I like the system used by Ed Coan, who’s widely regarded as the greatest powerlifter of all time. It’s simple to follow and works great.
Give yourself 10 weeks and focus on one major lift—the squat, bench press, or deadlift—per workout.
For the first two weeks, work up to the heaviest load you can handle for two sets of 10 reps—each should be explosive and done with perfect technique. Spend the next two weeks doing sets of eight reps. Then go to fives for four weeks.
In Week 9, work up to a three-rep max, and then in Week 10 go for one set of one rep. By gradually working your way down in reps and up in weight, you prepare your body to handle the heaviest load safely.
Feel free to repeat the cycle for another 10 weeks afterward when you will have a significantly better idea of what you can lift and can set specific goals. That’s what Coan did, and he ultimately deadlifted 901 pounds at a body weight of 220.
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