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In this blog post, I will give my experience with the Kizen 16 week Powerbuilding program.
As a natural lifter of nearly 8 years, I wanted to break through some long-standing plateaus and see how much I could increase my squat, bench and deadlift with some proper programming. However, I also wanted to see if I could gain any kind of additional lean mass.
In short, I think the program worked really well.
I gained nearly an inch of lean mass all over (arms, quads, back). I gained about 3kg in bodyweight, whilst maintaining a good level of conditioning. I'd estimate around ~12% body fat, which I would say is a great result.
PRE-PROGRAM (NOV 2017)
POST-PROGRAM (AUG 2018)
N.B. I started the program in Feb/March and prior to that I was on maintenance calories.
I have also definitely got stronger. Throughout the program, the compound movements progressively get heavier, whilst increasing the reps and sets. I didn't miss a single rep through the entire 16 weeks (apart from literally 2 or 3 reps in total, which happened on a couple of last sets of bench press, after having deadlifted and squatted beforehand).
I haven't had a chance to properly test my 1 rep maxes. However, I have definitely got stronger. I am able to perform sets and reps at far heavier loads.
For example, for the squat, I recently hit 3 sets of 8 reps at 150kg at 89kg bodyweight. During the program itself, I did 4 sets of 10 reps at 140kg, which itself was a volume PR.
I haven't tested all three 1-rep-maxes simply because I went on holiday recently and I'm slowly getting my body primed again for testing out 1RMs.
Hopefully, I will be able to increase my 1RMs with video evidence soon enough.
I recently read somewhere that these Kizen programs are just cookie cutter programmes. Having completed 2 of their programs now (the first one being their strength/fat loss one), I would like to disagree with this view.
Maybe I'm biased, since both programmes worked quite well on me. However, I'm not quite sure how one could describe this programme as cookie-cutter. It works off of 1RM percentages; it's periodised; plus it incorporates self-regulation using RPE.
Another criticism is that the program just collates everything they say (Bart, Omar, Mike- Kizen founders). Well, yeah, of course it would. The difference is that it's all done for you and you have a step-by-step excel telling what you need to do.
Either way, you get results for an affordable price, which I think says it all.
In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this program for an intermediate lifter looking to get stronger and bigger.
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