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3 Day Powerbuilding Workout Routine

3 Day Powerbuilding Workout Routine

What if you could increase your strength like a powerlifter, but still look like a bodybuilder?

We call this powerbuilding, and it’s a fun way to push your body to the limits.

Goal Of This Workout

This routine won’t get you to a top-level athlete, but it will get you started. Building muscle and strength starts with building a solid foundation — that is what we are going to do.

This routine will help you pack on some mass while increasing your big 3 lifts for the platform.

Even if you do not have a desire to get on a stage or compete, a strong muscle is big and a big muscle can be strong.

Let’s start cracking sidewalks.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

Ideally, you will get the most out of this workout if you are able to slow bulk. That is, if you can eat a few hundred extra calories a day — you’ll be able to build the most muscle and strength.

This is going to require you logging your food. There’s no other way around this. Otherwise, you risk spending weeks trying to build muscle and can’t because you aren’t eating enough. Or worse, you could gain a lot more fat than you wanted.

Do you eat a lot and still struggle to add weight? It’s time to add some flavor and fats to your meals. These will increase the flavor in your foods, won’t be voluminous, and I mean who doesn’t like some extra butter or sour cream?

Nutritious Calories

If you keep your weight consistent and need some tips to add calories into your diet, here are some of the best and healthiest ways to do so:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese on everything
  • Protein shakes
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil
  • Extra dressing

You really need to learn to cook. If you refuse to cook but eat a lot of prepared meals, adding a glob of sour cream to some mashed potatoes or using whole milk in your protein shakes are an easy way to boost your nutrition and calories.

Doing this is much healthier than running to your local fast food joint to get food. You’ll feel much better, have more energy, and you won’t have all of those upset stomachs.

Note: A little bit goes a long way, so be sure to know how many calories you are adding. Keep a set of measuring spoons and cups so you can get an accurate count of what you’re eating. Fats are calorie dense and it’s easy to get an extra 500 calories into your meal.

Recommended Supplements

Without a good diet, supplementation is mostly a waste of money. I will be the first to tell you to spend money on some good meats than a jug of protein.

For those who have their diets in check, here are the supplements I would use with this routine.


MTS Nutrition Clash

I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.


MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs

This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.

Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.

So far I’ve had Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, and Key Lime. All are A+.

MTS Nutrition Protein


MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel

Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.

I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.


Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine

I have a review of Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine and it’s a tried and true supplement. It will help with performance and recovery. I highly recommend this.

Cardio and Conditioning Schedule

Conditioning is one of the most important things you can work on to improve your lifts, endurance, and stamina. Improving conditioning also improves life out of the gym.

This particular routine focuses a bit on conditioning, core strength, and mobility.

Once you start lifting relatively heavier weights, you’re going to start breaking form because of muscle weaknesses, lack of conditioning/muscle endurance and mobility issues; so lets address them here.

Warming Up

For your pre-workout warm up, start by walking for 3 minutes and follow-up with a 30 second balls-to-the-walls high intensity sprint. Finish off with 90 seconds of walking.

This “shock” is going to prime your body to train hard and helps get your core body temperature up.

Post Workout Conditioning

I’m not big on citing research materials and I sure as hell am not interested in doing the scientific leg work, but doing high intensity interval training will help improve your muscle and strength gains.

The Plan:

  • 5 minutes brisk walking
  • 30 seconds jogging
  • 30 seconds walking
  • 30 seconds sprinting
  • 30 seconds walking
  • 45 seconds sprinting
  • 1 minute walking
  • 1 minute jogging
  • 1 minute walking
  • 30 seconds full sprinting
  • 1.5 minutes walking slowly tapering down to finish

Cardio and Conditioning Tips

This sounds like some special formula but it isn’t; this is a template, if you don’t follow it exactly, you’re fine.

What I want to make you aware of is warming up and priming your body for high intensity training.

Don’t get stuck on the numbers, if you have poor conditioning, add longer walk (resting) periods and strive to recover faster.

3 Day Powerbuilding Workout Routine Schedule

Here is a sample schedule for this routine:

  • Monday – Day 1
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday – Day 2
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – Day 3
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

The actual days you train do not matter, the time off does. For example, I go Friday, Sunday, Tuesday.

Recovery is number 1 priority, so don’t try to make this a 6 day routine or never take days off.

3 Day Powerbuilding Workout Routine

Day 1
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 8
Military Press 4 12
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 3 8
Lat Pull Downs 4 8+*
Reverse Hypers 4 10
Cross Body Hammer Curls 4 15
Day 2
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench 3 8
Dumbbell Incline Bench 3 8
Barbell Rows 3 8
Skull Crushers 4 15
Rear Delt Lateral Raise 4 8
Reverse Hypers 4 10
Day 3
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts 3 8
1 Arm Dumbbell Rows 5 5
Face Pulls 4 12
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 8
Seated Close Grip Row 4 12
Curls 4 15

Workout Tips

+* – Use these as burnout sets. Pick a weight that you can get 8 and push each set to near failure.

Form: I’m not a form Nazi but I will tell you that if you go too heavy you are not going to get as much benefit as if you were doing a lighter weight with better form and stronger contractions. Make sure you are getting quality work in.

Progressively overload: Strive to get stronger each time you do an exercise. Make sure to keep a training log and strive to add 5 pounds to the bar each time you go.

Sharing is caring, and as always leave any comments or questions below!

43 thoughts on “3 Day Powerbuilding Workout Routine

  1. Hi Cutty, I have just started using this workout plan last week. What are your reasons to making the 1 arm DB row to a 5×5 instead of for example a 3×10?

    1. If you’re not struggling to get the 5th rep on your set, you are using way too light of a weight.

      It’s meant for big, heavy dumbbell rows. Not 30 pound rows.

  2. Thank you Cutty for this powerbuilding program! Im on my 5th week with steady gains and many people are noticing i am becoming more muscular. Mind you ive been lifting for years and im in my upper 40’s. I love the pre and post workout conditioning. Also the popping in my right shoulder was fixed after about 2 to 3 weeks in. My squats and deads keep increasing 5lbs a week but my presses have stalled maybe getting a little weaker but im also getting more cut at the same time. Any advice on my presses stalling? Thanks, Dr. Lou

    1. Dr. Lou

      Thank you for the kind words and great job on the progress. Pressing has always been a weak point for me and there’s a few options you could try. One, I’d invite you to check out my Build a Bigger Bench article. It’ll give you a lot of information on fixing form and addressing weak points.

      After you’ve read that and you still are having issues, I would either drop the weight down some (say 90% of your working weight now) and start over. Maybe increase warm ups and try different tempos. Paused bench works well for me, even if I add in one or two paused reps (one in the beginning, one in the end) and really hammer down on form. The smallest rolling of your wrists can ruin your leverage.

      Let me know how this works for you!

  3. Thank you for the advice and the reminder about rolling the wrists. I used to pay attention to that more. I will keep it in mind when i do chest day this coming Tuesday. I did bench again before i got ur reply and i did a little better with the same weight I used the previous week. Thank you for your help!

  4. Hi Cutty, I am very keen on starting this programme but got a few questions. Can add like some cardio on my days off

  5. For the main lifts (bench, squat, dead) you list 3 x 8. Should I use same weight for all 3 sets and go for AMAP on last set?

    1. You could do the regular pyramid way like most people do, or you can use the same weight every working set. I prefer using the same weight due to being easier than having to load the bar, and you get a completely different feeling in set 3 than you would if you upped the weight every time. I feel it’s easier for me and definitely my favorite way.

      If you can rip out some extra reps on the AMAP part, that’s definitely good. You don’t have to go until you’re doing bad form just to get a half rep, but put some effort into it and you’ll notice a difference.

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