Get Serious Gains With This Powerlifting Routine

Increase your strength and pack on lean mass all over with this powerlifting-inspired workout from former Team USA powerlifting coach Mike Robertson.



Increase your strength and pack on lean mass all over with this powerlifting-inspired workout from former Team USA powerlifting coach Mike Robertson.

Directions: Replace one of your workouts each week with this routine for a month. Perform straight sets of each exercise in the order shown, using the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all your reps and sets. Your ultimate goal is to maximise your relative strength (that is, how strong you are for your height and weight).

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1. Barbell Squat – Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart, using an overhand grip to hold a barbell across your upper back. Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position. Reps 3 to 5 Sets 3 Rest 3 to 4 min.

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2. Bench Press – Lie on a bench and hold a barbell above your sternum using an overhand grip that’s just beyond shoulder-width. Lower the bar, keeping your elbows tucked. Pause, then push it back up to the starting position. Reps 3 to 5 Sets 4 Rest 3 to 4 min.

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3. Deadlift – Roll a barbell against your shins and grab it using a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Pull your torso back and up, thrusting your hips forward as you stand up with the barbell. Push your hips back to lower the bar back to the floor. Reps 1 Sets 5 Rest 2 to 3 min.

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4. Swiss Ball Hip Raise and Leg Curl – Lie on your back on the floor with your lower legs on a Swiss ball. Push your hips up and pull your heels toward you, rolling the ball as close to your butt as possible. Return to the starting position. Reps As many as you can Sets 3 Rest 90 sec.

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5. Ab Wheel Rollout – Kneel on the floor and grab the handles of an ab wheel. Roll it forward as far as you can; then use your core to pull the wheel back to the starting position. No ab wheel? Use a barbell with 5kg weights. Reps 8 to 10 Sets 3 Rest 60 sec.

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