TSA Beginner Approach

Free4.17 (23 reviews)
9 week beginner powerlifting program made by Bryce Lewis and The Strength Athlete
Program Description

This is a 9-week training approach for beginner athletes designed to overcome many shortcomings of common programs that beginner powerlifters run. It’s the starting program we wish we had before powerlifting, designed to bridge into either repeat of the same approach as long as you keep making progress, or into more advanced training approaches as seamlessly as possible.

Toward the end, athletes handle heavier and heavier loads as they work toward new 3-rep maxes before rinsing and repeating. Most athletes should find this is a balanced amount of training volume, training stress, and loading to see great progress.

We think you’ll really like it. For squat, we’ve included two training days of squatting so that athletes have enough frequency to practice the movement and build training volume to progress, but not so much that this program classifies as an intermediate or advanced approach. We’ve included light to moderate single repetitions from the very start to give athletes exposure to walking out and executing single reps. In later weeks, there may be some post-activation potentiation (PAP) from performing heavier single repetitions as well.

We utilize multiple rep ranges to ensure maximum strength and hypertrophy. We’ve also included plenty of lower body training volume to allow for leg size increases, as well as strength. For bench press, we include three movements per week because bench press especially can tolerate (and often need) more training volume and practice.

To this end, we give new athletes a chance to practice pausing the bench on Day 4, practice with heavier loading as the program progresses, and plenty of training volume per week. In addition, we include lots of upper body training volume to grow.

For deadlift, we work on technique with the inclusion of paused work for much of the training approach. Training volume is lower here than squat or bench press by design, and the approach balances fatigue while allowing athletes to crush progress and set new PRs.Over the whole approach, we use autoregulation to make sure athletes can change loads were needed to keep the program at the appropriate difficulty level.

Beginner athletes especially progress at different rates, and we decided to give both percentage and RPE for athletes to choose from. We’ve made this program with a four-week addition that you can use to run this program directly into a competition! The peak is also designed for first competitions, and we can’t wait to see what you accomplish.

Program Overview
Coach
Level
Equipment
Time Per Workout
Days Per Week
Program Length
Beginner, Novice
Full Gym
60 minutes
4 days
9 weeks
What People Are Saying
Matthew C. Man, 21
3 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
2 days ago
Neyma M. Woman, 18
3 weeks complete
No modifications
11 days ago
Kaden T. Man, 15
3 weeks complete
No modifications
12 days ago
Mateo F. Man, 15
2 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
23 days ago
Nathan N. Man, 35
3 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
No modifications
a month ago
Buster Man, 19
3 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
No modifications
a month ago
Tohka Man, 22
3 weeks complete
No modifications
a month ago
Ryan N. Man, 14
3 weeks complete
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
I gained 50lbs on squat, 15lbs on bench, and 35lbs on deadlift since i started the program around 3 week ago
a month ago
Ibrahim B. Man, 18
3 weeks complete
No modifications
a month ago
Rey H. Man, 49
3 weeks complete
1 year of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
None modifications
a month ago
Variation Name
Program Length
Days Per Week
Default Days
Male 9 Week
9 weeks
4 days
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri
Variation Description
  • Most of the time, use this 9-week approach and you'll keep making progress.
  • 3 Rep Max test in week 9.
Intro/Acclimation
Mon
1. Squat (Barbell)
Competition Squat. If shoulder/bicep/elbow pain, squat high bar
SetsTargetIntensity
1
1 reps
69% of 1RM
2
1 reps
69% of 1RM
3
7 reps
64% of 1RM
4
7 reps
64% of 1RM
5
7 reps
64% of 1RM
2. Bench Press (Barbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
1 reps
74% of 1RM
2
1 reps
74% of 1RM
3
7 reps
65% of 1RM
4
7 reps
65% of 1RM
5
7 reps
65% of 1RM
3. Bench Press (Dumbbell)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Chest Press (Machine)
Alternative Exercise 2: Bench Press (Close Grip)
Alternative Exercise 3: Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
12 reps
RPE 6-7
2
12 reps
RPE 6-7
3
12 reps
RPE 6-7
4. Bent Over Row (Dumbbell)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Chest Supported Row (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Pendlay Row
Alternative Exercise 3: T-Bar Row
SetsTargetIntensity
1
12 reps
RPE 6-8
2
12 reps
RPE 6-8
3
12 reps
RPE 6-8
5. Decline Crunch (Weighted)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Abs Crunch (Weighted)
Alternative Exercise 2: Hanging Leg Raise
Alternative Exercise 3: Cable Crunch
SetsTargetIntensity
1
15 reps
RPE 6-8
2
15 reps
RPE 6-8
3
15 reps
RPE 6-8
Tue
1. Deadlift (Paused)
RPE 6.5
SetsTargetIntensity
1
4 reps
65% 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
2
4 reps
65% 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
3
4 reps
65% 1RM of Deadlift (Barbell)
2. Bench Press (Barbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
4 reps
75% of 1RM
2
8 reps
65% of 1RM
3
8 reps
65% of 1RM
3. Hip Thrust (Barbell)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Pull Through (Cable)
Alternative Exercise 2: Reverse Hyperextension
Alternative Exercise 3: Single Leg Hip Thrust
SetsTargetIntensity
1
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
4. Tricep Pushdown (Cable)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Skull Crusher
Alternative Exercise 2: Overhead Extension (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 3: Dip (Assisted)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
12 reps
RPE 6-8
2
12 reps
RPE 6-8
3
12 reps
RPE 6-8
5. Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (EZ Bar)
Alternative Exercise 2: Bicep Curl (Machine)
Alternative Exercise 3: Preacher Curl (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
12 reps
RPE 6-8
2
12 reps
RPE 6-8
3
12 reps
RPE 6-8
Thu
1. Squat (Barbell)
RPE 6. Competition Squat. If shoulder/bicep/elbow pain, squat high bar.
SetsTargetIntensity
1
5 reps
74% of 1RM
2
5 reps
74% of 1RM
3
5 reps
74% of 1RM
2. Lat Pulldown
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Pull-Up (Weighted)
Alternative Exercise 2: High Row
SetsTargetIntensity
1
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3. Single Arm Shoulder Press
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Lateral Raise (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Overhead Press (Barbell)
Alternative Exercise 3: Overhead Press (Machine)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
12 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
12 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
12 reps
RPE 6-7.5
4. Single Arm Overhead Tricep Extension
Click ••• for alternates... May superset biceps/triceps
Alternative Exercise 1: Skull Crusher
Alternative Exercise 2: Tricep Pushdown (Cable)
Alternative Exercise 3: Dip (Bodyweight)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
5. Bicep Curl (EZ Bar)
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 2: Preacher Curl (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 3: Incline Curl (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
Fri
Add 5th exercise for athlete’s movement of choice
1. Deadlift (Barbell)
RPE 7 for the first set
SetsTargetIntensity
1
4 reps
80% of 1RM
2
4 reps
75% of 1RM
3
4 reps
75% of 1RM
2. Bench Press (Paused)
3 count Paused Bench Press. RPE 6
SetsTargetIntensity
1
4 reps
67% 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
2
4 reps
67% 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4 reps
67% 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
3. Leg Press
Click ••• for alternates
Alternative Exercise 1: Hack Squat
Alternative Exercise 2: Bulgarian Split Squat (Dumbbell)
Alternative Exercise 3: Walking Lunge (Dumbbell)
SetsTargetIntensity
1
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
10 reps
RPE 6-7.5
4. Leg Extension
Alternative Exercise 1: Terminal Knee Extension
SetsTargetIntensity
1
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
2
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5
3
15 reps
RPE 6-7.5