26th December, 2022 updated 27th December, 2022

Template: novice maximalist maximal strength

The objective of this program is to develop maximal strength specific to the three lifts used in powerlifting competitions: the squat, the deadlift and the bench press. As explained in my blog post discussing the manipulation of the strength training variables for maximal strength, when developing maximal strength for a sport, there is the necessity to develop the skill involved in the movements used in competition.

Rest time between sets varies depending on the number of repetitions within the set. - In the 10-20 repetition range, at least 90 seconds - In the 7-9 repetition range, at least 2 minutes - When repetitions are less than 7, at least 4 minutes

Each exercise has to be executed with a target RBF of 4 to 0. As explained in my article about autoregulation.

This is a 4-day program: hypothetically, day 1 is executed on a Monday and day 2 on a Tuesday, followed by a rest day on Wednesday, day 3 and day 4 are executed on Thursday and Friday respectively.

Day 1

  1. Barbell squat x3 7-9reps
  2. Barbell bench press x3 7-9reps

Day 2

  1. Barbell deadlift x4 2-3reps
  2. Barbell bench press x4 2-3reps

Day 3

  1. Barbell squat x4 4-6reps
  2. Barbell bench press x4 4-6reps

Day 4

  1. Unilateral leg press x3
  2. Uniletaral leg curl x3
  3. Machine row x3
  4. Shoulder press x3
  5. Lat machine x3


All of the sets with less than 10 repetitions should be performed with a focus on maximal intended velocity.

When an exercise does not have a prescribed number of sets, it is assumed that the sets range is 10-20.

Day 4 can be eliminated and the exercises that would have been on the 4th day could be spread across the remaining 3 days, turning this program in a 3-day program. This depends on individual preferences and the individual's physical demands.