Lately strength training and in particular Powerlifting has been gaining popularity amongst gym goers everywhere. It’s great to see so many people taking to such an active, health-orientated endeavour.
I want to take a little time today to discuss transitioning into a more powerlifting/strength training routine – what it requires, and how to go about it.
My first point would be when transitioning is to do exactly that, transition. Don’t go full steam into it or you will end up burning out, not enjoying it and not getting the strength gains you are chasing. Instead, I would recommend a transition phase of 2-4 weeks for the average gym goer from a more ‘traditional’ gym routine, into a powerlifting-focused routine.
What this requires:
- A slow and steady increase in training frequency. So, if you’re currently squatting 4 sets once per week for example, you may look at changing your frequency to squatting twice per week, and only 2 working sets per session.
- What this will lead to over time: better movement patterns and technique development. The more frequently you do of a certain movement, the more hard wired this movement becomes within your nervous system which leads to long term skill acquisition. That being said, however – remember if your technique is less than great, you are hard wiring into your nervous system a bad technique- this could possibly cause long-term damage and/or no progress.
- An increase in intensity – and by intensity I mean the absolute weight you are lifting (not how red your face goes!). This occurs by gradually increasing the weight on the bar week to week. So for instance, if you start week 1 with 2 sets of 100kg x 4 reps. Week 2 you might do 105kg x 4reps for 2 sets etc.
What a combination of all of these factors leads to is over time a better technique with more weight on the bar. Isn’t this pretty much the definition of powerlifting? Well it is in my book anyway.
The foundation of any strength athlete is technique. Build the technique and the weight will come.
Below I have put together a basic undulating transition phase split for someone looking at transitioning his or her training into a more strength focused powerlifting style routine.
- Squat 3 x 8 @ 75% of 1RM
- Bench 3 x 8 @ 75% or 1RM
- Shoulder Press 3 x 10
- Deadlift 3 x 5 @ 80% of 1RM
- Bb row 3 x 8
- Bicep curl 3 x 12
- Squat 4 x 4 @ 80% of 1RM
- Bench 4 x 4 @ 80% of 1RM
- Triceps movement 3 x 12
- Deadlift 3 x 3 @ 80% of 1RM
- Chin 3 x Failure
- Rear delt raise 3 x 12
Have you made the transition from bodybuilding to powerlifting? If you’ve got any questions, I’d love to hear from you! You can reach out to me anytime on my networks below.