Kristen Dunsmore Intermediate Program
413 athletes joined
12 week powerlifting program for novice & intermediate lifters to gain strength and peak for a meet.
4.21
(38 ratings)
Program Description

The Kristen Dunsmore Intermediate Program is a 12 week training routine for novice and intermediate-level powerlifters. Designed by Kristen Dunsmore, a two-time national champion in the 69kg and 72kg weight classes and a current PhD candidate in Health and Human Performance at Concordia University Chicago, this program reflects her extensive knowledge and passion for powerlifting.

Program Overview:

Duration: 12 Weeks

Training Frequency: 4 Days per Week

Target Audience: Intermediate Female and Male Powerlifters

Objective: To increase 1RM (One-Rep Max) in the squat, bench press, and deadlift

Program Philosophy: The core philosophy of the program is to engage the entire body in every training session. Each session begins with compound lifts that are fundamental in powerlifting competitions, such as the squat, bench, and deadlift. These are followed by accessory lifts and bodybuilding movements, providing a comprehensive training approach that enhances overall strength and muscular development.

Program Structure:

Weeks 1-5: Focus on progressively increasing the intensity of compound movements, complemented by accessory and bodybuilding exercises.

Week 6: A deload week to allow for recovery and reduce the risk of overtraining.

Weeks 7-11: The training intensity gradually increases, leading up to a peak in week 12

Week 12: Meet week or 1RM test week

Target Lifters:

The Kristen Dunsmore Intermediate Program is for novice and intermediate female and male lifters who are already familiar with the primary powerlifting movements and have used a linear progression training program.

The program is structured to be repeated, allowing lifters to continuously challenge and improve their performance.

Coaching:

Kristen Dunsmore is the founder of Empowerlift Training, which offers remote and in-person coaching services including, fully customized training programs specific to your goals and individual response. Visit https://empowerlifttraining.com/ for more information.

Program Overview
Level
Novice, 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
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
5
5
RPE 6-7
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
5
5
RPE 7-8
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
4
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
5
5
RPE 7-8
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
3
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
5
5
RPE 8-9
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
2
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
5
5
RPE 8-9
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
2
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
4
5
5
RPE 8-9
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
5
RPE 5-6
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
RPE 5-6
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
8
RPE 6-7
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 6-7
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 6-7
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
6
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1
1
4
4
RPE 7-8
-
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
6
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1
1
4
4
RPE 8-9
-
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 8-9
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
6
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1
1
4
4
RPE 8-9
-
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 8-9
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
6
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1
1
4
4
RPE 9.5
-
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 9.5
-
3
Bench Press (Dumbbell)
2
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat
2
6
RPE 7-8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 1
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
1
2
1
2
RPE 7
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
2
RPE 8
-
3
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
5
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
65%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
6
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
67.5%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
7
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
70%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
8
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
72.5%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
9
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
5
75%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
5
1
75%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
2
5
70%
3
Lat Pulldown
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
4
Seated Row (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
6
1
77.5%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4
77.5%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
7
1
77.5%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4
80%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
8
1
77.5%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4
82.5%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
9
1
77.5%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
4
85%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
10
1
77.5%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
4
3
87.5%
3
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Seated Row (Cable)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
5
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
Day 2
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
5
1
70%
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
4
3
77.5%
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
70%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 6-7
-
3
Leg Press
3
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
RPE 8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
72.5%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Leg Press
3
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
RPE 8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
75%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Leg Press
3
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
RPE 8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
77.5%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 8-9
-
3
Leg Press
3
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
RPE 8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
80%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
3
1
4
RPE 9.5
-
3
Leg Press
3
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
RPE 8
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Paused)
3
4
70%*
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 5-6
-
3
Leg Press
2
8-10
RPE 6-7
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
5-10
-
5
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 6-7
-
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 8-9
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 8-9
-
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 9.5
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 9.5
-
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 7-8
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
4
RPE 6-7
-
Day 3
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
3
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
1
2
1
2
RPE 5-6
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
3
5
RPE 6-7
-
2
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 7-8
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
3
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 7-8
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
2
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 7-8
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
5
RPE 7-8
-
2
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 7-8
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
1
2
1
5
RPE 8-9
-
2
Lat Pulldown
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
3
10-12
RPE 7-8
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 7-8
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Deadlift (Barbell)
2
5
RPE 5-6
2
Lat Pulldown
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
4
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)
2
10-12
RPE 6-7
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
12-15
RPE 6-7
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
1
80%
2
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
-
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
6
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
1
82.5%
2
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
-
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
6
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
1
82.5%
2
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
-
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
6
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
1
82.5%
2
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
-
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
6
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Bench Press (Barbell)
5
1
85%
2
Lat Pulldown
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
3
Chest Supported Row (Machine)
3
8-10
RPE 7-8
4
Push Up (Weighted)
2
AMRAP
-
5
Lateral Raise (Cable)
2
10-12
RPE 7-8
6
Plank (Weighted)
2
30-60 secs
-
Day 4
#
Exercise
Sets
Reps
Intensity
1
Squat (Barbell)
3
1
-
2
Bench Press (Barbell)
3
1
-
3
Deadlift (Barbell)
3
1
-
What People Are Saying(38 ratings)
Only ratings with written feedback are displayed here.
4.21/ 5
AnonymousMan
6 days ago
9 weeks complete
3 years of prior experience
As expected strength gains
As expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Good program, lots of fun. Good strength gains, not so much size. Love the deadlift/squat frequency. Be ready to bench every training day.
Brian C.Man
7 days ago
5 weeks complete
2 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Very good balance of intensity and exercise selection. Did not feel overtrained or undertrained.