View Full Version : WEEK NINE :: What Is The Best Powerlifting Workout?

11-28-2005, 04:48 PM

TOPIC: What Is The Best Powerlifting Workout?

For the week of: 11/28 - 12/05
(Monday @ Midnight Is The Final Cut).


What Is The Best Powerlifting Workout?

A powerlifting workout and a hypertrophy workout are like comparing apples to oranges.

How often should powerlifters workout? How long should each workout be?

What is the best powerlifting workout? (include sets, reps, etc.)

Bonus: What is a good example of a daily powerlifter diet? Be as descriptive as possible.


Don't discuss any other topic in this section. ONLY discuss the question above.

The best response will get $50 in credit to use in our online store and will have their workout posted on our main site for the world to see! We will only be picking two winners until this section starts becoming more popular. So, get to work and become famous!


12-03-2005, 12:05 PM
What Is The Best Power lifting Workout?
Power lifting and bodybuilding workouts are both different. Power lifting calls for more thought then bodybuilding routines. The exercises as well are quite different from those of a bodybuilders exercises. The rep ranges also make for a big difference, power lifters utilize lower rep ranges to get enough strength as possible. Power lifting routines also call for more intensity and volume. A lot of splits used in bodybuilding is normally from 3-4 workouts per week. But many power lifters use 4-6 workouts per week, they also have the advantage of using more GPP work which increases your work capacity and allowing more volume without burning out your CNS. There are a lot of things power lifters utilize to help make their programs as optimal as possible. There are also many types of clubs out there with their own philosophies on power lifting. One of the more famous clubs in Westside Barbell. Westside Barbell is home to the strongest power lifters out there today, with many who have over a 600 lb. bench press and some over 800 lb. in the bench press. A few can also dead lift over 700 lb. and 3 who can squat over a grand! The owner and founder of Westside, Louie Simmons. A strength coach for many world athletes, he has been training for many years and training athletes for over 10 years. Westside's philosophies are by far the best for power lifters. I will explain more of Westside and a sample template later in the article. I will also explain a lot of other philosophies later in the article to help you get the most out of your power lifting workout.

How often should power lifters workout? How long should each workout be?
Many beginning power lifters should start off with a 2-3 three day split for workouts in the gym. Then the trainee should add some GPP (General Physical Preparedness) such as sled dragging. Sled dragging is basically dragging a sled around for a few minutes 2-3 times a week on top of workouts. I feel many beginning to novice athletes should do basic nonstop sled dragging. I don't feel they should be doing a drag of different movements for 200-feet and then resting for another repetition. Instead they should just do 5-6 minutes of straight dragging with a moderate weight, then do another 5-6 minutes of nonstop movements such as pull-throughs, front raise drags, and etc. Advanced trainees can do a lot more workouts, many times 4-6 with GPP added onto those workouts. I feel advanced trainees should perform regular sled dragging such as 3-4 movements for a few repetition for 200-feet and then add in 1-2 restoration days of light running for 10-15 minutes. Sled dragging will increase your work load and allows you to lift a lot more. Sled dragging is the best GPP method, doing basic cardiovascular work on a treadmill is poor GPP wise. All you need to make a homemade sled is to get a tire and put a sheet of wood in the bottom of the tire. The add a P-hook to the tire and add cement. If you just want to order a sled online, then check out http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=141&pid=8, http://brutestrength.com/store/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16164&category_id=288.
Workouts shouldn't have to last over an hour and a half. It will take a lot more time to max out and then do some supplemental work in a workout. So, workouts will be longer or shorter depending on the amount of volume that workout. Overall, depending on what the volume is that day and if your doing a ME (max effort) lift it will be different. And rest between sets on certain days take a lot longer then a bodybuilders routine.

What is the best powerlifting workout? (include sets, reps, etc.)

Pre-made Workouts
The following workouts listed below is a sample template of westside and a hybrid of westside. Both of these workouts were not created by myself, they were created by Mike Ruggeria and Joe DeFranco. They are added here because they are some of the best power lifting routines out there.

Big Mike's Westside Template
Sunday - Speed Day For Bench
Bench 8-10 sets 3 reps (50% 1 rep max, 1 minute between sets, explosive but controlled reps)

Front Presses 3 sets 3-5 reps (pick 1 shoulder exercise)
Standing Front Press
Dumbbell Presses
Tricep Movement - 1 exercise, reps 10-15, 1 minute between sets
Dumbbell Extensions
Dumbbell Extensions w/ Elbows Flared
Skull Crushers
JM Presses
Upper Back Movement - 3 sets 10-12 reps
Lat Pulldown
Bent-Over Rows
Cable Row
1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Abs and Neck

Monday - Max Effort Day For Squat & Deadlift
Max Effort Exercise - 1 exercise, work to 1 rep max, do not perform two exercises in a row
Zercher Squat
Pin Lockouts (at different heights)
Safety Squat
Barbell Squat (off a low box)
Squat (off a high box)
Deadlift (off a platform)
Arch-Back Good Mornings
Belt Squat
Sumo Deadlift
Leg Curls 3-4 sets 5-7 reps

Lower Back Movement - switch every 3 weeks
Stiff-Legs (not to be done when using as a max effort exercise)
Pull Throughs
Reverse Hypers
Upper Back Movement - 3 sets 5-7 reps
Lat Pulldown
Bent-Over Rows
Cable Row
1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Biceps and Abs

Wednesday - Max Effort Day For Bench
Max Effort Exercise - same directions as for max day squat and dead lift
Board Press
Camber Bar Press
Floor Press
Decline Press
Dumbbell For Reps
Reverse Band Press
Close-Grip Press
Incline Press
Tricep Movement - pick two, reps 3-7, take longer between sets for optimal recovery, 3 sets
Dumbbell Extensions
Dumbbell Extensions w/ Elbows Flared
Skull Crushers
JM Presses
Back Movement - reps 10-12 for 3 sets
Lat Pulldown
Bent-Over Rows
Cable Row
1-Arm Dumbbell Row
Abs and Neck

Friday - Speed For Squat
Box Squats 2 reps with 50-60% of 1 rep max, 1 minute rest between sets

Leg Curls 3 sets 10 reps

Lower Back Movement - same exercise as Monday, but lighter and more reps

Shrugs 3 sets 10-15 reps as you can handle

Biceps and Abs

Joe DeFranco's Westside Hybrid

Westside For Skinny Bastards I (http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/archive/articles_westside.htm)

Westside For Skinny Batsrds II (http://www.defrancostraining.com/articles/archive/articles_westside2.htm)

12-03-2005, 12:06 PM
Squats Best Power Lifting Worokout
Day 1 - Bench Press (ME and speed)
Bench Press a few sets till you get to a max set of 3-5 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press 3-4 sets 6-10 reps
Close-Grip Press 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
Pressdown 2-3 sets 2-4 reps
(speed: bench press 8 sets 2 reps 50% 1 rep max 60 sec. rest between sets)

Day 2 - Squat (ME and speed)
Box Squat a few sets till you get to a max set of 3-5 reps
Step-ups 3-4 sets 8-10 reps
Glute-Ham Raise 3-4 sets 4-8 reps
Calf Raises 3-4 sets 8-12 reps
(speed: box squat 8 sets 2 reps 50% 1 rep max 60 sec. rest between sets)

Day 3 - Deadlift
Deadlift a few sets till you get to a max set of 3-5 reps
Row 3-4 sets 6-10 reps
Barbell Curl 3-4 sets 8-12 reps

Don't go to failure each set, stop 1-2 reps shy of failure except for the ME lift.

NOTE: Change up exercises every 2-3 weeks. Go to www.defrancostraining.com and go to the article page and look up for exercises. If you have any questions on the exercises to change in and out, please contact me at squats77@gmail.com or simply PM me.

Links For Additional Information
Videos Of Exercises











MM Training Article (http://www.geocities.com/metalmilitiabench/MMTrainingArticle.html) by Sebastian Burns

Westside Philosophy:

Winning Attitude (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/pmag1.htm) by J.M. Blakely
Periodization Bible : Linear Periodization (http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_129per.html)
Periodization Bible : Conjugated Periodization (http://www.testosterone.net/html/133per.html)

Westside PL routines:
9 Week Program (http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/documents/9week-training-program.htm)
Big bad bench (http://www.testosterone.net/articles/158bench.html)
Training methods (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/training-methods.htm)
The repetition method (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/repetition-method.htm)
Conjugate method (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/conjugate-method.htm)
More on the conjugated method (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls7.htm)
Developing special strengths (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/devspecstrength.htm)

Squatting by DR. Mel Siff (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=68739)
The Squat (http://boards.elitefitness.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=140336)
The Box Squat (http://www.testosterone.net/html/120squat.html)
Learn to Squat (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/learntosquat.htm)
Squat 900 lbs (http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_149squat.html)
Why you should box squat (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/box-squat.htm)
Squatting from head to toe (http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_120squat.html)
Box squats (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls9.htm)
Squatting in the 800's and 900's (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls30.htm)
Squatting by DR. Mel Siff (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=68739)

The Bench Press (http://boards.elitefitness.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=150391)
Training the Bench (http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/documents/Training-bp.htm)
Bench Press 600 lbs (http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_115b600.html)
The Road to 600 (http://www.t-mag.com/articles/222600.html)
How to bench press 500 easy (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls10.htm)
Pressing power (http://www.testosterone.net/articles/180press.html)
Bench Set-Up (http://www.metalmilitia.net/articles/burns/CompetitionBenching.htm)

Ed Coan Deadlift Routine!!! (http://www.powerpage.net/coanphildead.html)
The Deadlift (http://boards.elitefitness.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=146525)
The top 10 deadlifting mistakes and how to fix them (http://www.testosterone.net/articles/194dead.html)
Deadlift training (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/deadlift-training.htm)
Westside deadlift training (http://www.elitefts.com/documents/westside-deadlift-training.htm)

Core: (DJ)
Back and Ab Training (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls03.htm)
Torso training for squat and deadlift (http://www.musclemonthly.com/articles/010115/010115-tate-westside-powerlifting.htm)

PL Videos:
Iron Game Powerlifting (

Article Archives:
dolfzine : general fitness (http://www.dolfzine.com/page2.htm)
Dragondoor Publication : Eastern power (http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl)
Physiological and Biophysical Analysis of Overtraining and Overtraining Injuries (http://users.chello.be/cr34222/Overtraining.pdf)
Deepsquatter Archives (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/)
Deepsquatter Misc (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/misc/)
EliteFTS (http://www.elitefitnesssystems.com/elite-articles/home/default.asp)
House of Pain (http://www.houseofpainironwear.com/lifting_articles.html)
DragonDoor.com (http://www.dragondoor.com/cgi-bin/articles.pl#Fitness)

Chip's PL Page (http://www.tallman.homestead.com/Powerlifting.html)
BSU exercise descriptions (http://www.bsu.edu/webapps/strengthlab/home.htm)
Dave Caster (http://www.enteract.com/~bwal/dave.htm)
Dr. Mel Siff (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=74001)
Debunking the Myths (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/dtate4.htm)
More Dave Tate (http://www.musclemonthly.com/author/david-tate.htm)
Chains & Bands (http://deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/ls15.htm)
Bands and Chains (http://www.testosterone.net/html/body_127resist.html)
Stength Tips (http://www.testosterone.net/articles/165tnt.html)

New!!! Russian Workouts
General Russian Theory (http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=74669)
Russian Training Link - Sheiko (http://www.zyworld.com/powerlifting/workout.htm) - TONS OF LINKS!! GREAT INFO!

Conjugate 3x3 (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/hanna15.htm)

Elbow Pain (http://www.deepsquatter.com/strength/archives/misc/powerdoc.htm)

Bonus: What is a good example of a daily powerlifter diet? Be as descriptive as possible.

A power lifter needs a lot more protein then the common bodybuilder. Carbohydrates don't matter as much unless you are an athlete in sports. Fats should be high as well and get as many healthy fats as possible. High protein, high fat, and moderate to low carbohydrates is an example as a Bulgarian diet that has been famous for it's success in gaining mass and giving proper nutrition to the athlete to help them recover. Some power lifters get a lot of guff for being fat, I know a lot of power lifters don't care about a clean diet, but a lot of them strive for being lean and eating clean. A basic meal plan of 6-8 meals with a lot of food, many power lifters get around 4,000-6,000 calories a day with protein levels of 2 grams per pound of body weight. Fats are upward of 120+ grams. And carbohydrates are usually in the 200-300 gram range. Protein shakes are used a lot in to get all the extreme protein.

12-05-2005, 04:58 PM
No one want to submit an article?

12-05-2005, 06:22 PM
No one want to submit an article?

You pretty much said it all, Squats. Westside is the best p'lifting routine out there...

12-06-2005, 01:00 AM
What Is The Best Powerlifting Workout?

Bodybuildng and powerlifting are at two ends of the continuim - powerlifting can be seen as a form of sport-spefic, funtional training, and bodybuilding more of a scultping artform. Powerlifting is all about strength, doing exericses that recruit the most muscles in one movement, whereas bodybuilding has more of a focus on combing isolation and compound movements with the goal of asthetics. A bodybuilder is more specific in his/her choice of exercises, where as a powerlifter would have more of a basic approach. The split in powerlifting can allow more bodyparts to be worked in each workout because there are less exercises that need to be used for each body part, but volume for each exercise tends to be higher, with lower reps.

A quick look at Body building VS. Powerlifting:


MAIN GOAL: Muscle mass

Sets: Moderate

Reps: 8-12

Speed of movement: slow


MAIN GOAL: Strength

Sets: high

Reps: 1-6

Speed of movement: fast

Powerlifting - functional, focus on your lifts at comps.


POwerlifting programs generally have a high volume, with multiple sets per exercises (4-8). High amounts of sucessive sets for one exercise creates a nuerological adaptation which is known to increase strength over time. Exercises are functionally based and consist mostly of compounds that allow the body to lift superhuman amounts of weight. And because the selection is more limited, the amount of amount of exercises in a program is typically less than of a bodybuilder's routine who's aim is hitting muscles from as many angles as they can. Reps for exercise are usually in a pyramid fasion, being reduced on each sucessive set. The range usually begins at a rep amount thats at the top of the continuim, usually 5-6 reps, for conditioning, and gradually decreases with each set until the final one or two reps are max-out singles, which are needed in the routine to emitate what would be done in compitition. Powerlifting calls for your red-twitch muscle fibres which are assosiate with explosive power to come into play during training - these are generally stimulated by a high intensity routine of very heavy weight, explosive movements and longer rest periods during sets (2-3 minutes, sometimes upto 5 minutes). Although movements should be very explosive, they should remain controlled to reduce momentum. It might be easy to use momentum to your advantage during your workouts, but during competition, form has to be strict. Overall, a muscles time under tension in a powerlifting workout isn't much longer than 10 seconds total. To stimulate muscle fibers, and cause hypertrophy, muscles have to stimulated with a longer time under tension (anywhere between 30-60seconds). This is one reason why very low reps, including singles, don't always cause muscle growth and why bodybuilders choose to use a higher rep range. POwerlifting routines should last between 1-1 and half hours, any shorter your probably not doing enough sets or taking the required rest between sets, and any longer you'll be overtraining.


It's important to note begginers should only train 3-4 days per week maximum. Advance trainers between 4-6 days. Its important to pyramid weight on each exercise, with particularly low reps on the big 3 main lifts that form the core of the routine. f

Day ONE: Speicialisation: Flat Bench.

Flat Bench Press: 6-8 sets - 6,5,5,3,2,1.

Incline Bench: 3 sets - 8,6,4 reps

Skull Crushers: 3 sets - 8,6,4 reps

ABS: Weighted Decline Sit ups. 3 sets, 6 reps

Frog kicks with a dumbell - 3 sets, 8 reps

Day TWO: Specialisation: Squats

Squats: 6-8 sets - 6,5,5,3,2,1 reps

Lying Leg Curls: 3 sets - 6,5,4 reps

Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets - 12,10,8 reps

Glute/Ham Raises: 3 sets - 6,5,4 reps

Day THREE: Speicialisation: Deadlifts

Deadlifts: 6,5,5,3,2,1 reps

Shoulder press: 8,6,4 reps

Bent over barbell rows: 8,6,4 reps

Reverse Hypers: 6,5,4 reps

After this cycle of 3 days training, take day break. If you feel you are the type who needs more recovery, take two days off.


Its important to not only include the "big 3" lifts - squats, deadlifts and bench press and nothing else. During the "big 3" the body uses stablisers, such as the hamstrings in the squat, and by performing additional exercises like lying leg curls will build hamstring strength, and lead to better poundages in the squat. It's important to also not ignore trianing abs.
It's an idea to alternate moderate (6-10) and lower reps(4-6) for additional exercises too, as using higher reps usually means you don't require extended rest periods and builds speed. On the other hand, use low reps and always pyramid weight for your main exercises. If you have one particular lift you specilise in, then consider increasing volume for this exercise, or training it twice, but not so much that your over training. Most important, keep it basic. Choose strong and functional exercises and be sure use good form.

performance TIPS:

Include partial reps: Don't rely on them. It can be easy to because they are great at developing strength, and allow you lift more than usual, but they aren't complete movements. They can however help you develop strength during your "weak" point in a lift you perform in competition. The rule is pretty easy - whatever area of your lift you need improving, use a powerrack to lock out that position, wheather it the bottom, mid or upper area of the movement, and do the exercise this way for the assigned reps.

Also, you might want to use static holds occasionally to get use to handling massive amounts of weight. Again, you can use a powerrack to lock out whatever position of a movement you need working on, and when you return back to lifting a full range of motion on that movement, you won't beleive your strength gains.

Bonus: What is a good example of a daily powerlifter diet? Be as descriptive as possible.

Carrying fat isn't so much of an issue for powerlifters as it is for bodybuilders. The role of a bodybuilder is to look asthetical, and the role of a powerlifter is strength, so it makes sence that each of their diets adhere to their aims. This means powerlifters can eat more calories without having to monitor their intake as strictly. Of these calories, protein is the most vital. It will help maintain, and build strength, and repair muscle breakdown and aid recovery, which are all in the cycle of strength development. To ensure they are getting enough protein, supplementation through powder and amino acids are nessacary, and also provide a more quick digesting form which can be particularly useful after training. Carbohydrates also shouldn't be ignored. There importance to a powerlifter isn't anywhere near that of protein, but a moderate-high intake is required. THe glycogen will give them that much needed fuel during their constant short bursts of power they need during a workout. And thats where the power of a supplement called creatine is so useful - it is a substance found naturally in the body that provides the body with quick, explosive bursts of power and energy that are used during sports like powerlifting, sprinting and football. OVerall, the diet should be high in both protein and slow-digesting carbohydrates with moderate fats. The diet also shouldn't ignore the need for balance and generally healthy foods. Alot of powerlifters, even some bodybuilders, think if they get their protein then that's enough - but a healthy, balanced diet will give you all the micronutrients in a less processed form so your training at your maximum.

Thanks for reading.

12-06-2005, 01:10 AM
Sorry for the formatting.

I just managed to get it at 12:00 on the dot, so i sort of ran out of time.

11-27-2011, 12:10 AM
None. No powerlifting workout is good. Olympic Weightlifting...that's the only real workout around