12 Week Powerlifting Program with PDF

If you want to power up your strength, lift heavier than you think, and get stronger and bigger, you can try out this 12 week powerlifting program to achieve your fitness goal.

Powerlifting is a kind of training where you need to lift as heavy as possible. Bench press, deadlift, and barbell back squat are major lifts included in this program. All these lifts together are called “The Big Three.” These three lifts are great for increasing strength and hypertrophy.

The primary goal of Powerlifters is to lift as heavy as possible because the weight on the bar is the only thing that matters for them.

So, if you also want to challenge your strength and be a powerlifter, you can follow this 12 week powerlifting program.

Powerlifting is different from bodybuilding where you do both compound and isolation workouts; CrossFit where you do explosive moments, and calisthenics where you do mobility exercises. It only focuses on increasing strength over time.

Summary of 12 Week Powerlifting Training Program

Program Duration12 Weeks
Frequency2 days a week
GoalStrength Gain
Targeted GenderMen
Suitable forBeginners
Rest between sets3 to 5 minutes
PDFAt the bottom
12-week powerlifting program summary

In this powerlifting program, I’ve included one major lift on each training day, along with accessory lifts and a core workout.

Core training is crucial for lifting heavier loads. Because a sturdy core will help lift more and reduce the risk of low back injury.

Here’s a list of primary exercises with the accessory lifts you’ll do in this program:

  1. Flat Barbell Bench Press
  2. Barbell Back Squat
  3. Barbell Deadlift
  4. Core Workout

12 Week Powerlifting Program For Ultimate Strength

powerlifting training program
  • Week 1
    • Bench Press
    • Barbell Back Squat
  • Week 2
  • Week 3
    • Bench Press
    • Barbell Back Squat
  • Week 4
    • Conventional Deadlift
    • Bench Press
  • Week 5
    • Barbell Back Squat
    • Barbell Overhead Press
  • Week 6
    • Conventional Deadlift
    • Bench Press
  • Week 7
    • Barbell Overhead Press
    • Barbell Back Squat
  • Week 8
    • Conventional Deadlift
    • Bench Press
  • Week 9
    • Barbell Back Squat
    • Bench Press
  • Week 10
    • Conventional Deadlift
    • Barbell Overhead Press
  • Week 11
    • Barbell Back Squat
    • Bench Press
  • Week 12
    • Deadlift
    • Bench Press

Week 1

Day 1

  • Bench Press (Main Lift)
    • Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps each at 75% of your 1RM.
    • Make sure the bar slightly touches your chest during the movement.
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press (Other Lift)
    • Do 3 sets of 6 reps each with as heavy dumbbells as possible.
  • Weighted Crunches: 10 x 2

Day 2

  • Barbell Back Squat (Main Lift)
    • 5 sets of 5 reps each at 75% of your 1RM.
    • Try to lower your hips below your knees during movement.
  • Dumbbell Split Squat/Lunges (Accessory Lift)
    • 3 sets of 6 reps
    • Pick the dumbbells that are heavy enough to perform suggested reps.
  • Weighted Plank: 1-2 min

Week 2

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift (Main Lift)
    • 5 sets of 5 reps each at 75% of your 1RM.
  • Barbell Good Morning
    • 3 sets of 6 reps with only barbell, no plates.
  • Dumbbell Side Bend: 8-12 x 2

Day 2

  • Military Press (Main Lift)
    • 4 sets of 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM.
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows
    • 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout: 5 x 2

Week 3

Day 1

  • Dumbbell Floor Press
    • 3 x 8 reps
  • Flat Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Spoto Press
    • 3 x 8 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-minute
  • Standing Dumbbell Oblique Twist
    • 2 x 10 reps

Day 2

  • Barbell Back Squat
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbbell Forward Lunges
    • 3 x 10 reps
  • Glute-Ham Raise
    • 3 x 10 reps
  • Weighted Side Plank
    • 30 seconds each side
  • Incline Plank Single Arm Row
    • 2 x 10 reps, each side

Week 4

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1 reps at 100% of your 1RM
  • Barbell Romanian Deadift
    • 3 x 6RM at your
  • Good Morning
    • 3 x 6 reps
  • Barbell Rollout
    • 3 x 8 reps

Day 2

  • Pin Press
    • 2 x 8 reps
  • Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Barbell Rowing
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Pallof Press
    • 3 x 6 reps
  • Dead Bug Pullover
    • 2 x 8-10 reps

Week 5

Day 1

  • Barbell Back Squat
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Back Squat with a Pause
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Kettlebell Thruster 
    • 2 x 8-10 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 minute
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 3 x 6-8 reps

Day 2

  • Barbell Overhead Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 95 % of your 1RM
  • Landmine Press
    • 3 x 6-10 reps
  • Barbell Bent-over Row
    • 3 x 6-10 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Side Bend
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Weighted Side Plank
    • 30-45 seconds each side

Week 6

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Deficit Deadlift
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Good Morning
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Kettlebell Swing
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Pallof Press
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Bird Dog
    • 2 sets of 15 seconds, each side.

Day 2

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Pin Press
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Plank Rowing
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 minute

Week 7

Day 1

  • Military Press
    • 5 x 5 reps, increase the load after each set
  • Dumbbell Overhead Press
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Barbell Bent-over Row
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Cable Woodchop
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Weighe Plate Crunches
    • 2 x 8-12 reps

Day 2

  • Barbell Back Squat
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbbell Step-up
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Weighted Side Plank
    • 30-45 seconds each side

Week 8

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Reverse Hyperextension
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 3 x 6-10 reps
  • Dead Bug Pullover
    • 2 x 8-10 reps

Day 2

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbbell Tate Press
    • 3 x 6-10 reps
  • Spoto Press
    • 2 x 8-12 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Oblique Twist
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Cable Woodchop
    • 2 x 8-12 reps, each side

Week 9

Day 1

  • Barbell Back Squat
    • 8 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbell Bulgarian Split Squat
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Glute-Ham Raise
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Pallof Press
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 2 x 6-8 reps

Day 2

  • Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 90% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 95 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Pin Press
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Barbell Rowing
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Dead Bug Pullover
    • 2 x 8-10 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 min

Week 10

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 6 reps at 75% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Good Morning
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Reverse Hyperextension
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Oblique Twist
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Bird Dog
    • 2 sets of 15 seconds, each side

Day 2

  • Barbell Overhead Press
    • 5 x 5 reps, increase the load after each set
  • Dumbbell Overhead Press
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Weighted Pushup
    • 2 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Weighe Plate Crunches
    • 2 sets of 10-15 reps

Week 11

Day 1

  • Barbell Back Squat
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Back Squat with a Pause
    • 3 x 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell Lunges
    • 2 x 8-10 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 minute
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 3 x 6-8 reps

Day 2

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Spoto Press
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 x 8-12 reps
  • Plank Rowing
    • 3 x 10-12 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 minute

Week 12

Day 1

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85% of your 1RM
    • 2 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Barbell Good Morning
    • 3 x 8-10 reps
  • Bird Dog
    • 2 sets of 15 seconds, each side
  • Dead Bug Pullover
    • 2 x 8-10 reps

Day 2

  • Barbell Bench Press
    • 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM
    • 6 reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 5 reps at 80% of your 1RM
    • 4 reps at 85 % of your 1RM
    • 3 reps at 90 % of your 1RM
    • 1RM
  • Pin Press
    • 3 x 6-10 reps
  • Dumbbell Tate Press
    • 2 x 8-12 reps
  • Weighted Plank
    • 1-2 min
  • Pallof Press
    • 2 x 8-12 reps

Tips and Suggestions

  1. You can lift more weight and break your 1RM by repeating the same movements over and over.
  2. You may incorporate pull-ups to build up your pulling and grip strength.
  3. Depending on your choice, you can add more supporting lifts on your training day.
  4. Make sure you get adequate rest in between the training days.
  5. Aim for heavier loads each succeeding week to create your new PR or 1RM.

12 Week Powerlifting Program PDF

Is Working Out Two Days a Week Enough To Increase Strength?

Powerlifting is intense training, so the rest between the workout days will be crucial. They’ll recover your muscle damage, prevent muscle fatigue, reduce the risk of injuries, and improve your performance.

And for beginners, working out two days a week is enough to gain significant strength. And once you complete the above 12 week powerlifting workout program, you can increase the frequency to three to four days.

How much weight Should I lift?

You can lift as heavy as possible until you maintain proper form throughout the workout. For example, when you need to do six reps, lift those weights, which are challenging but within your strength limit.

Help Us Grow On Social Media
Latest posts by Murshid Akram (see all)
Please follow and like us: