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Killer Strength Program!

OK, before I start, this is a powerlifting program, not a bodybuilding program. Of all the programs I've tried, this has boosted my strength the most. Here is my full 14-week cycle!

By: David Knowles

OK, before I start, this is a powerlifting program, not a bodybuilding program. Of all the programs I've tried, this boosted my strength the most. I did this in preparation for when I used to compete in powerlifting contests. It is a 14-week cycle. Yeah, yeah, I know, "just shut up and tell me the program." Alright, here it is: First, you need to figure out what you ultimately want for your one rep maximum (ORM) for bench press, squat and deadlift. Write all three lifts down on a sheet of paper.


One Rep Max Calculator
Need to know what your one rep max is for a new workout program based on percentages? It is simple! Use the following calculator and table to figure it out.
[ Click here to learn more. ]

The Workouts

Squat Workout

    Squats
    • Week 1: 60% of ORM for 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Week 2: 65% of ORM for 3 sets of 6 reps
    • Week 3: 70% of ORM for 3 sets of 5 reps
    • Week 4: 75% of ORM for 3 sets of 4 reps
    • Week 5: 80% of ORM for 3 sets of 3 reps
    • Week 6: 85% of ORM for 2 sets of 2 reps
    • Week 7: 90% of ORM for 1 set of 1 rep

    Barbell shrugs - 4 sets 10 reps
    Leg Press - 4 sets 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
    Wide stance smith squat - 3 sets 6 reps
    Leg extension - 3 sets 10 reps
    Leg curl - 3 sets 10 reps

Click here for printable workout log!

Deadlift Workout

    Squat - (light) 12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps (pyramid up with weight)
    Deadlift
    • Week 1: 60% of ORM for 3 sets of 8 reps
    • Week 2: 65% of ORM for 3 sets of 6 reps
    • Week 3: 70% of ORM for 3 sets of 5 reps
    • Week 4: 75% of ORM for 3 sets of 4 reps
    • Week 5: 80% of ORM for 3 sets of 3 reps
    • Week 6: 85% of ORM for 2 sets of 2 reps
    • Week 7: 90% of ORM for 1 set of 1 rep

    Barbell shrugs - 4 sets 10 reps
    Bent over rows - 4 sets 10, 8, 6, 6 reps
    Seated rows - 3 sets 8 reps
    Pulldowns in front - 3 sets 8 reps
    One arm dumbbell rows - 3 sets 8 reps

Click here for printable workout log!

Bench workout #1 (Heavy chest)

Click here for printable workout log!

Bench Workout #2 (Light chest)

Click here for printable workout log!

Now, you've just completed the first half of the 14-week cycle. You're ready for the second half. The only difference is the percentages on your three major lifts, all other exercises, sets and reps all remain the same.

Here is the second half percentages:

  • Week 1: 70% of ORM for 3 sets of 8 reps
  • Week 2: 75% of ORM for 3 sets of 6 reps
  • Week 3: 80% of ORM for 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Week 4: 85% of ORM for 3 sets of 4 reps
  • Week 5: 90% of ORM for 3 sets of 3 reps
  • Week 6: 95% of ORM for 2 sets of 2 reps
  • Week 7: 100% of ORM for 1 set of 1 rep

So, here is how you should break down the days in which you train:

    Sunday is squat day.
    Tuesday is Bench #1 (heavy) day.
    Thursday is Deadlift day.
    Friday is Bench #2 (light) day.
The cycle starts over on Sunday.

Before starting the whole 14-week training cycle, you will need to take about 3-to-4 weeks in which you condition your muscles. To do this, train on the days which I have specified, and only do four exercises from each workout. The major lifts must be included in the four selected exercises.

What you select is up to you, however I recommend doing exercises that work as many muscles as possible. For example, on a bench day, you would not want to just do all chest work, choose exercises that will work the chest, shoulders and triceps.

Once you have started the 14-week cycle, you need to pyramid up in weight with every exercise except your major lifts once you reach the specified percentage. The first couple of weeks will feel like you can do more weight on your major lifts. This is natural, but do not increase the percentage for a given week even if you can go heavier.

As far as rest goes, rest about 5-8 minutes for your major lifts. Any other assistance work, you can rest however long you want. These are really long workouts, but remember, the workouts are powerlifting specific.

Powerlifting implies the avoidance cardio, and eating whatever you want.

Killer Strength Program!
dknowles@alltel.net

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MikeSheehan55

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MikeSheehan55

This looks great, but how important are the off days? The gym is therapy for me, ill be lost with all this free time, so is there anything else i can do to supplement this program?

May 31, 2013 7:06pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 17'3"
  • wt: 207.23 lbs
  • bf: 14.0%
hungryandfat

Rep Power: 0

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hungryandfat

I was thinking the same thing. I'd like to do this all twice a week. With one day off in between starting the cycle over each week

Jan 11, 2014 5:11pm | report
StarchmanK

Rep Power: 0

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StarchmanK

"Once you have started the 14-week cycle, you need to pyramid up in weight with every exercise except your major lifts once you reach the specified percentage."

I was hoping someone could elaborate on this. I'm not really sure what it means.
I understand pyramiding up in weight, but am I trying, for example, to reach 60% of my ORM for Squats on Barbell Shrugs?(Say, if 200lbs is 60% of my ORM on Squats, is that my goal for my last set of Shrugs?)
Or am I just doing whatever weight "feels right?"

Mar 9, 2014 10:09am | report
Showing 1 - 3 of 3 Comments

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