Advice for Someone New to Powerlifting

  1. Advice for Someone New to Powerlifting


    I have weight trained in some capacity my entire life since late middle school. I've learned my way around the gym very well and now know a wide variety of bodybuilding and training techniques, but have recently been getting into powerlifting. Well powerlifting isn't coming very naturally to me at all.

    I have never been big on 1rm and have done tons of hypertrophy over the years. I usually would keep my reps between 5-20, the vast majority of sets being in the 8-12 range. Lots of volume.

    Now, I am trying to build my CNS, explosive power and 1rm. I am doing more compound movements and less isolation work. Primary excersizes are deadlifts, squats, power cleans, bench, rows and pullups.

    So here is where my question comes in. I am having trouble transitioning from lifting for hypertrophy to lifting for strength and RFD. I understand I need to do more weight for less reps and can take more time between sets, but can I still do hypertrophy work after? Do I need to decrease the volume? I see people with much less muscle mass than me lifting for more than me. How long should I expect it to take for my strength to catch up to my mass?

    I guess I'm just asking about others' experiences on the difference between a bodybuilding oriented method of training vs a powerlifting oriented method and/or how folks here may have blended the two for their own personal goals.


  2. Quote Originally Posted by Fasted View Post
    I have weight trained in some capacity my entire life since late middle school. I've learned my way around the gym very well and now know a wide variety of bodybuilding and training techniques, but have recently been getting into powerlifting. Well powerlifting isn't coming very naturally to me at all.

    I have never been big on 1rm and have done tons of hypertrophy over the years. I usually would keep my reps between 5-20, the vast majority of sets being in the 8-12 range. Lots of volume.

    Now, I am trying to build my CNS, explosive power and 1rm. I am doing more compound movements and less isolation work. Primary excersizes are deadlifts, squats, power cleans, bench, rows and pullups.

    So here is where my question comes in. I am having trouble transitioning from lifting for hypertrophy to lifting for strength and RFD. I understand I need to do more weight for less reps and can take more time between sets, but can I still do hypertrophy work after? Do I need to decrease the volume? I see people with much less muscle mass than me lifting for more than me. How long should I expect it to take for my strength to catch up to my mass?

    I guess I'm just asking about others' experiences on the difference between a bodybuilding oriented method of training vs a powerlifting oriented method and/or how folks here may have blended the two for their own personal goals.
    I wonder how much you weigh?
    I mean the days of powerlifters looking like **** are fading fast.
    Have you seen guys in the 198lb class
    Or 220lb class.
    Yolked up monsters.
    Most likely the typical bro split, or having an "arm day" isn't going to work if you want to getstrong.
    Squats at least twice a week
    Bench twice a week
    Shoulder press and deads maybe only once
    Obviously a peaking program at some point to hit a max.
    More than likely your Mass isn't so overwhelming that you need to catch up to it..........your big lifts that incorporates many muscle groups to perform need work.
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  3. Quote Originally Posted by Cgkone View Post
    I wonder how much you weigh?
    I mean the days of powerlifters looking like **** are fading fast.
    Have you seen guys in the 198lb class
    Or 220lb class.
    Yolked up monsters.
    Most likely the typical bro split, or having an "arm day" isn't going to work if you want to getstrong.
    Squats at least twice a week
    Bench twice a week
    Shoulder press and deads maybe only once
    Obviously a peaking program at some point to hit a max.
    More than likely your Mass isn't so overwhelming that you need to catch up to it..........your big lifts that incorporates many muscle groups to perform need work.
    Thanks for the response. I weigh about 205-210 right now, about 20% body fat by estimation with picture charts. When i said strength needs to catch up to mass I didn't mean that I'm super swole, but that I see people who are deeper into powerlifting than myself with less muscular development than myself pulling way more weights.

    I'm going to look into a "peaking program". Are there any you recommend? I'm not really hitting true 1rms on squats and want to work on my form a lot more before I do. Im still learning the hip hinge and while I'm finally understanding it, I still have to think about it very consciously to keep my form.

  4. Where do you live?
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  5. Quote Originally Posted by Fasted View Post
    Ohio
    What city? There are tons of good PL gyms in Ohio. I would recommend going to one and training with whatever group trains there.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by Fasted View Post
    Thanks for the response. I weigh about 205-210 right now, about 20% body fat by estimation with picture charts. When i said strength needs to catch up to mass I didn't mean that I'm super swole, but that I see people who are deeper into powerlifting than myself with less muscular development than myself pulling way more weights.

    I'm going to look into a "peaking program". Are there any you recommend? I'm not really hitting true 1rms on squats and want to work on my form a lot more before I do. Im still learning the hip hinge and while I'm finally understanding it, I still have to think about it very consciously to keep my form.
    Technique
    CNS
    Muscle fiber recruitment
    The hardest part for me is back off days and waiting to max.

  7. Quote Originally Posted by Fasted View Post
    Thanks for the response. I weigh about 205-210 right now, about 20% body fat by estimation with picture charts. When i said strength needs to catch up to mass I didn't mean that I'm super swole, but that I see people who are deeper into powerlifting than myself with less muscular development than myself pulling way more weights.

    I'm going to look into a "peaking program". Are there any you recommend? I'm not really hitting true 1rms on squats and want to work on my form a lot more before I do. Im still learning the hip hinge and while I'm finally understanding it, I still have to think about it very consciously to keep my form.
    JTS
    Those guys are my favs right now
    You can look at videos of chad smith critiquing programs and maybe find a good one.

  8. Would the 5/3/1 program benefit him? Asking because I am interested in upping my strength. Not necessarily powerlifting, but increasing my compounds.

  9. Quote Originally Posted by Mowglisml View Post
    Would the 5/3/1 program benefit him? Asking because I am interested in upping my strength. Not necessarily powerlifting, but increasing my compounds.
    It works just fine. Is a bit boring for most people and is more of a long term training program, so it may not be ideal for you. It won't really start increasing your 1RM until you work through a few cycles IME.

  10. Quote Originally Posted by jimbuick View Post
    It works just fine. Is a bit boring for most people and is more of a long term training program, so it may not be ideal for you. It won't really start increasing your 1RM until you work through a few cycles IME.
    Gotcha. Thanks

  11. Quote Originally Posted by Mowglisml View Post
    Would the 5/3/1 program benefit him? Asking because I am interested in upping my strength. Not necessarily powerlifting, but increasing my compounds.
    So what would be the difference between powerlifting and lifting for increasing strength? Also, how does strength and rate of force development relate to training the CNS? How do you all feel the way power leans effect muscle development compared.to deadlifts?

    Sorry y'all if I'm asking too much at a time, but I just have so much to learn still.

  12. 2 cents...

    First off, and if you are seriously thinking of competing, (or even not) I think Jim Buick's idea of visiting a PL gym and getting some hands on or face to face feedback / coaching is a good one.

    As far as the, "training this system" or "setting up for this" or "RPE guidelines" etc. I was never one that got too technical into the how's or why's of exact systems.
    Personally, I think it is much better to drill and really get the lifts down. Make them second nature (especially the squat and dead since they are some of the tougher to really master perfectly or in ways that suit one's own leverages) and slowly just edge them upwards weekly, monthly etc. with a basic easy to follow routine.
    Simple easy to understand routines, or as mentioned Wendler's 531 etc. (even a basic 5x5 could be a great start for getting a lot stronger on the 3-5 compounds) can go a long way (especially if one is fairly new to compound and low rep heavy work) in the development of great strength, if one is willing to put in the hard work it requires.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Fasted View Post
    I guess I'm just asking about others' experiences on the difference between a bodybuilding oriented method of training vs a powerlifting oriented method and/or how folks here may have blended the two for their own personal goals.
    You can certainly do a bunch of isolation accessory type work for powerlifting. The difference is going to be exercise selection. Similar to bodybuilding, you'll want to focus your isolation work on your weak points. However, in powerlifting, it's sometimes a little trickier to figure out what the weak point is.
    There are excellent articles to help with that:
    https://www.elitefts.com/education/b...the-raw-squat/
    https://www.elitefts.com/education/b...w-bench-press/
    https://www.elitefts.com/education/b...-raw-deadlift/

    If it were me, I'd find a powerlifting focused program, and then swap out accessory work as appropriate. And the suggestion to find a powerlifting focused gym is excellent. No matter how long you've been lifting, having another experienced eye on you will work wonders, plus being in that environment and being around those type of people will likely get you farther than you could get on your own.
    OLYMPUS LABS
    Use BECKI30 for 30% off your order at olympus-labs.com and olympusuk.com

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Mowglisml View Post
    Would the 5/3/1 program benefit him? Asking because I am interested in upping my strength. Not necessarily powerlifting, but increasing my compounds.
    I did 531 but I've gotten way better results in programs that require squatting and benching 2xs a week.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by Cgkone View Post
    I did 531 but I've gotten way better results in programs that require squatting and benching 2xs a week.
    The Madcow 5x5 treated me pretty well. Squat 3x a week

  16. Quote Originally Posted by Apsmith4992 View Post
    The Madcow 5x5 treated me pretty well. Squat 3x a week
    Madcow is like Stronglifts on steroids?

  17. Quote Originally Posted by hanslifts View Post
    Madcow is like Stronglifts on steroids?
    It's a modified 5x5 Monday is squat bench row Wednesday is squat deadlift shoulder press Friday is squat bench row. However Monday and Wednesday are 5x5 but you up the weight each set. Friday is 3x5 1x3 and 1x8. I went from 5 reps of 205 on bench to 4 reps 225 in a matter of 2 months
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