Friday, 1 March 2013

The Big 3 Routine

A friend of mine was recently telling me about a Russian powerlifting routine which consisted of nothing but the 3 power lifts. So I decided if I had to write a routine which consisted of only the big 3 what would it look like. Here goes

First of all you need to establish a 5 repetition max in each of the power lifts. You will base your training weights off of this number.

Day 1
Squat 1x3
Bench 1x3
Dead lift 1x3
Use your 5 rep Max weight for the 1x3 to begin with

Day 2

Day 3
Squat 3x5 with 90% of your 5 rep Max.
Bench 3x5 with 90% of your 5 rep Max
Deadlift 1x5 with 65% of your 5 rep Max

Day 4

Day 5
Squat 1x5 with 65% of your 5 rep Max
Bench 3x5 with 65% of your 5 rep Max
Dead lift 3x5 with 90% of your 5 rep Max

Day 6 and 7

These are your starting weights. Add 2.5kg to each lift each week. The routine basically consists of one heavy day to peak your strength and get you ready for a competition. There is then a volume day which is divided over 2 sessions with the squat and bench one day and the dead lift on a separate day. This is because it would simply be too much to do all in one session. The rest of the routine is just one light set to aid recovery, improve technique and build confidence. The routine is based on the heavy light medium system used in many other programs such as Bill Starr's 5x5 intermediate routine.

Follow this routine for 8 weeks maxium, otherwise you will probably find yourself getting pretty bored and stale. If all goes well you will hit around a 10kg PB on each lift or possibly a bit less on the bench.

If you absolutely have to add other exercises to this routine then i would suggest some work for the upper back and biceps such as chins, rows or curls but that it! Adding any more would be defeating the object of this routine. If you are looking to compete this routine could work well in the run up to a competition. It it work great as a transition from my beginner routine for someone who wants to compete in their first powerlifting competition.

I would suggest you do some conditioning and keep your diet good while following this routine otherwise you may find yourself getting out of shape due to the minimalist nature of it. Check out my previous posts for my thoughts on those 2 subjects.

There you have it a very simple routine with just 3 exercises. Next on the list will be a post about how to compete in your first powerlifting competition.