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What is an Intermediate Powerlifter?
An intermediate lifter is, by one rule of thumb, an individual that is no longer able to increase weight lifted on a per training session or per week basis and instead is able to reliably make progress on a monthly basis.
After the novice phase of a lifter’s development is complete, it is time to begin considering programs for the intermediate powerlifter. Therefore it is not advantageous to move to an intermediate powerlifting program until it is truly necessary – to do otherwise slows progress unnecessarily (see “Intermediate Syndrome” for more on this). Once a lifter has reached the intermediate phase of their development, here are some recommended intermediate powerlifting programs.
Popular Intermediate Powerlifting Programs
- Texas Method
- TSA Intermediate Program v2
- GZCL Jacked and Tan 2.0
- nSuns 5/3/1
- Candito 6 Week Program
- Calgary Barbell 8 & 16 Week Program
- Greg Nuckols Intermediate Programs
More information: Texas Method
Texas Method is a great program for lifters looking to transition from novice programs like Starting Strength or Strong Lifts. While still using primarily sets of 5, Texas Method accommodates the need for increased recovery time by using fewer sets of 5 and heavy singles to reduce volume throughout each cycle. It is strongly recommended that you read Mark Rippetoe’s Practical Programming if you want to get 100% out of the Texas Method, as it is a very flexible program that can be tweaked to best suit your goals. For instance: the spreadsheet below still includes cleans, which is not necessarily desirable for strict powerlifting development.
TSA Intermediate Powerlifting Program v2.0
The Strength Athlete (TSA) is a great resource for powerlifters. They offer some great free programs, including the Intermediate Powerlifting Program v2.0. They also offer online coaching and custom programming.
GZCL Jacked and Tan 2.0
More info and related spreadsheets: GZCL spreadsheets
This is just an example of a popular nSuns 5/3/1 spreadsheet. This is more of a “late novice” program, as this program calls for increasing weeks on a weekly basis. It is a good program to run after a pure novice program like GreySkull LP, Starting Strength, Ivysaur 4-4-8, or StrongLifts.
More info and related spreadsheets: nSuns spreadsheets.
Candito 6 Week Program
More info and related spreadsheets: Candito 6 Week Program and links to other Candito programs
Calgary Barbell 8 & 16 Week Program
More information available: Calgary Barbell Programs
Greg Nuckols Intermediate Programs
There are many different powerlifting program variations here from beginner to advanced. The intermediate variations are most relevant in this case. More information available: Greg Nuckols 28 Programs