12 Week Powerlifting Program to Lift Heavy & Get Huge with PDF

Powerlifting is a sport that involves lifting as heavy as possible. It primarily includes Bench Press, Deadlift, and Back Squat as major lifts, together known as The Big Three. These exercises help enhance strength, hypertrophy, and functional fitness and take fitness to the next level.

In this article, I’ve designed the ultimate 12 week Powerlifting program that can help you jack up your strength and build noticeable mass in an organized and efficient way.

If you want a well-crafted and easy-to-follow powerlifting workout plan to scale your one-rep max and build huge mass, I recommend following this routine for three months.

Powerlifting Training Program Summary

Program Duration12 Weeks
Session/week3 days a week
Training GoalIncrease Strength
Target GenderMale
Training LevelBeginner to Intermediate

This program involves lifting three times weekly: Squat on Monday, Bench on Wednesday, and Deadlift on Thursday.

Keeping a deadlift on Thursday and a Squat on Monday allows you to rest for three days between them so you can focus on each effectively.

You’ll also do some isolation exercises during the working days to work on your muscle-building and progress for clean lifts.

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 Workout Plan to Jack Up Your Strength and Mass

powerlifting training program
  • Day 1 – Squats
  • Day 2 – Rest
  • Day 3 – Bench Press
  • Day 4 – Deadlift
  • Day 5 – OFF
  • Day 6 – Steady Cardio
  • Day 7 – OFF

Deloading Week – 5th and 10th Week

Week 1

Monday – Squats

  • 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 the suggested reps.
  • Weighted Plank: 1-2 min

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • 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 (Core)
    • Perform three sets of 8-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift (Main Lift)
    • 5 sets of 5 reps each at 75% of your 1RM.
  • Barbell Good Morning/Low Back Hyper Extension
    • 3 sets of 6 reps with only barbell, no plates.
  • One-arm Dumbbell Row
    • Perform three sets of 10 reps per arm with moderate to heavy dumbbells

Week 2

Monday – Squats

  • Barbell Back Squat (Main Lift)
    • Perform three sets of eight reps at 70%, then three sets of five reps at 80% of your 1RM.
  • Forward Lunges (Accessory Lift)
    • 3 sets x 10 reps on each leg
  • Glute-Ham Raise (Exercise for Posterior Chain)
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable High to Low Chop (Abdominals)
    • 3 sets x 15 reps

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press (Primary lift)
    • 3 sets of eight reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 3 sets of five reps at 80% of your 1RM.
  • Military Press (Shoulder)
    • 4 sets of 8 reps at 60% of your 1RM.
  • Barbell Bent-Over Rows (Back)
    • 3 sets of 10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout (Abdominals)
    • 3 sets of 10

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift (Primary Lift)
    • 3 sets of eight reps at 70% of your 1RM
    • 3 sets of five reps at 80% of your 1RM.
  • Dumbbell Step-up (Lower Body)
    • 3 sets of 10 reps per leg
  • Leg Extension (Quad)
    • 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl (Hamstring)
    • 3 sets of 15 reps

Week 3

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of five reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 70%
  • Sumo Squat
    • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Dumbbell RDL
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Chest Supported Row
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Hanging Knee Raises
    • 3 sets x 15 reps

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 70%
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Deficit Push-ups
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Decline Bench Crunches (Abdominals)
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Cable Face-Pull
    • 3 sets x 12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift (Primary Lift)
    • 1 set of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 90%
  • Bulgarian Split Squat (Quad)
    • 3 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Hip Thrust (Lower Body)
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl (Hamstring)
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Weighted Forearm Plank
    • 3 sets of 45-second with a 30-second break between them.

Week 4

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 65%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of four reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Reverse Lunges
    • 3 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Cable High to Low Chop
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Barbell Hang Clean
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of five reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of three reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Single-arm Landmine Press
    • 2 sets x 10 reps per arm
  • Seated Machine Row
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Ab Wheel Rollout
    • 3 sets x 10 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of five reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of three reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Dumbbell Step-up
    • 3 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Leg Extension
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • One-arm Dumbbell Row
    • 3 sets x 10 reps per side

Week 5 – Deload Weeks

Monday – Squats

  • Pin Squats
    • 3 sets of 12 reps at 50%
  • Box Squats
    • 3 sets of 12 reps at 50%
  • Paused Squat
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Pull-ups
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Pin Press
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps at 50%
  • Spoto Press
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Decline Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Seated Pec Deck Fly
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 2 sets of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 75%
    • 3 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 3 sets of 3 reps at 90%
  • Deficit Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable Pull Through
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Hang Clean
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 6

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 65%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of four reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Front Squat
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Single-leg Extension
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps on each leg
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Pull-ups
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of five reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of three reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Incline Hammer Strength Chest Press
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Close Grip Lat Pull-down
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Bent-over Lateral Raise
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Hanging Knee Raises
    • 3 sets x 20 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 2 sets of eight reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of five reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of three reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of six reps at 70%
  • Glute-Ham Raises
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • One-arm Dumbbell Row
    • 3 sets x 10 reps per side
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 7

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 75%
    • 3 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 3 sets of 3 reps at 90%
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Bar Dips
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 75%
    • 3 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 3 sets of 3 reps at 90%
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Crossover
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Face Pull
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 2 sets of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 75%
    • 3 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 3 sets of 3 reps at 90%
  • Step-up
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 8

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Bar Dips
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Pull-over
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Step-up
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 9

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Bar Dips
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Crossover
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Face Pull
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Overhead Triceps Extension
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 1 set of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • One rep max
  • Step-up
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Curls
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 10 – Deload Weeks

Monday – Squats

  • Pin Squats
    • 3 sets of 12 reps at 50%
  • Box Squats
    • 3 sets of 12 reps at 50%
  • Paused Squat
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Pull-ups
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Pin Press
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps at 50%
  • Spoto Press
    • 3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Decline Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Seated Pec Deck Fly
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 2 sets of 8 reps at 60%
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 75%
    • 3 sets of 4 reps at 80%
    • 3 sets of 3 reps at 90%
  • Deficit Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Cable Pull Through
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Hang Clean
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 11

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Upright Row
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Bar Dips
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Incline Hammer Chest Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Crossover
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Pull-ups
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Rope Press Down
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Step-up
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Kettlebell Swings
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Rows
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Week 11

Monday – Squats

  • Back Squat
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Machine Leg Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Push Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Glute Ham Raise
    • 3 sets x 10-15 reps
  • Weighted Bar Dips
    • Three sets of as many reps as possible.

Wednesday – Bench Press

  • Flat Bench Press
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Deficit Push-ups
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Tate Press
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  • Cable Face Pull
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Thursday – Deadlift

  • Conventional Deadlift
    • 2 sets of 6 reps at 70%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 75%
    • 2 sets of 4 reps at 85%
    • 2 sets of 3 reps at 90%
    • 2 sets of 2 reps at 95%
    • One Rep Max
  • Step-up
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Machine Leg Curl
    • 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Romanian Deadlift
    • 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Shrug
    • 3 sets x 10-12 reps

Download The 12 Week Powerlifting Program PDF

Final Words

  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.
  6. If you’re a beginner, reduce the number of sets per workout to make it less taxing.
  7. You can do steady cardio on a bicycle, treadmill, or elliptical cross trainer of your choice.
  8. I also recommend taking a steam bath, cold shower, ice bath, or massage after each week for quick muscle recovery.
  9. Use proper supportive equipment, such as an Olympic belt, wrist wrap, elbow support, and knee compressor, for safe and effective lifts.
  10. Take ample rest between sets to minimize the risk of injury.
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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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