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Training Routine Format

for Raw Lifting - 2

by Gary F. Zeolla

This format is a slight variation from Training Routine Format for Raw Lifting. There are three main differences. First, the body parts are split somewhat differently between the workout days. With the old format, the bench days were considerably easier than the squat and DL days. So I'm hoping this evens up the intensity.

Second, the number of sets is increased from two to three for most exercises, and the reps are changed from two sets of the same number of  reps to a descending reps scheme.

Third, along with moving my cardio work to my off days, I'll also move my stretching to off days as well. This way, the increase from two to three work sets for my major exercises won't increase my workout times. And the stretching will probably be more productive on my off days as I'll be able to spend more time on it.

General Background

Workouts:
Lift three times a week, alternating through four different workouts, so each training week lasts 9-10 days.

Day One: Bench Assistance, Upper Back, Forearms, Abs.
Day Two: Squat, Obliques.
Day Three: Bench, Upper Back, Biceps, Abs.
Day Four: Deadlift, Obliques.

Rest periods between work sets:
Squats and deadlifts and major assistance: 4-6 minutes.
Benches and major bench assistance: 3-5 minutes.
Remaining exercises: 1-3 minutes.
Warm-up sets: about half of above times.

Training Format

Basic Plan:
Do PLs and one major assistance each week.
Change all assistance exercises every 3-4 weeks.

Sets and Reps:
Powerlifts, major assistance, and upper back:
3 sets of varying reps in a descending reps fashion, as indicated below.

Abs and calves: 2 x 8-12.
All other exercises: 2 x 5-10.

Long Cycle for the Powerlifts:
Phase I:     2-4 weeks:  3 x 10-8 (ideally, 10,9,8) - no gear
Phase II:    2-4 weeks:  3 x 7-5 (ideally, 7,6,5) - no gear
Phase III:  3-6 weeks:  3 x 5-3 (ideally, 5,4,3) - belt and wraps (plus single-ply shirt if using gear at contest)
Phase IV:  1-2 weeks:  3 x 3-1 (ideally, 3,2,1) - belt and wraps (plus double-ply suit and shirt if using gear at contest)
Contest

Major assistance: Follow same rep progression, except stick with 3 x 5-3 for Phase IV, and no gear throughout.
Number of weeks for each phase will vary depending on amount of time until contest.
Repeat cycle a couple times if no contest for a while, maybe with a "practice contest" at end of first cycle.

Mini-Cycles:
Follow the same rep progression as above, but with only one week per phase.
So one mini-cycle last four weeks.
Repeat the mini-cycle 3-5 times for a total of 12-20 weeks.
Change assistance exercises each mini-cycle.
Ideally, time things so Phase IV is the last week of workouts pre-contest.
Add a week to Phase III if needed for this timing.

Cardio and Stretching:
Do cardio work and stretching on three off days.
Lift: M, W, F / Cardio and stretching: Tu, Th, Sa.
Take Sundays off.

Day One:
1st Bench assistance
Rotate: Decline Benches, Incline Benches.
2nd Bench assistance
Rotate: DB Incline Benches, DB Decline Benches.
Phases I & II only: Overhead Presses (BB or DBs), Dips.
1 Upper Back
Rotate: BB Rows (close grip [DL grip], medium grip [bench grip], wide grip [squat grip]), Curl Bar Rows.
Reverse Curls
Rotate: Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs.
1 Abs.
Choose from: Crunches, Decline Crunches, Sit-ups, Decline Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches, Dip Bar Reverse Crunches, Leg Raises, Dip Bar Leg Raises.

Day Two:
Squats.
One major assistance: Choose from lists below (alternate top end and bottom end/ general work).
Top end work: Band Squats, Reverse Band Squats, Chain Squats.
Bottom end/ general work: Manta Ray (high bar, close stance) Squats, Sting Ray (front) squats, Low Squats, Pause Squats.
1 Obliques.
Choose from: Bicycle Abs, Crunch/ Side Bend Combo, Twisting versions of: Crunches, Decline Crunches, Sit-ups, Decline Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches, Dip Bar Reverse Crunches, Leg Raises, Dip Bar Leg Raises.

Day Three:
Bench.
One major assistance: Choose from lists below  (alternate top end and bottom end/ general work).
Top end work: Band Bench, Reverse Band Bench, Chain Bench, Close Grip Bench.
Bottom end/ general work: DB Bench, Alt. Arms DB Bench, Pause Bench.
1 Upper Back
Rotate: DB Rows (elbows in, elbows out, underhand grip), Core DB Row.
Phases I & II only: Pull-ups (wide or close grip), Parallel Grip Pull-ups, Chin-ups.
1 Biceps.
Rotate: Barbell Curls, Curl Bar Curls, Rotating DB Curls, Hammer Curls, DB Rotations.
1 Abs.
Choose from: Crunches, Decline Crunches, Sit-ups, Decline Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches, Dip Bar Reverse Crunches, Leg Raises, Dip Bar Leg Raises.

Day Four:
Deadlifts (sumo, my competitive stance).
One major assistance: Choose from lists below (alternate top end and bottom end/ general work).
Top end work: Band DLs, Reverse Band DLs, Chain DLs.
Bottom end/ general work: Platform DLs (sumo), Conventional Stance DLs, Conventional Stance Platform DLs, SLDLs (legs bent), Good Mornings (legs straight).
Calves:
Rotate: Standing Barbell, Standing DBs, Sitting BB.
1 Obliques.
Choose from: Side Bends, Crunch/ Side Bend Combo, Twisting versions of: Crunches, Decline Crunches, Sit-ups, Decline Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches, Dip Bar Reverse Crunches, Leg Raises, Dip Bar Leg Raises.

Full Workout Logs

See Full Workout Logs for a list of my workout logs.

Training Routine Format for Lifting Raw - 2. Copyright 2006 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site February 11, 2006.
It was last updated February 18, 2006.

Powerlifting and Strength Training

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