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Where to Start with Powerlifting?

I’m new to this forum but heard it was pretty good, I am wanting to switch up what type of lifting I am doing. For the past two years I have been lifting regularly every week and have made a lot of progress and am wanting to branch out. Most of the work I have done is bodybuilding type exercises and rep ranges.

I have been looking at doing something like powerlifting but not sure where to start (I could spend a couple of days searching the internet for a split but why not ask here and get the answer quicker) can someone point me in the right direction of a good plan to start power lifting with a background already established in lifting?

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Coming from a BBimg background, Candito linear progression and Candito 6 week program is an easy transition IMO

I recently made the same switch from BBing to PLing.

Whichever program you do inevitably follow look up PowerLiftingToWin. Some great free ebooks with a ton of info, programs, and program reviews.

A 5x5 program like Texas method is a good start…

Generally speaking run through a bunch of proven templates off this site over the course of the year like lined out here…

reading a bunch of articles by Henriques above, Dave tate and Jim Wendler is well worthwhile also

There are plenty of programs to choose from, eventually you should try to learn to write your own program but for now just pick something that looks appropriate and stick with it. I would suggest something that has you squatting and benching at least twice a week, deadlift seems to progress well with lower frequency but not so much the squat and bench. And if you are serious about getting into powerlifting then don’t treat OHP as a main lift since it’s not a competition lift, you can still do OHP but after benching.

Someone will eventually recommend 5/3/1 so you can go ahead and check it out, there are lots of different variations but like I said, pick one that has you squatting and benching twice a week. Sheiko has a couple of free programs available on his site and the smartphone apps are cheap too, that is a good option although it’s also a completely different style of training from what you are used to. Mostly just pick something that looks appealing and do it.

Thanks for the feedback I like the Texas method it just seems like a lot of recovery but I’ll go from there and try it out for a little bit

What he said ^^ pick and stick is the best approach when starting anything. The program you chose is almost secondary, though something specific will obviously be better.

An Ok program you do is better than the perfect program you don’t.

Technique is the most important thing in the beginning. Add weight as your form gets better and controlled. I wouldn’t worry too much about the bar weight in the beginning. Practice good form first. The weight will come later. Don’t worry about percentages. Just use weights in the beginning.

Warm up with the bar and add weight for sets of 5 accordingly. 5 reps is by far the most proven rep scheme to build muscle and strength. If technique begins to break down with a heavier weight, lighten the load and work that weight until form gets better.

It’s quite simple. The first six months to a year, just do that. Don’t over think it. It’s not rocket science.

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I would really recommend the Texas method, it allows for some variability as your progress too

I will be the person who recommends 5/3/1.

sharp inhale

PLEASE, be honest with yourself on your maxes. I as well as countless other people have gone too heavy and it’s fairly hard to keep up with 5/3/1 if your poundages are too heavy.


Take a look at GZCLP (that’s the linear progression version of GZCL). What I like about it is the increased frequency of the main lifts AND both heavy and volume protocols. The major downfall of some LP beginner programs is a reliance of 5 reps as the basis of progression. GZCLP allows trainees to continue progressing longer where programs like SL and SS have you reset immediately.

Given that you have a BB background, you’ll be able to handle training 4 days per week.


It looks like others already gave some great advice on programming. One thing else I would add in is to simply watch other high-level lifters and try to pick up different cues from them–youtube is an amazing resource for this.

Just started my first day and I did the Texas method. I have never even tried to get a one rep max before … wow it is difficult to do reps of one on a dead lift let alone five reps on bench or squat! This is gonna take a lot of work getting down to lower reps. Thanks for he help, only thing that sucks about power lifting is having to rely of a bench squat rack or deadlift pad, especially in January haha.

You shouldn’t be doing singles on the Texas Method. You should be starting light. Adjust the numbers so you hit a new 5RM (on Friday) in 4 weeks time.

I’d also seriously reconsider this program. Monday is a serious clusterfuck.

I would highly recommend the johnnie candito 6 week strength program or the texas method like others above have suggested. Just introducing your body to strength periodization in these programs will go a long way to getting you started in the right direction and making progress.