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  1. #1
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    Spicewood's Intermediate Powerbuilding Routine

    With influence from the famous 531 boring but big program but for those who 'aint not too gud at sums and remeberins!' ive devised and followed this simple and effective strength and mass building program that i created for intermediate lifters looking to continue on the road of a more simple linear periodization for a little longer after finishing a program like ICF, Starting strength, Strongliifts etc... which are all great routines that everybody should milk for everything theyre worth before continuing onto my routine


    this is a lower upper split to be performed 2 days on 1 day off, 2 days on 2 days off and repeat


    Given the higher intensity and lower rep range of your primary exercise for each workout you should be approaching your first exercise with more of a strength building approach in mind making sure to have adequate rest in between sets as to be able to perform with maximal intensity each set



    "Spicewood's Intermediate Powerbuilding Routine"

    Day 1

    Squat 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Romanian Deadlift 5x 6-10
    Leg Press 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15

    Day 2

    Bench Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Barbell Rows 5x 6-10
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15

    Day 3

    Deadlift 5x3 (Pyramid up to 3rd top set then reverse pyramid -10% each subsequent set)
    Front Squat 5x 6-10
    Leg Curl 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15


    Day 4

    Overhead Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Latt Pulldown or Weighted pull ups depending on level of body mass and ability to perform prescribed reps 5x 6-10
    Incline Dumbbell Bench 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15




    All your primary movements are being worked twice weekly through direct work or assistance volume work, the back off set is to cram in the added volume on your main lift


    None of these sets should be taken to failure given the intensity of each workout sometimes followed sometimes by another day of training, on your back off set i encourage you to really push yourself but still try to hold just one rep in the tank


    Bench Press should be performed with a brief pause just above the chest holding tight, DO NOT rest the bar on the chest, this is a competition pause of a hairs gap between your chest and the bar


    Deadlift should be performed in the following manner Warm up/ Warm up/ Working weight/ Back off set/ Back off set, say for instance you are pulling 405 for 3 on your working set then you would do your normal warm ups leading up to your first working warm up set as these will contribute to hypertrophy given the combined workload, so something like 135lbs x 5 (then onto working warm ups and sets) / 225lbs x 3 / 315lbs x 3 / 405 x 3 / 365lbs x 3 / 325lbs x 3

    NOTE the deadlift is very person dependent on the workload you can handle therefor if recovery is proving an issue drop the sets down to 3x3 following the -10% each set after top set as your first

    Progression will be done in a linear fashion wherever possible adding 1lb either side of the bar on bench and press whilst adding 2lbs on squats and deadlift, assistance work should follow the same principals providing upper end of the rep range is hit for instance 10/10/10/10/10 up the weight by a 2-4lbs which should still keep you within the 6-10 range, this also applies to the 8-12 sets, if muscular endurance is a problem and you find you are hitting 10/10/7/5/4 for instance then aim to hit 6 reps for all sets and then increase to 7 the following workout, working your way up to the 5 x 10 and then progressing in weight


    First criticism will likely be "but what about the pythons? i need 27 sets of curls and 33 sets of tricep extensions or my arms will wither to the size of earth worms"

    I've created this split in order to bring up your 4 big lifts and pile on some decent mass in the process, if you are benching 275lbs for 5 sets of 3 paused you will likely have well developed arms and given that this is not a bodybuilding specific routine all the pressing and pulling youll be doing will provide enough stimulation for arm growth as the weights go up


    Secondly "4 exercises per workout? do you even volume brah?"

    5x3 with back off set of 1 x 10-20 on your primary exercise is a taxing workload not to mention the 5x 6-10 on your following movement, this split has more than enough volume and i would even advise people struggling on their second consecutive day workouts to maybe consider running the program as a 1 on 1 off repeat routine



    This routine provides a good blend of rep ranges for those who have truly milked the 5's of beginner routine and should make for some respectable adaptation in both strength and size providing you get enough sleep, train with intensity and are eating like a champ, this routine wasnt created for those hoping to keep a weenie little waist and defined obliques year round, your going to need to hammer back the kcals on this one and enjoy the added size and strength then worry about cutting back when youve piled on some significant mass and strength

    Any questions or comments please post
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  2. #2
    Registered User Iggby's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by spicewood1990 View Post
    With influence from the famous 531 boring but big program but for those who 'aint not too gud at sums and remeberins!' ive devised and followed this simple and effective strength and mass building program that i created for intermediate lifters looking to continue on the road of a more simple linear periodization for a little longer after finishing a program like ICF, Starting strength, Strongliifts etc... which are all great routines that everybody should milk for everything theyre worth before continuing onto my routine


    this is a lower upper split to be performed 2 days on 1 day off, 2 days on 2 days off and repeat


    Given the higher intensity and lower rep range of your primary exercise for each workout you should be approaching your first exercise with more of a strength building approach in mind making sure to have adequate rest in between sets as to be able to perform with maximal intensity each set



    "Spicewood's Intermediate Powerbuilding Routine"

    Day 1

    Squat 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Romanian Deadlift 5x 6-10
    Leg Press 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15

    Day 2

    Bench Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Barbell Rows 5x 6-10
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15

    Day 3

    Deadlift 5x3 (Pyramid up to 3rd top set then reverse pyramid -10% each subsequent set)
    Front Squat 5x 6-10
    Leg Curl 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15


    Day 4

    Overhead Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Latt Pulldown or Weighted pull ups depending on level of body mass and ability to perform prescribed reps 5x 6-10
    Incline Dumbbell Bench 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15




    All your primary movements are being worked twice weekly through direct work or assistance volume work, the back off set is to cram in the added volume on your main lift


    None of these sets should be taken to failure given the intensity of each workout sometimes followed sometimes by another day of training, on your back off set i encourage you to really push yourself but still try to hold just one rep in the tank


    Bench Press should be performed with a brief pause just above the chest holding tight, DO NOT rest the bar on the chest, this is a competition pause of a hairs gap between your chest and the bar


    Deadlift should be performed in the following manner Warm up/ Warm up/ Working weight/ Back off set/ Back off set, say for instance you are pulling 405 for 3 on your working set then you would do your normal warm ups leading up to your first working warm up set as these will contribute to hypertrophy given the combined workload, so something like 135lbs x 5 (then onto working warm ups and sets) / 225lbs x 3 / 315lbs x 3 / 405 x 3 / 365lbs x 3 / 325lbs x 3

    NOTE the deadlift is very person dependent on the workload you can handle therefor if recovery is proving an issue drop the sets down to 3x3 following the -10% each set after top set as your first

    Progression will be done in a linear fashion wherever possible adding 1lb either side of the bar on bench and press whilst adding 2lbs on squats and deadlift, assistance work should follow the same principals providing upper end of the rep range is hit for instance 10/10/10/10/10 up the weight by a 2-4lbs which should still keep you within the 6-10 range, this also applies to the 8-12 sets, if muscular endurance is a problem and you find you are hitting 10/10/7/5/4 for instance then aim to hit 6 reps for all sets and then increase to 7 the following workout, working your way up to the 5 x 10 and then progressing in weight


    First criticism will likely be "but what about the pythons? i need 27 sets of curls and 33 sets of tricep extensions or my arms will wither to the size of earth worms"

    I've created this split in order to bring up your 4 big lifts and pile on some decent mass in the process, if you are benching 275lbs for 5 sets of 3 paused you will likely have well developed arms and given that this is not a bodybuilding specific routine all the pressing and pulling youll be doing will provide enough stimulation for arm growth as the weights go up


    Secondly "4 exercises per workout? do you even volume brah?"

    5x3 with back off set of 1 x 10-20 on your primary exercise is a taxing workload not to mention the 5x 6-10 on your following movement, this split has more than enough volume and i would even advise people struggling on their second consecutive day workouts to maybe consider running the program as a 1 on 1 off repeat routine



    This routine provides a good blend of rep ranges for those who have truly milked the 5's of beginner routine and should make for some respectable adaptation in both strength and size providing you get enough sleep, train with intensity and are eating like a champ, this routine wasnt created for those hoping to keep a weenie little waist and defined obliques year round, your going to need to hammer back the kcals on this one and enjoy the added size and strength then worry about cutting back when youve piled on some significant mass and strength

    Any questions or comments please post
    Found this routine through a link on another thread. I like it a lot.

    Thinking about trying this after I finish my current round of SL 5x5.

    If you every see this, could you clarify the back off sets again.

    Work Set is performed for 5 sets of 3 reps, at work weight. Back off sets are performed at 30% reduced weight from work set, for 10 ~ 20 reps.

    i.e. Squat - 5 x 3 @ 315lbs, 1 x 20 @ 220 lbs.
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  3. #3
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    Originally Posted by spicewood1990 View Post
    With influence from the famous 531 boring but big program but for those who 'aint not too gud at sums and remeberins!' ive devised and followed this simple and effective strength and mass building program that i created for intermediate lifters looking to continue on the road of a more simple linear periodization for a little longer after finishing a program like ICF, Starting strength, Strongliifts etc... which are all great routines that everybody should milk for everything theyre worth before continuing onto my routine


    this is a lower upper split to be performed 2 days on 1 day off, 2 days on 2 days off and repeat


    Given the higher intensity and lower rep range of your primary exercise for each workout you should be approaching your first exercise with more of a strength building approach in mind making sure to have adequate rest in between sets as to be able to perform with maximal intensity each set



    "Spicewood's Intermediate Powerbuilding Routine"

    Day 1

    Squat 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Romanian Deadlift 5x 6-10
    Leg Press 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15

    Day 2

    Bench Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Barbell Rows 5x 6-10
    Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15

    Day 3

    Deadlift 5x3 (Pyramid up to 3rd top set then reverse pyramid -10% each subsequent set)
    Front Squat 5x 6-10
    Leg Curl 3x 8-12
    Ab's 2x15


    Day 4

    Overhead Press 5x3 back off set (reduce weight by 30%) 1x 10-20
    Latt Pulldown or Weighted pull ups depending on level of body mass and ability to perform prescribed reps 5x 6-10
    Incline Dumbbell Bench 3x 8-12
    Rear Delts 2x15




    All your primary movements are being worked twice weekly through direct work or assistance volume work, the back off set is to cram in the added volume on your main lift


    None of these sets should be taken to failure given the intensity of each workout sometimes followed sometimes by another day of training, on your back off set i encourage you to really push yourself but still try to hold just one rep in the tank


    Bench Press should be performed with a brief pause just above the chest holding tight, DO NOT rest the bar on the chest, this is a competition pause of a hairs gap between your chest and the bar


    Deadlift should be performed in the following manner Warm up/ Warm up/ Working weight/ Back off set/ Back off set, say for instance you are pulling 405 for 3 on your working set then you would do your normal warm ups leading up to your first working warm up set as these will contribute to hypertrophy given the combined workload, so something like 135lbs x 5 (then onto working warm ups and sets) / 225lbs x 3 / 315lbs x 3 / 405 x 3 / 365lbs x 3 / 325lbs x 3

    NOTE the deadlift is very person dependent on the workload you can handle therefor if recovery is proving an issue drop the sets down to 3x3 following the -10% each set after top set as your first

    Progression will be done in a linear fashion wherever possible adding 1lb either side of the bar on bench and press whilst adding 2lbs on squats and deadlift, assistance work should follow the same principals providing upper end of the rep range is hit for instance 10/10/10/10/10 up the weight by a 2-4lbs which should still keep you within the 6-10 range, this also applies to the 8-12 sets, if muscular endurance is a problem and you find you are hitting 10/10/7/5/4 for instance then aim to hit 6 reps for all sets and then increase to 7 the following workout, working your way up to the 5 x 10 and then progressing in weight


    First criticism will likely be "but what about the pythons? i need 27 sets of curls and 33 sets of tricep extensions or my arms will wither to the size of earth worms"

    I've created this split in order to bring up your 4 big lifts and pile on some decent mass in the process, if you are benching 275lbs for 5 sets of 3 paused you will likely have well developed arms and given that this is not a bodybuilding specific routine all the pressing and pulling youll be doing will provide enough stimulation for arm growth as the weights go up


    Secondly "4 exercises per workout? do you even volume brah?"

    5x3 with back off set of 1 x 10-20 on your primary exercise is a taxing workload not to mention the 5x 6-10 on your following movement, this split has more than enough volume and i would even advise people struggling on their second consecutive day workouts to maybe consider running the program as a 1 on 1 off repeat routine



    This routine provides a good blend of rep ranges for those who have truly milked the 5's of beginner routine and should make for some respectable adaptation in both strength and size providing you get enough sleep, train with intensity and are eating like a champ, this routine wasnt created for those hoping to keep a weenie little waist and defined obliques year round, your going to need to hammer back the kcals on this one and enjoy the added size and strength then worry about cutting back when youve piled on some significant mass and strength

    Any questions or comments please post
    It looks like a powerlifting routine, IMO powerbuilding its the other way round, your try to pack as much mass as possible why increasing your lifts. Too little chest and back volume ans 0 arm work doesnt look like a very effective mass building program
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  4. #4
    proton shakez spicewood1990's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Iggby View Post
    Found this routine through a link on another thread. I like it a lot.

    Thinking about trying this after I finish my current round of SL 5x5.

    If you every see this, could you clarify the back off sets again.

    Work Set is performed for 5 sets of 3 reps, at work weight. Back off sets are performed at 30% reduced weight from work set, for 10 ~ 20 reps.

    i.e. Squat - 5 x 3 @ 315lbs, 1 x 20 @ 220 lbs.

    that's correct

    it'll feel light as chit at first but after the heavy sets of 3 it'll help induce some metabolic fatigue and the progressive overload will keep you growing just fine

    ive only ever really switched between sets of 1-5 on squats and deadlifts with the occasional stint of 20 rep rest pause work (both of which are in this routine) and my legs grew just fine as well as my total


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  5. #5
    Registered User Iggby's Avatar
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    Right on.

    Pretty sure I could get 12 at 225 but I don’t know about 20.

    I’m assuming that’s why you said 10 - 20, haha
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  6. #6
    proton shakez spicewood1990's Avatar
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    spicewood1990 is offline
    Originally Posted by Iggby View Post
    Right on.

    Pretty sure I could get 12 at 225 but I don’t know about 20.

    I’m assuming that’s why you said 10 - 20, haha

    it is intended to be a rest pause set

    so youll try to hit the 10 with a fluid set and the take a few gulps of air, resting the bar on your back the entire time then hit another double or triple and repeat
    eventually youll just be hitting singles and the biggest battle will be not racking the bar prematurely

    with the bench press and ohp you rack it in between rest pause but you still want to only take a few big gulps of breath and go again, its not a rest between sets, its a rest pause set
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  7. #7
    Registered User Barbecuebarbell's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever successfully ran this program or have any feedback on it??
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