Conditioning Tips for Powerlifters

DAY % MAX x REPS/SETS THERAPIES, STRATEGIES & ASSISTANCE EXERCISES
1 B 85% X 3/5
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
Virtually ALL of your assistance exercises for the first 4 weeks of this mesocycle MUST be geared toward eliminating your perceived weaknesses.
3 D 85% X 3/5
6 S 85% X 3/5
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
9 D 80% X 5/5 Reduce percent bodyfat. General foundation of limit strength in all synergistic and stabilizer muscles. Modify your lifestyle to include therapies as directed, improved dietary manipulation and sleep habits. Technique errors must be corrected.
11 B 85 X 4/5
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
13 D 85% X 4/5
16 S 85% X 4/5
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
Your supplements should be chosen on the basis of immediate needs only (e.g., fat loss, mental focus, limit strength).
19 D 80% X 5/5
21 B 85% X 5/5
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
23 D 85% X 5/5 Acquire PASSION, for it will amplify MOTIVATION
26 S 85% X 5/5
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
29 D 80% X 5/5 From here on, virtually ALL of your efforts MUST be directed toward amplifying your STRENGTHS. (too late to worry about your weaknesses anymore)
31 B 85 X 6/5
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
33 D 85% X 6/5
36 S 85% X 6/5
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
Limit strength in all prime movers of lifts. Continue following the five rules of good nutrition (important!).
Assistance exercises are now all done with explosive concentric movement, with the eccentric movement reduced or eliminated. Three lifts are all performed with all-out compensatory acceleration (especially in 80% workouts). Supplements directed at tissue repair, recovery between workouts, and recovery between sets.
39 D 80% X 5/5
41 B 90% X 2/3
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
43 D 90% X 2/3
46 S 90% X 2/3
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
49 D 80% X 5/5
51 B 90% X 2/3
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
53 D 90% X 3/3
56 S 90% X 3/3
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
59 D 80% X 5/5

Eliminate all assistance exercises after this date. In other words, ONLY the three lifts are performed from here on.

61 B 95% X 2/3
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
D 95% X 2/3
All three lifts are done at each session (contest readiness).
66 S 95% X 2/3
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
D 80% X 5/5
Emphasis on perfect form and maximum acceleration—do NOT do singles or attempt lifts you’re not absolutely sure you’ll do for 2 reps (save your mental energy for the meet).
71 B 100% X 2/3
S 80% X 2/5
B 120% Overload x 3
D 100 X 2/3
(Last Deadlift Workout)
76 (Should be Saturday)
S 100 X 2/3
B 80% X 2/5
S 120% Overload x 3
CONTEST WEEK: CONTEST DAY (SATURDAY):
80 Wednesday: 1st Attempts 2nd Attempts 3rd Attempts
overloads in
S & B (120%)
S 100%
B 100%
D 100%
S 105%
B 105%
D 105%
105% + 5 lb
105% + 5 lb
105% + 5 lb

Notes: Each 5 day period should see approximately a 5 pound increase in your 80% level. It may just as easily be 2 pounds or 8 pounds. The precise increase in poundage will vary from athlete to athlete and from muscle group to muscle group. Also, since there is a 5 pound increase assumed for your 80% level, there will be a commensurate increase in your ongoing 85, 90, 95, 100 and 120 percent levels respectively (see %Max Chart below). This basic scheme of periodizing your training intensity relative to anticipated increases in strength is applicable to any other exercise or muscle group. You must begin by calculating training poundages based on percentages of your current maximum in each of the three lifts.

EXAMPLE:

Lifts at your last competition: 700 squat; 385 bench press; 585 deadlift.

WEEK MAX SQUAT MAX BENCH MAX DEADLIFT
1 680 360 560
2 685 363 565
3 690 366 570
4 695 369 575
5 700 372 580
6 705 375 585
7 710 378 590
8 715 391 595
9 720 394 600
10 725 397 605
11 730 400 610
12 735 403 615

Each week, use the tabled amounts in computing training poundages at 80, 85, 90, 95, 100 and 120 percent. Adjust them if necessary, but not haphazardly. You may extend this training scheme to 24 weeks if you like.

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