Following a specific powerlifting program is a great way to add strength and size to your frame. You don’t have to be a powerlifter to benefit from such a program, for example a bodybuilder, or even the everyday person looking to gain strength and size will also reap the rewards.
That said, if you’re a beginner, new to training, with little experience, then it’s probably not the best place to start – unless you hire a powerlifting coach to teach you.
You don’t want to get the techniques wrong on exercises like the squat, bench press, or deadlift, as if done incorrectly they could seriously injure you. Therefore powerlifting is more suited towards intermediate lifters (with at least 2 years training experience).
In this article we’ll look at a 4 Day Powerlifting Workout Program which is ideal for intermediate lifters…
Keys To A Successful Powerlifting Program
Progressive Overload – The main concept, like with all successful strength programmes, is to constantly place more stress on the body i.e. by adding weight and reps. Thus with any program you should be getting increasingly stronger.
Managing Work Volume – You can’t lift heavy and go all out on every exercise. Whilst most of your training will be heavy, it’s also important to back off on certain exercises, i.e. lifting lighter loads (which should make up around 30% of your powerlifting program)
Compound Lifts – the aim of the game in powerlifting is to get strong on exercises like the squat, bench press, and deadlift – that’s the primary focus. Whilst other exercises can be used as part of a powerlifting program (pull ups, rows, leg curls, etc) – these are mainly thrown in to help you improve your main compound lifts, and to back off from strength work, whilst your body recovers. In essence it’s a combination of strength work (all out – 1-5 reps) combined with slightly higher rep work (7-9 reps)
Skill Development – technique makes a huge difference, and a slight tweak in foot placement, or grip can be the difference between adding 20kg to the bar, or causing serious injury! There’s a fine margin between perfection and error. All successful powerlifters know how to lift, and the skill of each lift must be continually refined in order to keep progressing – technique is key.
4 Day Powerlifting Workout Program
There are plenty of programmes which you can follow online. BUT in order to get the perfect program, designed specifically for you and your goals, you’d be best hiring a professional coach.
That said, if you want to start following a solid powerlifting program, which will give you great gains, see below:
Day 1 – focus on higher rep work
- Back squat – 3 sets x 7-9 reps
- Bench press – 3 sets x 7-9 reps
- Chin ups – 3 sets x 7-9 reps
Day 2 – Heavy technique work
- Back squat 3 sets x 1-3 reps (80-85% 1RM)
- Bench press 3 sets x 1-3 reps (80-85% 1RM)
- Deadlift (conventional or sumo) 3 sets x 1-3 reps (80-85% 1RM)
Day 3 – Strength Work (1)
- Back squat 3 sets x 3-5 reps (80-85% 1RM)
- Bench press 3 sets x 3-5 reps (80-85% 1RM)
- Horizontal pull movement (cable row or DB row) – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
- Leg curl (seated or lying) – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
Day 4 – Strength Work (2)
- Bench press variation (close grip) – 3 sets x 6-8 reps
- Deadlift – 3 sets x 3-5 reps (80-85% 1RM)
- Horizontal pull (machine row or TRX row) sets x 10-12 reps