70s Powerlifter

(304 reviews)
18 week old school powerlifting protocol to will leave you in a different solar system
Program Description

70s Powerlifter Program, by Alex Bromley, is designed with a heavy influence of the prototypical 70’s lifter here. Many of the accounts of some of the monsters that populated meets at that time, such as Doug Young and Bill Kazmaier, cited high volume approaches with many compound variations and plenty of bodybuilding movements to top it off.

Read more about the program below for an overview and progression guidance.

Program Overview
CoachAlex Bromleyverified coach
LevelIntermediate, Advanced
GoalPowerlifting
EquipmentFull Gym
Time Per Workout90 minutes
Days Per Week4 days
Program Length18 weeks
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Week 1 - Wave 1 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)3
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)2
10
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)2
10
Lat Pulldown3
15
T-Bar Row3
15
Bicep Curl (Barbell)3
15
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
10
Wide Squat2
10
Front Squat (Barbell)2
10
Leg Extension3
15
Lunge (Barbell)3
15
Sit Up3
15
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)3
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)2
10
Behind-the-Neck Push Press2
10
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)3
15
Skull Crusher3
15
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)3
15
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)3
10
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)2
10
Good Morning2
10
Bent Over Row (Barbell)3
15
Hamstring Curl3
15
Leg Raise3
15
Week 2 - Wave 1 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)4
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
10
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)3
10
Lat Pulldown4
15
T-Bar Row4
15
Bicep Curl (Barbell)4
15
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)4
10
Wide Squat3
10
Front Squat (Barbell)3
10
Leg Extension4
15
Lunge (Barbell)4
15
Sit Up4
15
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)4
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
10
Behind-the-Neck Push Press3
10
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)4
15
Skull Crusher4
15
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)4
15
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)4
10
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10
Good Morning3
10
Bent Over Row (Barbell)4
15
Hamstring Curl4
15
Leg Raise4
15
Week 3 - Wave 1 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
10
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)4
10
Lat Pulldown5
15
T-Bar Row5
15
Bicep Curl (Barbell)5
15
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)5
10
Wide Squat4
10
Front Squat (Barbell)4
10
Leg Extension5
15
Lunge (Barbell)5
15
Sit Up5
15
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)5
10
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
10
Behind-the-Neck Push Press4
10
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)5
15
Skull Crusher5
15
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)5
15
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
10
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)4
10
Good Morning4
10
Bent Over Row (Barbell)5
15
Hamstring Curl5
15
Leg Raise5
15
Week 1 - Wave 2 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)3
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)2
8
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)2
8
Lat Pulldown3
12
T-Bar Row3
12
Bicep Curl (Barbell)3
12
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
8
Wide Squat2
8
Front Squat (Barbell)2
8
Leg Extension3
12
Lunge (Barbell)3
12
Sit Up3
12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)3
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)2
8
Behind-the-Neck Push Press2
8
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)3
12
Skull Crusher3
12
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)3
15
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)3
8
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)2
8
Good Morning2
8
Bent Over Row (Barbell)3
12
Hamstring Curl3
12
Leg Raise3
12
Week 2 - Wave 2 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)4
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
8
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)3
8
Lat Pulldown4
12
T-Bar Row4
12
Bicep Curl (Barbell)4
12
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)4
8
Wide Squat3
8
Front Squat (Barbell)3
8
Leg Extension4
12
Lunge (Barbell)4
12
Sit Up4
12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)4
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
8
Behind-the-Neck Push Press3
8
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)4
12
Skull Crusher4
12
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)4
12
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)4
8
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
8
Good Morning3
8
Bent Over Row (Barbell)4
12
Hamstring Curl4
12
Leg Raise4
12
Week 3 - Wave 2 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
8
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)4
8
Lat Pulldown5
12
T-Bar Row5
12
Bicep Curl (Barbell)5
12
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)5
8
Wide Squat4
8
Front Squat (Barbell)4
8
Leg Extension5
12
Lunge (Barbell)5
12
Sit Up5
12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)5
8
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
8
Behind-the-Neck Push Press4
8
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)5
12
Skull Crusher5
12
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)5
12
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
8
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)4
8
Good Morning4
8
Bent Over Row (Barbell)5
12
Hamstring Curl5
12
Leg Raise5
12
Week 1 - Wave 3 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
6
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)3
6
Lat Pulldown3
10
T-Bar Row3
10
Bicep Curl (Barbell)3
10
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
5
Wide Squat3
6
Front Squat (Barbell)3
6
Leg Extension3
10
Lunge (Barbell)3
10
Sit Up3
10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)3
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)3
6
Behind-the-Neck Push Press3
6
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)3
10
Skull Crusher3
10
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)3
10
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)3
5
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
6
Good Morning3
6
Bent Over Row (Barbell)3
10
Hamstring Curl3
10
Leg Raise3
10
Week 2 - Wave 3 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)4
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
6
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)4
6
Lat Pulldown4
10
T-Bar Row4
10
Bicep Curl (Barbell)4
10
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)4
5
Wide Squat4
6
Front Squat (Barbell)4
6
Leg Extension4
10
Lunge (Barbell)4
10
Sit Up4
10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)4
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)4
6
Behind-the-Neck Push Press4
6
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)4
10
Skull Crusher4
10
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)4
10
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)4
5
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)4
6
Good Morning4
6
Bent Over Row (Barbell)4
10
Hamstring Curl4
10
Leg Raise4
10
Week 3 - Wave 3 · Base Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)5
6
Incline Bench Press (Barbell)5
6
Lat Pulldown5
10
T-Bar Row5
10
Bicep Curl (Barbell)5
10
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)5
5
Wide Squat5
6
Front Squat (Barbell)5
6
Leg Extension5
10
Lunge (Barbell)5
10
Sit Up5
10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)5
5
Bench Press (Wide Grip)5
6
Behind-the-Neck Push Press5
6
Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)5
10
Skull Crusher5
10
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)5
10
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
5
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)5
6
Good Morning5
6
Bent Over Row (Barbell)5
10
Hamstring Curl5
10
Leg Raise5
10
Week 1 - Wave 1 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
3
Bench Press (Paused)5
5
Floor Press (Barbell)5
5
Lat Pulldown5
9
Kroc Row5
9
Hammer Curl5
9
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)5
3
Squat (Paused)5
5
High Box Squat5
5
Leg Press5
9
Side Bend (Dumbbell)5
9
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)5
3
Push Press (Barbell)5
5
Standing Pin Press5
5
Upright Row (Barbell)5
9
JM Press5
9
French Press5
9
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
3
Block Deadlift (Barbell)5
5
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)5
5
Pendlay Row5
9
Ab Wheel5
9
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 2 - Wave 1 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)2
3
1
3+
Bench Press (Paused)4
5
Floor Press (Barbell)4
5
Lat Pulldown4
9
Kroc Row4
9
Hammer Curl4
9
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)2
3
1
3+
Squat (Paused)4
5
High Box Squat4
5
Leg Press4
9
Side Bend (Dumbbell)4
9
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)2
3
1
3+
Push Press (Barbell)4
5
Standing Pin Press4
5
Upright Row (Barbell)4
9
JM Press4
9
French Press4
9
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)2
3
1
3+
Block Deadlift (Barbell)4
5
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)4
5
Pendlay Row4
9
Ab Wheel4
9
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 3 - Wave 1 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)1
3
Bench Press (Paused)3
5
Floor Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown2
9
Kroc Row2
9
Hammer Curl2
9
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
3
Squat (Paused)3
5
High Box Squat3
5
Leg Press2
9
Side Bend (Dumbbell)2
9
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)1
3
Push Press (Barbell)3
5
Standing Pin Press3
5
Upright Row (Barbell)2
9
JM Press2
9
French Press2
9
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
3
Block Deadlift (Barbell)3
5
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)3
5
Pendlay Row2
9
Ab Wheel2
9
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 1 - Wave 2 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)4
2
1
2+
Bench Press (Paused)5
4
Floor Press (Barbell)5
4
Lat Pulldown5
7
Kroc Row5
7
Hammer Curl5
7
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)4
2
1
2+
Squat (Paused)5
4
High Box Squat5
4
Leg Press5
7
Side Bend (Dumbbell)5
7
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)4
2
1
2+
Push Press (Barbell)5
4
Standing Pin Press5
4
Upright Row (Barbell)5
7
JM Press5
7
French Press5
7
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)4
2
1
2+
Block Deadlift (Barbell)5
4
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)5
4
Pendlay Row5
7
Ab Wheel5
7
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 2 - Wave 2 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)2
2
1
2+
Bench Press (Paused)4
4
Floor Press (Barbell)4
4
Lat Pulldown4
7
Kroc Row4
7
Hammer Curl4
7
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)2
2
1
2+
Squat (Paused)4
4
High Box Squat4
4
Leg Press4
7
Side Bend (Dumbbell)4
7
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)2
2
1
2+
Push Press (Barbell)4
4
Standing Pin Press4
4
Upright Row (Barbell)4
7
JM Press4
7
French Press4
7
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)2
2
1
2+
Block Deadlift (Barbell)4
4
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)4
4
Pendlay Row4
7
Ab Wheel4
7
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 3 - Wave 2 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)1
2
Bench Press (Paused)3
4
Floor Press (Barbell)3
4
Lat Pulldown2
7
Kroc Row2
7
Hammer Curl2
7
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
2
Squat (Paused)3
4
High Box Squat3
4
Leg Press2
7
Side Bend (Dumbbell)2
7
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)1
2
Push Press (Barbell)3
4
Standing Pin Press3
4
Upright Row (Barbell)2
7
JM Press2
7
French Press2
7
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
2
Block Deadlift (Barbell)3
4
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)3
4
Pendlay Row2
7
Ab Wheel2
7
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 1 - Wave 3 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Bench Press (Paused)5
3
Floor Press (Barbell)5
3
Lat Pulldown5
5
Kroc Row5
5
Hammer Curl5
5
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)5
1
Squat (Paused)5
3
High Box Squat5
3
Leg Press5
5
Side Bend (Dumbbell)5
5
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)5
1
Push Press (Barbell)5
3
Standing Pin Press5
3
Upright Row (Barbell)5
5
JM Press5
5
French Press5
5
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
1
Block Deadlift (Barbell)5
3
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)5
3
Pendlay Row5
5
Ab Wheel5
5
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 2 - Wave 3 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)3
1
Bench Press (Paused)4
3
Floor Press (Barbell)4
3
Lat Pulldown4
5
Kroc Row4
5
Hammer Curl4
5
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
1
Squat (Paused)4
3
High Box Squat4
3
Leg Press4
5
Side Bend (Dumbbell)4
5
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)3
1
Push Press (Barbell)4
3
Standing Pin Press4
3
Upright Row (Barbell)4
5
JM Press4
5
French Press4
5
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)3
1
Block Deadlift (Barbell)4
3
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)4
3
Pendlay Row4
5
Ab Wheel4
5
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
Week 3 - Wave 3 · Peak Phase
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
Bench Press (Paused)3
3
Floor Press (Barbell)3
3
Lat Pulldown2
5
Kroc Row2
5
Hammer Curl2
5
--
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
Squat (Paused)3
3
High Box Squat3
3
Leg Press2
5
Side Bend (Dumbbell)2
5
--
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Overhead Press (Barbell)1
1
Push Press (Barbell)3
3
Standing Pin Press3
3
Upright Row (Barbell)2
5
JM Press2
5
French Press2
5
--
* 1RM of Overhead Press (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
Block Deadlift (Barbell)3
3
Sumo Deadlift (Barbell)3
3
Pendlay Row2
5
Ab Wheel2
5
--
* 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
What People Are Saying
4.2/ 5
Man, 23
3 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
Great for new powerlifters
10 hours ago
Jonah StanleyMan, 31
3 weeks complete
7 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
So far this program has been a lot of fun and a great sweet spot of good results and using time in the gym wisely
2 days ago
Juan P.Man, 49
3 weeks complete
8 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
So far, so good. Just started the 2nd wave and I'm definitely happy with the results so far. Each wave starts relatively easy on week one. By the end of week three it's pretty intense.
3 days ago
Thomas G.Man, 25
7 weeks complete
8 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Overall awesome program. I’m about 8 weeks in and just coming off bull mastiff which was also a great program. Volume is a little high at the start but levels off as the weeks go making recovery and overall workouts more efficient. Overall highly recommend.
4 days ago

70s Powerlifter Program

  • 4 Days per week

  • Upper/Lower/Upper/Lower (1 lift each day)

  • 3 - 3 Week Volumizing Waves

  • 3 - 3 Week Intensifying Waves

  • Leans on both Variations of Main Lift and Bodybuilding Work

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

There’s a heavy influence of the prototypical 70’s lifter here. Many of the accounts of some of the monsters that populated meets at that time, such as Doug Young and Bill Kazmaier, cited high volume approaches with many compound variations and plenty of bodybuilding movements to top it off.

There was also an apparent lack of creativity in the progressions, something I see as a positive. If the main lift was done for 5 sets of 10, often times, so were the second and third. Turns out they all progressed just as well as if they had been done for 8s, 6s, 12s, or anything in between. Each lift doesn’t, in fact, need it’s own unique progression scheme. Just set a baseline of work for each lift and progress forward.

PROGRAM INSTRUCTIONS

Main movement %'s
The range in percentages (ex. 60-65-75%) is to give you flexibility depending on how you recover each week. If the weight moves well, do most of your sets at the top range. If you feel under-recovered, do all of them at the low end. Increases in weight is second priority; the important thing is that weight doesn't go down as you add a set each week.

Deload weeks
Deload weeks are not included in the written program. However, take deload weeks as needed.

Be warned
This is an abnormal amount of work. The point of programming is to adapt to amounts of work that you are not used to. If you commit to this, understand that success hinges on reasonable weight selection. You will be more and more fatigued for each successive compound movement, so be prepared to adjust the weights way down. If any set in the Base phase was within 3 reps of failure, it was too heavy.