Kristen Dunsmore Intermediate Program

(3 reviews)
12 week powerlifting program for novice & intermediate lifters to gain strength and peak for a meet.
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
CoachKristen Dunsmoreverified coach
LevelNovice, Intermediate
GoalPowerlifting
EquipmentFull Gym
Time Per Workout60 minutes
Days Per Week4 days
Program Length12 weeks
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Week 1
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
5
2
5
Bench Press (Barbell)1
5
2
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)3
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Leg Press3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
3
2
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
Week 2
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
4
2
5
Bench Press (Barbell)1
5
2
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)6
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)3
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Leg Press3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
3
2
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
Week 3
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
3
2
5
Bench Press (Barbell)1
5
3
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)7
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)3
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Leg Press3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
2
2
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
Week 4
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
2
3
5
Bench Press (Barbell)1
5
4
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)8
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)3
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Leg Press3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
Week 5
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
2
3
5
Bench Press (Barbell)1
5
4
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)9
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)3
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Leg Press3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
5
Lat Pulldown3
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)3
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
Week 6 · Deload Week
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
5
Bench Press (Barbell)3
5
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
10-12
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
8
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
--
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
1
Bench Press (Barbell)2
5
Lat Pulldown2
10-12
Seated Row (Cable)2
10-12
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)2
10-12
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Paused)3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Leg Press2
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
5-10
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
* 1RM of Squat (Barbell)
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)2
5
Lat Pulldown2
10-12
Chest Supported Row (Machine)2
10-12
Romanian Deadlift (Barbell)2
10-12
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
12-15
--
Week 7
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
8-10
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
6
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)6
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
4
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Seated Row (Cable)3
8-10
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
8-10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
4
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
10-12
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Week 8
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
4
1
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
8-10
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
6
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)7
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
4
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Seated Row (Cable)3
8-10
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
8-10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
4
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
10-12
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Week 9
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
4
1
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
8-10
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
6
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)8
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
4
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Seated Row (Cable)3
8-10
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
8-10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
4
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
10-12
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Week 10
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
4
1
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
8-10
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
6
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)9
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
4
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Seated Row (Cable)3
8-10
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
8-10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
4
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
10-12
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Week 11
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
4
1
4
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
3
4
Bench Press (Dumbbell)2
8-10
Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat2
6
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)10
1
Bench Press (Barbell)4
3
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Seated Row (Cable)3
8-10
Seated Shoulder Press (Dumbbell)3
8-10
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
4
Deadlift (Barbell)1
1
2
4
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Bench Press (Barbell)5
1
Lat Pulldown3
8-10
Chest Supported Row (Machine)3
8-10
Push Up (Weighted)2
AMRAP
Lateral Raise (Cable)2
10-12
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
Week 12 · Meet Week
Day 1
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)1
1
2
2
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
2
Plank (Weighted)2
30-60 secs
--
--
--
Day 2
ExerciseSetsReps
Deadlift (Barbell)5
1
Bench Press (Barbell)4
3
--
--
--
Day 3
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
3
Bench Press (Barbell)1
1
2
2
--
--
--
Day 4
ExerciseSetsReps
Squat (Barbell)3
1
Bench Press (Barbell)3
1
Deadlift (Barbell)3
1
--
--
--
What People Are Saying
4.3/ 5
Jo B.Woman, 34
3 weeks complete
5 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Great program - stick with it and you'll see progress! I also added some modifications based on equipment availability but generally stuck with the exercises.
4 days ago
Brittney B.Woman, 33
3 weeks complete
8 years of prior experience
More than expected strength gains
More than expected muscle gains
Marginal modifications
Works really well for me! Great programs for people just starting out!
16 days ago