This is my eight week peaking program that consists of a volume phase and peaking phase each lasting four weeks. This program is better suited for novice-intermediate lifters and lifters who can handle higher work loads.

It’s a linear program whereby the intensity increases week by week for the main lifts for each phase. Each phase has a specific training goal; phase one is more volume focused at lower intensity. Phase two is peaking focused lifting at high sub-maximal load to maximal loads which builds up to you hitting a new PR week eight or nine.

You train a frequency of four times per week, you perform your competition bench press and squat twice a week, then competition deadlift once a week and a deadlift variation at low intensity high volume once a week. The general structure of this program is you have a volume and intensity training day and you alternate between the two.

Below is your weekly training schedule outlining what exercises are performed on what days. Exercises one to three are your main lifts and accessory lifts and these are important and must be completed in full. 4A exercises are assistance exercises, these are mainly incorporated to help isolate smaller muscles and create muscular hypertrophy.

1SquatDeadliftSquatSnatch Grip or Pause Deadlift
2Bench PressOHPBench PressPendlay Rows
3Front SquatRack Pull ShrugsIncline Bench PressSDL or RDL
4ALegsCorePush Pull
8 Week Training Routine Schedule

Phase One

Bench Press and Squat

The first phase is the volume phase, lower intensity but higher training volume. Day one is the volume day, you perform 6 sets of 6 reps each training session, all weight is sub-maximal starting at 65% and finishes week four at 72% of 1RM. You follow a linear periodization increasing the intensity by 2% each week whilst keeping the rep scheme at 6×6 totaling 36 reps.

Day two is your intensity day or ‘heavy day’ performing 3 sets of 3 reps starting at 80% and finishing week four at 87% of 1RM. Take 2-3 minutes rest between sets making sure you have fully recovered from the previous set. The base volume of 9 reps for 3 sets of 3 reps remains consistent throughout, however the intensity increases by 2% each training week.

DAY 16×665%67%70%72%
DAY 23×380%82%85%87%
Phase One Bench Press and Squat Rep Scheme and Percentages


The difference with the deadlift is you perform just one training session per week and alternate between volume and intensity each week. This is because deadlifting too much will lead to you burning out and over-training. You need less volume and frequency for the deadlift than the bench and squat. In addition, you perform just 25 reps for 5 sets of 5 reps rather than 6 sets of 6 reps. This is because you can perform less volume and lower reps per set for the deadlift than the bench and squat to create a strength adaptation.

WK 1WK 2WK 3WK 4
Phase One Deadlift Rep Scheme and Percentages

Phase Two

Squat and Bench Press

 Week 5 %Week 6 %Week 7 %
DAY 15×575%4×577%3×580%
DAY 22×290%2×292%2-3×195%
Phase Two Squat and Bench Press Rep Scheme Percentages

This phase of the program is peaking for a new PR or meet. It follows the same structure as Phase one, day one is your volume day and day two is your ‘heavy day where the focus is intensity. Day one you perform 3-5 sets of 5 reps for 15-25 total reps between 75-80% of 1RM. The goal is train with higher sub-maximal loads than phase one, but less volume and fewer reps per set than phase one. It follows a linear progression whereby the intensity increases by 2% each week and the volume decreases by five reps each week because you take off one set of five reps.

The reason you do this in phase two and not phase one is because firstly you are training at higher percentages, secondly on day two you are training with maximal loads (90%+) which will require a lot of maximal strength.

Day two is the intensity day, for phase two you are training with maximal loads (90%+) but lower volume ranging from 2-4 reps. The goal for day two phase two is to develop maximal strength working with heavy 90%+ of 1RM weight preparing you to set a new PR in Week eight or nine. The philosophy here borrows from Conjugate Training, in order to lift maximal loads your must train with maximal loads! You cant learn to drive a car on a motorbike.


Similar to phase one, you perform your main competition deadlift just once a week, you don’t need the frequency or volume required for the bench press and to an extent squat. Some powerlifters I’ve met train their deadlift just once every 14-16 days. You don’t have a heavy day and volume day.

Week five you perform 4 sets of 4 reps totaling 16 reps at 80% of 1RM, week two 5 sets of 3 reps totaling 15 reps at 85% of your 1RM then finish with 4 sets of 3 reps totaling 12 reps at 90% of 1RM. This is a common undulated linear progression used, however, in combination with deadlift variation exercise performed once a week you are able to make a weekly deadlift strength adaptation.

WK 5WK 6WK 7
Phase Two Deadlift Rep Schemes and Percentages

Week Eight Peaking Routine

You have two options: week eight can be a rest week then set your new PR’s in week nine or lift at the meet. Alternatively, you can hit a new PR week eight IF you feel like you are not carrying any fatigue or feeling burnt out.

If you are peaking for a meet schedule this program so that the week nine is the meet and the below is your 1st, 2nd and third attempts. Take week eight off completely – no training, just rest and recovery.

The below is a suggested routine, one that I have used, if you have your own routine for chasing a new PR or choosing your opener and 2nd and third attempt for a meet then disregard the below.

Week Eight/Nine PR Routine

Accessory Exercises

Accessory exercises I define as variations on the main lifts that help break sticking points or compound exercises that contribute to creating a strength adaptation and increase maximal strength.

Variation Exercises

The variation exercises are performed at low sub maximal weight and higher volume than the main lifts. DO NOT PERFORM THEM AT MAXIMAL LOADS!! They help to break through main lift sticking points and strengthen muscles groups that are not isolated with the main lifts.

  • Front Squat: Quad strengthening – helps with your deadlift when its ‘weak off the floor’ and the bottom range of motion/’out of the whole’ for the squat.
  • Incline Bench Press: Delts/Upper Pec strengthening – This helps massively with the bench press mid-range of motion sticking point.
  • Deadlift Variations:
    1. Snatch Grip Deadlift: Top-Range Lockout Sticking Point
    2. Two Second Pause Deadlift: Mid-Range Sticking Point

Maximal Strength Compound Exercises

These exercises are designed to strengthen muscles groups using heavy multi-joint compound exercises that do not necessarily mimic but have strength carryover to the main lifts:

  • Strict OHP (Overhead Press): Anterior Deltoid Strengthening – helps with the mid-range of motion sticking point.
  • RDL (Romanian deadlift): Glute Strengthening – Mid-top deadlift sticking point and squat bottom-range sticking point.
  • SLDL (Stiff Legged Deadlift): Hamstring Strengthening – Deadlift bottom-range sticking point
  • Pendlay Rows: Lat Strengthening – this has massive transfer to all three lifts, which is why its compulsory in the program.
  • Rack Pull Shrugs: Upper Back (Trap/Rhomboids) strengthening – Deadlift lockout sticking point and bench press mid-range sticking point.

Assistance Exercises

I will not go into too much detail regarding each assistance exercise benefits because this information can easily be found in the web or is common knowledge. The goal for the assistance exercises is to create muscular hypertrophy and isolate smaller muscles groups. I have split the exercises into four groups based on the muscle group targeted or whether its a pushing or pulling exercise:

  1. Legs
  2. Push
  3. Core
  4. Pull

I have a dropdown list of exercises you can choose on the spreadsheet, the focus with these exercises is NOT heavy weight! It’s technique and form and ‘time under tension’. I have chosen the 4 sets of 10 rep rep scheme, however, you can change this to 3 sets of 15 reps, 4 sets of 12 reps or 3 sets of 25 reps. However, just adjust the weight based on the total base volume. The higher the volume the lower the intensity. Don’t perform each set to failure, it should be at an RPE of 8-8.5 with one to two reps left in the tank.

Best of luck with the program, message via Instagram or comment below if you have any questions.

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