Power Bodybuilding Program That ACTUALLY Works

Written by Tihomir Stefanov, M.S.(C), PT

| Published on

Fact Checked

Power Bodybuilding is a popular workout trend that combines the principles of powerlifting and bodybuilding to build both strength and aesthetics. 

This approach emphasizes strength training exercises, such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press, while also incorporating bodybuilding techniques, such as isolation exercises and higher reps, to target muscle definition and growth. 

Power Bodybuilding provides a well-rounded approach to physical fitness, resulting in improved functional strength, increased muscle mass, and a more aesthetically pleasing physique.

In this article, we’ll talk about power bodybuilding in-depth and give you an actionable, 4-day training split based on both types of strength training.

We’ll also answer common questions, such as:

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  1. What does power bodybuilding mean?
  2. What is the power bodybuilding split?
  3. Is powerbuilding effective?

Without further ado, let’s dive in head-first!

The Powerlifting Principles

Powerlifting is a strength sport that involves three main lifts: the squat, bench press, and deadlift. 

Each lift is performed for one maximum repetition, with the goal of lifting the heaviest weight possible. 

Powerlifting emphasizes maximum strength, with a focus on progressive overload and proper technique. 

The competition is divided into weight classes, and the winner is determined by the highest total weight lifted across the three lifts. 

The principles of powerlifting are rooted in proper form and technique, as well as progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the weight lifted over time. 

Powerlifting also places a strong emphasis on mental preparation, as lifting heavy weights requires a combination of physical and mental strength. 

The sport requires discipline, dedication, and a consistent training routine to achieve optimal results. 

Now, when we leave the competitive aspect to the side, the principles of powerlifting in training are quite straightforward – use heavier weights and lower repetitions to stimulate gains in maximum strength capabilities.

That means focusing on the 1-6 rep range while occasionally dipping in the 6-15 rep range.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced lifter, powerlifting offers a challenging and rewarding workout experience for anyone looking to build strength and improve their physical fitness.

The Bodybuilding Principles

Bodybuilding-type training is a form of exercise that focuses on building muscle size, definition, and symmetry. 

The goal of bodybuilding is to develop an aesthetically pleasing physique through weight training and proper nutrition. 

Bodybuilding-type training involves performing various exercises that target specific muscle groups, using techniques such as isolation exercises, medium to high reps, and progressive overload. 

Bodybuilders aim to increase muscle mass by lifting gradually heavier weights and performing more sets and reps while also having “cutting” periods where the goal is to reduce body fat through a combination of diet and exercise.

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This is usually done during the last months leading up to a competition, where they have to be in the best condition possible.

Bodybuilding offers a challenging and rewarding workout experience for anyone looking to improve their physique and physical fitness.

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That is, even if you are not competitive, meaning that anyone can yield benefits!

Common Grounds To Create a Power Bodybuilding Program

Bodybuilding and powerlifting, while seemingly different, have several common grounds. 

Both require discipline, dedication, and a consistent approach to training and nutrition. 

Both also emphasize the importance of proper form and technique, progressive overload, and mental preparation. 

Moreover, they also place a strong emphasis on strength training and the use of weights to build muscle mass and strength and improve overall physical fitness. 

Whether you are looking to build strength and muscle or improve your physique, the principles and techniques used in both bodybuilding and powerlifting can be a great way to do so.

What Is Power Bodybuilding?

Alright now, what does power bodybuilding mean, really?

Well, this powerhouse workout approach combines the best of both worlds, blending the strength-boosting power of powerlifting with the muscle-sculpting techniques of bodybuilding. 

Say goodbye to one-dimensional workouts and hello to a whole new level of fitness with Power Bodybuilding. 

Alright alright, enough hype – let’s have a look at the basics of power bodybuilding, shall we?

Key Concepts

Because we’re combining two different approaches to lifting weights, it must be said that there are key concepts to go by.

Much like any other training methodology, power bodybuilding, too, has its fundamentals.

So without further ado, let’s get to the 3 core principles, shall we?

Varying Rep Ranges

In Power Bodybuilding, the use of varying rep ranges is one of the key concepts. 

While heavy lifting with low reps (1-5) is emphasized in powerlifting, Power Bodybuilding also incorporates higher reps (6-15) to target muscle definition and growth. 

This allows for a more well-rounded approach, as both low and high-rep ranges have their own unique benefits. 

Low reps build strength, while high reps increase muscle endurance and stimulate muscle growth. 

By using both ranges, a typical Power Bodybuilding program provides a comprehensive workout that targets both strength and aesthetics. 

Exercise Choice

Exercise choice is a crucial component in a Power Bodybuilding program. While the focus is primarily on compound exercises, such as the squat, deadlift, and bench press, incorporating isolated exercises into your routine is also important. 

Compound exercises target multiple muscle groups and provide the greatest bang for your buck when it comes to building strength and muscle mass. 

However, isolated exercises allow for targeted muscle stimulation and can help to increase muscle definition and symmetry or simply bring up lacking muscle groups. 

In a Power Bodybuilding program, it is important to find a balance between compound and isolated exercises to achieve the best results. 

Whether you are just starting out or have been lifting for years, exercise choice is a crucial aspect of a successful Power Bodybuilding program.


Deloading periods are a critical aspect of weight training, whether you’re doing powerlifting, or bodybuilding-style training. 

Deloading involves reducing the intensity and volume of your workouts for a short period of time, usually one to two weeks. 

This allows the body to recover from the stress of heavy lifting and prevents burnout and injury. 

Deloading periods give the muscles, tendons, and joints a chance to rest and recover, allowing you to come back stronger and more prepared for your next heavy training cycle. 

During a deload, you can still exercise, but with lighter weights and fewer reps, allowing your body to recharge while still maintaining your progress.

Think of it as an active rest period, which you take when plateau in progress is reached.

Powerbuilding Program (Power Bodybuilding Program)

So what is the power bodybuilding split, really?

Well, it appears that the combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding principles is one of the best ways to stimulate both strength and muscle gains.

Nevertheless, it must be carefully planned out.

Fear not, though, because we’ve got you covered! Below, we’ll give you our variation of a 4-day power-building split for you to try out.

Keep in mind, though, that you may need to adjust the numbers of sets, repetitions, and rest times as needed to match your level of training and make the split truly effective

Day 1 – Upper Body Light

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Times
Barbell Bench Press58-102.5 minutes
Medium Grip Pull-Ups4Close to failure2 minutes
Barbell Rows38-102.5 minutes
Overhead Presses48-102.5 minutes

On day one of the 4-day training split, you have the most powerful upper body compound movements that target the majority of your upper body muscle groups.

This workout is done with weights that are at about 75% of your maximum strength capabilities (1 rep max.)

During this training session, the goal is to do controlled, powerful repetitions – slow negative, explosive positive.

Day 2 – Lower Body Light

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Times
Barbell Squat58-102.5 minutes
Hamstring Curls5102.5 minutes
Conventional Deadlifts36-82.5 minutes
Barbell Hip Thrusts48-102.5 minutes
Standing Calf Raises510-122 minutes

One day two of the split, you have the same concept from day one, but applied to your lower body.

Day 2 involves major, compound lower body exercises, where, again, you focus on explosive repetitions and pitch-perfect control of the movement.

Note that the goal in these first two “light” training days is just that – to power through the movements and accumulate volume with higher repetitions.

Day 3 – Upper Body Power

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Times
Barbell Bench Press53-52-3 minutes
Weighted Pull-Ups3Close to failure2.5 minutes
Barbell Rows352.5 minutes
Overhead Presses452.5 minutes

On day 3, the training split goes back to the upper body, and the workout is virtually the same as day one, with a couple of changes:

  1. The repetitions are lower, and the weights are heavier
  2. Rest times between sets are slightly increased
  3. Pull-ups are now done with added weight

Day 4 – Lower Body Power

ExerciseSetsRepsRest Times
Barbell Squat53-52-3 minutes
Conventional Deadlifts53-52.5 minutes
Barbell Hip Thrusts43-62.5 minutes
Standing Calf Raises58-102.5 minutes

Last but not least, day four does the same as day 3 but applied to the lower body movements.

Again, this is the same workout as day 2, with the following changes:

  1. Hamstring curls are removed in order to focus on the big 3 lower body power movements – the squat, the deadlift, and the hip thrust
  2. The repetitions are lower, so you can focus on lifting heavy weights
  3. The rest between sets is slightly longer

Auxiliary Exercises

For advanced lifters, incorporating auxiliary exercises into a Power Bodybuilding workout plan can help to improve their results further. 

Auxiliary exercises are additional exercises that target specific muscle groups or movement patterns, complementing the main compound exercises. 

These exercises can help to address any muscle imbalances, prevent injury, and improve overall performance. 

For example, incorporating exercises such as dips, lunges, tricep press downs, and even leg extensions are all great options. 

However, it is important to use auxiliary exercises sparingly and not overdo them, as too many accessory exercises can lead to overtraining and burnout. 

Rest Day Activities on a Power Bodybuilding Program

Rest days are an important part of any weightlifting program, including a Power Bodybuilding program. 

Rest days allow the body to recover and regenerate, preventing burnout and injury. 

While it is essential to take a complete break from weightlifting on some days, light training activities, such as stretching, foam rolling, and light cardio, can be included in order to create an “active rest” period. 

This type of rest day training can help to improve flexibility, increase blood flow, and aid in muscle recovery. 

Light training activities can also provide a low-impact option for those days when you need a break from heavy lifting but still want to stay active. 

However, it is crucial to not overdo it on rest days and to avoid high-intensity activities that can disrupt recovery and impede progress. 

Incorporating light training activities into your rest days can help to promote overall well-being, improve recovery, and enhance the results from your power bodybuilding program.

So, does power bodybuilding program work?

In conclusion, a Power Bodybuilding program combines the strength principles of powerlifting with the aesthetic focus of bodybuilding. 

The result is a well-rounded approach to fitness that prioritizes both strength and appearance. 

The key to a successful Power Bodybuilding program is finding a balance between compound and isolated exercises, incorporating varying rep ranges, and including deloading periods and rest day training activities. 

With dedication, consistency, and a focus on proper form and technique, Power Bodybuilding can help you achieve the physique you desire while building strength and improving your overall health.

Now, all that’s left to do is… embrace the lift!

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