SPF Powerbuilding: Strength, Power, & Fortitude

SPF Powerbuilding: Snapshot

SPF powerbuilding, (Strength, Power, & Fortitude), is an off season powerlifting program and (hopefully) an infinite general interest in weightlifting program. SPF power building was created for people who are looking to build their base strength in preparation for powerlifting competitions, or for people who are tired of the same monotony in the gym caused by running the same program week, after week, after week. SPF power building focuses heavily on the bodybuilding side of the bodybuilding/powerlifting equation. Your body is stronger when you train it with heavy weighs closer to your one rep max to build up specific strength in that movement, however, there comes an upper limit caused by muscle size. We also need to have larger muscles to be able to push larger weights. SPF power building is for people looking to put on some mass in the off-season, try out new movements that haven’t been performed in a while, reduce boredom in the gym, and to be jacked to the nines.

SPF Powerlifting is available as either an excel or pdf, however, it is more effective as an excel template. 

SPF Powerbuilding: Overview

  • Three times per week program

or

  • Four times per week program

  • Four week cycle, eight week cycle, 12 week cycle, or 16 week cycle

  • Each muscle group performed 2x per week in a variety of rep ranges

  • One hour per workout

How To Tune SPF Powerbuilding

SPF power building is probably one of the more unique programs you seen, in that the only exercises that are specifically chosen for you are the bench press, the squat and the deadlift. Rather than myself choosing exercises specifically for you, in SPF power building, you are choosing from a variety of exercises under the “accessory list” sheets. To explain, day 1 looks like this:

SPF Powerbuilding Week 1.PNG

As you can see, bench is the only exercise that is chosen for you (based off your personal 1 Rep Max), it is also one of the few exercises that actually has a weight chosen for you. To be able to complete the rest of the exercises, you will need to choose these on your own from an accessory list. This reduces boredom as well as increases variety of exercise selection within the gym. This increased variety can help you work a muscle in new ranges of motion, allowing you to develop a strong base and fortitude of strength. However the main problem with switching exercises every single workout is that you tend to forget what weight you need to lift with, and as such you can end up spinning your wheels because you are never actually increasing the weight, ineffectively using the principle of progressive overload.

This increased variety can help you work a muscle in new ranges of motion, allowing you to develop a strong base and fortitude of strength

This is why I’ve created the upper body and lower body accessory list pages to be able to keep track of your weight lifted over time. These pages are a necessity to have with you while you were at the gym, as well as a fantastic way of recording progress. Here’s an example of one:

SPF Powerbuilding Accessory list.PNG

Each exercise category has several different rep ranges available and several different columns, denoting the different rep ranges used. When you come in for a day 1 upper body day, you’ll perform your bench press as usual with the weight provided, and then you will need to choose a chest accessory for 6 to 8 reps. You can choose from any exercise within that list (there are 15) and a weight that you know you could perform 6 to 8 reps with and still have one or two reps left in the tank. This part is important to note so I will repeat that, in all exercises you should still feel as though you have one or two reps left in your tank.

For Example (applies to all days)

On week 1, day 1, I may choose to use a wide grip bench press for my 6-8 rep accessory, and a double incline press for my 12-15 rep accessory. I will write down the weight that I performed for each of these exercises in their respective columns on the accessory sheets. For week two, I chose the incline bench press for my 6-8 rep movement, and a dumbbell press for the 12-15 rep movement. I’m also sure to write down the weight that I used. After several weeks of running this and writing down the weights that I used, you’ll find that eventually you will run out of exercises to be outperformed. When this happens, you will go back to an exercise that has been previously performed. However, since you have not performed this exercise for several weeks, it is likely that you will be old to go up 5 to 10 pounds of this exercise.

The purpose of the accessory lists is to keep you honest, as well as keep you consistently progressing. The movements selected are all movements that can greatly benefit your big three lifts, your squat, your bench and your deadlift. The increased variety of using the accessory lists is important for two reasons:

  • One is that it allows you to work your muscles in two ways, working them through a large variety of ranges of motion.

  • The second is that it reduces your mental boredom within the gym. A huge issue with constant workout programs is that you do the exact same exercise for 12 weeks, this can get incredibly boring and monotonous for week after week process. This was one of the main reasons that I created SPF power building; to stave off boredom within the gym. It also forces you to do exercises that you don’t really like, and allows you to easily replace exercises that feel awkward for you, may make certain joints pop, or are just ineffective exercises for you in any shape or form.

How Long Should I Run SPF Powerbuilding?

SPF powerbuilding is designed in a one-month cycle. Meaning that you can run this program month, after month, after month. You will have three weeks of a high-volume lifting regime, and the fourth week is a deload where you will be setting up new weights to use for the following month in an AMRAP set. If your off-season is only two months, then you run this program for two months. If your off-season is four months, then you could run this for four months.

Should I run SPF Powerbuilding on a cut, or should I be on a bulk?

SPF power building is fine to run on either a cut or bulk, but obviously this program will be more effective when you are running in a calorie surplus.

What if one of the exercises is awkward for me?

Simply don’t do it. Remove it from the list and choose a new exercise.

Why do I need to do a new exercise each week?

The main purpose of selecting new exercise for each week that you are in the gym is to consistently push your body in in new ways and to increase variety. When you perform different exercises from the list below, you are working slightly different areas of the muscle each time and this will greatly benefit your overall strength and development.

Can I run SPF powerbuilding as a peaking program?

No, SPF powerbuilding is not designed as a peaking program. It is designed as an off-season program meaning that you are not near a competition. If you’re looking for a competition peaking program, I would suggest that you run my other program broke gains.

What if I’m not a powerlifter?

One of the big reasons why I created SPF power building the first place, is that It can be run as a general strength building program. The weights you are lifting are not incredibly intense, and with the loads scheduled into the program, you could potentially infinitely run SPF power building without getting bored (as long as you don’t get bored of being in a gym, that is).

How should I incorporate deadlifts into the program for accessories?

On lower body days, I would suggest that you do at least one dead lift style program variation for your lower body. It does not matter whether you are doing this in the 12-15 rep range or the 15-20 rep range, you will eventually see progress over time.

How do I know what my weak areas are on my lifts to develop these lagging muscles?

I have weak point charts available here.

What do I do if I plateau on this routine?

Most likely if you’re plateauing on this routine, you’re not being honest with yourself in the a variety of exercise selections. For example if you were to perform each exercise on the chest accessory list, for both rep ranges, it would take you 15 weeks. By the time you reperform your first chest exercise 15 weeks ago, you should definitely be able to move up by 5lbs (at the bare minimum). If you’re still plateauing, I’d suggest looking into your diet, sleep, and technique.

Why do you suggest not training to failure?

The biggest deterrent to training to failure on every single set is that it causes you to overreach too quickly. For example, if I trained to failure on set 1 of my bench press and hit nine reps, the next set I may only hit six reps, and the next set after that I may only hit five reps, giving me a total of 20 reps. However, if I performed three sets of eight, I would hit a total of 24 reps. Muscle building happens over total reps done during the day/week, not the weight used. For this program at least, it is more important to hit the rep designated rep range, not lift as much weight as possible. SPF is a muscle building program first and foremost.

SPF Powerlifting is available as either an excel or pdf, however, it is more effective as an excel template.