Powerlifting for Beginners

Powerlifting and bodybuilding can go both hand in hand. They both follow the same principle, just way they exercise and the purpose is different. Bodybuilders do slow controlled reps while powerlifters perform explosive moves. The major focus in powerlifting is raw strength and weights on the bar. Powerlifting for beginners is no different than bodybuilding beginners program. Basics are always important is also merely same in all sports, gain strength and learn proper way of doing the moves.

Bodybuilding is about focusing on certain muscle and training them with different technique for muscle hypertrophy. Powerlifting is all about gaining the strength to lift heavy. Powerlifting basically is of three staple exercises in strength training, bench press, squat and deadlift. These all are the compound exercise that work multiple muscle in your body. Let’s learn some of the powerlifting exercises for beginners in this post.

Powerlifting Moves

Bench press, squat and deadlift are the main focus of the powerlifting training. Everything else is either directly related to these exercise or indirectly a supporting factor, else they are not performed. Powerlifting for beginners is similar to any of the beginners workout exercises in resistance training. You learn the basics first, then you add some variations to it and excel to advance.

powerlifting for beginners

Bench Press

Bench press is chest’s most important exercise. It is a compound movement and has direct involvement of triceps and shoulders. These 2 are the supporting muscles for bench press.

You can perform bench press with three bench setup, incline, flat and decline. Flat bench press is what powerlifters perform the most.


Squat is the king of all leg exercises. It involves highest number of muscles in the body including upper body for stabilization. Squat work all your muscle in the legs.

It has multiple variation to target different muscles like front squat, back squat, hack squat and so on. The main goal is to put on as much weight as you possibly can.


Deadlift is awesome compound exercise for overall back development. It triggers multiple muscles in the back, legs, glutes and so on. It can be done with both barbell and dumbbell. There are multiple barbells like elephant bar, which is longer barbell, ordinary barbell, fat grip barbell and many more.

1 Rep Max

1 rep max is the term for what maximum weight you can lift on your own not more than 1 repetition. It is the maximum weight that powerlifters train for all the time.

Start off with about 60% of your 1RM as warm up set. Increase weights till you reach your 1RM, now perform working set with that weight. Progressive overload is what enables you to break that plateau and excel in your 1RM.

Powerlifting Routine for Strength

Given below is the sample workout routine for the powerlifting for beginners. Perform these exercises until you feel like used to the workout and weights. These are the 5×5 workout plan, meaning you do 5 working sets of 5 repetitions for all the major workout.

Day 1

  • Barbell Back Squat
    Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with same weight. Progressively add weights every week.
  • Barbell Front Squat
    Front squat targets quads more. Perform 3-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
  • Hip-thrusts
    It is awesome exercise for glute development. Glute’s health and strength is very important to perform clean and effective squat and deadlift and other exercises. Perform 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Calf raises
    Good and strong calf is very important to transfer the power from the ground up top. It provides the strength and stability to perform the exercise. Perform 3 sets to failure.

Day 2

  • Barbell Bench Press
    Perform 5 sets of 5 reps with enough warm up sets. Throughout 5 working sets, use same weight and progressively add on weights every week.
  • Dumbbell Bench Press 
    You build stability and improve co-ordination with dumbbell bench press as both hands move independently. Perform 3-4 sets with 8-12 reps.
  • Close grip bench press or triceps pushdown
    You can switch back and forth between these 2 exercises or just perform them both with moderate weight. Do 3-4 sets of 10-12 repetitions. These exercises work your triceps.
  • Shoulder press
    Shoulder press is important to keep the shoulder health in check. During bench press, your shoulders too participate in the movement. Strengthening the shoulders can help you lift more weight. Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps for any shoulder press version.

Day 3

  • Barbell Deadlift
    Perform 5 working sets of 5 reps with ample warmup sets. Progressively overload every week to improve your 1RM. There are multiple variation to this deadlift like elephant bar deadlift, sumo deadlift, pause deadlift, etc.

Also Read: Barbell Deadlift

  • Hyperextension
    Hyperextensions are very good exercise to check your lower back health while done right. Don’t get crazily hyped while doing hyperextension as you might slip a disc. Perform 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. Don’t jerk your way up while doing the moment, go slow and controlled.
  • Barbell Row
    Rowing exercises are very effective for lats development. Lats provide you strength to pick the bar up from the dead position. Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps.
  • Biceps curl
    Do any biceps curling exercises. Your biceps are the supporting muscles for the back exercises. Do 4 sets of 10-12 reps.

Things to Remember

There are few things you need to remember while choosing powerlifting as your strength training workout for beginners.

  • 500 lbs personal record isn’t achieved in a day, it needs years of practice and hard work.
  • Do as many warm up sets you require to prepare yourself for the workout.
  • Take advice from the experienced lifters and coaches about the correct form and technique.
  • Do your repetitions right and don’t just train as a result of your ego.
  • Get your basics right before going a step ahead.

It is advised to perform this workout 3 times a week in the beginning as your are just into the powerlifting and not used to the intensity. You can go higher when you get used to. Rest and recovery period is very important. Rest for at least 3-4 minutes between the heavy working sets to calm yourself down and prepare for next set.

In the end, powerlifting is awesome sport. It extracts the stronger version of you from within yourself. Bodybuilding and powerlifting can be done back and forth to achieve both aesthetics and strength. Basic are both similar for bodybuilding and powerlifting for beginners.

Glute Workout Routine

Advance lifters probably know this. But most of us who has just started lifting, will probably skip leg day and forget to train glutes. Leaving glutes workout to be girl thing, men are in complete loss. The glutes are you your body’s largest and powerful muscle. Before you can think or anything, it is the muscle that provides proper hinging moment to your hips. A healthy and well developed glutes mean greater stability and lower body power. The muscle is huge and a proper glute workout routine will help you achieve the stability and strength. Glute muscle allows your hips to move by contracting in forward, backward, left, right every direction.

Problem With Weak Glutes

The main function of the glutes is to help the functioning of hip joint with flexion and extension. People with bad poster of just weak glutes, perform all the movements of hip with the lower back. That is how we see rounded lower back and a very poor posture.

Work on those glutes to keep your hip joint and back healthy. Your spine is very delicate. Weak or tight glutes will give you sore lower back and hamstrings. It will affect your balance and leave you with shooting pain down your leg. A proper glute workout routine should be part of your training no matter either you are a boy or girl, competing or not or whatever.

Glute Building Program

A tighter, firmer glutes not only looks jaw dropping, but from the strength point of view as well its crucial. Glute workout routine should not only be for the Instagram lovers, it is for the overall health of your lower back and hip movement. Here are just few workouts that can easily fit in your schedule to target those glutes well.

  1. Squat

    The best, the most common and the most effective workout for your overall lower body. Going till parallel to the floor is the aim or squat aiming those quads, hamstring and glutes all together. If you just increase the depth by some inches, you will target your glutes to whole new level. There will be better activation of glutes and hamstring with proper engagement of quads. This is the reason everyone has love-hate relation with squat. It benefits you while leaves you sore the next day. Do 4 sets of 8-12 reps with controlled descend.

    Also Read: Leg Workouts Without Weights

  2. The Hip Thrust

    Hip thrust, glute-ham bridge, whatever you call, it is the best workout to target your glutes. being a guy, you will get some awkward sights at you but leave it aside. It will engage you glutes and hamstrings at their most. This is the exercise that puts you in pain next day you try to poop. This exercise is done by resting your upper back on a bench and your knees bend at 90 degrees. Place a barbell below your lower abs at the hip bone area. Gently lower your hip down nearly touching the ground and shoot back up squeezing the hell out of it. Repeat the movement for 3-4 sets for 10-12 reps.

    glute workout routine

  3. Romanian Deadlift

    Stiff-legged deadlift or Romanian deadlift if you prefer, it targets your hamstring and glutes. With knees just bent to some degrees throughout the movement, lower the barbell in deadlift position until you feel the stretch and squeeze you way up. It is the proper involvement of both glutes and hamstring that makes well balanced backside both strength wide and aesthetically. Perform 3-4 sets of 8-12 controlled reps for beautiful looking glutes.

  4. Lunges

    Lunges is great exercise next to squat that just involves every bit of your lower body. With great level of involvement of glutes, hamstring, quads and every other muscles. Walking lunges is the other variation of your lunges that adds a whole new dimension to your workout. Perform 3 sets of 8-12 reps of this exercise to maximize your gains.

  5. Glutes Kick Back

    You tie an ankle attachment to the cable and perform this exercise. It is crucial workout because you can target the glutes in many other directions through this workout. You can do it with cable, free weight, smith machine and many other ways.

    Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 controlled reps per side.

Wrapping Up Glute workout Routine

Not all of us seem to workout out our glutes as it should be. Many of us are already doing these exercises, but don’t really focus on glutes. We do squats for hams and quads but forget to involve glutes. Lunges makes glutes sore, but we cannot figure out why. So, follow this glute workout routine and add some glutes to your frame.

German Volume Training

German Volume Training or GVT is what its name suggests, a very high volume intense workout. It is commonly known as 10×10 training and is pretty intense workout technique. It is known to add strength and muscle to the frame quite fast and safely.

Introduction to German Volume Training

German Volume Training first came from, what name suggests, Germany. It came in 70’s and was popularized by Rolf Feser who was the then National weightlifting coach. Similar protocol was also brought into light by Vince Gironda in U.S. But no matter who brought it forward, it is a blessing to the weightlifting and resistance training system as a whole.

The ten set method was used by all those bodybuilders in the offseason to quickly get back to the competition condition. It helps to pack on lean mass in very short period of time. Many athletes has this particular workout technique as their base.

This workout technique is ideal because it targets all those major muscle group that work in unison to function properly. Keeping those muscles in intense tension throughout the single exercise. Due to this phenomena, the body adapts to the extraordinary stress quickly resulting in the hypertrophy. In simple words, the muscle is added quiet fast.

Guidelines for GVT

Please note that it is very intense training technique and needs proper warming of the muscles prior to the workout. It is highly recommended that you perform the 10 set method for only one exercise per body part.

The goal of the GVT is to pack on as much muscles as possible in short interval of time. It requires longer recovery time. You should know what you are about to do before the workout. It is pretty intense and can be done every 2 weeks or so.

German Volume Training

GVT Overview

There are some guidelines that you should know for GVT.

  • Only one exercise per body part: It is strictly advised that you do only one exercise per body part as it is intense and doing more than one exercise might cause some injury. You can perform 10 sets of 10 reps for bigger muscle groups, while for smaller parts, like biceps and triceps, do 10 sets of 6-8 reps.
  • Rest Interval: A 90 secs rest between the set is ideal to catch breathe and stabilize the heartbeat. You can have longer or shorter rest period depending on your body condition. But the most important thing is let your heartbeat to stabilize. You might struggle in the middle sets but by the end, you will feel stronger.
  • Tempo: Tempo is how slow or fast you do every reps. For the longer ranged movements, like squats, do 3-0-2 meaning 3 sec descend and immediate 2 sec ascend. For shorter range like curls, you can do 2-0-2.
  • Training Frequency: It is intense program. You will need longer rest interval. It will take longer time to recover.  You can perform this workout every 2 weeks or so, to check where you stand on the scale. You will immediately feel both fatigued and relaxed after the workout.
  • Overloading: The weight you need to pick is 50-60 % of your 1 rep max. 1 rep max is the weight that you can lift for just 1 rep and no more than that. If you bench 315 lbs for 1 rep, your weight will be 155 to 190 lbs. Once you get used to that weight or fell lighter by the 8-9th set, up the weight by 5%. In this way, you can perform the overloading of the muscle.

German Volume Training Plan

The workout split can be different as per your needs and taste. Perform the compound movements of each body part to gain most out of the exercise. Isolation movements with this workout technique doesn’t work quiet well. It might be welcoming injury isolating intensely a muscle group.

You can GVT workout with following exercise for following muscle group:

Muscle Group Exercise Sets and Reps
Chest  Flat bench press 10 x 10
Back Deadlift 10 x 10
Shoulders Smith Machine Press 10 x 6-8

Close grip Bench Press

Barbell curl

10 x 6-8

10 x 8

Legs Squat 10 x 10

Also Read: Shoulder Workout Routine

German Volume Training Variations

Above exercise is just a general overview of what and how you can do. For more variations, below is the exercises you can switch to.

Muscle Group  Exercise
Chest  Incline Bench(with dumbbells or barbells) or push ups
Back Bent Over Rows, pull ups and chin ups

Shoulder press with dumbbells or

Military press


Triceps Push-down or triceps diamond push ups

Incline Dumbbell Curl


Leg Press

Lying Leg Curls

Walking Lunges

For very advanced lifters, you can overload your weights in every workout. Start off with you  60% of 1 rep max and take it all the way to your whole new PR. You will surely see a significant increase in strength just after few sessions.


Be note that GVT workout is not an everyday go to exercise split. It takes proper rest and recovery period before you can attempt to do another session. Warm up is very important before so intense workout session. Be sure to do proper 10-15 minutes warm up before you can take on the working sets.

This workout technique has always helped the advanced and trained athletes to achieve their goal, we will be benefited by them for sure. Keep you diet and rest period in check and you will see growth in no time.