Written by Calgary Barbell, the 16 Week program is widely regarded as one of the best intermediate powerlifting programs on the internet.
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It is a 4/day a week program with tons of weekly progressions based on exercise variations, frequency, volume, specificity, tempo, RPE, 1RM, and a range of accessory exercises.
Read more about the Calgary Barbell program below.
Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program Guide
The Calgary Barbell 16 Week program is split into 4 blocks lasting a few weeks each, with increasing intensity to ultimately help you peak for a powerlifting competition at the end of 16 weeks.
Whether you're a seasoned powerlifter or a novice gym-goer looking to increase your strength, it's always beneficial to try out new training programs. In the realm of strength training, one approach has garnered significant attention: the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program. It's a comprehensive, rigorous, and structured plan, designed to help you break plateaus and maximize your lifting potential. In this article, we'll delve into what this program is, why you should consider it, and how to follow it correctly.
What is the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program?
The Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program is a powerlifting routine designed to drastically improve strength in the three main powerlifting movements: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. Created by Bryce Krawczyk, a Canadian powerlifter and the owner of Calgary Barbell, this program has helped numerous lifters achieve new personal records and improve their overall performance.
The program focuses on a blend of submaximal strength work and higher volume hypertrophy training to facilitate both muscle growth and strength development. It integrates a periodized approach, which means that the type, volume, and intensity of training changes over time.
Why Choose the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program?
Choosing a powerlifting program involves personal preferences, goals, and current levels of strength and fitness. So why choose the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program? Here are some reasons:
1. Periodization: This program utilizes both linear and undulating periodization, ensuring constant progression. It starts with a hypertrophy phase, progresses to a strength phase, and culminates in a peaking phase. This model ensures your body adapts to different styles of training stress, reducing the risk of plateauing.
2. Volume and Intensity Balance: Many powerlifting programs tend to be heavily skewed towards either volume (repetitions) or intensity (weight). However, the Calgary Barbell Program finds a good balance, helping you build muscle while also increasing strength.
3. Accessibility: The program is free and easily accessible online. It offers a solid foundation for both beginners and intermediates. For advanced lifters, it can serve as a template that can be adjusted based on individual needs.
4. Adaptability: The program allows for some degree of flexibility and customization, so you can adapt it to fit your specific needs and lifestyle.
How to Follow the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program
Following the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program requires consistency, commitment, and an understanding of your limits. Here's a simple breakdown of how to follow this powerlifting regimen:
1. The Split: This program follows a 4-day per week training split. The days are typically divided into two lower body days (focused on squats and deadlifts) and two upper body days (focused on bench press).
2. The Phases: The 16-week program is divided into three distinct phases: hypertrophy (weeks 1-4), strength (weeks 5-12), and peaking (weeks 13-16). Each phase has a different focus and intensity to ensure continuous progress.
3. Exercise Selection: The program revolves around the three main powerlifts, but it also includes essential accessory exercises to promote balanced development and injury prevention. The accessory exercises can be adjusted to address your individual weak points.
4. Load and Volume: The program provides a progression model, where you start with higher volume (more sets and reps) and lower intensity (lighter weights), gradually transitioning to lower volume and higher intensity as you approach the peaking phase.
5. Rest and Recovery: Adequate rest is crucial to succeed in this program. Remember, strength gains occur during rest periods when your muscles recover and adapt to the training stress. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat a balanced diet rich in protein, and manage stress to optimize your recovery.
6. Tracking Progress: The Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program involves regular testing of your one-rep max (1RM) to assess your progress and adjust your training weights accordingly. Be sure to log your workouts to monitor your performance and improvements over time.
The Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program offers an evidence-based, structured, and periodized approach to powerlifting training. It strikes a good balance between volume and intensity, promoting muscle hypertrophy and strength gains, all while reducing the risk of plateauing. While the program is demanding, the payoff can be significant, particularly if you are looking to push your strength to new heights.
Remember, as with any training program, individual results will vary. It's essential to listen to your body, adjust as necessary, and consider working with a coach or experienced lifter if you're new to powerlifting. Regardless of your current level, the Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program could be the key to unlocking your strength potential and taking your powerlifting performance to the next level.