lay down for my next exercise, and I like doing chin ups after dead lifts to relieve spine compression.


#3

Im going to attempt to do that 100 day squat thing i found on here with some of those excersises as a supplement. Biggest issue is i dont have a set schedule. I’m in the military so i dont always get time to lift. It gets hectic


#4

Wendler 531 4 days a week is a good option. I used to do it with good results, and did accessory lifts after the main lifts on different days to get more frequency for benching and squatting. There’s also a good tracking app for Android.


#5

Do some kind of linear progression (maybe 5x5) because you are likely to gain back your previous strength very fast.


#6

Just knocked out 430 on squat and 265 on bench. Dead is still 405


#7

You could just do heavy singles and some volume work after for now, until you stall. If you’re OK with that there probably isn’t a better option. Do the simplest shit that increases your strength until it stops working and then look for other options.


#8

Heavy DLs every week are touch for most people. Once every 2-4 weeks sounds good. If you feel good with this then just keep goin until you stall.

What is you current programming like? Sets, reps, weight, intensity, frequency, assistance lifts?


#9

Honestly, as crappy as it is, ive juat been going in and doing random sets of heavy weights. Not sure which program to follow. And its hard to find a lifting partner in fairbanks


#10

So long as you are squatting and benching in a power rack with the pins set right you should be OK without a partner. If I was you, I would just go for small increases each session, like 5 lbs. or even 2.5 if you have smaller plates.

How often are you training each lift? I would advise you to do some down sets and assistance work, but it’s hard to say where since I don’t know what you are doing.


#11

Generally i work the big 3 atleast once or twice a week depending on my work schedule. I try to do some variation of squat every day, even if its just air squats before bed. Im thinking about doing the 100 day squat challenge. Or breaking down each workout into a 3×8 5×5 3×3 and a fail set/max for each lift. Thats not including my warmup or supplementary exercises


#12

What has your training been like the last few weeks?


#13

Mostly crossfit stuff with one of the guys in my unit. And then the occaisional day of heavy lifting.


#14

Do you keep a training log? Let me know what exactly you have done in the last while. As far as CF, I don’t deal with that so you’re kind of throwing a wrench in the machine if you know what I mean. You need to focus on one thing, if that’s CF + heavy S-B-D it might work but I’m not sure…


#15

How often do you lift heavy? Do you lift light other days too?


#16

Im gearing back towards just heavy. I do not keep a log but im going to start probably tomorrow if i get a chance to go to the gym. Lately my heavy lifting has just been warm ups with 225, 5x5 with 315 and like a 3x3 or something with between 365 and 405


#17

So what is the crossfit stuff then? Maybe could give you some direction if it was PL alone but if you are doing other things it is much more complicated.


#18

Not 100% clear on this but you are better off doing less reps until your heaviest set of the day. Like doubles or triples from 50% up to your working weight. “pre-fatigue” does nothing for strength, and most likely nothing for hypertrophy either.


#19

So more like 2 or 3 reps from 315 up to 385 then a 3x3 at like 405?


#20

Yes, don’t waste energy before heavy sets.