The Best Beginners Workout for Powerlifting | 5x5 Workout

A Powerlifting workout and bodybuilding workout are like apples and oranges. Powerlifting workout is centred around augmenting strength whereas the intent of the bodybuilding workout is hypertrophy however you cannot separate strength from muscle growth. Strength and muscle growth are correlated. There is no way you can bench 100kg plus for reps and have smaller pecs. There are lots of information on the internet about how to train for strength that can clutter and bewilder a beginner who just wants to gain strength and get into Powerlifting.

I advocate the 5x5 workout style. The structure of this workout is as simple as it gets. The 5x5 workout has stood the test of time. The style of training was originated in 1960 by none other than legendary bodybuilder Reg Park and it has been used by elite athletes ever since. In this article, I m going to share a beginners workout for powerlifting which follows the principles of 5x5 workout.

Workout for Powerlifting-5x5 Workout

Workout for Powerlifting-5x5 Workout | Training Frequency

As the workout is intended to thrive for the foundational strength for beginners, the frequency of the workout is kept 4 days a week. The workout plan and frequency are fabricated on the principle of GPP so that you will be able to maximise your workout capacity without burning out your CNS. You need to train on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Wednesday, Friday and Sunday are active rest days, you can go for walking, cycling anything activity of your choice that stimulate the recovery process without imposing undue stress on your body.

Workout for Powerlifting -5x5 Workout | Exercise Selection

The sport of powerlifting is centred around three lifts, SQUATS, DEADLIFT  and BENCH PRESS. The workout for powerlifting is designed to increase max strength in the upper body and lower body to perform these lifts with maximum efficiency. Exercise selection is done keeping in mind the principle of specificity. Specificity is how closely the loading patterns and movements emulate the contest lifts. Under the principle of specificity, exercise selection is done contemplating the goal of getting stronger in the three lifts.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout | Workout Split

This workout split is designed in such a fashion that it allows for a longer period of rest. Training in this sequence will allow maximum rest and recuperation periods for each body part after being subjected to high volume and intensity. The workout split is as follow

Monday      - Workout Day
Tuesday      - Workout Day
Wednesday - Active Rest Day
Thursday    - Workout Day
Friday         - Active Rest Day
Saturday     - Workout Day
Sunday        - Rest Day

An active rest day is meant to be a relaxing day where you can do any activity of your choice but it should be low intensity. Incorporating an active rest day in the regime enhances recovery and makes you feel stronger.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout | Static Loading

Here in India, we usually follow a pyramid loading across the sets. This means we start with the lighter load and increase the load with the sets. In my opinion, this is not the best way to load. The problem here is before reaching the final set you have already fatigued your muscle to some extent and you will not be at our best at the final set. For the workout for powerlifting, I want you guys to use static loading across the sets. This way you would have a better understanding of your maximum lift and it is easier to progress.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout | Sets and Reps

As the name suggests, this is 5x5 workout so it has 5 sets of 5 reps. This periodization programme is based on increasing strength in the essential compound lifts, the squats, deadlift and bench press. For the isolation movements, you need to perform 4 sets of 12 reps.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout | Weight Selection

Weight selection is most crucial to get the most of this programme. You need to find the proper weight for the workout which is around 75-80% of your one-rep max. The weight should be heavy enough for you to perform 6-7 reps and light enough so that you can perform 5 sets. The goal is to complete the 25 reps hence find the right weight is of paramount importance.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout | Periodization

The focus here is to set a new PR for 5 rep max, an increase of 2.5% from the previous session. If you are unable to increase the weight. Don't be disheartened, train with the same weight for one more week under the belt you will see be able to see the difference.

Workout for Powerlifting - 5x5 Workout

Monday :

Barbell Squats (5 sets x 5 reps)
Paused Squats  (3 sets x 5 reps / 2-3 seconds pause)
Static lunges (4 sets x 12 reps)
Hyper Extension (4sets x 12 reps)
Standing calves raise / Seated calves raise (4sets x 12/12 reps)

Tuesday :

Flat Bench press (5sets x 5 reps)
Negative Flat Bench press (3 sets x 5 reps)
Incline bench press (4 sets x 12 reps)
Decline bench Fly (4 sets x 12 reps)

Thursday :

Over Head Press (5 sets x 5 reps)
Rear delt fly / Lateral raise / Front raise (4 sets x 10/10/10 reps)
Barbell bicep curls (wide grip) /Hammer curls (4 sets x 12/12 reps)
Skull crushers/Overhead Tricep extension (4sets x 12/12 reps)

Saturday :

Deadlifts (5 sets x 5 reps)
Hamstring Curls (4 sets x 12 reps)
Pull-ups (4 sets x 12 reps)
Bendover rows (5 sets x 5 reps)
Hyperextension (4 sets x 12 reps)

It is very important for you to warm up properly before the workout. Don't rush into the sets as you are looking to push yourself to built strength. 3-4 warm-up sets before the actual working set are recommended. A proper warm-up set is obligatory as you need to grease the grove before stepping into the working set. Follow this beginner workout for powerlifting - 5x5 workout for 8-12 weeks to add more plates into the bar. If you could set aside your ego and put in efforts, you will join the legion of 5x5 workout believers.

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