T Nation

The Big Three (Powerlifting)



Whats up guys and girls, wanted to start up a conversation about the big 3. I am currently in my early stages of my powerlifting career. What I want to do here is talk about some tricks or things you may do that you swear they work. Me for instance, speed work is vital to my training. speed pulls, speed squats, and speed bench. I always do speed work and yes I got it from westside but my experience has been nothing but great with speed work. What are some things that you all do for either a main lift or an accessory lift that are you go too’s ?


A good belt is a must.


I worry about my squats descending low enough so I also do box squats set up for a wider range of motion than I am comfortable doing with a regular back squat.

  • until you’re one hundred per cent confident of your technique film every set from bar onwards and watch before the next set to make sure you’re getting it right. When you’re confident of your technique, you can just watch the work sets.
  • squat twice a week, bench twice a week
  • Kroc rows. Whenever I’ve done these weekly all my lifts seems to go better than if I don’t. No straps. I figure until I can do them with 200 lbs I don’t get to use straps.
  • Band pull aparts between bench and press warmup sets
  • train your middle and upper back in some form every time you train, and with intensity twice a week at least
  • back raises with and without added resistance


time spent under the bar whilst not being a dumbass



eating in a caloric surplus

having competition ‘aka’ prepping or a meet or actively having someone you’re trying to outlift


What kind of belt do you use ? I am going to be looking into belts for my online store. I’m not a fan of lever belts but then again I have never used them. I use a two prong belt myself.


Paused heavy singles(not maxes) and reps under 70% on bench
Paused heavy singles(not maxes) and reps under 70% on squat
Heavy singles from floor and 1-2" deficit pulls or block pulls from below knee for reps at under 70%
High rep / light weight bodybuilding on all assistance (10-50 reps per set)

Training is nothing and a waste unless you emphasize recovery.


@jon_royster I use a Cheap ass lever belt. Works a treat. Takes a bit to break in and get it easier to get studs in but from then on its great. I used a pronged sort of “bodybuilding” style of belt with a wider back and padding but it did very little in terms of bracing help for lifts. Heres a link:

It’s 4inch wide 10 mm thick.
Free postage too.

Anyway back on topic everything Mark has said + effort.


One weird trick to become an elite powerlifter… …click HERE


This thread might interest you:https://forums.t-nation.com/t/best-assistance-lifts-for-each-main-lift/227637/8


How far from failure?


Close variations of the main lifts and supplemental upper back work.


Basically until it hurts to go on, but never to failure. Enough to get a good pump into the muscles you use for the main lift.


Squat to a one rep RPE of about 9 or 9.5 for 100 days straight. You will hurt. You will want to quit. You will come out of the other end squatting more.