Powerlifting is a specific type of workout. While sometimes people utilize some concepts in their regular exercise routine, there is still a large difference between powerlifting and programs designed for muscle growth or athletic speed and strength.
By definition powerlifting is a strength endeavor. It is based around the three core lifts of the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Therefore any program will be centered around those three lifts and doing what you can to increase the weights used in those core lifts. With that in mind we searched high and low for the best combination of exercises for powerlifting and incorporated them into a single workout.
The Best Powerlifting Workout
This workout is designed around the three primary lifts and will be spread over 3 days with each day focusing on a single core lift. Rest days should be taken as needed with at least 1 rest day between workouts for recovery. If you feel your body is not ready then take an extra day. As you will be pushing for maximum weight each session, you need to ensure your body is ready.
Day 1 – Squats
- Barbell Squats – Perform 3 to 5 sets with the final set aiming for 3-5 reps.
- Dumbbell Lunges – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 8-10 range.
- Hamstring Curls – Perform 3-4 sets with reps in the 8-12 range.
- Standing Calf Raises – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 8-12 range.
Day 2 – Bench Press
- Barbell Bench Press – Perform 3 to 5 sets with the final set aiming for 3-5 reps.
- Dumbbell Incline Press – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 6-8 range.
- Dips (with weight) – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 6-10 range.
- Cable Tricep Presses – Perform 2 sets with reps in the 8-12 range.
Day 3 – Deadlift
- Barbell Deadlift – Perform 3 to 5 sets with the final set aiming for 3-5 reps.
- Sandbag Rows – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 6-8 range.
- Chin-ups – Perform 3 sets with reps in the 6-10 range (use weight if needed).
- Dumbbell Curls – Perform 2 sets with reps in the 8-12 range.
When doing any sort of exercise, a proper warm up and cool down will always help with gains and prevent injury. You should warm-up with 10-15 minutes of light cardio followed by light stretching. Post workout should include more vigorous stretching to help with growth and repair. Also when using heavy weights form is absolutely crucial. For heavy lifts you should have a spotter available and be using a weight belt if you feel your back needs additional support in the deadlift and squat.
This workout program is very heavy. All exercises are chosen based on the ability to move a high degree of weight. But there are also specific angles and stabilizing muscles being used in certain lifts that will help the core lift. At least 1-2 minutes of rest should be taken between sets to ensure your body has proper oxygen before executing all-out effort. Also after your heaviest lift you should immediately sit down while the body replenishes oxygen to your system.
When you finish with an intense workout such as this your body will be very tired. Re-fueling should take place immediately to ensure your body has the proper nutrients available to recover and gain strength. You think you can handle it?