Which Program to Use?

Hi, I’ve been training since April last year and have never really thought about programming, I am interested in powerlifting and was wanted to see if anyone could help me pick a program to use, I am wanting to squat 3-4 times a week, Bench 2 times a week and deadlift once. My best lifts are 330LB Deadlift, 220LB Squat and 195LB Bench. I have been looking at the Bulgarian method but wanted to know if there were any better programs to help me progress better, I have looked at 5/3/1 but I don’t think that I am the level to do that yet but I will once I improve all my lifts on another program

The best program is the one you’ll do. Pretty much it. Just google powerlifting program and literally pick anything from the first page of the google search results and do that.

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texas method

I wasn’t sure whether to do a beginner one as I have found 2Suns 5/3/1 which seems really good but I’m not sure whether I’ll progress as much due to me being training for over a year

There are a lot of great programs out there. Really at the beginner stage just pick one and run with it. There is a reason so many people will recommend 5/3/1, it works. Make sure you follow it. Don’t overestimate your max.

M: Squat
T: Bench
W: Squat
Th: Bench
F: Deadlift/Squat
Sa: Bench
Su: Rest

Do some heavy sets and then light sets. Do a light assisted exercise or two for a few sets if you’re up to it. I got a ton of mileage out of this exact program. If you would rather go to the gym less, try something like this:

M: Bench, squat, Row or pull-ups
T: off or light assisted
W: Bench, squat, Row or pull-ups
Th: off or light assisted
F: Bench, Deadlift, Squat (light or variation)
Sat: off or light assisted
Sun: off

I recently tore a spinal erector, but this is how I was training for the last few months. I was making surprising gains only lifting a few days a week doing a few sets with moderate weight for moderate reps.

Check out GZCL and program a setup that suits you.


Dude has a paused squat of 405 that wrote those programs…

I just looked it up, on PLwatch it says he squatted 407 in a meet. What does he weigh, 90lbs? I never paid attention to this guy but now I wonder why anyone would follow him at all. I guess I’m a well qualified lifter and coach too then. I’m going to write “The Chris_Ottawa Method”, pre-order by midnight for $19.99. No refunds.

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I’m willing to shell out no more than 3.50 for that one…okay fine 5.50 for the limited collectors edition.


I recommended GZCL because you have something pretty specific in mind. GZCL programming methods can accomodate whatever you’d like.


Yeah he wouldn’t be one of the strongest 30 people in my gym. But this is the landscape of physical culture these days. Anyone with a 405 squat or that has ever had some semblance of abs is now an expert. There is a men’s physique competitor at my gym that’s smaller than my wife and nobody around him has put him in check.

I used to go to a gym where quite a few bodybuilders trained, the lightweight natural guys were a joke though. You wouldn’t even think that they lift weights if you saw them outside the gym. One guy was cutting for a competition, I didn’t know about it and I thought he was sick or something, he looked totally emaciated. I was saying that he looked like he had aids. Most of those guys are personal trainers too.

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I had almost this exact conversation with my friend. He owned my gym and was lamenting how Youtube and instagram ruined lifting (the whole Gym Shark crew lifts at my gym). Some scrawny kid chimed in to inform us that we didn’t know what we were talking about. He and everyone else like David L@1d’s videos because they can relate to them. Mediocre celebrated.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say that YouTube and Instagram ruined lifting, but there definitely is a lot of garbage on the internet. The opinions of people who don’t know anything and are weak really don’t matter much.