The POWER 4 is a strength training program that consists of 4 phases – 1) Preliminary 2) Preparation 3) Pyramid 4) Peak.
It’s used for the Big 4 barbell lifts – 1) Squat 2) Bench 3) Deadlift 4) Press
These 4 exercises, combined with this program and it’s variations, has built more muscle and strength than anything else in human history.
It’s been said that there’s nothing new under the sun. While that may be true, never before have these time tested routines been laid out in such a manner.
Here’s a closer look at the 4 phases:
The Preliminary phase is all about finding your working weights. This is the start point to building some serious strength. It’s for people who have never done the lifts or for those coming back from a layoff. This phase begins with a ramp up period that ultimately leads into a 5×3 program. This is a quintessential strength program and can be recycled ad infinitum.
The Preparation phase is for finding your maxes – everything from 10RM to 1RM. This is need-to-know information for future programming. It’s for people who have been doing the lifts but don’t know exactly how much they can lift for a given number of reps. It’s in this phase where assistance exercises are also introduced. This phase can be cycled in 2-4 times a year in bookended by the Preliminary and/or Pyramid phases.
The Pyramid is the hypertrophy phase. This is where muscle is built and the foundation is set for all the gains. It’s for people who have been doing the lifts and know their maxes in any rep range. It’s in this phase where advanced programming techniques are introduced. This phase is a staple bodybuilding program and can be recycled forever.
The Peak phase is for building up to your true 1RM. This is what the 6 weeks leading up to a powerlifting meet should look like. Although a competition is not necessary, testing yourself is. This is a heavy, low rep program designed to move the most poundage possible on a given day. This phase should only be used 1-2 times per year and even less for advanced / older lifters.
These 4 phases alone could easily be the template for a year’s worth of training.
You could choose to use it for one or all 4 of the big barbell lifts.