T Nation

Validity of Prelipin's Chart for Powerlifting?


Preliprins stuff is just 1 piece of the whole thing. The Soviets had many charts. Preliprin’s is divided into “zones.” They also had charts for how many lifts per week/month/year/4 year Olympic cycle should be done in each “zone.”

This is a similar chart from a Sheiko PL routine. It shows lifts by zone, per month.

1 chart would be only half the story.

Also the Russian version of the chart says specifically (10) - 90% snatches and ( 7) 90% clean and jerks. So presumably if dude had made a chart for powerlifts, the numbers for 90% lifts would be lower. Maybe around 3, like Louie does for M.E. or Bryant does with Jackson.


Not exactly Power Lifting, but Wendler’s 5s Progression from the 5/3/1 system uses “heavy” sets of 5 between 85-95% and "lighter " 5 x5 with 65-75% (of a training max) so its not too out of like from P’s chart.

Ed Coan’s old routine with 2 work sets was nothing like the many sets of low reps the Russians did. But it started with like 20 total reps at 65% and ended with around 4 total lifts at 90%. All in the ranges of the chart.


What I want to know is ho do they decide on a particular number of reps being “optimal”. Claiming that the same volume is optimal for everyone does not take individual differences into account.

On the Shieko forum someone asked if he uses Prilepin’s chart to write programs, he said he doesn’t but his volume per session usually falls into the chart’s guidelines. Sheiko also talks about how in the USSR they did some experiments that found that lifters with higher nervous system excitability responded better to lower volume and higher intensity while those with lower nervous system excitability responded better to the opposite. He give two of his lifters, Belyaev and Sivokon, as examples. Both won world championships but Sivokon was doing about 3x the total number of lifts as Belyaev and at a lower intensity.

I don’t think he had any sort of Russian influence, and he sometimes did 1 work set rather than 2. He said that he learned to write training cycles from Fred Hatfield. If you look at Hatfield’s well known 80 day program, most of it is within the guidelines of Prilepin’s chart but he also has stuff like 5 sets of 6 with 85% which is significantly over. I don’t think I could do 6 reps with 85% for a single set.


I’m glad this post is doing well, I was pretty drunk when I wrote it.


I think prilepins table is ok. However in my opinion you can go higher in training total reps than recommended in the table. The table can be a good general recommendation.