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Training Log
(11/30/04 - 1/24/05)

by Gary F. Zeolla

I  just finished the Training Routines and Drop Reps (7/16/04 - 11/28/04). So on November 30, 2004 I began a new routine. See the article Training Routine Format for details on how I design my routines. My plans right now are to enter a contest in April of 2005, most likely the IPA Iron House Classic, April 16-17, 2005, in Newark, OH. This was the first contest I entered when I began powerlifting again in 2003 (see Iron House Powerlifting Classic - 2003). And I thought it was a very well-run contest. So It will be nice to enter it again.

That said, with lifting every other day alternating through four different workouts, and allotting for a couple of missed workouts along the way, and with taking a week off before the contest, there should be about 16 of my eight-day training "weeks" until this contest. I will break this time period into two routines. I'll use the first routine for 8 weeks, then use full gear the following week. Then I'll use a new routine for the remaining 7 weeks.

NOTE: I was planning on using this routine until the contest. But things weren't going well. So I changed things part way through. See below for details.

Work Sets for the Powerlifts
and First Bench Assistance Exercise

My work sets for the powerlifts and my first major assistance exercise on bench assistance day went as follows.

For squats, since the IPA allows 2.5 meter wraps, I started wearing these in training rather than the 2.0 meter wraps I had been wearing. This way, the difference in weight between my regular workouts where I am wearing a belt and wraps and my full gear workouts and at contests when I am also wearing my two-ply suit will not be so great.

For benches, I am going to start wearing my size 36, single-ply Power Shirt for my regular workouts. I'll then use my size 30, Double Xtreme Power Shirt for my full gear workouts and at contests. Again, this way the difference in weight between my regular workouts and my full gear workouts and at contests will not be so great. For details, see "Bench Shirt in Training" at Initial Christian Powerlifters Forum Posts. The double-ply, open back shirt I use at contests is legal in both the IPA and WNPF. So it won't be a problem.

For deadlifts, I just started wearing my double-ply squat suit for the full-gear workouts and will do so at my next contest. Since I use a sumo stance, and since the IPA allow double-ply gear but the DL suit I was wearing is only single-ply, this makes sense.

On the band and chain benches, just the bar weight is indicated. But the bands add about 70 pounds of resistance when they are fully stretched out. So adding 70 to the indicated weights gives an approximation of the resistance at the top of the lift. 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.

At the start of the first routine, I experimented with different rep ranges. For the first two weeks, I used the same "drop reps with back-off set" routine that I did with my last routine. But I dropped the reps slightly on the back-off set. So I was doing 3 sets of 3-4/ 1-2/ 5-6 reps. The first two sets were done with a belt and wraps and the single-ply shirt on benches; the last ("back-off") set was done raw (without any gear). But the third week, I made a change. I moved the third set of 5-6 reps to before the other two work sets and used the gear for it as well. This gave me a more basic "descending reps" routine. I just felt that at this point in my training the raw set wasn't that helpful.

However, by the middle of the fourth week, doing three work sets just seemed to be too much, and doing a heavy single almost every workout was also too much. So I dropped down to two sets, using a drop reps approach, of 4-5/ 2-3 reps. This is the rep scheme I have been using for major assistance exercises, and it seems to be working well for them while my PLs have been stagnating. So I am hoping this rep scheme will work for the PLs as well.

With this new rep scheme, for my full gear workouts and for my next contest, I'll use the weight I used for the last 2-3 rep set for my opener. For my next attempts on squats and deadlifts I'll add 20 pounds and on benches 15 pounds.

See below for notes.

Week Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four
  Band Bench Squat Bench Deadlift
1a 105/4, 115/2, 95/6 355/4, 370/2, 265/6 185/4, 195/2, 155/6 365/4, 380/2, 315/6
2 110/4, 120/2, 100/6 360/4, 375/2, 270/6 190/4, 200/2, 160/6 370/3, 385/1, 320/5
3 105/6, 115/3, 125/1 340/5 , 360/3 , 375/1 180/5, 190/3, 200/2 345/5, 365/3, 380/1
4 110/4, 115/4, 125/2 340/6, 360/3, 375/1 185/5, 195/3 350/5, 370/3
5 110/5, 120/2 345/5, 365/3 190/4, 200/3 355/5, 375/2
6 115/3, 120/2 350/5, 370/3 190/4, 205/1 360/1, ---b
7 115/4, 120/2 355/4,  375/2 190/4, 205/2 360/2, 315/5c

 This is my back-off week after my full gear workouts of the previous week. I dropped the weights sufficiently so that I could get the top number of reps for the desired rep range without having to work "out-out." I'll then gradually increase the weights again in subsequent weeks.

b. I wasn't feeling well and probably shouldn't even have gone to the gym. The first rep of my first set felt very heavy, so I just ended the workout there and then took the next couple of days off.

c. Once again, DLs went terrible, but my assistance work went just fine. So part of the problem on DLs was probably psychological after the previous workouts problems. But I do think I need to revamp my training as I haven't been making much progress, on the powerlifts any ways. So I am abandoning this current routine and starting a completely new one.

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.

I use the same chains for squats as for benches. So again, the chains add about 50 pounds at the top of the lift.

The rack benches are done with the safety bars set about 3" above my chest. They're being done from a dead stop off of the safety bars. The board benches are done with two 2"x6" boards in a touch and go fashion.

The good mornings are being done with the legs straight, going down to just above parallel. 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.

My plan for these lifts is to do 2 sets of 4-5/ 2-3 reps. Note that I dropped the reps somewhat from my last routine. Both sets are done raw.

Week Day One Day Two Day Three Day Four
  Decline Bench Chain Squat Rack Bench Good Mornings
1 145/5, 155/3 215/5, 230/3 175/5, 185/3 115/5, 125/3
2 155/5, 165/3 220/5, 235/3 180/4, 185/3a 125/5, 135/3
3 165/5, 175/3 225/5, 240/2 180/4, 190/2 135/5, 150/3
4 175/5, 185/3 230/5, 240/3 180/4, 190/2 150/5, 160/3
5 180/5, 190/3 235/5, 245/3 180/5, 190/2 155/5, 165/3
6 185/4, 195/2 240/5, 255/3 185/5, 190/3 ------
7 185/5, 195/3 245/4, 260/2 190/4, 195/3 160/5, 170/3

In each workout, after the above lifts I also do various minor assistance exercises. These also change 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.

 I had started out doing these in a touch and go fashion off of the safety bars, but it was too difficult trying to to come down completely evenly and hitting the safety bars at the same time. I kept hitting one side first, throwing me off. So starting with the second set in this workout, I switched to doing them from a dead stop off of the safety bars.

For my new routine, see Training Log (Alternate High/Low Reps with Drop Reps) (1/25/05 - 4/16/05).

Training Log (11/30/04 - 1/24/05). Copyright 2004, 2005 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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

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