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Matt Vena Intermediate Powerlifting Program
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From Canadian champion powerlifter and elite coach Matt Vena
4.92
(12 ratings)
Program Description

From champion powerlifter and coach Matt Vena, this program is a generalized powerlifting routine for intermediate lifters, focusing on squats, bench presses, and deadlifts with specific variations and accessory work. Here's a concise breakdown:

Squats:

  • Day 1: Regular squats and tempo squats (4-second descent, 0.5-second pause).

  • Day 3: Paused squats (1-second pause at the bottom).

Bench Press:

  • Day 1: Larsen press and dumbbell incline bench for hypertrophy.

  • Day 2: Tempo bench single (4-count descent) and back-off sets.

  • Day 3: Primary bench day with long pause bench (2-second pause).

  • Day 4: Regular bench press and close grip bench press (2-3 finger widths narrower).

Deadlifts:

  • Day 2: Romanian deadlifts for hinge work and posterior chain hypertrophy.

  • Day 4: Paused deadlifts (1 inch off the floor, 1-second pause).

Accessory Work:

  • Triceps: Included on three bench days.

  • Back and Biceps: Back work on day 2, biceps on day 1. First set to failure, remaining sets to RPE8.

Progression Scheme:

  • Microcycles: 3-week cycles, adding a rep each week, then resetting reps and adding 3% weight.

  • Singles: Cycle through RPE 6-7-8 over the microcycles.

  • Taper Week: One moderate day, one light day, then max out with RPE6-8-10 jumps.

Focus on consistent form, controlled tempos, and autoregulating based on daily performance. Adjust weight and reps as needed to avoid overshooting and ensure steady progress.

Read the full guide on the website for full program details:

Program Overview
Level
Intermediate
Goal
Powerlifting
Equipment
Full Gym
Program Length
12 weeks
Days Per Week
4 days
Time Per Workout
60 minutes
down_app
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
66%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
4 Reps
73%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
70%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
7 Reps
66%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
5 Reps
73%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
3 Reps
70%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
66%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
6 Reps
73%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
70%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
69%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
4 Reps
76%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
73%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
7 Reps
69%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
5 Reps
76%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
3 Reps
73%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
69%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
6 Reps
76%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
73%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
74%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
4 Reps
79%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
76%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
7 Reps
72%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
5 Reps
79%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
3 Reps
76%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
3
8 Reps
72%*
2
Incline Bench Press (Dumbbell)
1
2
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
6 Reps
79%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
76%*
5
Hammer Curl
4
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
5
6 Reps
76%*
2
Squat (Barbell)
1
1 Reps
RPE 6
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
4 Reps
81%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
78%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Larsen Press (Barbell)
5
6 Reps
78%*
2
Squat (Barbell)
1
1 Reps
RPE 6
3
Squat (Low Bar)
3
4 Reps
83%*
4
Tempo Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
70%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
2 Reps
75%
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
70%
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
70%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
6 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
70%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
7 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
70%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
8 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
76%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
6 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
73%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
7 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
73%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
8 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
76%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
6 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
8 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
76%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
7 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
9 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
76%
3
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
8 Reps
RPE 6
4
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
5
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
6
Lat Pulldown
3
10 Reps
RPE 10
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
78%
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Tempo Bench Press
1
2
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
90%*
2
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
4
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
80%
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell)
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
2
2 Reps
60%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
2 Reps
70%
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
2
2 Reps
60%
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
78%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
2 Reps
74%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
78%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
2 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
78%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
3 Reps
74%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
78%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
3 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
78%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
4 Reps
74%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
78%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
4 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
81%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
2 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
81%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
2 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
81%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
3 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
81%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
3 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
81%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
4 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
81%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
4 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
84%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
2 Reps
80%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
84%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
2 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
84%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
3 Reps
80%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
84%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
3 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
84%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
4 Reps
80%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
84%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
4 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
86%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
2 Reps
82%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
86%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
2 Reps
82%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
88%
2
Long Pause Bench Press
3
2 Reps
84%*
3
Tricep Rope Push Down (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
88%
5
Squat (Paused)
3
2 Reps
84%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
1
1
1 Reps
1 Reps
1 Reps
RPE 6
RPE 8
RPE 10
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
1
1
1 Reps
1 Reps
1 Reps
RPE 6
RPE 8
RPE 10
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
1
1
1 Reps
1 Reps
1 Reps
RPE 6
RPE 8
RPE 10
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
73%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
4 Reps
71%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
78%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
2 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
73%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
5 Reps
71%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
78%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
3 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
73%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
6 Reps
71%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
78%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
4 Reps
74%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
76%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
4 Reps
74%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
81%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
2 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
77%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
5 Reps
75%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
81%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
3 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
76%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
6 Reps
74%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
81%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
4 Reps
77%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4 Reps
79%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
4 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 6
84%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
2 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5 Reps
79%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
5 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
9 Reps
9 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
3 Reps
RPE 7
84%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
3 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
6 Reps
79%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
6 Reps
77%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
10 Reps
10 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 8
84%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
4 Reps
80%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
81%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
4 Reps
79%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
86%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
2 Reps
82%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
4 Reps
RPE 6
83%
2
Bench Press (Close Grip)
3
4 Reps
81%*
3
Tricep Extension (Cable)
1
3
8 Reps
8 Reps
RPE 10
RPE 8
4
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
3
1 Reps
2 Reps
RPE 8
88%
5
Deadlift (Paused)
2
2 Reps
84%*
* 1RM of Bench Press (Barbell), Deadlift (Barbell)
Day 4
No exercises added to this day
What People Are Saying(12 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
4.92/ 5
Thuc L.Age 26, Man
3 days ago
2 weeks complete
7 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Great Powerlifting Program. It will definitely help improve your main 3 lifts, especially the bench press if you follow the program exercise order and do your bench work first. Volume is just right IMO if you take a day off between day 3 and day 4. I added some hamstring and glute accessories because my deadlift is lacking. I also added a couple of lateral delts and rear delts accessories, 2 additional biceps accessories, and 1 lats and quads isolation accessories because the volume for those are too low for my bodybuilding goals. Overall, great powerlifting program.
Josh S.Man
6 days ago
1 week complete
4 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Very great program for strength and size. A quarter though and think the volume and exercise selection is good. The only things I have switched is deadlift and squat is first on the 3 non main bench days. Felt fatigued doing bench first then squat, or deadlift. Also did more lat, mid, and rear delt. Switched a tricep isolation for those and also added more for those 3 muscles. Overall great program so far, and the skill of the big 3 has definitely improved with good volume, and proper accessories.

This program is designed to be a generalized powerlifting program, and suitable for intermediate lifters. Here is a breakdown of the basics.

On squats, I have us doing some squat work each day.

On the 1st squat day we do regular squats, and tempo squats as our variation. On the 2nd squat day, day 3 overall, we do paused squats, 1 second in the hole. I really see the key to a good squat to be the transition into and out of the hole. So I we are hammering it down with both of these. Tempo squats focus on controlling the descent, and letting you focus on midfoot balance with that slow descent. Go for a 4 second descent, and a half second pause. Make the descent one consistent speed, do not accelerate into the hole. And paused squats force you into maitnaining a good position in the hole, teaching you what is right naturally. 1 second pause here. Keep in mind, for this and tempo and other work, that 1 second feels longer when you are lifting the weight. I suggest a ratio of 2 count per 1 second roughly. Video yourself or get somebody to watch for you to make sure you are accurate and adjust your count as necessary. Here on squats and on deadlifts, relying on a good amount of specific volume on these lifts, so no isolation work.

On bench 4 days. The first day is a bit more hypertrophy focused. Larsen press forces a bit of extra ROM, the less leg drive helps to manage loading a bit, as we are benching again the next day and dumbbell incline bench, a more intense exercise to push more for hypertrophy. Prefer pushing a less specific lift like this to prevent carryover fatigue. On the second day, which is a consecutive day with no rest, we have a lighter tempo bench single, and 2 back off sets as a percent of the top set (the 90% represents 90% of the single). Go for a 4 count descent on these. This is a strategy I use with some of my lifters. This is basically a primer day. It gives you a practice controlling the descent to reinforce good technique with the tempo. The light single primes you for the main single the following bench day. And also the RPE based work of this day helps us to autoregulate fatigue. The third day is our primary day, regular bench and the single. Then long pause bench, work for control on our chest, and also a self limiting variation, forces less weight, again to manage load. Go for a 2 second pause, roughly a 4 count in your head. The last day is regular bench press, and close grip bench press. Like close grip for being a slight variation, good specific practice while preventing overuse, bit of extra ROM at the joints too. Would go for 2-3 finger widths narrower, we don't need a massive change here, or to really hammer triceps, as we have 4 sets of triceps on 3 of these bench days. They are getting their work.

On deadlift 2 days. Similar format to squats, 1 variation each day. On the secondary day, day 2 overall, we have Romanian deadlifts. I like this for working a good hinge, and hypertrophy in our posterior chain. Practicing a good hinge, whether you pull sumo or conventional, is a necessary skill. And I chose Romanians vs stiff leggeds so its easier to focus on keeping it a more pure hinge. Then we have paused deadlifts on the primary day. I view these as a key to a good deadlift, as start position is really key. Go for 1 inch off the floor, 1 second with these.

We also have some accessory work spread out, triceps as I mentioned and some back and biceps. Kept the back work on the day 2, so we have rest before our next lower body lift. Find its not good to work our upper back hard and fatigue it without rest before a big squat or deadlift day. And a bit of biceps work on day 1. Nobody ever complained about big arms, and I do think they help a bit on bench press. We do the first set to failure, actually attempt a rep and fail, and the rest to RPE8 on these accessories. This helps to "idiot proof" RPE, do a set to failure and you are sure of the RPE. Dont worry too much about getting the reps exact, just the right ballpark range. The proximity to failure is the stimulus, and the rep range a rough guide. Middle ground where reps arent too high rep and taxing, or too low rep where cant keep good, isolating technique.

The progression scheme is my basic one. I do 3 week microcycles, add a rep per week. Then reset reps, and add weight. 3% in this case. For a 12 week program it covers the intensities I like to see over the course of a training cycle. Starting more submaximal, let us work form and build momentum, then push ourselves well near the end. There are singles that cycle through RPEs, 6-7-8 across the 3 week microcycles. Dont get too tied up into performance on these, meant to just practice executing one rep and get some exposure to heavier weights. And with more fatigue as the working sets get harder over the program, may temporarily get weaker as the program goes on, not to mention random fluctuation. I suggest watching my video on singles for more info. Just make the right call for the RPE based on how your warmups feel on the day.

The last week is a taper. One moderate day, to maintain skill. One really light day, just maintain skill while really cutting fatigue. Then we max out. I suggest RPE6-8-10 jumps. We can use the singles we did as a guide for these attempts. The RPE6 range for openers, the RPE8 range for seconds, and then a similar percentage jump for RPE10 on the thirds.

Of course, adjust to how you feel on the day, the key here is being as objective as possible, so you don't overshoot the mark. For example, starting max is 300lbs, your now able to do 330lbs. But in your actual attempts on max out day, maybe you go 280-310-340. You hit a 10lbs PR, but you miss the 340. You left 20lbs from your true max by taking too big a jump.