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Full Workout Log

Starting 8/18/08

Rotation I

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from Full Workout Logs: Starting 7/20/08: In-Season; Weeks 1 - 4 of 4.


Next contest:
NASA 100% Tested Nationals, Sunday, November 9, 2008, in Ravenswood, WV. For details on this contest, see Contest Plans.

Age: 47.
Weight Class: 114s.

Divisions:
Unequipped.
Powerlifting (squat + bench + deadlift = total).
Open (all ages) and Masters I (40-49).

Terminology in these logs:
Raw = no gear, not even a belt.
Unequipped = belt, knee sleeves, wrist wraps.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, cardio, and clean-up.


Week One

Bench Assistance/ New routine

Rotation I – Week 1 of 4

Monday – 8/18/08

DB Overhead Presses: [10s/15, 17s/8, 25s/5, 30s/3] 35s/6, 37s/4, 30s/10

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Chin-ups with “V” grip: bwt./8, 5/5

Triceps Pushdowns: [45/10] 50/10, 55/7

Rotator Cuff (lying, down): [12/10] 15/10, 15/10

Workout time: 1:11

I’m still not sure when my next contest will be. I have not heard as yet if there will be another NASA contest in the Pittsburgh area. If there is one, I doubt it will be this year.

Not knowing makes it a little hard to set up a new routine. I was going to go with the type of schedule I’ve been using, with an off-season and an in-season. But I’d have no idea how long each “season” should last.

So instead, I think I will try something a little different. It combines different elements I have found to be effective. I will continue with my “drops reps with back-off set” reps scheme for my major exercises. But I will basically combine my off-season and in-season into a four week rotation. The two off-season weeks will be done, then two in-season weeks, then repeat. So the rotation will be:

Week - Main Exercises:

1. Powerlift “look-alike” lifts (front squats, DB benches, SLDLs)
2. Powerlifts with chains and bands
3. Actual powerlifts with gear
4. Actual powerlifts with gear

I will do different assistance exercises each week. This will give me lots of variety, but with a focus on the actual powerlifts. For this days’ workout, my bench assistance day, the main exercises will be:

1. DB Overhead Presses
2. Dips
3. BB Overhead Presses
4. Decline Benches

I figure I can do up to six rotations before starting a new routine. That would take me into next year. If I decide on a contest during this time, I can easily adjust the weeks within the last rotation to be sure at least the final week before the contest is the actual powerlifts.

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Squats

Rotation I – Week 1 of 4

Wednesday – 8/20/08

Sting Ray (Front) Squats (with close stance): [45/15, 75/8, 100/5, 120/3, 140/1] 160/5, 180/3, 135/8

Twisting Leg Raise (reps to each side): 12, 12

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 0:53

Front squats rule! Note only were my quads pumped, but so was my shoulder girdle from holding the bar.

However, I think I started a little too heavy. The reps above are the lowest I would want to go. I especially would not want to go lower than a triple. So I’ll probably drop the weights some and increase by 1-2 reps next time.

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Benches

Rotation I – Week 1 of 4

Thursday – 8/21/08

DB Benches: [10s/15, 30s/8] 40s/6, 45s/6, 50s/6, 55s/6, 60s/6

DB Rows (underhand): [30s/8, 37s/4] 42s/8, 47s/8, 55s/5

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:07

For the off-season of my last routine, I did close grip benches. But those are more of a “top-end” exercise, but I will be doing my top-end work next week with band benches. So I switched to DB benches here. They seem to help my raw bench more than any other assistance exercise, so I’ll probably stick with some form of DB benches for my “look-alike” assistance exercise from now on.

The last time I did DB benches, I alternated arms, so this time, I am doing them with arms together. But I have to be sure to pause them extra long at the chest. Since I hadn’t done these for a while, I started with a light set of six and worked up until I got to a heavy set. That will give me a good starting weight for the rest of this routine.

On DB Rows, I started too light, so I did an extra set.

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Deadlifts

Rotation I – Week 1 of 4

Sunday – 8/24/08

Stiff-Leg Deadlifts: [55/15, 135/8, 175/5, 215/3] 245/6, 265/4, 215/10

Standing DB Calves (reps with each leg): [22/10] 30/12, 32/9

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 0:57

Whenever I’ve done SLDLs before, I’ve used a close stance. But since I’ll be using a sumo stance for my competitive DL from now on, I figured I’d try a sumo stance here. And they felt good. So I’ll try that stance for SLDLs throughout for this routine and see how it goes.

Week Two

Bench Assistance

Rotation I – Week 2 of 4

Monday – 8/25/08

Dips: [bwt./10, 25/8, 40/5, 50/3] 65/6, 75/4, 45/10

Lat. Pulldowns (wide grip): [45/8, 90/4]; Pull-ups (wide grip): bwt./7, 5/4

Curl Bar Curls: [45/8] 55/8, 60/6

Shoulder Horn (alternating arms): 5/12, 5/12

Workout time: 1:03

I know, I said I wasn’t going to bother with curls anymore, but a couple of sets a month won’t kill me.

After a discussion in the Weight Trainers United forum about the Shoulder Horn, I went ahead and got one. I just did a couple of light sets to get used to it. But it seems like it will be worthwhile.

For those who don’t know, the Shoulder Horn is for doing rotator cuff work, very important for preventing rotator cuff injury. In my case, I did such exercises after I injured my right shoulder in a bicycle accident. That was over nine years ago, but my right shoulder is still weaker than the left. So I am hoping it will bring my right shoulder up to par with my left shoulder. It is available at Amazon .

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Squats

Rotation I – Week 2 of 4

Wednesday – 8/27/08

Chain Squats (chain setup weighs about 90 pounds):

[45/15, add chains: 45/8, 95/5, 140/3, 180/1] 205/5, 225/3, 165/9

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 9

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:03

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Benches/ Change in routine

Rotation I of II – Week 2 of 5

Thursday – 8/28/08

Band Benches (doubled mini-bands):

[45/15, add bands: 45/8, 60/5, 75/3, 90/1] 105/5, 115/3, 85/9

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/8, 40/4] 50/8, 60/5

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:07

It was the morning before this workout that I decided on when my next contest would be (see my separate post Contest Plans for November 2008). So I was a little distracted during this workout thinking about how I would need to revise my routine to peak for that date. That got me a little behind, but still a good workout.

As far as my routine goes, I started this routine on August 18. Not knowing when my next contest would be, my plans were to use up to six, four-week “rotations.” But now with a contest on November 9th, counting out the weeks from the start of this routine to the contest, I should get in a full 10 weeks of training, with maybe a couple of extra days, depending on if I miss any workout days along the way.

I am going to stick with the same basic plan, except I will use two, five-week rotations. So my new plan will look as follows:

Week(s) – Main Exercises –             Sets x Reps
1. Powerlift “look-alike” lifts –           3 x 5-6, 3-4, 9-10
2. Powerlifts with chains and bands – 3 x 4-5, 2-3, 8-9
3-5. Actual powerlifts –                     3 x 3-4, 1-2, 7-8.

For the actual powerlifts, the first two sets are done unequipped, and the last set is done raw.

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Deadlifts

Rotation I of II – Week 2 of 5

Sunday – 8/31/08

Reverse Band Deadlifts (average {#4} bands choked around the safety bars set in the fourth hole from the top of my power rack; the bands almost completely deload at the top of the lift):

[45/15, add bands: 185/8, 240/5; 295/3, 350/1] 390/5, 420/3, 330/9

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches (with two, 3 pound ankle weights): 15, 15

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:05

The top of a cabinet was in the way of putting one of the safety bars where I wanted it in the power rack. Last time I did these, I was able to push the cabinet back just enough to get the bar in, but this time, for some reason, it jammed. So I couldn’t move it in or out. After several minutes of struggle, I finally got it free. So I almost had a workout before my workout! It was only then that I thought of putting the bar in from the other side! Duh!

In any case, once I got started, a good workout, and I still got done in a good time.

Week Three

Bench Assistance

Rotation I of II – Week 3 of 5

Labor Day – 9/1/08

Overhead Presses: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/8, 65/5, 80/3] 92/5, 97/4, 80/8

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Chin-ups: 7.5/8, 12.5/5

Pulley Strap Triceps Pushdowns: [25/8] 35/10, 40/8

Rotator Cuff (lying, in & out): 10/12, 10/12

Workout time: 0:59

Presses did not go well. And the next day, the top of my shoulders were really sore. If anyone remembers, about a month before my last contest, my shoulders were feeling overtrained, so I had to take a day off and cut back on my shoulder training. I’ve kept that reduced level, and still my shoulders are feeling overtrained. I think I will cut back on the presses and do inclines instead. Those work the shoulders some, but not as much as presses, and more the front rather than medial delts.

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Squats

Rotation I of II – Week 3 of 5

Wednesday – 9/3/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 135/8, 185/5, add belt and knee sleeves: 225/3, 260/1] 290/4, 315/2, Raw: 240/8

Crunches: [25/12] 35/15, 40/15

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:06

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Benches

Rotation I of II – Week 3 of 5

Thursday – 9/4/08

Benches:

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps.

[45/15, 95/8, 115/5, 135/3, and belt and wrist wraps: 150/1] 167/4, 180/2, Raw: 150/8

DB Rows (elbows in): [30/8, 40/4] 50/8, 55/5

Heavy Bag: 6:00

Workout time: 1:05

This workout went okay, but I was really tired afterwards. By the time I went to bed, I felt like I was getting sick. I’m still very tired today (Friday), but I don’t really feel “sickish.” I’ll try to take it easy the next couple of days, and hopefully, but Sunday I’ll be okay for my deadlift workout.

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Deadlifts

Rotation I of II – Week 3 of 5

Sunday – 9/7/08

Deadlifts:

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes.

[55/15, 145/8, 205/5, add belt and knee sleeves: 265/3, 325/1] 365/4, 395/2, Raw: 315/8

BB Calves: [135/12] 145/12, 155/9

Jump Rope: 5:00

Workout time: 1:10

After resting the last couple of days, I finally felt “normal’ for this workout, and it went well.

 

Week Four

Bench Assistance

Rotation I of II – Week 4 of 5

Monday – 9/8/08

Decline Bench: [45/15; 95/8, 115/6, 130/3, 140/1] 155/6, 165/4, 135/10

Lat. Pulldowns: [55/8, 90/4]; Pull-ups: 2.5/8, 7.5/5

Reverse BB Curls [45/8] 57/8, 60/6

Shoulder Horn (arms together): [5/12] 7.5/12, 7.5/12

Workout time: 1:03

A relatively easy workout. I didn’t want to push it with the problems I had last week.

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Squats

Rotation I of II – Week 4 of 5

Wednesday – 9/10/08

Squats:

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: heavy knee sleeves.

[55/15, 135/8, 185/5, add belt and knee sleeves: 230/3, 270/1] 297/4, 322/1, Raw: 247/8

Bicycle abs (reps to each side): 25, 20

Step ups: 6:00

Workout time: 1:06

The second work set of squats was supposed to be a double, but I got buried on the second rep. I also just didn’t feel “right” for this workout. I had a difficult time concentrating and getting psyched. I think I need a break and a change in my routine.

I will skip today’s (Thursday’s) workout and wait until Sunday to lift again. At that point, I will have seven weeks of training until my next contest. I will start a new cycle on Sunday to prepare for the contest.

These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 9/19/08: Off-Season: Weeks 1-5.



Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/18/08: Rotation I. Copyright 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
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