Barbell Only Powerlifting Routine

Barbell Only 3 Day Powerlifting Routine

This (mostly) barbell only 3 day powerlifting routine will get you ready to step on the platform.

This routine can be run by anyone but it is primarily aimed at beginners.

Goal Of This Workout

This workout is designed to build strength, muscle, and get a beginner comfortable doing big compound movements.

Diet and Nutrition Tips

I would recommend going on a slow bulk for this routine to get the most out of it. It is easier to cut some fat afterwards than trying to make strength gains on a calorie deficit.

If you keep your weight consistent and need some tips to add calories into your diet, here are some of the best and healthiest ways to do so:

  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Whole milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cheese on everything
  • Protein shakes
  • Peanut butter
  • Olive oil
  • Extra dressing

These all add flavor and healthy fats to your diet. Personally, I prefer adding calories through this means instead of going to McDonalds and smashing a couple McDoubles.

You will feel better, have more energy, and your stomach will thank you.

Note: A little bit goes a long way, so be sure to know how many calories you are adding.

Recommended Supplements

Without a good diet, supplementation is mostly a waste of money. I will be the first to tell you to spend money on some good meats than a jug of protein.

For those who have their diets in check, here are the supplements I would use with this routine.


MTS Nutrition Clash

I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.

This is a great blend without too many stimulants.


MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs

This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.

Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.

So far I’ve had Red Velvet, Cookies and Cream, and Key Lime. All are A+.

MTS Nutrition Protein


MTS Nutrition Machine Fuel

Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.

I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.


Optimum Nutrition Micronized Creatine

I have a review of Optimum Nutrition’s Creatine and it’s a tried and true supplement. It will help with performance and recovery. I highly recommend this.

Cardio and Conditioning Schedule

Conditioning is important to powerlifting since you need your central nervous system to be efficient in producing power.

If your nervous system is being taxed just because you are standing up, you basically have less power to work with.

  • Monday – 10 minute HIIT post-workout
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday – 15 minute HIIT post-workout
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – 5 minute HIIT post-workout
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

Post-workout high intensity interval training is going to be the best for conditioning and will not put you in the gym for hours.

I highly encourage activity outside of the gym and enjoying life; don’t worry about losing gains because you played a game of basketball with your friends.

Workout Schedule

  • Monday – Squat Workout
  • Tuesday – Off
  • Wednesday – Bench Workout
  • Thursday – Off
  • Friday – Deadlift Workout
  • Saturday – Off
  • Sunday – Off

Barbell Only Powerlifting Routine

Squat Day
Barbell Squats35
Front Squats48
Romanian Deadlifts312
Walking Lunges220


Bench Day
Close Grip Barbell Bench Press48
Flat Barbell Bench Press35
Floor Presses412
Military Press48
Bent Over Barbell Rows312


Deadlift Day
Sumo Deadlifts38
Stiff Leg Deadlifts412
Reverse Hyper Extensions312
Barbell Curls315

Workout Tips

Since this workout uses (mostly) only barbells, you might think there’s no way you can build quality strength and muscle on this routine.

This routine will give you a strong, functional body with usable muscle that isn’t made from unnatural movements on a machine.

ALAP – Hold your planks for as long as possible.

Progression – I would recommend warming up properly and jumping into your working weight. Instead of doing a pyramid weight jump, I want you to pick a weight to use over all sets. This will take a while to get used to, but you will like it much better once you start seeing the results it yields.

Deloads – I would only deload if you start to hit a multiple week plateau, start getting sick, or feeling achy non stop.


Sharing is caring, and as always leave any comments or questions below!

14 thoughts on “Barbell Only 3 Day Powerlifting Routine”

    1. Pre-fatiging your triceps is a tried and true practice…But I’m sure the muscle mags that you take most of your information from won’t tell you that one.

    2. Mags? I’m not 14 mutha fucker. Watch ur mouth. Don’t you wanna avoid fatigue if you’re trying to get stronger?

    3. If you would have asked like this instead of trying to insult everything I said this would have gone a lot smoother.

      If you pre-fatigue say your triceps then bench.. it’s a completely different type of training than it would be vice versa. Basically it’s like going to failure and then still using the muscle.

      It’s just a different way to train. If you prefer the other way then by all means do it that way.


  1. Hi Cutty! How,s the weather there? has been a long long time since i made the last question and here ,s another new one. what do you think about Power Clean and Squat Press? i was incorporating this movement because i feel its working for me. Which muscles are involve in and how usefull is for building muscle? I mean about doing a couple hard sets of this excercise, and then, doing two body building excercises like curl biceps and triceps (just an example). what do yo think?

    Like allways a greetings from Hermosillo, Sonora.

    1. Atruro!

      It has been a long time. The weather is starting to cool off from 100F so I’m happy with that. I’m glad to see you’re still around and putting in work :). Power cleans and squat presses are great movements – the only downside is they take a bit of skill and technique to learn. This is the reason I haven’t talked much about them.

      Power cleans are full body – uses a lot of posterior chain and then of course upper body and squat presses are like a front squat and a military press combined to it’s a very effective exercise. For exercises like these you only want to do moderate weight – no need to go heavy. Doing lighter reps and more volume works with these. As long as you progress with weight or volume you will see results.

      Hope things are going well,


  2. No doubt a bout it! and thankyou and Screw that Guys up that uses this site to insult and dis respect your work.

    I will try this way and i tell you how,s working. Until september 30th. Thanks again.

  3. Hi, Cutty. I allready begun my workout based on barbell compound movemnts. And i strated with this about three weeks ago, until now(august 29nth) :

    Power Clean and Squat Press: 50kg. (135lbs)

    Romanian Death lift: 110kg. (252.5lb) and still working on it..

    Standing Barbell Row: 40kg. (88.18) to 42.6kg. (93.91lb)

    Bench Press: 70kg. (154.32lb) to 82.6kg. (182.10lb)

    Front Squats: 60kg. (135lb) to 75kg (165.34lb)

    Hang clean and push presses: 42.6kg. (93.91lb) to 47.2kg. (104lb)

    Barbell Pool Overs: 42.6kg. (93.91lb)

    Those are My basic Excercises on my routine. i do sets of 8 reps each and then i combine them with one than another body building excresices. of cousre! i don,t make them all together on one day.

    I,ll tell you in September 30th. See you then….

  4. Hey Cutty! How,s your day? I,m making too much progression since I begun my routine. But i was training hard for many years and i,m felling some pain on certain joints and some times I sleep not too well. but there,s just-one- thing i,ve never done before: ¡DELOAD!

    Yes! that,s right.. I never deload my training ever, and I think it,s time to take some kind of rest but i don,t want let my weights behind so I,m thinking I should make training adjustments and deload. How about that? What,s your opinion? and What should I do to Deloading my training? Decrease the poundages, decrease sets, repetitions or both of them? any answer would be great for me.

    Greetings over there.

    1. There’s a few ways to deload and it’ll actually boost your performance. Since you’re having that many issues I would take 1 week completely off, get some extra rest, a little extra food and relax. The next week I would recommend running just compound lifts at 50% of your regular weight. This will get you back moving again. Then next weak cut back the weight by like 10% from what you were working before you take the deload. You should be much better by then. I would recommend deloading every month or every other’s important for your growth.

      And I’m doing alright, thanks. My AC went out so I’m dealing with sweating all day lol.

  5. Hi Cutty,

    Just found this routine and it looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for. Ive been olympic weightlifting for about 10 years and am pretty used to how their program structure works and could I apply that same structure to something like this? How many weeks would you run this, maybe 8 weeks at a time? And would you do 3 weeks on and 1 week deload? Or 4 week on 1 week deload? Also what type of percentages for each week would you am for?

    1. Keep it simple. Many athletes prefer barbells and dumbbells only for their workouts. You have trained long enough to understand where your overtraining limit is. I would start at 70-75% of your max weight and work up from there. If you can take a deload week and focus on power/speed work versus overloading your nervous system, that’ll help it recover quicker.

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