Programming for your Powerlifting goals

Discussion in 'Powerlifting Training and Strength techniques' started by ChrisLindsay9, May 25, 2016.

  1. ChrisLindsay9

    ChrisLindsay9 VIP Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    2,773
    1,145
    Just for discussion's sake, and to get a little philosophical about powerlifting - what constitutes elements of powerlifting programming that are more beneficial to just gym rat powerlifters and competitive powerlifters? Are you in it just to get strong? Are you doing it to be competitive? When I observe someone who exclusively does powerlifting competitions talk about regularly doing 12 reps of deadlifts in one working set ... well, I won't lie to you. I kind of cry a little inside.

    I created this diagram awhile back to illustrate to some powerlifter peers how to evaluate programming as it relates to one's specific goals. Where do the elements of your program (specific exercises, sets/reps, percentages/RPE, etc.) fall? Hopefully, it's at least in the middle, but I think one can argue that some folks (not necessarily here on the Den) may be doing things that are not advancing them toward their goals.

    [​IMG]

    For simplicity's sake, here's the distinction between the extremes: strength training programs and competitive powerlifting programs.
    • Strength Training Program - people who base their lifting around the powerlifting lifts (squat, bench, deadlift) for the purpose of getting stronger (maybe with lesser emphasis on getting bigger) ... so this is different than a bodypart split/bodybuilder type program.
    • Competitive Powerlifting Program - people who compete regularly, pursue records/rankings, always cut weight, the emphasis to their training is making the main three lifts as competitive as possible, etc.
    • Powerlifting Program - people who may be interested in the sport and the big names, but may not compete, or if they do compete it's more for fun at the local meets (don't really try to cut weight that much if at all, not really pursuing records or ranking positions on PowerliftingWatch, etc.)
    Obviously, you can make the argument that all elements of powerlifting programming can be of benefit to anyone, but that would be lame. And boring. And a conversation-ender. Because logically, there are some programs or programming elements that are very much beneficial to just strength training (such as 1RM maxing out/testing in the gym regularly), and some that are only important for just those who compete regularly (utilizing a peaking/meet prep programming, for example).

    If we set aside things that would be used for atypical situations (such as, coming back from injury or a long break, or a very rare situation), here are a few obvious examples of programming elements that come to mind which are exclusive to just strength training or just competitive powerlifting:

    Exclusively Strength Training
    -- Beltless Squat working sets
    -- 10+ rep deadlift sets with frequency (not once in a blue moon type of thing)
    -- 1 RM maxing out/testing in gym with some frequency

    Exclusively Competitive Powerlifting
    -- Peaking/Meet Prep programming
    -- Single Rep working sets
    -- Emphasis on developing an arch on Bench Press
    -- Single Ply/Multi-Ply Equipment
    -- Rarely/Never testing 1RM in gym (coming back from injuries - exception)

    And here are few more that are probably less obvious (more debatable):

    Exclusive Strength Training
    -- Squat Everyday Program
    -- Paused Deadlifts
    -- Beltless Deadlift working sets
    -- 6+ rep Deadlift sets with frequency

    Exclusive Competitive Powerlifting
    -- Paused Bench Press
    -- Belt on Squat/Deadlift Speed Work

    I have a few others. Just curious if anyone into powerlifting has any thoughts/examples/criticisms/etc.?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2016
    admin likes this.
  2. TenaciousA

    TenaciousA VIP Member

    Mar 31, 2013
    1,240
    432
    10+ and I'm out.
     
  3. Go Away

    Go Away TID Board Of Directors

    Dec 28, 2011
    4,856
    1,009
    What the hell is a 10+ rep deadlift set?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. ChrisLindsay9

    ChrisLindsay9 VIP Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    2,773
    1,145
    You would not believe how many people who compete that I follow on IG seem to regularly have a "3 sets of 10" deadlift day. It seems to be primarily women lifters, so I'm not sure if there is some program that's targeted at women that has this in it or not?

    People who train on 5/3/1 and either can't math or have their training 1RMs too low ... it's not that uncommon to see someone do 10+ reps on their last working set of a 5/5/5+ or maybe even 3/3/3+ day. It's nuts.
     
  5. PillarofBalance

    PillarofBalance Strength Pimp Staff Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    16,601
    4,286
    Will read more carefully on my flight tomorrow. One thing I would say tho is the diagram that separates pl training from pl competitor is simply the peak. No gym rat needs to peak. They can just keep upping percentages from one microcycle to the next. They simply do not need to condition themselves for a single.

    So a competitive PL can train most of the year like the non competitor but come meet time they must taper.

    This is why Bully Yoga Apex has block 1 for accumulation and it looks very much like Bully Yoga. It's basically the same thing.
     
  6. PillarofBalance

    PillarofBalance Strength Pimp Staff Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    16,601
    4,286
    Over 5 and I won't do it.
     
  7. DieYoungStrong

    DieYoungStrong VIP Member

    May 27, 2013
    1,025
    417
    I stop at 3.
     
  8. BrotherIron

    BrotherIron TID Board Of Directors

    Mar 6, 2011
    9,597
    2,246
    You know a set of 10 could also be read as 10 singles... just saying.
     
  9. PillarofBalance

    PillarofBalance Strength Pimp Staff Member

    Feb 27, 2011
    16,601
    4,286
    Can I take 4 minutes rest between those singles?
     
  10. DieYoungStrong

    DieYoungStrong VIP Member

    May 27, 2013
    1,025
    417
    Is there any other way?

    EMOM is a guy in star wars, not a rest period
     
  11. BrotherIron

    BrotherIron TID Board Of Directors

    Mar 6, 2011
    9,597
    2,246
    Why only 4?
     
  12. ChrisLindsay9

    ChrisLindsay9 VIP Member

    Jun 17, 2013
    2,773
    1,145
    Yeah, I tried to make the distinction that anyone who does one set of 10 reps regularly is doing something that will make him or her stronger, but it's not going to help his or her competition lift more than just doing more sets with fewer reps.

    And non-competing gym rat who does 10 sets of singles as working sets is doing something that may get him or her stront, but as compared to doing sets with multiple reps, but it would have an advantage to a competitor for potentially several purposes (technique work, emphasis on particular part of the pull, etc.).

    Yeah, that's one of the differences I mentioned. I'm trying to convince a PL gym rat that I know to compete, but I get the feeling he won't enjoy the taper part at all. Sometimes it takes experiencing a meet as a competitor first, before you learn to prepare for a meet as a competitor.
     

Share This Page