Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

Training Log

(Alternate High/Low Reps with Drop Reps)
(1/25/05 - 4/16/05)

by Gary F. Zeolla

I was planning on using my previous routine until my next contest [see Training Log (11/30/04 - 1/24/05)]. But things weren't going well, especially on deadlifts. So I decided to completely revamp my training routine. However, I am still planning on entering the IPA Iron House Classic, April 16-17, 2005, in Newark, OH.


I'm still going to alternate through four workouts (bench assistance/ squat/ bench/ deadlift) as outlined in the Training Routine Format. But I began this routine with going back to lifting four times a week. I had been lifting every other day since my last contest (July 10, 2004). And ever since then, my training really hadn't gone well. I basically stagnated on the powerlifts. However, after several weeks, I began feeling overtrained. So I went back to lifting every other day.

But the second, and I think more important change, was to incorporate more change into my routine, along with some higher rep, raw work on the powerlifts. So I am going to use an "Alternate High/Low Reps with Drop Reps" routine. For this, on the powerlifts and chain benches (my first exercise on bench assistance day), I will do higher, raw reps one week, and then lower reps with training gear the next week. But I'll continue to use a drop reps scheme that I've been using on the powerlifts and major assistance work. I'll also stick with two work sets for all lifts, and I'll do all of my assistance work raw except for the chain benches.

Specifically, my reps will be:
Powerlifts and chain benches:
High Reps (Odd-numbered weeks): 7-8, 5-6.
Low Reps (Even-numbered weeks): 3-4, 1-2.

I started this new routine on Tuesday, 1/25/05. This leaves about 11-1/2 weeks until the Iron House Classic. With taking a week or so off before the contest and maybe one or two other days along the way, I should have ten weeks worth of workouts until the contest. I'll follow the above rep scheme through week 8. But then for weeks 9 and 10 on the powerlifts, I'll make a change. For week 9, I'll do 2 sets of 3-4 reps, then for the final week I'll do singles to prepare for the singles at the contest.

For assistance work, my reps will be:
Major Asst., All workouts: 4-5, 2-3.
Minor Asst., All workouts: anywhere from 4-12 reps depending on the exercise.

I'm sticking with 4-5, 2-3 reps on major assistance as that seems to be working well. Since, I'll be using the same rep ranges for assistance work throughout, and since ten weeks is too long to use the same assistance exercises, I'll change all of my assistance exercises (except chain benches) after the first five weeks.

Gear Usage

Given this late change in my routine, I decided not to do any more full gear workouts before my contest. I think it's best to just stick with using my training gear on my low reps days. Specifically, for the low reps workouts, I will continue to wear a belt and wrist wraps on all three powerlifts and on chain benches, my 2.5 meter wraps on squats, pull-up style knee wraps on deadlifts, and my single-ply Power Shirt for benches.

Then for the contest I'll, of course, use full gear, namely the above belt and wraps, along my double-ply squat suit on squats and DLs and my Double Xtreme Power Shirt on benches.

I plan on being a little more conservative than I have in recent contests in picking my attempts at the Iron House Classic. My reason is I will have more weight to cut than previously, so I have to be cautious about strength loss as a result. Also, I've missed more attempts than I would have liked at my last couple of contests, so I want to correct that.

So my plan is to open with about what I did for a triple with training gear. Then my second attempt will be with about what I did for a single with training gear. Then for my third attempt, I'll basically be depending on what the full gear adds as compared to my training gear. My jumps between attempts will as follows as compared to my openers.

Squats & DLs: add 20 pounds for 2nd attempts; add another 15-20 pounds for 3rd attempts.
Benches: add 15 pounds for 2nd attempt; add another 10-15 pounds for 3rd attempt.

Work Sets for the Powerlifts and Chain Benches

My work sets for the powerlifts and chain benches went as follows. For the latter, just the bar weight is indicated. But the chains weigh a little over 50 pounds, so adding 50 pounds to the indicated weights gives an approximation of the weight used at the top of the lift when the chains are almost completely off of the floor.

See below for notes.

Week Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four
  Chain Bench Squat Bench Deadlift
1 115/8, 125/6 275/8, 290/6 155/8, 165/6 295/8, 315/6
2 140/4, 150/2 360/3, 380/1 195/4, 210/1a 355/4, 375/2b
3 120/8, 130/5 280/8, 295/6 160/8, 170/6 305/8, 325/6
4 145/4, 155/2 360/4, 380/2 200/3, 210/2 360/4, 380/2
5 125/8, 135/6 285/8, 300/6 165/8, 175/6 315/8, 335/6
6 150/3, 160/1 365/3, 385/1 200/3, 215/1 365/4, 385/1
7 130/6, 140/4c 290/7, 305/5 170/8, 180/5 320/7, 340/5
8 150/2, 145/4d 365/4, 385/2 200/3, 215/1 370/3, 385/1
9 130/6, 140/4 370/3, 370/3 200/3, 200/2e 370/3, 370/3
10 150/2, 155/1 370/1, 390/1 200/1, 215/1 370/1, 390/1f
Iron House Classic - 2005   370, 390, 410 200, 215, 225 370, 390, 405, 415

  Benches have been going very well. At this rate, maybe my bench will finally get up to par with my squat and DL!

b.  This workout was a big relief as it looks likes DLs are finally coming back! So I was right. I need to alternate in some fashion higher reps without gear with lower reps with gear. I also need to lift four times a week, working each powerlift once a week rather than lifting every other day, working each powerlift only every eight days like I was doing.

c.  I had an off day on chain benches. But with the progress I've been making on benches, it was going to happen eventually. And the rest of my workout went well.

d. It was with this workout that I began feeling overtrained. so I went back to lifting every other day.

e. I was very upset with this workout. Benches had been going so well, but then they took a downturn. I missed the third rep on the second set about halfway up. So I changed my assistance work to see if that would help (see below).

f. My training this week right according to plan. My two sets on each powerlift will probably be my first and second attempts at the contest. I'll put in a very light bench workout in on the Tuesday before the contest and that will bit. Otherwise, all that is left is to cut weight. I have about six pounds to lose in four days.

Work Sets for Remaining Major Assistance Exercises

In each workout, I follow-up the above lifts with one major assistance exercise. My work sets for these exercises are indicated below.

The Dead Stop Squats are being done starting with the bar on the safety pins of a power rack, set so that I am a couple of inches below parallel.

The board benches are done with two 2"x6" boards in a touch and go fashion. The SLDLs are being done with the legs slightly bent, standing on the floor (not on a block), with pausing the weights at the floor as with regular DLs.

I tried doing hyperextensions for a couple of weeks, but I found it too awkward to hold the weights on my chest. So I went back to SLDLs for the last couple of weeks.

Week Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four
  Incline Bench Dead Stop Squat Board Bench Stiff-Leg DLs
1a 115/5, 125/5 185/5, 205/5, 225/5 165/5, 180/5 185/5, 205/5, 225/5
2 130/5, 140/3 235/5, 250/3 185/5, 195/3 235/5, 250/3
3 135/5, 145/3 245/4, 255/3 190/5, 200/3 255/5, 270/3
4 140/5, 150/3 245/5, 260/2 195/4, 205/2 265/5, 275/3
5 145/4, 155/2 250/5, 260/3 195/4, 205/2 270/5, 285/3
  Dips Close Stance Squat Close Grip Bench Hyperextensions
6 80/5, 90/3 205/5, 225/5, 245/5 155/5, 165/3 20/8, 30/8, 35/8
7 85/5, 95/4 255/5, 270/3 160/4, 170/3 40/9, 45/8. 50/6
  --- --- --- Stiff-Leg DLs
8 90/4, 100/2 260/5, 275/3 160/5, 175/2 275/5, 290/3
9 90/4, 100/2 --- Rack Benchb ---
  Rack Bench 265/5, 280/3 185/5, 195/3 280/4, 295/3
10 190/5, 200/3 270/5, 285/3 195/4, 205/5 280/5, 300/3

In each workout, after the above lifts I also do various minor assistance exercises. I'll also change these from the first to the second routine. I'm not taking the time to indicate these. But for them, I do two sets of anywhere from 4-12 reps depending on the exercise. See the article Training Routine Format for how I fit minor assistance exercises into my routines.

  With this being the first week for my new assistance exercises, I started too light, so I did an extra set for a couple of them and extra reps for all of the last sets. But I'll work up from there.

b. Benches had been going well when I was doing rack and board benches, but they've stagnated since starting the dips and close grip benches. I think maybe I've been overtraining my triceps with doing both of these exercises. And dips, though a great exercise in general, just don't seem to help my benches. And with missing the last rep on benches in this workout halfway up, I decided to do rack benches for my last three bench workouts to work on this.

See Iron House Powerlifting Classic - 2005 for details on how my contest went.

Training Log (Alternate High/Low Reps with Drop Reps) (1/25/05 - 4/16/05). Copyright 2005 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: My Training Routines and Training Logs

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages  Contact Information

Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director