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The Power Bodybuilding Program

The exercises may look simple theyre mostly basic movements but any accomplished powerbodybuilder will tell you that its not so much the complexity of the exercises as it is the effort and
attention to correct form.

Begin each exercise with warmup sets. Do deep, slow movements to stretch ligaments and tendons,
while waking up the mind and muscles. Next, do your heavy sets. Explode on the positive
movement, and use controlled return movements.

Day One

Bench Press, medium-wide grip, lowered to mid-chest, elbows out.

2x6, 2x4, 2x2, 2x1.

Incline Press. Use a barbell and set the bench to 35 degrees.

2x5, 2x3.

Dips. Add weight, lean forward, keep your elbows out.


Day Two

Overhead Press.
2x6, 2x4.

High Pull.
One set each of 6, 5 and 4.


Bentover Row. Use a medium grip. Keep your body parallel to the floor. Pull the bar to your body,
hold, and lower slowly.
2x6, 2x4.

Power Chins.
Use added weight, and straps if needed. Stand on a box or bench and boost yourself up, then lower
slowly. Do the first set with a wide grip, the second with a medium grip and the third, narrow.
3x6, one set of unweighted chins x max reps.

Power Curls. After a set of strict curls for 10 reps, take a heavy barbell. Rock forward, then swing the
weight to your chest, using momentum and keeping your back slightly bent. Lower the bar very
slowly, then immediately begin another rep.
2x6, 2x4.

Day 3 Rest

Day 4

Squat. Go down to just below parallel.

2x8, 2x4, 2x2.

Front Squat or Leg Press. All the way down.

2x5, 2x3.

Bottom Half Squats. Start in the full squat position. Come up halfway.

Calf Raise. Use three toe positions.


Day 5 Rest

Day 6 Supports and Lockouts.

Bench Press Supports. Begin with 20% more than your maximum bench press. Lie directly under the
racks with the bar set at a height that requires a two or three inch movement to lock out. Lock out
the weight and support it for 10-20 seconds or until the weight forces itself down to the racks. Do 3
sets, trying for 20 seconds. Now remove 20% of the weight and try to do a set of 6-10 lockouts.

Squat Supports and Lockouts. Perform this exercise as you did the bench press supports. Keep your
legs locked for 3 sets of up to 20 seconds. Reduce the weight by 20% and do a set of 6-10 shortrange lockouts.

Overhead Press Lockouts. Set the bar on a rack so it is level with the top or your head and dont
stand on tiptoes to measure this. Press the weight overhead, using a weight that lets you do 6 reps
and no more. Do 3 sets.

Deadlift. This is a full-range movement. Take a few deep breaths between reps. Do 3 sets of 4 reps.

Day 7 Rest

Now lets review the strength techniques used. Use lower reps and ascending-set progression. Take
longer rests between sets around 3 minutes, or enough to completely regain your energy for the
next set. Use controlled negative movements when lowering the weight. Use some cheating on the
high pulls, power curls and power chins. On leg day use partial movements, breaking the squats into
several different range of motion exercises.

Having been around both lifters and bodybuilders, I have observed that bodybuilders trying to apply
bodybuilding philosophies to power training often incur injuries. They always go for more and always
go to failure. Experienced lifers, on the other hand, back cycle frequently in poundages and take a
light week every 4 to 6 weeks. The results of this are often continuous gains without setbacks due to
injury and staleness.

Lets take the bench press as an example. You work up to 2 sets of 2 with 300 pounds. On the next
workout increase your bench press sets by 2 to 5 pounds. Do the same on your third workout. For
the fourth workout go back down by 5 pounds. 300, 305, 310; 305, 315, 320.

Ted Arcidi uses another method. On the first workout he goes all out for maximum efforts. The next
time he uses the same exercises for the same number of sets and reps but lifts 40 to 50% less
weight! In this way, he alternates heavy weeks with maintenance weeks.

A study of the techniques used by Olympic and Powerlifters will help you avoid injuries and bypass
staleness while seeking strength.


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