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3 x 3 Powerlifting Routine

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The 3×3 powerlifting system is performed in an 8 week cycle, comprised of 2 phases. Phase 1 is a high volume phase which is used to work on lift form and building  muscle mass, and Phase 2 which is focused on building strength.

Before beginning the 3×3 routine, you must know your current 1RM for squat, deadlift and bench press. Once you know these numbers, it’s time to set up a “projected max,” which is your goal after the 8 week cycle is completed.

Add the following numbers to your current 1RM to obtain your projexcted max.

Squat …add 25 pounds to your 1RM

Deadlift …add 15 pounds to your 1RM

Bench Press …add 10 pounds to your current 1RM.

Now that you know your project max for each lift, plug that number into the following cycle:

Phase 1

Week 1

Squat: 0.58 x (projected max)
Deadlift: 0.58 x (projected max)
Bench press: 0.58 x (projected max)

Week 2

Squat: 0.6 x (projected max
Deadlift: 0.6 x (projected max)
Bench press: 0.6 x (projected max)

Week 3

Squat: 0.62 x (projected max)
Deadlift: 0.62 x (projected max)
Bench press: 0.62 x (projected max)

Week 4

Squat: 0.64 x (projected max)
Deadlift: 0.64 x (projected max)
Bench press: 0.64 x (projected max)

Phase 2

Week 1

Squat:
day 1&2, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.8 x (projected max)

Deadlift:
day 1, 0.8 x (projected max)
day 2&3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Bench press:
day 1, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 2, 0.8 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Week 2

Squat:
day 1&2, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.85 x (projected max)

Deadlift:
day 1, 0.85 x (projected max)
day 2&3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Bench press:
day 1, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 2, 0.85 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Week 3

Squat:
day 1&2, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.9 x (projected max)

Deadlift:
day 1, 0.9 x (projected max)
day 2&3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Bench press:
day 1, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 2, 0.9 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Week 4

Squat:
day 1&2, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.95 x (projected max)

Bench press: day 1, 0.6 x (projected max)
day 2, 0.95 x (projected max)
day 3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Deadlift: day 1, 0.95 x (projected max)
day 2&3, 0.6 x (projected max)

Rep and Set Scheme For Phase 1 and 2

Now that you know how much weight you will be suing during the 3×3 cycle, following these rep and set schemes…

PHASE 1

Week 1

Squat: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Deadlift: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Bench press: 6-8 sets, 6 reps

Week 2

Squat: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Deadlift: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Bench press: 6-8 sets, 6 reps

Week 3

Squat: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Deadlift: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Bench press: 6-8 sets, 6 reps

Week 4

Squat: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Deadlift: 5-8 sets, 5 reps
Bench press: 6-8 sets, 6 reps

PHASE 2

Week 1

Squat:
day 1&2, 3 sets, 3 reps
day 3, 1-2 sets, 1 rep

Deadlift:
day 1, 1-2 sets, 1 rep
day 2&3, 3 sets, 3 reps

Bench press:
day 1, 5 sets, 4 reps
day 2, 1-2 sets, 1 rep
day 3, 5 sets, 4 reps

Week 2

Squat:
day 1&2, 3 sets, 3 reps
day 3, 1-2 sets, 1 rep

Deadlift:
day 1, 1-2 sets, 1 rep
day 2&3, 3 sets, 3 reps

Bench press:
day 1, 5 sets, 4 reps
day 2, 1-2 sets, 1 rep
day 3, 5 sets, 4 reps

Week 3

Squat:
day 1&2, 3 sets, 3 reps
day 3, 1 set, 1 rep

Deadlift:
day 1, 1 set, 1 rep
day 2&3, 3 sets, 3 reps

Bench press:
day 1, 5 sets, 4 reps
day 2, 1 set, 1 rep
day 3, 5 sets, 4 reps

Week 4

Squat:
day 1&2, 3 sets, 3 reps
day 3, 1 set, 1 rep

Deadlift:
day 1, 1 set, 1 rep
day 2&3, 3 sets, 3 reps

Bench press:
day 1, 5 sets, 4 reps
day 2, 1 set, 1 rep
day 3, 5 sets, 4 reps

2 comments

  1. How many days a week are we to train for the first phase?

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  2. Steve, where do the numbers for the additional poundage come from? Are they based on a percentage or something?

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