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Powerlifting for Added Mass


New member
Jun 25, 2002
Horked from MonstaDwarf at the GreatManJohn board.
3 day sample training split at bottom of post.

When you are talking mass you only have to look at a powerlifters physique to see mass personified. indeed some of the lighter pwerlifters could easily compete in bodybuilding. . There is much that can be learned from these athletes. I come from a powerlifting background and so I am fortunate to have come in contact with the techniques of powerlifting and strength training early in my bodybuilding years. The explosive power that is gained from strength training can be tranferred to a bodybuilding program. The all-out 2-5 low rep 2-5 sets with a 90-99% one rep max weight, stimulate the central nervous system (CNS), unlike anything that a traditional bodybuilding type training can. The higher 6-12 rep will of course build muscle, but what happens when you reach a plateau. You may look for those ‘special supplements’ when perhaps the answer is in the training and not with some ergogenic perfomance enhancing pill. if done correctly a powerlifting routine will add tendon stregnth that may have previously been lacking. This along with the confidence of moving weights that you have never attempted before will drive you through any sticking point. So onto the routine. this is a three day a week split working the primary lifts along with some ancillary stabiliser/ assister movements.Theoretically if you havent done this type of training before you should be able to do two reps with what you thought was your 1 rep max. To find your 1rm do a set of 10 reps with a weight that makes 11 reps impossible then multiply by 2.5 and you have your 1rm. For example if you do 10 perfect reps with 100lb then your 1rm is 250lbs. This is of course only a rough guide and you will find that for the different exercises it may vary. it should also dramatically change in the first few weeks.

Day 1, is Squat day. 1x 8 reps warmup 50% 1 rep max (1rm)
1x 6 reps 70% 1rm
1x 3 reps 85% 1rm
1x 2 reps 95% 1rm
1x 2 reps 95- 100% 1rm
now do lying leg curl 3x 6-10
standing calf raise 3x 6-10

Day 2, is Bench press day follow the same set and rep sceme as you did with squats follow this with some
flat bench dumbbell flyes. 3x 6-10
triceps pushdowns 3x 6-10
machine shoulder press 3x 6-10

Day 3, is Deadlift day do the same as the squat and bench press exersises.
After the deadlifts do
barbell curls 3x 6-10
dumbell shrugs 3x 6-10
hyper extensions 3x 6-10

Thats it 3 days a week for 4 weeks then return to your normal training routine. the stregnth you should have gained will give additional muscle mass and confidence to tackle progresively heavier weights.
I believe that increased strength develops large muscles. So I always strive to lift heavier amounts of weight. I have many good friends that are powerlifters - the only thing is while they are "big," they do not possess the physique that I desire! :D

it definately has its use in bodybuilding as does higher reps up 100 or more (look at my post on the dnp thread), they all have their place
You will definitely gain strength and muscle density training like a power lifter. However, you need to get on a proven powerlifting training method such as the ones from Ed Coan, and other powerlifter gurus. I don't recommend to jump into the 1 rep max routine until you and your joints are ready. It's a good way to get hurt. Set your training time to 12 weeks (like a powerlifting meet) and train accordingly. I have trained and competed as a powerlifter and it hasn't hurt my physique any (I think). Check out Johny O. Jackson.
I sort of do powerbodybuilding. I do basic excersizes, low reps
on heavy sets 1-4 reps. Even my warm ups are for low reps
so I can spare gylcogen for the 1-2 working sets.
I throw in a little bodybuilding lifts after this training, not too much.
My bench is on the Smith Machine, so is my squat.
And not deadlifts but very heavy chins with weights
and heavy rows, all for that 1-2 sets of 1-4reps.

Not exactly powerlifting, but at 43 this really has lessened my injuries and kept me productive in training.
Will give this a try and let you know.Seems to make alot of sence to me.
i totally believe power lifting routines or low rep heavy weight routines are practical for dieters, heres why, u spare much less glycogen. also just form practical experience i can add wegight to the bars of its for low reps while dieting but if im doing the bodybuilding routine my strength will suffer and i stand to lose more mass this way
Since I'm a powerlifter, most of what I say falls on deaf ears on bodybuilding boards. You must condition yourself to handle heavy weights both mentally and physically. Most people fear heavy weights. I do think that heavy training adds thickness and density to the muscles that cannot be acheived by using lighter weighs and higher reps.

Just my bloated 2 cents on the subject.

It's good to see everyone taking a look at this thread. I'm not a powerlifter per se, but bodybuilders definitely shrug me off when I start talking about max-anything, or training heavy for muscle density.

I've used an Ed Coan program before, found myself overtrained after about two months, but still made good gains during those two months. Definitely recommend it, for a change of pace.

Yes, higher reps also have their place. Switching between the two styles has produced many a dense physique, capable of winning some serious BB contests.
Paul Bunyan said:
Since I'm a powerlifter . . .
And a huuuge one at that :D I don't disagree with the need to use "heavy weights" but not necessarily singles. Guess I'm getting old - LOL I can bench press 5 reps w/340 and 12 years ago I was lucky to get 1 rep with 315.

I was refering to reps in the 3-6 range. Most bodybuilders I see locally lack thickness and density. When they turn sideways on stage they just dissapear. If I ask them if they squat or deadlift most say no and the one that do use the Smith machine. I may be biased but I think the smith machine isn't worth shit. Do they do any heavy, or light for that matter, barbell rows? Hell no, those are too hard. Those basic mass exercises should be the foundation of every bodybuilders routine. You need to have some muscle to work with before you go about trying to refine it. The problem is they are all worried about being able to see their abs all of the time. Again, these coments are in reference to the people I know personally that want to be bodybuilders.

I don't do flat bench at all anymore, but I do deads and sqauts like there a religion. I was having problem gaining thickness in my back and growing traps. but once I started to do HEAVY deads my back and traps exploded. as far as squats go, there a must. any bodybuilder that want to exceed in this sport has to do them. there is no way around it unless you have a medical condition the prohibits the movement. So I would say that powerlifting has a big role in a bodybuilders routine.
good luck and be safe....


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