T Nation

Training for Strength for Only 2 Times a Week


Hi to you all from all the way from Finland, I would have a question for you more experienced lifters. Not sure this is the right forum for it but? How would you train for strength if you can (temporarily) hit the gym only 2 times during a cycle of 7 days?

I�?�´m looking to better my bench, deadlift and squat. I have been training for 10 years now, switched to bodybuilding for 2 years and now returning to powerlifting. My old maxes were:

squat = 396lbs
deadlift = 440lbs
bench = 286 lbs

Current max (as of this week)

squat = 352 lbs
deadlift = 418 lbs
bench = 264 lbs

PS. Sorry for my bad english


Full body 2x per week. Squat, Deadlift and bench both days. When I only had 2 days per week I used 531, just pick one of Wendler’s 2 day templates, he’s written extensively on the subject. Not a time to look for variation, hammer the big 3 (seeing as powerlifting is your goal) Don’t get cute and follow CT and Wendler’s recommendations ie. Look up a few of the many articles they have here on performance based training.


I thought that this might have been the wrong place to ask. Thanks. I have checked Wendlers stuff out before but that was when I did bodybuilding.


While to me frequency is king, you can still make the most out of your situation.

  1. as it was mentioned do full body workouts, focusing on the big money lifts. If you are only training twice a week it is possible to do 4-5 big lifts per workout. Something like:

Back squat
Sumo deadlift
Floor press
Military press
Pull-ups or rows

Push press
Bench press
Front squat
Pull-ups or rows

  1. Reverse the order of the exercises in both sessions so that all the big lifts are done in a fresher state once a week.

  2. Include some bodyweight work on the off days… I personally would do some jumps every day, various types of push-ups, dips, handstand push-ups if you can do them, bodyweight squats, ans work, etc. Do them as a circuit lasting 15-20 minutes in the morning for example.


Thanks for the reply, I appreciate it a TON!

I have to take that program and go with that, looks good. I am going to start with getting back to my old 1RM in the BIG THREE lifts and see where it goes from there. January 24th I am going to participate in a technique course which is being arranged here in my small hometown by a local powerlifting club. Hope it helps.

Those exercise selections are great TC because even while I was doing a more bodybuilding type of training I always hungered for big lifts and training for power, to precisely put it, power of the muscle, not so much technique. So push press, sumo deadlift, squats and pull-ups are already my favorites so there´s no mental problem :slight_smile:

A couple of questions if you have the time.

  1. What do you exactly mean by point 2?
  2. How about narrow grip bench press instead of floorpress?
  3. Should I eat the same way during powerlifting tha when I trained bodybuilding?

Thanks for the answers again! Means a lot to a gym rat here in Finland.

  1. Reverse the order. Eg.

Workout 1: Squat-bench-Chin ups
Workout 2: bench -Chin ups -squat
Workout 3: Chin UPS- squat-bench

Just rotate the exercises

I would just stick with floor presses. But variants should be also okay.
I don’t think there is a big difference between bodybuilding and power lifter diet. Just eat good and clean.


I suspected that was the case with number 2.

Floor presses never really worked for me but I´ll have the powerlifters have a look at my style it at the technique meeting. Right now I quite fast closing in on my older PR´s but after that the real work begins to max my physical capabilities out.