Powerlifting routines focus a lot on training a high volume phase and a competition or peaking phase. The 3×3 stands for 3 sets of 3 reps and you will be using some of the heaviest weight on these days.

This is an 8 week cycle that consists of two phases.

The first point of business is to get some numbers so the rest of this workout can be written on a piece of paper; no more trying to guess what to put on the bar on the fly.

Write down your 1 rep max for your squat, bench, and deadlift. Then,

  • Take your squat 1 rep max and add 25 pounds.
  • Take your bench 1 rep max and add 10 pounds.
  • Take your deadlift 1 rep max and add 15 pounds.

These new numbers are going to be your Projected Max.

When calculating for the weights to use each day, multiply the percent by your projected max. So 60% would be (.60 x projected max), 95% would be (.95 x projected max). Always round down your weights unless it is no more than 1 pound difference. Example: if 60% of your projected max is 223lbs, round to 220. If 85% of your projected max lands you at 314, round-up to 315.

For the assistance workouts, choose weights that are challenging but won’t bring you to failure.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

I would recommend going on a slow bulk for this routine to get the most out of it. It is easier to cut some fat afterwards than trying to make strength gains on a calorie deficit.

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

These all add flavor and healthy fats to your diet. Personally, I prefer adding calories through this means instead of going to McDonalds and smashing a couple McDoubles.

You will feel better, have more energy, and your stomach will thank you.

Note: A little bit goes a long way, so be sure to know how many calories you are adding.

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.

Pre-Workout

MTS Nutrition Clash

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

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.

Protein

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+.

BCAA

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.

Creatine

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.

Phase 1

This phase is going to work on muscle endurance and conditioning, technique, and build muscle mass.

Week 1

Day 1:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 58%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 58%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 58%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 58%

Week 2

Day 1:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 60%

Week 3

Day 1:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 62%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 62%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 62%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 62%

Week 4

Day 1:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 64%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 64%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%
  • Bench: 6 sets of 6 reps at 64%
  • Deadlift: 8 sets of 5 reps at 64%

Phase 2

Trains the nervous system and puts some heavy weight on the bar. This is going to help you increase strength and work on technique flaws using maximal weights.

Week 1

Day 1:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 2 sets of 1 rep at 60%
  • Deadlift: 2 sets of 1 rep at 80%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 2 sets of 1 rep at 80%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 2 sets of 1 rep at 80%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Week 2

Day 1:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 2 sets of 1 rep at 85%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 2 sets of 1 rep at 85%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 2 sets of 1 rep at 85%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Week 3

Day 1:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 1 set of 1 rep at 90%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 1 set of 1 rep at 90%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 1 set of 1 rep at 90%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Week 4

Day 1:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 reps at 60%
  • Deadlift: 1 set of 1 rep at 95%

Day 2:

  • Squats: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%
  • Bench: 1 set of 1 rep at 95%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

Day 3:

  • Squats: 1 set of 1 rep at 95%
  • Bench: 5 sets of 4 at 60%
  • Deadlift: 3 sets of 3 reps at 60%

 

If you are running this program, you more than likely don’t need to kill your accessory work, no accessory work in phase 2.

Accessory work could be:

  • Triceps: 3 sets of 12 reps of close grip bench or floor presses.
  • Biceps: 3 sets of 12 reps curls.
  • Back: 3 sets of 10 lat pull downs.
  • Legs: 3 sets of 8 stiff leg deadlifts.
  • Abs: 3 sets of planks until failure

I do not recommend any more accessory work during phase 1 than this.

If you are prepping for a powerlifting meet, timing is everything. Be sure to time this routine to have 1 full week off before the meet to fully recover and be at the strongest you’ve ever been.

 

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