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Old 09-05-2006, 05:47 PM   #1
Sentinel
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Power-Building Program for a Beginner

hi everyone...

i was wondering: what kind of a power-building program should a beginner lifter do?

everone says Westside is for the advanced lifters because u have to know your weak points to do Westside (which is itself constantly changing and the template we have is very very old), so i was just curious as to what would be a decent 3-4 day per week program...

i have read the stickies and i have read LH's PB Program, but i am just asking if there are others..

please do not flame me....

thanks

Sentinel

Last edited by Sentinel; 09-05-2006 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:12 PM   #2
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i got this from another very reputable site, actually, people from IM reccomended this site to me, its called ironaddicts.com, in fact, i think Dante even took some advice from him. but heres a very basic strength program that i'm on now that i think combines all of the concepts and none of the fluff that should be powerbuilding: low volume, higher frequency, strength and power based, heavy basic compound movements.

anyways, im doing a small variation of it, but this is the basic cookie-cutter:

monday
box/normal squat 2x5
pull throughs/glute harm raise 3x10
barbell or chest supported row 4x6
db/bb curl 3x8
calf work 3x15

wednesday
flat/board bench press 3x5 or 3x3
incline DB press: 4x8
bb or db shoulder press 3x8
skull crusher/tricep pushdown 3x10
ab work 3x15

friday
deadlift 2x5
leg press 2x10
lat pulldown 4x6
bb/db curl 3x8
calf work 3x15

monday
incline bb/db press 3x5 or 3x3
db flat press 4x8
bb/db shoulder press 3x8
tricep pushdowns/skullcrusher 3x10
ab work

sets are taken CLOSE to, but NOT to failure, stop one rep short of when you see your form breaking. use the same weight for all the sets. these numbers are only the work sets, warm up accordingly.

alternate between the leg/back/bi and chest/shoulders/triceps. if the first week is lower/upper/lower, then the next week should be upper/lower/upper.

thats it, very basic, but brutally effective. personally, i have some olympic lifting experience so i toss in bits of that in there. also, i took out some of the sets of pressing, since on those days, triceps is used in practically everything. but try it out before you alter anything.

whew, i was kinda scared, no one was posting in the PL forum for awhile.
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:24 AM   #3
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i would recommend:

5x5 system

various routines by Stewart McRobert - very good

classic PL training i.e set of 5, 3 sets of 3, 2 sets of 2 and a couple singles. follow this with a back off set with a lesser weight for as many reps as you can
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Old 09-06-2006, 03:19 AM   #4
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5x5 can be complicated, and its intense. especially if you're doing it with power cleans. to me, the ramp is tough on the 1x5 exercises. for a while, i was working up with sets of 5 so the first 4 were just warm ups, but then i read that its supposed to be similar increments. to illustrate, i used to work up to 155, i would do
45x5
95x5
115x5
125x5
155x5, the only real hard set

where as its actually supposed to be a steady 10-20lbs per set, so you are doing real work come the third or fourth set.

plus, power cleans are really tricky and hard to progress on.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:47 AM   #5
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whe you say 'power-building', what are your goals? To compete in powerlifting, or just general increases in strength and mass?
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:59 AM   #6
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That would be my first question. What is it you are trying to do?
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:37 PM   #7
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i think he wants to build muscle via getting stronger, just everyone else should all be doing.
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:39 PM   #8
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haha i forgot to add, luckily, the people here at the powerlifting forum are waaayy more forgiving than the dogg pound guys(at least i got that impression at first).
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
whe you say 'power-building', what are your goals? To compete in powerlifting, or just general increases in strength and mass?
ok i'm sorry i didnt specify all of this before...my bad...

i am currently doing SF 5x5 (check my journal) and i was wondering if i had to do something more along the lines of a Power Building Program, how would i design one or which one should i choose?

my goal - as idk mentioned - is to get big + strong....

i am not saying this is for me at all....all i want to know is that IF i had to (because i probably will be doing this a while from now), how should / would i go about it? please do not misunderstand me...i do not plan on doing any PB programs in the near future, but if i HAD to, then how would i go about setting up a program? would i make it:
mon - squat emphasis
wed - bench emphasis
fri - deadlift emphasis?

i just want to learn and basically, this has been at the back of my mind for a long time now....so i thought i'd ask....hope y'all dont mind.....

sorry for the mis0understanding

thank you

Sentinel

ps: idk, SF 5x5 has rows and deads (substitutes for the OLs) and its a pretty good program...
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:24 PM   #10
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no worries.... what are your current strength levels? How confident are you in performing the squat, bench and deadlift, in terms of form etc? Sorry for all the questions, but they inform how you'd go about setting up a programme...

If you are fairly new, I would probably advise performing those lifts with greater frequency than just once a week to groove form.

To be honest, something like the sf 5x5 would be a pretty good starting point. Is there anything about that programme that you don't like?
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Old 09-06-2006, 04:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
what are your current strength levels?
i'm 5'7 @ 165 lbs @ 18 years old

A2G Olympic Squat = 310 lbs x 1 rep
Bench Press = 190 lbs x 1 rep
Deadlift = 350 lbs x 1 rep

i have shoulder injuries on both my shoulders....but somehow, my incline bench press is 185 lbs x 5 reps without help and with perfect form...! i dont know why, but i hate flat bench presses for some odd reason (because everyone i meet LOVES to bench whole day long)

i have 2.6 years lifting experience...i have journals out here, on IronAddicts, MuscleFreaks and Bodybuilding.net

Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
Sorry for all the questions
dont apologize sir, i'm sorry for not informing you of all this before....my bad..

Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
If you are fairly new, I would probably advise performing those lifts with greater frequency than just once a week to groove form.
i'll leave u to judge whether i am fairly new or not

Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
Is there anything about that programme that you don't like?
yes, i have to wait for 4-5 weeks before i start setting new PRs and thats a fucking bore....i want some balls-to-the-wall workouts....

thanks juninho for offering to help...

i hope the info i have given is alright

thanks again

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Old 09-06-2006, 09:48 PM   #12
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you would probably wanna go something like
monday: upper
wednesday: lower
friday: upper

then the next week would go
monday: lower
wednesday: upper
friday: lower

pressing movements for upper for heavy work, deadlift style and squat style moves for lower body heavy work. add some supplementary work and thats a basic program. remember, keep the volume generally low.

dude im tellin ya, the routine i posted is pretty much as basic as it gets, with just the right amount of volume and frequency.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:44 PM   #13
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A couple of things to point out -

First off, limit your lifts. I don't care what anyone says, you don't need to do a bunch of lifts. Period. Pick out 5-7 big lifts you want to get strong as heck on and do THOSE. Forget the fluff. Split it up over 3x a week and eat lots and lots of food. For the first 2 weeks, keep the reps in the 10-12 range, then move into 2 weeks of 8's. After that, 3 weeks of 5's, 2 weeks of 2's then do 2 weeks of singles. That's a 10 week cycle guarenteed to up your strength and mass levels.

What lifts? It's pretty obvious IMO.

Squats -
Deads or a variation -
A Row -
Bench -
Standing Press -
Dips and Chins

That's 7 lifts. IMO if you got as strong as possible on those 7 lifts you would be as big as you would ever get. End of story.

You can do your split how you want. I do squats and deads on the same day because it works. On the other day I do a press and the dips and chins a lot of times. That's it. I'm not sure what else you need to do. Eat a bunch of food and get big.
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Old 09-07-2006, 04:47 AM   #14
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I agree with pjr entirely - haf a dozen to a dozen exercises is all you really need unless you are extremely advanced IMO.

In terms of mentality, (needing to see PR's frequently) you sound like me. I also sacked off a 5x5 programme when I tried it for the same reasons.

Ultimately, the best thing to do would be to arrange the exercises listed above into a weekly routine that suited you, try it for three or four weeks, have a back off for a week and then tweak it based on what went well and what didn't, and go again.

In case it's of interest, here's pretty much what I do - you'd no doubt need to tweak it to suit you, but it may give you some ideas about a starting point.

Day One - Squat/Deadlift
-dead easy this, I work up to a heavy - but not always max - single or double in the squat or low box squat, and the deadlift or rack pull.

Day Two - Bench
1. work up to a heavy single, double or triple in the bench press or board press
2. db press, (incline or flat) - work up to a heavy set of 5 or 6
3. weighted chin - same drill

Day Three - Squat/DL assistance
1. Front squat or step ups - I do 5's, then 3's for a bunch of sets on fs, or 3-4 sets of 10 or so on the step ups
2. good mornings or RDL's - up to a heavy set of 5 or so.
3. weighted abs - 1 or 2 exercises done by feel

Day Four - Bench assistance
1. OH press or incline press - 5's then 3's
2. floor press or rack lockouts - same again
3. barbell row - 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps


Notes:
-I only go for weights I know I can get that day. While I like seeing PR's, when I did a straight up westside split I burned out fast, and started to regress. I don't emphasise pr's now, just heavy, achievable work. Ironically though the PR's now come quicker than ever. You may be different, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
-don't neglect the back-off week. I do it every fourth or fifth week, you may be able to go longer, but without doing one at all I'd wager you'll burn out or get injured pretty quickly.


Anyway, hope something in there helps. I arrange this in a 3-day a week routine like how idk listed, again you may be different.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juninho
I agree with pjr entirely - haf a dozen to a dozen exercises is all you really need unless you are extremely advanced IMO.

In terms of mentality, (needing to see PR's frequently) you sound like me. I also sacked off a 5x5 programme when I tried it for the same reasons.

Ultimately, the best thing to do would be to arrange the exercises listed above into a weekly routine that suited you, try it for three or four weeks, have a back off for a week and then tweak it based on what went well and what didn't, and go again.

In case it's of interest, here's pretty much what I do - you'd no doubt need to tweak it to suit you, but it may give you some ideas about a starting point.

Day One - Squat/Deadlift
-dead easy this, I work up to a heavy - but not always max - single or double in the squat or low box squat, and the deadlift or rack pull.

Day Two - Bench
1. work up to a heavy single, double or triple in the bench press or board press
2. db press, (incline or flat) - work up to a heavy set of 5 or 6
3. weighted chin - same drill

Day Three - Squat/DL assistance
1. Front squat or step ups - I do 5's, then 3's for a bunch of sets on fs, or 3-4 sets of 10 or so on the step ups
2. good mornings or RDL's - up to a heavy set of 5 or so.
3. weighted abs - 1 or 2 exercises done by feel

Day Four - Bench assistance
1. OH press or incline press - 5's then 3's
2. floor press or rack lockouts - same again
3. barbell row - 4-5 sets of 8-15 reps


Notes:
-I only go for weights I know I can get that day. While I like seeing PR's, when I did a straight up westside split I burned out fast, and started to regress. I don't emphasise pr's now, just heavy, achievable work. Ironically though the PR's now come quicker than ever. You may be different, but it's worth mentioning anyway.
-don't neglect the back-off week. I do it every fourth or fifth week, you may be able to go longer, but without doing one at all I'd wager you'll burn out or get injured pretty quickly.


Anyway, hope something in there helps. I arrange this in a 3-day a week routine like how idk listed, again you may be different.
that looks excellent. I like routines that only use about 3 movements per session. I find I can always give more when I only have 3. 2 seems like too little, but after 4 or 5 I feel like I am doing too much.
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Old 09-07-2006, 11:00 PM   #16
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wow 3 movements per session only? whats your split like pjr?
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:18 AM   #17
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I'm paying a lot of attention to this thread.
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjr
that looks excellent. I like routines that only use about 3 movements per session. I find I can always give more when I only have 3. 2 seems like too little, but after 4 or 5 I feel like I am doing too much.
I read an interview with either Glen Pendlay or Mark Rippetoe who said that the best thing most young trainees could do is randomly cut their programme in half and work twice as hard on the remaining exercises. This is certainly true with me, if the number of movements starts creeping up then my main lifts go gay.
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Old 09-08-2006, 05:23 AM   #19
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juninho: at day 1st , you're going to singles in squat AND deadlift (or variations) ?
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Old 09-08-2006, 06:12 AM   #20
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juninho: at day 1st , you're going to singles in squat AND deadlift (or variations) ?
true, i wouldnt reccomend deadlift and squat on the same day, too much strain on the lower back, plus the motion is almost the same for both exercises. alternate, if you did squat on the last lower body day, the do deadlifts. then pick an accessory move for whatever you didnt work. for example, if you do squat, maybe do an RDL. then when you do deadlift, maybe GMS.
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Old 09-08-2006, 12:35 PM   #21
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I do both, but emphasise one over the other. I tend to work in 3 week cycles. For the last 3 weeks for instance I focused on my squat. I actually did a bit of a wave type thing, doing multiple singles around 85-90% for 2 weeks then hitting a pr on the third. For the deadlift I just kept it on maintenance mode; I worked up to a moderately heavy single, (or singles) each week but never one that would cause me to strain too much or miss.

I know people say the strain is too much on your lower back, but I don't experience any negative side effects.

The idea you mention above is worth considering though...
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:43 PM   #22
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damnn, that looks very good.
i'm on wsb for 9 months right now, but i miss "grinding lifts", i miss heavy deadlifts every week.
wsb put on me A LOT of muscle mass and strength, but i think i could try this more basic program for couple months.

back to the roots thanks for sharing those informations juninho.
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Old 09-08-2006, 02:58 PM   #23
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great thread, I used a basic push pull legs routine to get me up to size .

Mon- squat - 2sets
assistant leg press \or hacks - 1 set
prosterior chain movement - pullthrus\45degree hypers\sldl\gm's 2 sets
calves- 1set

throw up and go home

wed- bench 1-2 sets
assistant stuff 1-2 sets
pushdowns 1 set

frid- deadlift variation
core movment
rows 1 set
abs
go home and eat

PJR i like your approach to lifting and eating.
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Old 09-08-2006, 04:23 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idk
true, i wouldnt reccomend deadlift and squat on the same day, too much strain on the lower back, plus the motion is almost the same for both exercises. alternate, if you did squat on the last lower body day, the do deadlifts. then pick an accessory move for whatever you didnt work. for example, if you do squat, maybe do an RDL. then when you do deadlift, maybe GMS.
I always recommend squatting and deadlifting in the same workout. No way is it too much for the low back.

First off, when you do meets, you squat and dead on the same day. And that's for max attempts. Second, the squat serves as a good warmup for the deadlift. You don't need near as many sets. And third, your low back gets a break the rest of the week. IMO doing squats 1 day, and deads on the other beats the low back up more than doing them on the same day.

Quote:
wow 3 movements per session only? whats your split like pjr?
It's always a squat and deadlift variation on one day, then it's benching or some kind of pressing on the other. Sometimes I will do more than 3 movements in a workout but generally I find 3 per workout to be just right.

Like yesterday it was incline, then barbell rows, then reverse grip bench. But I like what juninho did on his write up there. Do a pulldown or a chin on one pressing workout then a row on the other. So like.....

pressing #1 -
bench - 5 x 5 or whatever
db bench press - 3 x 12-15
chins - 30 total reps

pressing #2 -
standing press or incline - 5 x 5
seated db press - 3 x 12
rows - 3 x 10

Then you do your squatting and deadlifting on the other day -

Squat/Dead #1 -
squats - work up to 1 x 5, 1 x 3, 2 x 1
SLDL - 5 x 5
Abs - 5 sets of 10-15


Squat/Dead #2 -
Fronts - 5 x 5
Rack deads or pulls from the floor - 5 x 5 for racks and 6 x 1 for deads from floor
Abs - 5 sets of 10-15

IMO that's how you do things. I can't find a reason for doing a ton of exercises. Makes no sense to me.
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:52 PM   #25
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pjr, thats so genius, i think cutting even more volume from my routine would be a good idea. how long do you rest? are you ramping weight every time? if so, does every set "feel" like a workset? would you mind taking a look at my journal for me?
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