Kenny Allen

Head Team Coach

"My name is Kenny Allen. I'm currently a 2nd year PT student and I graduated with a degree in Kinesiology from UW-Madison in 2020. I coach powerlifters and other athletes from the beginner to professional level. I also help people deal with injuries (not treatment) and synthesize current research. Outside of school and lifting/coaching I spend time with my friends and partner."

Sarean Gaynor-Metzinger

Volunteer Coach


Beginner/Intermediate Templates

Beginner: 10/10

Intermediate: 9/10

Advanced: 7/10

A different variation of 5/3/1 than the Wendler version, this template has moderate to high frequency combined with high volume and starting low to high intensity. It follows a very simple overload technique of increasing the weight every week as long as you hit a certain weight for a certain amount of reps (linear periodization). While this program is a godsend for a beginners and intermediates, it will lead to hard plateaus once the original gains have been exacerbated.

Pros: simple to follow, work with different rep ranges, more room to push yourself with AMRAPs, simple overload to exacerbate more “beginner gains”, great at increasing not only powerlifting specific strength, but also general strength.

Cons: Hard to peak for competition with this program alone, constant AMRAPs can lead to less neuromuscular and more aerobic strength associated with the lifts, no programmed deloads will create inevitable plateau, not enough volume for advanced lifters.

Best for women under 170 pounds and men under 220 pounds.

Beginner: 8/10

Intermediate: 10/10

Advanced: 8/10


One of my favorite intermediate programs. The concept is simple in nature, consisting of a 2 week volume phase, a 1 week heavy weight acclimation, a 2 week peak, and a 1 week max. Frequency is perfect for an intermediate lifter, squatting twice a week, benching three times a week, followed by 2 once the weight gets heavy, respectfully, and deadlifting twice and once a week. Rep ranges vary, which allows for a good stimulus. Also, you can choose your variations, which allows for some more freedom and fun. Out of all the programs listed, I personally have the most experience with the Candito 6 Week Program. Candito’s a really good guy as well. I’m a long time supporter of his and he’s sent me a free shirt. I highly recommend watching his youtube videos if you want to receive a perfect combination of entertainment and education on powerlifting.

Best for all men between 190-240 pounds. Also good for men 160-190 pounds as a transition program after running a different program for an extenuated period of time. Also good for women 155+ pounds.

Beginner: 10/10

Intermediate: 10/10

Advanced: 10/10

Sheiko receives perfect ratings for the beginner, intermediate, and advanced lifter because there are different templates designed for the lifter. Also, by far, the most comprehensive standard template design. You can download the app for $12.99 on the app store (which is a steal) and run different variations of the program for many months. The program is high in specificity, intensity, volume, and has moderate frequency. Make sure not to follow the weights given for the accessory movements.

Best for most men between 190-250 pounds. For women 140+ pounds, but nSuns is a better option.

Jim Wendler's 5/3/1

Reach out to Craig to receive a copy of this program

Beginner: 8/10

Intermediate: 7/10

Advanced: 6/10

Possibly one of the most popular beginner lifting programs. Wendler’s 5/3/1 is as simple as you can get. You start light, you progress slowly, and eventually you will make progress. Because it is so simple, I can discuss it precisely here. Each training cycle lasts four weeks. You lift 4 days per week, with each day being a squat, bench, deadlift, or shoulder press day. All percentages used in the program are based on 90% of your 1RM. For example, if your max is 100 pounds, your input max is then 90 pounds. The program is so simple it can be shown here:

Week 1: 3 x 5 (65% x 5, 75% x 5, 85% x 5+)

Week 2: 3 x 3 (70% x 3, 80% x 3, 90% x 3+)

Week 3: 1 x 5, 1 x 3, 1 x 1+ (75%, 85%, 95%, respectfully)

Week 4: Deload

After this is complete, you add five pounds to your input max for upper body lifts and 10 for lower body lifts and complete the cycle again. This essentially follows a monthly progression which allows for a deload, monthly overload, and weekly undulating periodization. There is a lot to say not only about this program, but Wendler’s mindset when making it. Jim Wendler himself is quoted saying “When I see a program that says three sets of eight reps? That’s the stupidest fucking thing ever.” While I may disagree with the sentiment and feel there is a place for 8 rep sets in powerlifting programming, this statement exemplifies the mindset of the program, good or bad.

I would only say this program is suitable for beginners and heavier lifters. The fact of the matter is that there is not enough volume to create a strong stimulus for lighter lifters and intermediate to advanced lifters. This might make more sense if you consider Jim Wendler weighed in at 275+ lbs year round whilst competing. Those 8 rep sets that are supposedly “the stupidest fucking thing ever” are used in many intermediate programs to not only have volume based fatigue, but to get more skilled at the lifts themselves. With such low volume and frequency this program uses, it is extremely hard to not only obtain, but maintain technical prowess in the lifts. Wendler's 5/3/1 would be on the lower end of the programs I would recommend, as there are other programs that do what 5/3/1 intends to do, but better.

I would only recommend this program to men 250+ pounds. Even so, it will most likely be suboptimal. Moderate lifting experience