Your Power Trio

Three classic moves for a stronger body.

Powerlifters focus on just three exercises (the ones you see here), but they still train major muscles and move thousands of kilos during a single workout.”The key is pushing yourself on each lift,” according to strength and conditioning coach Mike Robertson.

The Program

Start with two light sets of squats, resting for 90 seconds in-between. Next, load the bar with a weight you can lift only six times with your best effort. Perform five, flawless reps, then rest for two minutes. Do the same for each of the other two exercises. Follow this routine three times a week, with at least a day of rest between sessions.

1. Barbell Squat

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold and barbell across the back of your shoulders with an overhand grip. With your back naturally arched, bend at the hips and knees until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Then return to the standing position.

2. Bench Press

Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Grab the bar with your hands more than shoulder-width apart and hold it over your chest. Squeeze your shoulderblades down and together. As you slowly lower the weight, pull your elbows in towards your sides. Pause, then push the weight back up.

3. Deadlift

Stand with a bar on the floor in front of you so it touches your shins. Push your hips back and grasp the bar with your hands just outside yoru calves, using an overhand grip. Keeping your back straight and chest up, drive your heels into the floor and stand up. Pause, then lower the bar to the starting position.