A powerlifting routine is very similar to a strength training routine but the difference in a powerlifting workout is that there is absolutely no doubt which exercises are the most important. When doing strength training routines you will see various supplemental exercises like dips, bent rows, pull ups, etcâ€¦ but in powerlifting these exercises are minimal or non-existent.
Powerlifters know that focusing on the three big lifts (Squat, Bench Press, and Deadlift) will work the entire body and build big thick muscles all over without needing all the supplement exercises. If you talk to a body builder they will insist that you must do some isolation exercises to bring out the details in your muscles. Even most men would argue that you have to do some curls at least to hit your biceps. I disagree.
Majority of your gains come from the big lifts and consistently increasing the weight. Take a look at any workout program worth its weight and it will include Squat and Bench Press. Those that really know what packs on the muscle also include the Deadlift.
In Russia most powerlifters subscribe to the powerlifting routine popularized by Alexander Faleev which can be summed up as the "nothing extra!" approach to strength training. The entire strength training routine consist of nothing but the squat, the deadlift, bench press, and regular competition.
The program is very simple.
Deadlift 1x per week; Squat and Bench 2x per week
Deadlift once a week and then do squat and bench twice a week. One day you go heavy and the other two days are light days. Light days are just used to keep you warmed up and practice your technique.
The Russian powerlifting routine is just another variation of the 5x5 method used by Reg Park, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Doug Hepburn, and numerous other top athletes, powerlifters, and strongmen. On heavy days you do 5 sets of 5. If you complete all 5 sets then you add 5 pounds for the next workout. For the light days you use 80% of your heavy day lifts and just do 5 sets of 4.
What I really like about this powerlifting routine is the utter simplicity of it. There is nothing to it but the three big lifts and the desire to keep stacking more weight on.