There are a number of popular powerlifting programs available on the internet for beginner, intermediate, and advanced lifters. I believe that a lot of programs are “good” enough for the beginning and intermediate lifter to get stronger. However, I do feel that a lot of these programs should be tailored to the individual to fit their specific needs. Different lifters have different weak points, tolerance for different amounts of volume, and previous injuries to consider when mapping out their training. A lifter needs to be honest with himself (or herself) when setting up there programming. If the lifter wants to run a specific program because he heard how awesome it is, that is great. But, if this lifter receives the template, uses prior experience and believes he should modify it to fit his needs- chances are he may be correct.
So, how would a lifter modify a training program/template to his/her own needs? That is a difficult question to answer as there could be a variety of answers. For the sake of being able to give clear examples, I am going to discuss the training method “10/20/Life” by Brian Carroll. I have been using similar principles that this program preaches before Brian even made this program public, so I have a lot of faith in “10/20/Life”. I am not attempting to make this article an advertisement for the method, but the 10/20/Life e-book clearly states that it is to help lifters customize the program to their own needs! I have a lot of experience designing training cycles (off-season and meet prep) for myself as well as for others based on the methods. During the course of designing these training cycles, one thing was in common: tailoring the method to a lifter’s own needs!
In a typical training day, you are going to do a main movement, a secondary barbell movement that is meant to help the main lift (for example, block pulls for the deadlift), and accessory work. A lot of programs go ahead and give a specific secondary barbell movement; however, that may not work for some people depending on their needs! For example, if a lifter is in an off-season cycle and has a bench weakness off of the chest, the options to assist this are limited! If a program is recommending to do board presses but you need more full range work, it would be more beneficial to eliminate the board pressing and replace it with paused full range work. I could throw out a number of similar examples, but if you are reading this I am sure you already have some background knowledge and can figure it out.
In the next installment, I will lay out a sample block of training with specific weak points and movements to address them from all angles!
Jordan Wong is a raw powerlifter in both the 220 and 242 lb weight classes. He is the former world record holder of the all time raw squat in the 220 lb weight class. He is sponsored by Animal, Iron Rebel Power Gear, and Power Rack Strength. You can find him on Instagram (@wongstwong) to check out his training videos as well as client highlight videos. If you are interested in online coaching, contact him at using the form below.