Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine

Increase Overall Body Mass & Power!

Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine
Author Writter Image By: MuscleSports.net

“A training routine is only part of the battle. Some lifters have great training routines and work hard in the gym, and then blow it all with their life style.”

Increase Overall Body Mass & Power!

Athlete bench pressing in competition.

There are few trainees who are not interested in building power and size. Isn’t this, along with health, the reason we train? Finding the way to do this is the problem. There are many ingredients that go Into increased size and strength. Hard work, dedication, proper diet, sufficient rest and a training routine designed for this purpose are all necessary. In this article we will discuss a routine that is designed to increase both your overall body strength and size. If used correctly, the results will show. In future articles we will cover the other factors involved.

The routine we will use will be built around the squat, bench press and deadlift. These movements work the major muscle groups of the body. These will be the core exercises in our power building routine. We will set the routine up for either a three or tour day per week training schedule. I would recommend 4 days per week, but if 3 days are all you can afford, the routine can be adjusted.

The routine we will use is called the “Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine”. It is designed to work the major muscle groups in a manner that will cause an overall increase in body size and power. The key to this routine is progressively heavier weights while decreasing the repetitions. The main factor is doing this in a logical and organized manner. All of the power movements (squat, bench press, deadlift) will use the same scheme of repetitions; only the poundage. will be adjusted. Place equal emphasis on all three movements.

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The repetition scheme will be as follows: 1 warmup set of 12 reps. Add a second warmup If you feel it is necessary. Then 10-8-6-4-2-2-8. We will develop some routines using different poundages so that you will see how to apply it to your requirements. What this routine will do is tax your body and cause it to grow in size and strength. What we want to do is induce overload in the major muscle groups. The overload principle states that a muscle grows larger and stronger only when required to perform tasks that place loads on it over and above previous requirements. Our Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine routine will do just that and the result will be increased size and strength.

We will set this up as a 4 day per week workout. On Monday and Thursday the key exercise will be the Bench Press. On Tuesday, the Squat, and Friday, the Squat and deadlift. If you can only train 3 days per week, the following will apply. Monday and Friday will consist of bench presses and squat and Wednesday will be deadlifts.

Using the four day a week routine, arms, chest, and shoulders will be included with the bench press day. Legs and back exercises will be done on the squat and deadlift days. Abdominal work and stretching will be done on all four days.

Let’s now examine how the routine will be set up. We want to choose weights that will allow us to complete the routine, yet tax our strength. This Is where intelligent, dedication, and hard work come in. We will use an individual with a 300 lb. bench press as our example. The first set will strictly be a warmup such as 135 for about 12 reps. The next set will be 190x10, then 210x8, 230x6, 250x4, 270x2, 270x2, then 215x8. These are only sample poundages. You may be able to do more or not as much. Make the adjustments as necessary. All repetitions should be done in strict form. Cheating or partial movements will not help.

For the squat and deadlift we will use 400 lb. lifts. As in the bench, the first set will be a warmup 135x12, then 205x10, 245x8, 285x6, 325x4, 365x2, 365x2, then 250x8. Remember these are workouts designed to build power and size. They are not powerlift routines. A complete routine would be set up in the following manner:

Countdown to Power
The Routine



Thursday: Same as Monday.


To some of you this may not seem like a lot, but if done properly, it should be all the work you can handle. Quality, not quantity, is what we strive for.

For the first couple of workouts you will have to experiment with the poundage. you will use. We are all different, so the ratio of repetitions to a single attempt will vary from one person to another. Some individuals may only be able to jump 10 to 15 pounds per set, while others may be able to jump 40 to 50 lbs. per set. Naturally the increases per set will be greater in the squat and deadlift than in the bench press. Find out what works best for you.

Once you have established your starting weights we must determine a formula for adding weight. I would suggest the following method. Once you have completed the workout (all sets and reps) for 2 consecutive workouts you should add weight. I would not suggest adding more than 5 lbs., but this 5 pounds will be added to all sets except your warmup set. By doing this, you will be working harder on all Bets and applying the overload principle to its maximum.

Naturally one cannot push week after week after week and continue to make progress. Doing this will result in overtraining, fatigue and injury. To prevent this from happening we will put a rest week into our routine.

Every 5th or 8th week will be a rest week. On this week we will use only 85 to 90 percent of the weights we used the previous week. Keep the same set and rep schemes so that order and consistency stays in your workouts. On the week following your rest week use the same weights you used the week before your rest week. Keep in mind that building size and power is a long term procedure. Be patient, and you will succeed. Don’t skip the rest week even if you feel you don’t need it. This rest period ii important for long term progress.

There is another variation of the Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine Routine. This I. the 5-4-3-2-1-5 system. This workout is similar to the 10-8-6-4-2-2, but the reps are lower and the weights are heavier. Taking the same 300 lb. bench press, the 5-4-3-2-1 routine would be as follows. 135x12 reps, 205x6 or 8 reps (warmups), then 250x5, 260x4, 270x3, 280x2, 290x1, 255x5. The procedures for adding weight and resting would be the same. This routine would be geared more towards power and could even be used by a powerlifter to prepare for competition.

A training routine is only part of the battle. Some lifters have great training routines and work hard in the gym, and then blow it all with their life style. Making progress is a full time commitment. You must make sure you get the proper amount of rest, stay away from the junk foods, don’t overdo the alcoholic beverages, and take your supplements. In order to be good at anything, sacrifices have to be made.

The Powerlifting: Countdown to Power Routine routine is a great method of building size and strength. If applied properly, you will be very pleased with the results. Try this routine for 3 or 4 months and you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

Tags: Strength Programs Conditioning Core

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