Powerlifting for Muscle Mass – Pack on Size With Heavy Lifting!
Are you stalling on your muscle building progress? Are you confused about how to keep gaining size? The problem could be your diet, but if you’ve been training for a long time, you might need to switch up your routine. Bodybuilding mass programs are great for a lot of people, but some guys just need to lift some ridiculously heavy weights to get that thick, dense look they’re after. Here’s a powerlifting for muscle mass routine that’ll bust through your plateau!
Train Movements, Not Muscles
A big difference between the way powerlifters and bodybuilders train is that while bodybuilders train specific muscles, powerlifters worry about training movements. Instead of having a chest day, they have a bench day. Instead of doing five or six exercises for their legs, they focus on movements that will improve their squat. Training like this tends to not only make a lifter crazy strong, but super-muscular, as well. You’ll sometimes see bodybuilders that aren’t all that strong for their size, but you never see a tiny powerlifter!
Day 1: Squat
The squat is still the most important exercise, so you’re going to focus on it first! When you squat, use the strongest possible stance, around shoulder-width for most people. Push your butt to the rear and sit BACK as well as down until you reach parallel. Make sure to keep your upper and lower back tight and arched throughout the entire movement to ensure proper body position. Last but not least, focus on perfect form on every rep!
Start by working up to a top, heavy set of five reps. Work up in moderate increments, and always do five reps. This will ensure you get plenty of good, heavy reps in to improve your form and strength. After squatting, do wide-stance leg presses, heavy weighted sit-ups, leg curls, and a calf exercise. Give each movement your full effort and you WILL be exhausted by the end!
Day 2: Bench
You’re going to bench, for sure, but you’re going to do it like a powerlifter if you want to really move some weight. Plant your feet firm on the floor, arch your lower back, and pinch your shoulder blades together. Taking your strongest grip on the bar, lower it fast but under control and DRIVE it back up! Slow tempo is not going to make you any stronger, and believe it or not, it’s not going to build more muscle mass.
Follow the same protocol for sets and reps as you did for the squat, gradually working up to a heavy set of five reps. Then, do exercises for the chest, shoulders, triceps, and upper back. You’d do best to pick some kind of dumbbell press, a shoulder raise, an extension for triceps, and two movements for the upper back. Most lifters like to use some kind of pull-up and some kind of row.
Day 3: Deadlift
Here’s the lift that will make a man out of you! If you haven’t already been doing deadlifts, then you’re going to be in for a treat. They will put more mass on your hamstrings, lower back, and upper back than any wimpy cable row or back extension. Put your feet close together, grip the bar strong, and rip it off the ground, keeping it close to your body the whole time. Start from a dead stop and go all the way to lockout every rep.
The deadlift is difficult to recover from, so warm up in larger increments than you did for the squat or deadlift. You’re going to do a heavy set of five reps still, but you want every set before that one to be simply a warm-up. After deadlifting, focus on exercises for the hamstrings, quads, and lower back. The exact ones you pick doesn’t matter, just focus on whatever will assist your weaknesses in strength, not the muscle you just happen to enjoy working.
Day 4: Military Press
The military press isn’t an actual competitive lift in powerlifting, but it’s important nonetheless. To be clear, we’re talking about the classic, strict press done in a standing position with NO assistance from the legs and with a full range of motion from clavicle to lockout. You won’t be able to sling around the kind of weights you can with a seated press, but this movement will still build your shoulders better than any other.
Since the weights are lighter than on any other big lift, you can handle a little more volume on the military press. Work up to three sets of four to six reps per set, and try to do them all with the same weight. Afterwards, choose another dumbbell press you didn’t do earlier in the week, a shoulder raise, a different type of extension, and two more upper back exercises.