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Training Variation - Beginner Powerlifter Focus

" Training Variation " , seems to only be looked at from the exercise selection perspective. Many coaches seem to fire out so many different exercise variations to beginner lifters. It is very tough as a coach sometimes. Yes, you want business and want to make the client happy, but many lifters are too proud to call themselves beginners and want to try other exercises. For example : instead of beginners performing a back squat , bench press and deadlift once or twice a week with a select few "core"accessories. You would have them use : chains, bands , blocks and may other variations for the lifts. As a beginner, you do not need to touch any of those variations to make progress, it may hinder you if anything. Training variation for a beginner can be looked at from a few more practical and long term ways. A few of these include: altering training volume , intensity and frequency with the main lifts. Practice !!!

As a beginner , to get good at new movements such as : the squat , bench press or deadlift , you have to practice them without much interference. Putting a lot of focus on a different exercise variation for these movements can limit your ability to develop that motor pattern and actually progress in that lift.

What should you do?

Training variations that can be looked at to progress a beginner lifter would be to keep the main lifts in the program and manipulate voulume and intensities. Start off with the main lifts once a week . Incorporate a few weeks of manageable volume ( every lifter will be different) at a lower intensity and then a few weeks of increased intensity with decreased volume.

For both , you would probably increase volume/intensity (slightly) weekly or biweekly if the athlete can manage the workload with good form. Training a main lift 2x a week for a "beginner" lifter may be a little much for the first few months/year . Of course some may progress faster , which will determine whether or not to include that second day for a certain lift.

**A beginner lifter should not be going anywhere near 1 RM. This can lead to injury as they are new to the movement and will have a lot of technical issues which can result in bad habits. You can gauge progress by testing a "comfortable" 5rep or even 3rep. If that "comfortable" 5rep or 3rep increases every few months , you can say that some progress is being made.

Take home message

As a beginner lifter you can easily make progress without incorporating exercise variations in the squat, bench press or deadlift. Of course you may have glowing weaknesses that you may need to work on. You can incorporate accessory movements that may aid the main lifts that will not interfere with those movement patterns.

Learn the basics , of course you will want to try new variations and you will be introduced to that. When the time is right , you will have spent a lot of qualitiy time with the main competition lifts and have maipulated those training variables in many ways. Having flawless technique from the start will only make it easier for you to progress in the future.

Training Variation for the Intermediate/Advanced lifter will be covered next !!

Stephen Cascioli

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