This Is What Happens When You Implement A Powerlifting Program With A Group Class

 In Health & Recovery, Training & Exercise

Introduction

This is about HPI’s Summer Strength program. The focus of this phase was to increase each members 1RM (rep max) in the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift.  The challenging part of implementing a powerlifting program to a group class open to the general population is getting them to fully adhere to the program guidelines, all the while using enough variety to prevent boredom. With that said, though the goal of this phase was to increase each member’s 1RM, it was also to include enough variety, conditioning, and aerobic training so that members wouldn’t fall into the typical bore that comes with training purely for strength. This was a very short six week training cycle  to introduce group class members to the benefits of heavy strength training and the enjoyment that can come with it.

Methods:

This training was broken into four phases. Phase 1 (week 1) was max testing, phase 2 (weeks 2-4) was a slight progression in intensity with medium volume, phase 3 (week 5) was a slight de-load and phase 4 (week 6) was a re-test. The schedule for testing weeks, training, and class schedule was broken down as such:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Squat

30-45min Conditioning

Bench

/optional Squat work

30-45min Conditioning

Deadlift /optional Bench work

30-45min Conditioning/Rest

Rest

Results:

Squat

  • Number of participants who tested at beginning and end = 17
  • Range:  0-14.3% increase in 1RM
  • Mean:  6.44%
  • Median:  6.30%

Bench

  • Number of participants who tested at beginning and end = 15
  • Range:  0-13.6% increase in 1RM
  • Mean:  6.87%
  • Median:  6.25%

Deadlift

  • Number of participants who tested at beginning and end = 15
  • Range:  0-16% increase in 1RM
  • Mean:  5.45%
  • Median:  4.80%

Number of members who completed Test 1 vs. Test 2

  • Squat:  31/34
  • Bench:  28/35
  • Deadlift:  27/34

Discussion

This program was effective in increasing each member’s 1RM in the Squat, Bench, and Deadlift.  There are a number of observational reasons why the program was very effective or not effective at all.  In private industry classes members fit the gym into their schedule when they can which can disrupt a program’s effectiveness.  Below are our top reasons for success or failure with this program:

Observational conclusions on why program would fail:

  • Missing workouts (skipping lift days, vacation during program)
  • Hitting extra cardio, while skipping strength work
  • Lack of smart recovery, nutrition, test prep

Observational conclusions on why program succeeded:

  • Followed program and all extra strength work
  • Neuromuscular adaptation
  • Followed good recovery/ nutrition plan, test prep was taken seriously

Conclusion

In conclusion, intermediate lifters can expect a 5-7% increase in their Squat, Bench, and Deadlift 1RM after strictly following this program.  Beginner level lifters can expect as high as 16% increase, and following this program with a lack of discipline will yield 0% increase in your lifts. 

With any program, if you don’t take it serious, expect little to no results. This program is a powerlifting/conditioning hybrid. It is important to note that just because this program was implemented in a group class setting, does not by any means signify that it is “easy”. This is a challenging training program if executed properly.

If you are interested in following this 6-week program, you can find it available on our website at HPI-vb.com titled “Evolution Summer Strength.”  If you are a member and wish to further your powerlifting training, please refer to our online program Evolution-1S.  If you are interested more in improving your general conditioning, HPI will be starting our Peak Endurance Phase on June 13th. Come on in and try or check out or more recent conditioning program online, Evolution-1C.

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