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Korte's 3 X 3 Powerlifting Program


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#1 Starofflorida

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 11:46 PM

The Korte 3 x 3 Powerlifting Program is about as simple as programming can get. To get good at something you should do it often.

Korte has you only squat, deadlift and bench for eight weeks. The first four weeks is the volume where you will squat, bench and deadlift eight sets (of each) every goddamn day three time a week at between 58% 1RM ramping up to 64% in week four. You will feel beat up, your hands will hate you and there will be times (from about deadlift set five) where the world is moving at a different speed to you.

I found (both for time but also worked at as a tool) that it was best if I set a time limit on my rest periods. I was using 60 secs between sets due to time restraints but 90sec would be better. This acted as a "bell" for another round where you got off your chair and stumbled back into the ring.

From week five to eight, you again squat, bench and pull each day three times a week but this time each day will prioritise one lift (ie. Monday - deadlift, Wednesday - bench, Friday - squat) with the intensity starting at 80% and rising 5% per week. As the volume dropped during this time I was doing a "light day" inbetween (ie. Tuesday and Thursday) and was doing weighted chins and zercher squats and some shrugs. It was probably unnecessary but if I'm not in the gym I'm inclined to find myself at lunch and I was wanting to lose some fat so I look jooicy for the ladies on the beach this summer.

My results:

BW: 94kg ----> 91.5kg

Squat ---> I have hit a 185kg back in August but have failed twice at it since. So pre-Korte I was genuinely <180kg. I hit 187.5kg today and I had 190kg (which was my target) definitely and perhaps a little more.
Bench----> I hit 92kg x 2 back in ~March (thanks Mehdi I can't check) but I had failed at 87.5kg prior to Korte. I hit 90kg today and Wednesday and I would have gotten 92.5kg today (but decided to go for a PR and just missed (spotters help) on 95kg.
Deadlift---> I hit a 212.5kg PR in early December and I pulled 220kg today. I was conservatively good for another 5kg today.
I also wasn't able to chin BW+13.75kg 3 x 5 pre-Korte. I did no chins in the first four weeks, in the second four weeks I went from 13.75kg to +20kg for 5,5,4 (and wearing the heavier weightlifting shoes rather than chucks).

187.5kg (412lbs)
90kg (198lbs)
220kg (484lbs)


Simply I am a benching ****. I think it is partly technique, partly mental and I am built for squatting and deadlifting - all quads, hams and ass. Also (probably because I am better at it) all my programming has been squat-centric. I had never benched (ever) prior to starting stronglifts two years ago.

I have had two runs of 5/3/1 (end of last year and again through the middle of this year) and neither of them was successful for me but I thrived under Madcow and had good success with TM, so I think I am one of those people who need volume. Korte's eight week model is also something similar to what I read about the hormonal fluctuation model @ Glenn Pendlay/Kilgore for Olympic lifting.

I really liked TM but doing 5 x 5 at ~90% was just too long - you need about 5mins rest between sets - as I train at lunchtime. I am considering trying to mesh Korte and TM by dropping the intensity back on volume day to ~75% but doubling the sets - so 10 x 5 ~75%. But then again I may just do Korte (or something similar like Juggernaut) so I've got three weeks of Smolov Jnr to think about it.

Korte is a great program that tests you physically and mentally and if you are wanting to get bigger and stronger at the three powerlifting events, its works.
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#2 derickthai

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 09:16 AM

Great writeup on Korte! I don't know too many people who have done it and judging by the volume of the program I can see why :P

My pressing numbers have been improving ever since I went back to linear progression (get to work on technique, the weight is always 'heavy' enough to induce stress), maybe that's something you could consider trying out. A trainee with intermediate to advanced knowledge following novice/linear progression (only for the pressing movements), can't see how it can go wrong!
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#3 KaKTy3

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:23 AM

Good write-up, Michael. As many of similar programs, it seems Korte is best suited for lower body lifts, although I still do not understand the need to deadlift at this volume...
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#4 Guru

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  • Deadlift PR:125 kg - reclaimed on 28/01/2012.

Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:53 AM

Nice review. Definitely the kind of progress you should hope for with this madness of a program.
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#5 Starofflorida

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  • First Name:Michael
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  • Height:185cm
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  • Squat PR:195kg; 137.5kg (FS)
  • Press PR:112.5kg (bench); 67.5kg (ohp)
  • Deadlift PR:242.5kg

Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:01 PM

Good write-up, Michael. As many of similar programs, it seems Korte is best suited for lower body lifts, although I still do not understand the need to deadlift at this volume...


Practice. By the end of almost 100 sets you should be able to nail it in your sleep. The intensity is low enough that you are able to cope... I had no problem being ready for my next session... but I could deadlift in my sleep.

And really if you are able to get the recovery in, the volume is mainly mental.
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#6 Mouse

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 10:31 PM

Juicy stuff, I remember the heady days of the 8th set of deadlifts, knowing it was almost over and time to collapse.

Deepsquatter has some good Korte articles for those brave enough to try.


B)
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#7 Adamr

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:57 AM

Nice write up. I remember limiting the rest too, and thinking one more round! Only way to get it done! Nice progress mate!
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