Powerlifting is not bodybuilding. One of the most common misconceptions is that bodybuilding and powerlifting are one in the same. While both may focus on extensive training to reach a specific outcome, it is the method of training and the desired result that sets these two weight lifting methodologies apart.
- Bodybuilders maximize muscular hypertrophy to increase the size of the muscle.
- Powerlifters focus on maximum exhaustion to achieve higher levels of pure strength.
- Bodybuilders will typically use a set to repetition ratio of 2 to 5 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions.
- Powerlifters will perform many sets of low repetitions (1 to 5 per set).
- Bodybuilders will utilize 60% to 75% of their one-repetition maximum.
- Powerlifters use 85% to 100% of their 1RM.
- Bodybuilders will go through complete bulking and cutting phases in order to achieve maximum muscle while minimizing body fat.
- Powerlifters have no need for a cutting phase as the focus is on strength and not the attainment of muscle for aesthetic purposes. Powerlifters will go through a series of maximal strength phases.
- Bodybuilders have a purely aesthetic focus surrounding the size and shape of the muscle. There is no functional purpose to the competition.
- Powerlifters go through a series of three compound movements: squat, deadlift, and bench press. The competition is purely functional and awards those who show the greatest amounts of raw strength.
With that said, let’s jump right into a training program that is ideal for beginning powerlifters.
- Full Body
- The focus of this program is to build up strength by training with compound movements at four times per week.
- Your workouts should last between 60 and 75 minutes.
- 85% to 100% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM)
- 1 / 0 / 2 / 2 Seconds in the following positions: lifting the weight / at the top of the movement / lowering the weight / demonstration of a complete muscle stretch
- 2 to 4 minutes
You will alternate these two workouts from week to week. For example:
Monday: Workout 1
Wednesday: Workout 2
Friday: Workout 1
Monday: Workout 2
Wednesday: Workout 1
Friday: Workout 2
- Use 85% to 90% 1RM
- Squat: 5 x 5
- Deadlift: 5 x 5
- Bench: 5 x 5
- Use 90% to 100% 1RM
- Power Clean: 6 x 1-3
- Squat: 6 x 1-4
- Overhead Press: 6 x 1-4
By following this workout, you will begin to build a very effective foundation of strength. As you constantly strive to add more weight throughout these 6 to 8 weeks, you will be preparing yourself for more advanced powerlifting training.
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