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Martin Mollett
Martin Mollett
January 11, 2021 07:48

Hiya Andy, I’ve been following your beginners powerlifting program since April, and made brilliant gains. I’ve just finished a bulking cycle, and started a cutting cycle. I’ve been on this cycle for 3 weeks and lost a kg. This week in the gym I’ve failed most of my lifts, feeling totally weak. I feel like 3 weeks is my body’s limit before strength suffers. My question is; should I eat maintenance now for a week to give my body a break, and then go back into a cutting phase for 3 weeks again? So 3 weeks cut, 1 week maintenance?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 11, 2021 16:57
Reply to  Martin Mollett

Hi Martin,

It’s not my experience that people find their strength suddenly tanks once they enter a cutting phase, it’s usually a gradual thing. Your deficit isn’t outrageously high, so it just sounds to me like either you just had a bad week, or you need to take a deload. Don’t mess around with changing your calorie intake to maintenance. It’s just not necessary.

Martin Mollett
Martin Mollett
January 11, 2021 17:22
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thanks Andy for the quick response. I took a deload week the week before I started my cut, so 4 weeks ago. I kept the intensity the same but reduced the volume by around 50%. However I have introduced cardio on some of my rest days, could this be a factor?Unfortunately I need a level of cardio fitness for my occupation.

Arturo Arnold
Arturo Arnold
January 3, 2021 05:06

Hi All. I am beginning powerlifting but not new to lifting. At 54 years old would it still be advisable to do the heavy 3×3 Bench work the day following the 3×8 Bench workout on the 4 day template? As well as benching 3x per week?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 3, 2021 10:16
Reply to  Arturo Arnold

Hi Arturo, thank you for the comment. Please have a read of this: Advice For Older Strength Trainees

Linus Sivertsson
Linus Sivertsson
December 18, 2020 00:39

Hi i have a question regarding the bp on the power DAY (3×3 80%) and the strenght day (3×4 85%). I understand that the purpose of the lower percentage on the power day is for technique. But what I don’t understand is if im adding weight linear (5pounds) each session troughout the week. Eventually my 3×3 will exceed my 3×4 because of the lower reps and potentiall reset of 10% for the 3×4. Should I progress them differently like only adding 2,5 lbs for my 3×3? To keep the technique aspect? Im confused by this because there’s no RPE attached to the main lifts.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 18, 2020 07:40

Hi Linus, thank you for the question. I hadn’t thought of it in this way before and could have explained it better above.

Indeed, we want that to be a technique day so the idea is to keep it less fatiguing. Use RPE to guide you. So, whatever RPE your first 3×3 day @80% feels like, keep to that throughout the program. This will likely be one lower than on the strength day.

Wesam
Wesam
December 15, 2020 13:30

Thanks for your response Andy
But I have one last question a short while ago I followed the strong 5 x 5 lifts and felt very tired as the exercise weights regressed until I got back to the program starting strength point and the weights came back and my progress continued again until it stopped now What does this indicate that I am still beginner somewhat and that his size was large Too much for me or what
Unfortunately, I am not good in English. I hope the question is clear to you

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 15, 2020 15:19
Reply to  Wesam

Hi Wesam, the way you’ve written isn’t very clear, but I believe I understand what you mean.

The issue is that at some point, you need to learn how to develop and adapt your own training programs to keep progressing. Jumping from one template to the next isn’t the solution. If you follow the guidelines I linked to about building your own program in my previous answer you’ll do fine.

Wesam
Wesam
December 13, 2020 04:40

Hi Andy Morgan
Thank you for your tremendous efforts and your simple approach to our education
Please, I have two questions, with your permission
I reached a squat 105 kg and a press press of 78 kg
Deadlift 130 For each exercise, 5 reps, weighing 58 kg and height of 168 cm
In the beginning strength program, I felt that I could not recover from squatting for 48 hours only. Do you think that this program is suitable for me at this time and the second question is: Can I change Squat 3 × 8 to Squat 4 × 6
And thank you very much

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 14, 2020 08:29
Reply to  Wesam

Hi Wesam,

1. While I don’t like to categorize people’s training levels by their strength relative to body weight, given that you’re pulling more than double squatting close to it, I’d say the intermediate powerlifting program might be more suitable at this stage, assuming that you are no longer progressing. If you are progressing though, I’d stick to it as it’s prudent to use the least volume you can to progress and only increase when you need.

2. Please feel free to change anything if you have a reason. This is just a training program template showing the principles of a beginner powerlifting program in action. Nothing is set in stone. If you’d like to learn more theory, I’d recommend this article: A 6-Step Guide to Building Training Programs

J.R.
J.R.
December 2, 2020 14:40

Hi, for deadlift, how much weight do you recommend adding each session? 5lbs, 10lbs?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
December 3, 2020 12:54
Reply to  J.R.

Hi J.R.,

10-pound increments are reasonable when starting out. Lower to five when you need to.

J.R.
J.R.
January 1, 2021 05:12
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Thank you for the reply Andy, I have one last question. My wife is doing this program with me and she is still progressing on both squats and deadlifts. She’s starting to struggle with the bench press though. My question is, if she fails to hit her rep count for that day, should she cut back the weight She’s pressing for that rep count only (e.g. 3×8)? Or should she cut the weight down on all other rep counts also (3×3 & 3×4)?And progress from there and how much % would you recommend she cuts back? Or would you just let her keep pushing until she breaks her plateau? Thank you in advance.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
January 1, 2021 10:13
Reply to  J.R.

Most welcome. You’ll see this covered in my progression guidelines.

Giuseppe
Giuseppe
November 4, 2020 22:35

Hi Andy,

Can i add some Hypertrophy Work for relatively unused Muscle Groups like Lateral/Posterior Delt (like 3-4 Sets) and Arms (around 2 Sets extra)? I come from a Bodybuilding Background (but I am really weak) and know that i can handle some volume on these Muscles.

Thanks a lot!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 5, 2020 15:52
Reply to  Giuseppe

Hi Giuseppe, you’ll see this covered in the FAQ section at the end of the article.

Given your concerns/focus, probably best to consider the novice bodybuilding program. You’ll still get plenty strong.

Tim Case
Tim Case
November 4, 2020 03:59

Hi Andy,

I’ve been following this program for a month now (3 day option) and I’m loving it. Thanks for putting it together!

I have a question about rest days and cardio (or some sort of workout). I’m currently getting myself into a new morning routine and as part of it I want to do some form of exercise every day in the morning before starting my day.

Obviously on 3 days I already have this program. But on rest days do you have any suggestions for something else I could do without jeopardizing the ability of my muscles to rest properly? I was thinking of some steady state / low impact cardio like stationary bike and maybe some band work.

Any other thoughts?

Thanks,
Tim

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
November 4, 2020 07:43
Reply to  Tim Case

Hi Tim, Low-impact LISS cardio, like cycling, swimming, the elliptical machine, or brisk incline walking. I don’t recommend any additional strength training.

Jose Zuniga
Jose Zuniga
October 30, 2020 10:18

Hi Andy, how long should I follow the program before trying to move to an intermediate one? Or if not how long, then at how much weight, etc.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 30, 2020 19:20
Reply to  Jose Zuniga

Hi Jose. Stay on it for as long as you progress! 🙂

Emmanuel Tremblay
Emmanuel Tremblay
October 28, 2020 02:24

Hi Andy,

I’ve been following that novice program for a bit more than 2 months now and i’m amazed by the results so far. However, i’m planning to go on a slow cut for about 8 weeks i’m around 14.5-15% BF at 187 lbs 5’11.

Do you think it’s realistic to continue progressing based on my experience with the program or should I just focus on maintaining my strength?

Thanks.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 28, 2020 07:47

Hi Emmanuel, glad to hear it’s been working well for you.

I actually have an article on this: Can I Gain Strength While Cutting?. But the short answer is that yes, in your situation (fairly new and making good progress) I’d expect that to continue for a while.

Emmanuel Tremblay
Emmanuel Tremblay
October 29, 2020 01:42
Reply to  Andy Morgan

Much appreciated thanks

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 29, 2020 07:51

Most welcome!

A.J. McKeown
A.J. McKeown
October 27, 2020 09:23

Hey Andy, quick question. I like to train high-bar squats. I know that low bar tends to be used in powerlifting and also have more hamstring activation. Because high bar has less hamstring involvement, would you recommend adding something like RDLs to day one or three to add more hamstring volume during the week? Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 27, 2020 10:17
Reply to  A.J. McKeown

Hi A.J., thank you for the question.

The hamstring activation is slightly different but similar enough to not warrant an addition, in my opinion. I wouldn’t add anything. I advise clients to use the version of the lift that they feel most comfortable with.

Raphael
Raphael
October 24, 2020 04:45

Hi Andy, I do have mobility issues but love the program. What about doing hack squats (at the machine) instead of (barbell) back squats? Need to change reps & sets? Thanks!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 26, 2020 13:29
Reply to  Raphael

Hi Raphael, what is the mobility issue?

Raphael
Raphael
October 26, 2020 17:33
Reply to  Andy Morgan

I have an additional lumbar vertebra, which prevents me from a clean execution of the back squat. I have to lean too far forward, don’t feel comfortable at all with it, feeling the squats more in my lower back than in the quads as desired.
Is the hack squat machine an alternative then (and if yes, what about sets and reps)? If not, what alternatives do exist? Or is the program not really suitable then (for me)?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
October 27, 2020 08:34
Reply to  Raphael

Ah understood. Given this, I’d consider the novice bodybuilding program instead. (This powerlifting program is geared toward those looking to compete.)

You’ll see alternative exercises in that program, and my guide to exercise selection will be helpful if you need further information.

Antonio
Antonio
September 15, 2020 17:06

I was wondering if I will have any muscular imbalances in my back with this, considering there is only direct back training 1 time a week. Could I or SHOULD I add a back movement to another day if this is a concern to me? I do trust this was meticulously organized, just some though and concern for that as I will be starting this tomorrow. Any response would be greatly appreciated!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 16, 2020 08:27
Reply to  Antonio

Hi Antonio, thank you for the question.

Your back is trained every day — the vertical pull, deadlift, and horizontal pull.

sary
sary
September 9, 2020 18:41

hello andy , im using the program for a while now and im in love with it so first of all thank you so much but i have 2 questions :
1-can i use the the beginner 3 days program and use the linear PERIODIZATION method not the linear progression because its seems that im near to hit a wall and i dont want to reach to this point also i still think thats its not the time to start the intermediate program as i think i can still benefit from this beginner program
2-can i start with day 3 then 2 then 1 as i think having the 2 days rest before the heavy strength day would be better than having it at the end of the week
sorry for the bad english im from egypt and thanks in advance.

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
September 10, 2020 13:50
Reply to  sary

Hi Sary,

1. Yes.
2. Sure, if you find that works better. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. (Gotta try and see.)

Nikola Potpara
Nikola Potpara
August 5, 2020 21:08

Hi! I love the program,but when should one swich from this program to intermidiate one? Once you get used to volume? Thank you!

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
August 6, 2020 09:44
Reply to  Nikola Potpara

When you can no longer progress, despite following the advice in the faq point: “What should I do if my progress stalls?”

Matthew
Matthew
July 22, 2020 12:47

Looking at switching from stronglifts 5 x5…how do you increase the weights for the next days lift? As a percentage? By weight?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
July 23, 2020 08:01
Reply to  Matthew

Hi Matthew, see the section titled, “How To Progress With The Beginner Powerlifting Program.”

xayvion
xayvion
June 22, 2020 03:10

should I do the program for 4 weeks and then max out on the 5th week for a more accurate max?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
June 22, 2020 08:01
Reply to  xayvion

Hi Xayvion, thank you for the question.

It’s not necessary. Just use the 1RM to guide the initial load you lift with when starting the program. After that, forget about that metric as it’s not used in the progression model I recommend. See section, “The 1RM tells you the initial weight to lift with.”

Dakota Walker
Dakota Walker
May 15, 2020 03:21

I’m in the military so I have to do a certain amount of pushups, situps, and a 1.5 mile run for a yearly test. How would I incorporate these into this program so I can continue to get high scores?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
May 16, 2020 07:52
Reply to  Dakota Walker

Hi Dakota, that’s a very broad question and it would depend on your physical condition (how fat/lean, weak/strong) and conditioning. But generally:

• Run twice per week, not on the days you train. One 3 mile run, one 1.5 mile test practice run.
• Practice pushups and situps text twice per week, after your workouts. The one session, use form that will train the muscles most; the other session, practice the form you’ll use (be able to get away with) for the test.

Get stronger overall (and leaner, if you have room to do so) and you’ll crush the test. Simple.

Aaron
Aaron
April 21, 2020 01:53

Hi Andy,

Looking to start this program, but had a few questions on an ideal program length. 8 Weeks? 12 Weeks? or as long as possible? And with that what would weekly weight progressions look like? With the percentages shown for the program, would you increase the % each week then deload every 4th or 5th week? Or do you stay with those 1RM percentages for as long as possible and just try and increase weight each week? Do you suggest at some point tapering to a 1RM Max effort or peeking for a competition?

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
April 21, 2020 08:46
Reply to  Aaron

Hi Aaron, thank you for the questions and for considering the program.

1. Use it as-is for as long as it continues to deliver results. Then when you stall, despite following the progression rules (see point 2) tweak it: How to Break Training Plateaus [Decision Tree & Checklist]

2. “The %1RM notation stands for percentage of 1-rep maximum. It is a guideline for how much you should load the bar the first time you start the program (only).” Here are the guidelines on how to progress your training loads.

Alex
Alex
February 16, 2020 16:36

Also, how to keep tracking the weekly results, if I slipped once and it is now leading to a shift? My OCD wants to continue with calendar week tracking (with sessions on Mon/Wed/Fri), but common sense tells me to get day3 done on Sunday and continue next week on a shifted schedule (Tue, Thu, Sat). But then the next shift will break the weekly tracking cycle. But skipping day3 just to keep up with the schedule sounds even worse x_x.

And on a side note: I sometimes cannot concentrate on counting the reps during a lift. So, instead of 8 I end up doing 9. Or instead of 4, i could do 3 and try to figure out how many was that. Any suggestions on how to keep the blood flow to the brain? :)) Thanks

Andy Morgan
Admin
Andy Morgan
February 17, 2020 10:24
Reply to  Alex

The 7-day week is something we use to organize our calendars. You don’t have to do the same sessions on each day of the week.

I sometimes cannot concentrate on counting the reps during a lift. So, instead of 8 I end up doing 9. Or instead of 4, I could do 3 and try to figure out how many was that.

Simple. Every time you fuck this up, get a friend to slap you as hard as they can across the face. This “problem” will disappear quickly.

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