Written by Calgary Barbell, the 16 week and 8 week programs are designed to improve the squat, bench press, and deadlift of the athlete in preparation for a powerlifting meet. You can, however, run them even if you’re not prepping for a meet. Both programs are quite similar, with the primary difference between the two being that the 16 week program has a more full progression of each lift, whereas the 8 week program is more a training snapshot.
Update: Added “Revised” version of the 16 week of the program that as floating around Reddit. I also edited the original spreadsheets to make them work with LB or KG very easily.
16 Week + 8 Week Program Summary:
- 4 training sessions per week
- Squat 3x per week*
- Bench 4x per week *
- Deadlift 3x per week*
- Uses a combination of 1RM % and RPE to program load
- The “Revised” version of the spreadsheet allows the athlete to customize a % for each RPE rep range to make weight selection a bit simpler. But remember, the point of RPE is to reflect the athlete’s strength that day. These suggestions are flexible.
- Includes taper week if preparing for a powerlifting meet
*Includes competition lift and variations
Calgary Barbell Programs on Boostcamp
Prefer an app to a spreadsheet? If so, you're in luck!
Boostcamp has a free app version of the Calgary Barbell Peaking Programs (16 Week + 8 Week) that you can use directly from your phone.
It tracks your progress and calculates your lifts, just like a spreadsheet.
Works on iOS and Android.
Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program Spreadsheet KG + LB (Original)
Video: About the 16 Week Program by Calgary Barbell
Calgary Barbell 16 Week Program Spreadsheet KG + LB (REVISED)
- This is modified version of Calgary Barbell’s 16 Week program. What changed? Weights that were based on RPE (e.g. 3×5 @RPE 8) have been converted using a % of 1RM estimation to recommended loads.
- So 3×5 @RPE 8 would turn into 3×5 @ 86%.
- Since the entire point of RPE is to modify your workout based on daily strength fluctuations, these estimations should be taken with a grain of salt. They are flexible suggestions. It is OK to lift less or more than the recommended value.
- If you feel so inclined, you can modify the table below to your own preferred % estimation.
Calgary Barbell 8 Week Program Spreadsheet (KG + LB)
Video: About the 8 Week Program by Calgary Barbell
Calgary Barbell Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is a good substitution for the pin squat?
A pause squat or box squat should be ok substitutes.
What is the main difference between the 8 week and 16 week programs?
Aside from the obvious program length difference, the 16 week program allows for a “fuller progression” of the lifts, whereas the 8 week program is more of a “training snapshot” (Bryce’s words). Practically speaking, there’s more exercise variation in the 16 week program. If you can afford it, run the 16 week program. If you need to prep for a competition in 8 weeks, then the 8 week program is a better choice. You can also try out Calgary Barbell’s training methods with the 8 week program, which is less of a commitment than the 16 week program.
How long are training sessions for these programs?
Many people report training sessions around 1.5 hours (90 minutes).
What are the three numbers in the tempo column?
Descent time, pause time at bottom of lift, ascent time. All measured in seconds.