The Powerlifting Intensive is designed to help people learn the core lifts of the sport of powerlifting and add on some serious strength in the process!
The most recent rendition of Butte Barbell Club’s Power Hour+ Intensive just wrapped up their final week! Coached by Coach Tara and Coach Krissy, the small, but mighty squad had been working hard since their first test week to see some MAJOR gains in their core lifts! Maria, Welles, Tony and Alison all got PRs in at least one of their core lifts!
We’ve experimented with a few different cycles for Power Hour+ Intensive at the Butte Barbell Club. This last cycle was modeled off of Johnny Candito’s six week strength cycle. It’s broken down from week to week (periodization) with the following focus areas:
Week 1 & 2: Muscular Conditioning / Hypertrophy
Week 3: Linear Max Overload Training (OT)
Week 4: Heavy Weight Acclimation
Week 5 & 6: Intense Strength Training & Re-Test
Weeks one and two are focused on muscular conditioning and hypertrophy – higher volume, lower intensity to build strength, lifts are around 75 – 80%. During weeks three and four, the program shifts its emphasis to strength. This phase is lower volume, but higher intensity with lifts in the 80 – 90% (plus) range, with an increase in percentages over the two weeks. Week five is a high intensity, extremely low volume week where the athlete can get a better feel for where he or she is at given the work that has been put in over the cycle. And then we re-rest our current one-rep maxes!
Each week complements the following week. It carefully balances frequency and intensity to get athletes stronger but without increasing risk of injury.
The program also incorporates critical accessory exercises to strengthen each core lift. Upper accessory movements include dumbbell or barbell rows, pull ups, overhead press, bicep curls, etc. Lower accessory movements include leg curls (banded), single leg deadlifts, split squats, as well as explosive movements like box jumps.
We have rounded out the program with a little bit of the Conjugate Method to incorporate speed work for squat, bench, and deadlift. To keep things interesting (and fun!), we alternate speed work each week with some strongman movements (sandbags, farmer carries, overhead carries, etc.) to prepare the body to move under heavier loads.
Keep your eyes peeled to see when the next Power Hour+ Intensive will be starting at Copper City CrossFit!
POWERLIFTING (Intermediate/ Competitor):
The Power Hour+ Intermediate and Competitor program is designed specifically for those who would like to compete in the sport of Powerlifting or just add overall strength. You must attend an Intensive cycle before joining the Intermediate/Competitor class.
The current Intermediate/ Competitor program is approaching week six of their twelve week cycle. Coached by Coach Tara and Coach Krissy, this Power Hour+ Spring Cycle is modeled after Travis Mash’s (Mash Athletics) Hard Gainer Powerlifter Program. This program is tough, but solid because it incorporates:
• High Frequency;
• High Volume;
• Undulating Periodization;
• Conjugate Method; and
• Muscular Balance.
Basically, it was designed to get athletes to see some massive gains in their core lifts.
The first four weeks focus on hypertrophy and volume, utilizing some classic and simple squat and bench patterns (5 X 5) and 8 – 10 rep maxes, with max reps on the last set to help with muscular endurance. Each week, your reward for hitting all your sets the previous is…drumroll…adding weight (5 – 10#). For deadlift, the program incorporates pause reps in an EMOM or alternate stance-style to help the athlete hit the correct positioning. Although not one of the core lifts in powerlifting, the program also includes some paused front squats to keep things fresh.
The second four weeks continues with some hypertrophy and volume, but is designed build strength. Think three rep maxes (3RM) and one rep maxes (1RM) with pauses for squat and bench! The conjugate method is added in during this block, utilizing bands / resistance for some speed work to change things up a bit. The “Mash Method” rounds this block out for squat and bench – increasing weight, decreasing reps until 90%+, then decrease weight, and increase reps down to 78% for a max set. It’s both horrible and extremely gratifying all at once!
The final block of the cycle puts all the new muscle gained to use, and makes it event stronger and more efficient with heavier weight. Here we work at 85% and above for all three lifts and look to CRUSH some new PRs.
In addition to the core lifts, all three blocks in this cycle utilize unilateral accessory work (single arm farmer’s carry, single arm overhead carry, single leg deadlift, etc.), midline strengthening, and conditioning using strongman implements such as sandbags or farmer’s handles…just for fun!
If you’d like to know more about getting into powerlifting, contact Krissy at [email protected]!
Written by Coach Krissy Kracszowsky
CrossFit LVL 1
USA Powerlifting Club Coach