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Full Workout Logs

Starting 11/15/05

Rotation 2 of 4

by Gary F. Zeolla

For what I am counting as Rotation I, see Training Log and Descending Reps (9/12/05 - 11/12/05).


Stats:
Age: 44 (but five days before my next context I'll turn 45, so I'll be in the 45-49 Masters category).
Weight class: Has been 114s, but I might move up to 123s.
Next contest: IPA Iron House Classic, April 1, 2006 in Newark, Ohio.

I'm using a 22-week routine to prepare for this contest, split into four rotations. But note that I lift every other day, alternating through four different workouts (bench assistance/ squat/ bench/ deadlift). So my training “weeks” are eight days long. See Training Routine Format: Part Three: Changes and Part Four: Outline for further details.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times include set-up, warm-up, lifting, cardio, stretching, and clean-up, everything related to my workouts except for changing before and showering afterwards.


Week 1 of 4

This was somewhat of a “back-off” (or “deload”) week. This was also the first time I’ve done these exercises in my new home gym, so I was still figuring things out. This added to my workout times, especially the last one, as will be noted.

____________________________________

Day One:

11/15/05, Tuesday.

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/10, 115/8, 135/5] 155/5, 165/5, 175/5

DB Incline Bench: [30s/10] 40s/10, 40s/10

Curl Bar Curls: [35/10] 50/10, 50/10

Decline Crunches: [-/12] 10/12, 10/12

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 10, 10

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:45

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Day Two:

11/17/05, Thursday.

Chain Squats

(Note: My chain set-up on each side includes: a leader chain, two 5/8” chains, and a heavy “triangle” in the middle that everything attaches to. The total set-up (both sides) weighs about 90 pounds, but this is not counted in the weights below).

[no chains: 45/15, add chains: 45/10, 135/8, 185/5] 225/5, 240/4, 255/3, 270/2, 285/1

Rows (wide grip): [65/8] 80/8, 90/6

DB Rows (elbows in): [30/10] 40/10, 40/10

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:59

While doing the chain squats, I didn't notice any pain in the leg that had bothered during my last workout. It did bother me a little bit afterwards though, but I am sure it is nothing to be concerned about.

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Day Three:

11/19/05, Saturday.

Reverse Band Bench

(using a pair of “light” bands, choked twice around the top of my power rack)

[no bands: 45/15, add bands: 115/10, 135/8, 155/5, 175/3] 195/5, 205/4, 215/3, 225/2, 235/1

Barbell Curls: [35/10] 45/10, 45/10

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 10, 7

Leg Raises (done upright from the top position on dip bars): Reps: 11, 10

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:35

The reverse lightened the bar more than I had planned, so this was an easy workout. I was hoping the weights would equal my bench when wearing my CMW Double Xtreme Shirt, but I was able to do more with the bands. I benched 220 with the shirt in my last workout. Choking them only once didn’t do enough. But no matter. When CMW comes out with their new line of gear, I plan on getting a new and somewhat smaller shirt, so hopefully the double-choke will be about right.

____________________________________

Day Four:

11/21/05, Monday.

Band Deadlifts (sumo, my competitive stance)

(using a pair of “light” bands attached to DBs wedged inside of my power rack)

[no bands: 45/15, 135/10, add bands: 135/8, 185/5, 225/5] 245/5, 275/4, 290/3, 305/2, 320/1

SLDLs (conventional stance, legs slightly bent): [135/5, 225/3] 250/5, 260/3

One Leg DB Calves: skipped

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: skipped

Workout Time: 2:11

I really had problems figuring out how to set up the bands, but I *knew* there had to be a way. It took over 45 minutes, but I finally got it. But that’s why my workout took so long and why I skipped a couple of things. The bands give the same “feel” to the lift as I get from wearing my CMW double-ply squat suit, easier at the bottom, harder at the top.

For how I finally figured out to set the bands up for DLs, and how I set up my chains and bands for other lifts, see the chains and bands page.  This page also discusses what I consider the “advantages” to using chains and bands.


Week 2 of 4

Day One:

11/23/05, Wed.

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/10, 120/8, 145/5] 180/4, 180/4

DB Incline Bench: [30s/10] 42.5s/10, 42.5s/10

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [35/10] 45/10, 50/10, 50/10

Decline Crunches: [-/12] 15/12, 17.5/12

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 15, 15

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:42

One thing that always bothered me when using dumbbells was when doing an exercise that required two dumbbells (like the DB incline benches above) you would have to increase by 10 pounds total rather than just five pounds as with a barbell. So I just got four 1-1/4 pound plates for my changeable DBs, which take Olympic-sized plates. Hence how I am able to use 42.5s on DB incline benches. These worked out great.

For my last workout, I did 40s/10x2. That, of course, was a total of 80 pounds. If I had gone up to 45s, that would have been 90 pounds, and I probably would have only gotten something like 6x2. But with the 1-1/4s, I was able to increase by 5 pounds, up to 85 pounds total, and again got 10x2.

____________________________________

Day Two:

11/25/05, Friday.

Chain Squats

(Total chain set-up weighs about 90 pounds).

[no chains: 45/15, add chains: 45/10, 135/8, 175/5, 215/3] 235/5, 250/4, 270/3, 285/2, 300/1

Rows (wide grip): [65/8] 85/8, 95/6

DB Rows (elbows in): [30/8] 42/8, 45/8

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:50

Great workout. By far the most I’ve used on chain squats. The last time I did them was back in August when I did 205/5x2. But those were done after regular squats. So it’s hard to compare.

____________________________________

Day Three:

11/27/05, Sunday.

Reverse Band Bench

(using a pair of “light” bands, choked twice around the top of my power rack; all reps paused)

[no bands: 45/15, add bands: 135/10, 155/8, 175/5, 195/3] 210/5, 220/4, 230/3, 240/2, 250/1

Barbell Curls: [35/10] 47/10, 50/10

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 11

Leg Raises (done upright from the top position on dip bars): Reps: 15, 12

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:43

Another great workout. Unfortunately, the reverse bands are adding more than my bench shirt does. I say “unfortunately” as 250 bench would be really nice. At my last contest, I only benched 215.

On this year’s Top 100 chart my squat and deadlift are ranked much higher than my bench, but a 250 bench would make all three about even. As I said previously, I am planning on getting a new shirt. And if I could find one that would enable me to bench 250, I would be really psyched!

____________________________________

Day Four:

11/29/05, Tuesday.

Band Deadlifts

(using a pair of “light” bands attached to DBs wedged inside of my power rack)

[no bands: 45/15, 135/10, add bands: 135/8, 190/5, 240/5] 270/5, 290/4, 305/3, 320/2, 335/1

One Leg DB Calves: [10/12, 20/12] 30/12, 30/12

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:46

Yet another great workout. I got the problems with my home gym solved, and I really feel like I’ve got my training routine figure out, so things are going well.

One point to note, I dropped off the SLDLs I did last week in this workout. With the way my upper back was beat after the band DLs, even a couple of sets of SLDLs would have been too much. But that's okay. My basic philosophy for my in-season training is to do the powerlifts (or chain and band equivalents thereof) and very little else. I'll save exercises like SLDLs for the off-season part of my yearly training program.


Week 3 of 4

Day One:

12/1/05, Thursday.

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/10, 120/8, 140/5, 160/3] 175/5, 180/4, 185/3

DB Incline Bench: [35s/10] 45s/10, 47.5s/10

Curl Bar Curls: [40/10] 55/8, 55/8

Decline Crunches: [5/12] 20/12, 25/12

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 15, 17

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:53

I always have a hard time getting psyched up for this workout as it seems less important than the other three. So I tend to drag through it. I also obviously am not concentrating as the curls were supposed to be reverse curls! This was the second time this rotation I made this mistake. This is not a minor point; I do the reverse curls as they help with my grip on DLs. But if I keep forgetting to them …

____________________________________

Day Two:

12/3/05, Saturday.

Chain Squats

(Total chain set-up weighs about 90 pounds).

[no chains: 45/15, add chains: 45/10, 135/8, 180/5, 225/3] 245/5, 260/4, 275/3, 290/2, 305/1

Rows (wide grip): [70/8] 90/8, 100/5

DB Rows (elbows in): [35/8] 45/8, 47.5/8

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:50

Killer workout. The last rep on every set of chain squats was a max effort. Just what I wanted for the third and final time for this workout. Next week is regular squats with full gear. I'm looking forward to it!

____________________________________

Day Three:

12/5/05, Monday.

Reverse Band Bench

(using a pair of “light” bands, choked twice around the top of my power rack; all reps paused)

[no bands: 45/15, add bands: 135/10, 160/8, 180/5, 200/3] 220/5, 235/4, 245/2, 250/2, 260/--

Barbell Curls: [35/10] 52/8, 52/8

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): [--/12] 2.5/10, 2.5/9

Leg Raises (done upright from the top position on dip bars): Reps: 16, 14

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:49

Good workout, despite missing a couple of reps (the third rep on the third set and the final single). But I missed those reps a little above halfway up. That's exactly where I missed my third attempt at my last contest (with a shirt, of course). So struggling to push through that sticking point is still worthwhile.

____________________________________

Day Four:

12/7/05, Wed.

Band Deadlifts

(using a pair of “light” bands attached to DBs wedged inside of my power rack)

[no bands: 45/15, 135/10, add bands: 135/8, 195/5, 250/5] 280/5, 300/4, 315/3, 330/2, 345/1

One Leg DB Calves: [20/10] 35/10, 37/10

Jump Rope: 4 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:44

Very good workout. I increased ten pounds from my last workout on each set of band DLs, but the last rep on each set was still not quite max effort. So DLs are apparently going well, but I'll find out for sure next week when I do regular DLs with full gear.


Week 4 of 4

Full Gear Workouts and Program Review

I was very excited for this week's workouts. It would be the first time since my last contest back in April that I would be wearing full gear on all three powerlifts. It would also be the first time I'd be doing more than a double with full gear. And it would be the first time I went a month since last doing the actual powerlifts (chain and band work in-between). So I was anxious to see how my new program would work out.

By way of comparison, at my last contest my lifts were: 410 - 215 - 405.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.

Workout times include set-up, warm-up, lifting, cardio, stretching, and clean-up.

____________________________________

Day One:

12/9/05, Friday.

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/10, 120/8, 140/5, 160/3] 177.5/5, 182.5/4, 187.5/3

DB Incline Bench: [40s/10] 50s/10, 50s/10

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [40/10] 55/8, 57.5/8

Decline Crunches: [10/12] 30/12, 30/12

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 15, 12

Heavy Bag: 6 minutes

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:43

I'm glad I got my 1-1/4 pound plates. A 2-1/2 pound increase on declines from last week's workout was just right. I probably would not have gotten my desired reps if I had increased by 5 pounds. That said, a good workout. I was able to get psyched up for it this time. I even remembered to do reverse curls rather than regular curls.

____________________________________

Day Two:

12/11/05, Sunday.

Squats

Gear: CMW squat shoes, power belt, double-ply Genesis squat suit, 2.5-meter power wraps, wrist wraps.

[45/15, 135/10, 200/8, add squat shoes and suit: 265/5, add belt & wraps: 325/3]

355/5, 370/4, 385/2, 400/1, 410/1

Rows (wide grip): [75/8] 95/6, 105/4

DB Rows (elbows in): skipped

Jump Rope: skipped

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 2:18

A grueling workout. But I was excited I still managed to match my contest best, even with the four grueling sets before and with having to walk out the weight (I compete in the IPA, which uses a Monolift). Not bad for the first time using full gear in eight months. It was also the first time in my home gym I had four 45s on each side of the bar. That felt great!

____________________________________

Day Three:

12/13/05, Thursday.

Bench

Gear: CMW Double Xtreme Power Shirt, power belt, and wrist wraps.

[45/15, 135/10, 125/8, 145/5, add shirt: 165/3, 180/1]

190/5, 200/4, 205/3, 215/1, 225/--

Barbell Curls: [40/8] 55/7, 55/7

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): [--/12] 2.5/10, 2.5/12

Leg Raises (done upright from the top position on dip bars): Skipped

Heavy Bag: Skipped

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:41

I knew I was in trouble when I easily touched 165. My bench shirt is over too years old and is now fitting way too loose. So it is time for a new shirt. I was thinking of getting one of CMW’s new “Xtreme Plus” shirts, but they’re not ready yet. And I need the new shirt as soon as possible so I can train with it for my next contest. So I decided to go another direction and already ordered a Karen Klein shirt. She said I should have it by the end of the year, that will be in plenty of time for my next full gear workouts.

Another problem is my bodyweight was up over 123, but now I’m down below 121 again. That may not sound like much, but a 2.5-pound drop is a lot for someone my size. So I really need to decide if I am going to move up to 123s or stay at 114s, and then adjust my bodyweight accordingly and keep it there. I’m leaning towards the former.

In any case, even with these problems, I still got my desired reps for the first three sets and equaled my contest best. So not too bad of a workout.

____________________________________

Day Four:

12/15/05, Thursday.

Deadlifts

Gear: CMW power belt, double-ply Genesis squat suit, plus wrestling shoes, pull-up type knee wraps, and wrist wraps.

[45/15, 135/10, 195/8, add shoes and suit: 260/5, add belt & wraps: 320/3]

350/5, 365/3, 375/2, 385/1, 395/1

One Leg DB Calves: [30/10] 40/10, 45/10

Jump Rope: Skipped

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout Time: 1:42

Gear problems again. I’ve been using my double-ply squat for both squats and DLs. But as with my bench shirt, my squat suit is over two years old, Also, I cannot wash and dry it in-between squats and DLs at a contest, so I didn’t do so between these workouts. But I could tell the suit was a little stretched out, and hence got less than I had hoped for on all but my first set. I especially was hoping to hit 405 on my final single so as to equal my DL at my last contest as I did for squats and benches.

I started using my double-ply squat suit for DLs since CMW did not have a double-ply DL suit. But now they do. So I could get one. Or, if I like the KK shirt, maybe I will get a KK suit and use that for squats and my current suit for DLs, or maybe I’ll use the KK suit for both. I’m just not sure yet. I’ll wait until I use the KK shirt for a workout to see how I like it before deciding.

Program Review

For this routine, I did powerlift band/ chain equivalents for each lift for three weeks then the actual powerlifts with full gear for one week. Despite the gear problems, this seemed to work well. But for the six weeks prior to this, I used a slightly different routine. I alternated doing band/ chain equivalents one week and the actual powerlifts with gear the next week, but at that time using my older single-ply gear [see Training Log and Descending Reps (9/12/05 - 11/12/05)].

Either way, for each rotation, I ended up doing the band/ chain equivalents three times, but the alternating weeks routine, of course, had me doing the actual powerlifts with gear more often. And I think that will be a better way to go, especially with me getting a new shirt and possibly a new suit. It will give me more workouts to get used to the gear before my next contest.

So rather than splitting the remaining 12 weeks before my next contest into three, four-week rotations, I am going to split it into two, six-week rotations. To help me keep things straight, I’ll consider the above discussed routines rotations 1 and 2, and my next two rotations 3 and 4. So altogether, I’ll end up with a 22-week contest prep program. A bit long, but I’ve been experimenting, and this goes back to when I began working out in my new home gym.

As for reps, the 5x5,4,3,2,1 scheme worked great for the band/ chain equivalents. But the sets of 4 and 5 seemed to tire me out too much on the powerlifts with gear. And five work sets was a bit too much. So instead, for these workouts, I think I’ll start with a triple and only do 4 sets, going something like 3,2,1,1. The triple and double will still give me some volume, but doing two singles will give me practice in that regard. And come contest time, I’ll probably use the triple weight for my opener.

These workout logs are continued at Full Workout Logs: Starting 12/17/05: Rotation 3 of 4.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 11/15/05: Rotation 2 of 4. Copyright 2005 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs

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