12 Week Peaking Powerlifting Program (with Spreadsheet)

The right peaking program can help lifters maximize their preparedness for the day of the powerlifting meet event and competitions.

Simply training consistently and increasing the workload is not enough. If you have a linear approach to workout out, your muscle will be fatigued, and you might not be able to max out on the big day.

Thus, it is important for lifters to keep track of their intensity levels while training for a competition.

One of the most common techniques for evaluating training intensity is the 1RM percentage. Your 1-Repetition Maximum is basically the most amount of weight you can lift in a single repetition.

The 1RM percentage approach allows lifters to choose the right weights for training to keep a check on their progress and prevent fatigue.

Using 1RM percentage might be a little more beneficial for powerlifters compared to using the RPE scale, as the former offers a more objective conclusion. RPE scales are mostly subjective and less reliable.

But even after knowing your 1RM and the advantages that come with it, you cannot prepare for competitions without a powerlifting program.

Fortunately, the 12-week powerlifting program by Cast Iron Strength offers exactly the type of guidance that you need to hit your maximum on D-day.

12 Week Peaking Powerlifting Program

Program Principles

The 12-week peaking program by Cast Iron Strength is meant to meet prep and focuses on maximizing the preparedness of the lifter’s body.

The powerlifting program places emphasis on both – building maximum strength over the 12-week period while also giving the body sufficient time to rest, recover, and rejuvenate for the day of the event.

The program follows a block training pattern where the schedule is divided into different parts, such as preparation and accumulation for effective and sustainable progression.

The schedule also incorporates a deloading week in the sixth or seventh week of the program. This is done to keep the body healthy, sharp, and fit for the rest of the training period, allowing muscles to catch up and recover well.

Here is a brief summary of the principles used by Cast Iron Strength’s 12-week peaking program:

  • Uses 1RM percentages for evaluating performance intensity and progression.
  • The core exercises are squats, deadlifts, and bench presses for performance and strength gains.
  • The 6th or the 7th week features a deload to counter the effects and reap the benefits of overreaching.
  • Squatting exercises are divided into preparation and accumulation phases with low to moderate intensity and high volume training.
  • Bench presses and deadlifts are divided into different blocks with alternating volume and intensity weeks.
  • The program is designed to end with the lifter being capable of performing a double at 105% of 1RM.

12 Week Powerlifting Program

The 12 week peaking program that we are sharing with you is best suited for competitions and maxing out on powerlifting meet events.

It consists of four training sessions a week. The three off days are enough for the body to recover and regenerate for the next cycle.

The training session primarily focuses on three core exercises:

  • Squatting
  • Deadlifting
  • Bench pressing

As the training follows block periodization, training intensities and volume differ every week.

Squats will start in the preparation and accumulation stages to prepare the body to lift heavier and gain more strength. It will end in the peaking stage to retain strength while eliminating any fatigue.

Similarly, deadlifts and bench presses will alternate in intensity and volume after every training session.

The schedule is developed in a way to provide the best balance of exercises, training intensity, and recovery time. The combined positive effects of the three will allow the lifter to maximize their preparedness for the competition after the twelfth week.

12 Week Powerlifting Program Spreadsheet

If you have a competition lined up, you better start working out.

You can begin by downloading this 12-week powerlifting program from here.



The downloaded spreadsheet is easily accessible and printable, allowing lifters to consult the comprehensive schedule on the fly.

Don’t miss:

10 Week RPE Powerlifting Program (Meet Prep)
12 Week RPE Powerlifting Peaking Program
6 Week Russian Bench Press Peaking Program
Alan Thrall Program (Untamed Method)
RTS General Intermediate Program

Winding Up

Maximizing preparedness is key for the success of powerlifters in professional competitions. Often, lifters train and work hard for the entire year. But because they didn’t have the right program, they end up feeling fatigued and exhausted on the big day.

The end result? Their performance is affected, and their hard work is wasted.

Don’t worry, though. With Cast Iron Strength’s 12-week peaking program, you have all the tools required to maximize your potential for the planned day.