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Full Workout Logs - Starting 12/23/2009

Three Week Rotations I & II of VII

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from Full Workout Logs: Starting 11/9/09: Rehab 2 Workouts - Weeks 7-12 of 12.


Age: 48
Weight: See each week. Body fat and lean body mass being measured by a Sequoia Warrior Digital Body Mass Caliper.

Next contest: Maybe the ADAU Raw Power Pittsburgh Powerlifting Championships at The Kumite, Saturday, May 29, 2010 in Monroeville, PA. This contest is being held as part of the Kumite Classic Sports Expo, featuring along with powerlifting, bodybuilding, strongman, arm wrestling, and other sports events, including a bikini contest! For details, see Kumite Classic.

All lifts done completely raw.
Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds.
Workout times includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up.

See also Cardio Logs - 2009.

See also Cardio Logs - First Half 1010.


Rotation I/ Week A

Bodyweight: 119.0 pounds.
Body Fat: 11.9%.
Lean Body Mass: 104 pounds.

I’ve been having a hard time sleep-wise of late, hence the lost of weight. But these measurements were taken Christmas Eve morning, so I’ll probably gain some weight over the holidays.

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For this new routine, I will be using a three week rotation, using the following plan:

Week A – Bottom End Work
Week B – Top End Work
Week C – Raw Powerlifts

Tentatively, I plan on using six such rotations. In that case, this routine will last 18 weeks, which would take me to May, when I might enter a raw contest. I know that some don’t believe top end work is necessary for raw powerlifting, but I have found it to be helpful, as I discuss in my powerlifting book.

My sets x reps plan was going to be 3 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2. But now that I am conditioned to do 7-8 reps, I hate to lose that conditioning. So I am going to try adding one set, going 4 x 7-8, 5-6, 3-4, 1-2. But later, I will change it to 4 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2, 7-8.

I’m doing the highest rep set first initially as it will make it easier to figure out my weights for “new” exercises. But I will change it later when I am working harder to keep it from tiring me out for the more important lower rep sets. Plus, starting with one rep scheme then changing to another later will be a good way to mix things so as to prevent stagnation.

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Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 12/23/09

Decline Bench [45/20, 75/10, 105/6] 135/8, 142/6, 150/4, 157/2

V Grip Chin-ups: bwt./8, 2.5/6, 5/4

Hammer Curls [10s/10] 15s/10, 20s/10, 22s/8

Rotator Cuff (sitting, front): [2.5/10] 5/12, 6.25/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:08

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Christmas Eve Squats

Thursday – 12/24/09

Dead Stop Squats: [45/20, 155/8] 165/8, 185/6, 195/4, 205/2

Step-ups: [bwt./10] 2.5s/10, 2.5s/10

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 6

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:07

My left hamstring started bothering me again two days before this workout while carrying laundry up the steps! However, I was able to put in this workout as planned, but the hamstring was hurting significantly afterwards, so I have no idea what to make of it. I’ll be taking two days off over Christmas, then I guess I’ll find out on Monday when I deadlift.

That said, the dead stop squats are described in Chapter 10 of my powerlifting book. I hadn’t done them in a few years, so I had no idea how much weight to use, but they do seem like they will be effective for bottom end work.

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Benches

Sunday – 12/27/09

Dead Stop Benches: [45/20, 75/10, 95/8] 115/8, 125/6, 135/4, 145/2

BB Rows (medium grip): [45/10, 65/6] 75/8, 80/6, 85/4

Curl Bar Triceps Presses: [30/10] 35/10, 37/8

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:07

With the dead stop squats seeming like they’d be an effective exercise, I decide to try dead stop benches as well. I don’t mention them in my book as I just thought up this exercise over the weekend.

I am doing them in my power rack, with the safety bars set in their usual place of being just below chest level while arched. But for this exercise, I am letting the bar sink into my chest so that it rests fully on the safeties. Then I am pushing the bar up from a dead stop off of the safeties.

Since I never did this exercise before, I had no idea how much weight to use and didn’t want to work very hard. But even at that, my pecs were really pumped afterwards, so I think it also will be effective for improving the push off of the chest.

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Deadlifts

Monday – 12/28/09

Platform Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 175/8] 195/8, 205/6, 215/4, 225/2

Leg Curls (alternate Legs): [2.5/10] 3.75/10, 3.75/10

Side Bends: 10, 10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:13

My hamstring bothered me during this workout, so I couldn’t work that hard. Although, I wasn’t planning on going that heavy throughout this first rotation anyway in order to “deload.” But with this hamstring problem, I’ll need to go even lighter than I had planned, which could end my hope to enter a contest at the end of this routine. But I will see what happens.

I debated on whether I should even work up to a double. But I figured if I didn’t go that heavy, then it wouldn’t matter. And then as I gradually increase the weights, it will “condition” my body to doing low reps without gear, so hopefully, if I ever get over all of these injury problems, I’ll be good to go for a raw contest.

That said, on this workout, platform deadlifts are described in Chapter 12 of my book. They are the ideal bottom end deadlift exercise. I am doing them off of four boards nailed together. That is a rather high platform, so they should help to stretch out my tight hamstrings.

I hadn’t done side bends in ages, so I just used my bodyweight here. But I’ll start adding weight next time.


Rotation I/ Week B

Bodyweight: 118.0 pounds.
Body Fat: 11.9%.
Lean Body Mass: 103 pounds.

I am probably the only person in the USA who lost weight over the holidays! But that is because I’ve been having a rough time of it health-wise, leading to a loss of sleep. As a result, I’ve lost 3 pounds of LBM in the last couple of weeks. Very frustrating.

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Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 12/30/09

Incline DB Bench [10s/20, 30s/10] 35s/8, 37s/6, 40s/4, 42s/2

Pull-ups: [bwt./8, 2.5/4] 5/7, 7.5/5, 10/4

Curls [DBs 10s/10, 15s/10] Curl Bar: 40/10, 45/10

Rotator Cuff (lying, up): 5/12, 5/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:11

Very tired for this workout. Plus, my left pec was bothering me once again, and I didn’t do enough warm-up sets. As a result, I didn’t go as heavy as I had hoped on the DB inclines, and I skipped the final rep on each set of pull-ups.

Then I got confused on the curls. During my last routine I did dumbbell curls. I meant to switch to curl bar curls here. But on my workout log I wrote “DB Curls” rather than “CB Curls” so I started with some light dumbbells, knowing something didn’t feel right. I figured it out after the second set and switched to the curl bar, not going very heavy on any of it. So all in all, not a very good workout.

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New Year’s Eve Squats

Thursday – 12/31/09

Reverse Band Squats:

(average {#4} bands choked around the top of my power rack so there is virtually no tension at the top):

[45/20, 135/10, add bands: 225/8] 245/8, 260/6, 275/4, 290/2

Step-ups (reps with each leg): [bwt./10] 5s/10, 5s/10

Bicycle abs (reps to each side): 15, 15

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:11

A much better workout. My hamstring only bothered me slightly, so I was able to use somewhat heavy weights on the RB squats.

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Benches

Sunday – 1/3/10

Band Benches (min-bands): [45/20, 75/10, add bands: 45/8, 65/8] 75/8, 82/6, 90/4, 97/2

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out): [30/10, 37/6, 45/3] 50/8, 52/6, 55/4

DB Flyes: [2.5s/10] 5s/12, 5s/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:13

I mention in my powerlifting book about wearing a pair of red and black Nikes for benching. Well, that pair got ruined when I stupidly wore them for something other than lifting, so I needed to get another pair of shoes for benching. I tried a couple of other brands (Adidas, New Balance), but my feet slipped. So for Christmas I got another pair of Nikes, also red and black (with some silver). They look and fit great, and most importantly, they did not slip at all. So these new Nikes will be my “official” bench shoes. I will only wear them for bench workouts and for contests. As such, hopefully, they will last a long time.

That said, a good workout. My pec felt okay.

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Deadlifts

Monday – 1/4/10

Chain Deadlifts (sumo; chains weigh about 90 pounds):

[45/20, 135/10, add chains: 135/8, 165/8] 185/8, 200/6, 215/4, 230/2

Hyperextensions: [--/10, 5/10] 10/10, 10/10

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

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:18

Ditto my comments about RB squats above for chain DLs here.


Rotation I/ Week C

Bodyweight: 120.6 pounds.
Body Fat: 11.9%.
Lean Body Mass: 106 pounds.

I haven’t been sleeping well, but somehow I added some LBM in the past couple of weeks,

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Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 1/6/10

DB Presses: [5s/20, 10s/10, 15s/8] 20s/8, 22s/6, 25s/4, 27s/2]

Pull-ups: [bwt./10, 5/6] 7.5/7, 10/5, 12/3

DB Reverse Curls [10s/10] 15s/10, 17s/10

Rotator Cuff (lying, out):[2.5] 3.75/12, 3.75/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:07

I was going to do speed benches for this workout, but with my left pec still somewhat troublesome, I didn’t think that would be a good idea. And besides, my right shoulder still needs work, so I did DB presses instead.

That said, I felt terrible for this workout, so I didn’t push very hard. I then skipped Thursday’s workout, so I wouldn’t need to work out again until Sunday. Hopefully, by then I’ll be feeling better.

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Squats

Saturday – 1/9/10

Raw Squats: [45/20, 135/10, 175/8] 205/8, 225/6, 245/4, 260/2

DB Calves: [30/10] 35/10, 37/8

Sit-ups: [--/12] 5/12, 7.5/10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:15

After resting the last two days, I was feeling somewhat better on Saturday, and I was bored, so I worked out a day early. All things consider, the workout went okay.

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Benches

Sunday – 1/10/10

Raw Benches: [45/20, 75/10, 105/6, 120/3] 135/8, 142/6, 150/4, 157/2

Curl Bar Rows: [95/10, 75/8] 80/8, 85/6, 90/4

Triceps Pushdowns: [35/10] 40/12, 42/10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:14

I’ve been having a very rough time of it health-wise, getting very little sleep. As a result, this workout was much harder than it should have been, and I felt exhausted afterwards.

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Deadlifts

Tuesday – 1/12/10

Raw Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 185/6, 225/3] 250/8, 275/6, 295/4, 315/2

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [2.5/10] 3.75/10, 3.75/10

Side Bends: [--/10] 2.5/10, 2.5/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:15

This week’s workout went okay, but overall I am not happy with my training at this point. My lifts are all down from where they were just three weeks ago. Part of the reason for this is my ongoing hamstring and pec problems, part is that I have not been sleeping well, but part I think is this routine is not going to work as well as I had hoped. So I will be making some changes.


Rotation II/ Week A

Bodyweight: 119.8 pounds.
Body Fat: 12.2%.
Lean Body Mass: 105 pounds.

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It was with this week that I first thought of entering the above indicated contest. Courting out the weeks, if I were to enter that contest, I should get in a total of seven rotations. In my first rotation, I felt a little weak in the hole on squats and off of the chest on benches. That might be because of doing top end work the week before. So I will change the order of my workout weeks to:

Week A – Bottom End Work
Week B – Raw Powerlifts
Week C – Top End Work

This way, I’ll be focusing on the bottom end the week before the raw powerlifts. Hopefully, that way I be better prepare for the bottom end of the actual powerlifts. If this doesn’t work, then I might eliminate the top end week entirely and thus switch to an Alternate Weeks Routine, doing just Weeks A and B.

Also, I have been experimenting with the number of work sets to do for each exercise. For the major exercise of each day, I tried doing four work sets, but that proved to be too much, so I am going back to three sets. I have my planned reps written up as: 5-7, 3-5, 1-3. I will start with the higher end of each range and either gradually drop to the lower end or go back and forth between the higher and lower ends.

For minor exercises, I’ve usually only done two work sets, but in my last routine, I wasn’t making good progress on some such exercise, so I might try doing three sets as time and energy allows.

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Bench Assistance

Friday – 1/15/10

Decline Bench [45/20, 75/10, 105/6, 130/3] 142/7, 150/5, 157/3

V Grip Chin-ups: bwt./8, 2.5/6, 5/4

Side Laterals: [2.5s/10] 5s/12, 6.25s/10, 7.5s/8

Curl Bar Curls: [35/10] 50/10, 52/8, 55/6

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:15

I was busy on Thursday, so that moved this workout to Friday. But it did not go well.

In my powerlifting book, I recommend doing “non-flat bench assistance” (declines, inclines, presses, dips) on Bench Assistance day, but I don’t think declines are working out on this day. The problem is, as I say in my book, flat benches with an arch are in essence declines, so there is not enough of a difference between them to do both the same week. So I think I will stick with inclines, presses, or speed work for Bench Assistance Day. If I want to do declines, I will do them for my Bench Day major assistance exercise for Week A.

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Squats

Sunday – 1/17/10

Dead Stop Squats: [45/20, 115/10, 140/6, 165/3] 185/7, 200/5, 215/3

Reverse Band Squats: (average {#4} bands choked around the top of my power rack so there is virtually no tension at the top): [225/6, 245/3] 265/7, 280/5, 295/3

Sit-ups: [--/10], 7.5/12, 10/8

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:21

For this workout I was trying to do two main exercises, a bottom end and a top end exercise, both for three work sets. But that proved to be too much. In a way, I knew it would be. As I feared, the workout took too long, and I was exhausted afterwards.

I have found by experience that I can do either two major exercises for two work sets each or one major exercise for three sets plus one minor exercise for two sets. That is the basic pattern I recommend in my book. But I have been experimenting the past month to see if I can handle a little more volume, but it has not gone well.

Here, I could just drop back to two sets for the two main exercises, but with plans to only compete raw at this time, the top end exercise is not that important, so I am dropping it off and will go back to one main exercise for three work sets, and then I will add a minor exercise, probably step-ups here. I’ll start with just two work sets, but maybe I will try three later.

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Benches

Monday – 1/18/10

Dead Stop Benches: [45/20, 75/10, 95/6, 115/3] 130/7, 137/5, 145/3

BB Rows (medium grip): [45/10, 65/6] 80/7, 85/8, 90/4

Curl Bar Triceps Presses: [30/10] 35/12, 37/10, 40/8

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:08

Much better in terms of workout length and how I felt afterwards. Specifically, I am finding it is best for a workout to last between 1:00 – 1:15. Shorter than an hour doesn’t seem like enough work, while anything longer than 1:15 and I get too tired. As for volume, doing 2-3 work sets of 3-4 exercises seems to be about right.

Note that for upper back work my set x rep plan is 3 x 6-8, 4-6, 2-4, one rep higher than for major exercises. That is because I feel slightly higher reps work better for upper back work.

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Deadlifts

Wednesday – 1/20/10

Platform Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 165/6, 195/3] 205/7, 225/7, 245/5, 265/3

Good Mornings: [bwt./10] 45/10, 45/10

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 15, 10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:07

After saying above I would only do three work sets, I did four here on PDLs. But that was because the starting weight here was based on the last time I did this workout, but then my hamstring was bothering me, so I didn’t push too hard. But it felt fine here, so I went heavier than planned to get in some real work.

My left hamstring bothered me a little on the GMs, but I wanted to start doing them to work on my problematic hamstrings. But as can been seen, I went very light on them. And I am doing them differently than before. I will look on them as a “minor” assistance exercise rather than a “major” one. As such, I will keep reps in the 8-12 range, rather than the lower reps of a major exercise.


Rotation II/ Week B

Bodyweight: 119.0 pounds.
Body Fat: 12.2%.
Lean Body Mass: 105 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Friday – 1/22/10

Speed Bench [regular: 45/20, 75/10] speed: 85/7, 85/7. 90/5, 90/5, 95/3, 95/3

Chin-ups: [bwt./8, 2.5/4] 5/8, 7.5/6, 10/4

Side Laterals: [3.75s/10] 6.25s/12, 7.5s/10, 8.75s/8

DB Reverse Curls [12s/10] 17s/12, 20s/10, 22s/8

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:10

I was again busy on Thursday, so that moved this workout to Friday, and it went well.

I wasn’t sure what sets x reps scheme to use for the speed work, I decided to use the same pattern I am using for major exercises, except to do two sets at each rep range, with of course taking much shorter rest periods between sets.

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Squats

Sunday – 1/24/10

Raw Squats: [45/20, 135/10, 175/6, 210/3] 235/7, 255/5, 275/3

DB Calves: [30/10] 35/12, 37/10, 40/8

Bicycle abs (reps to each side): 20, 15

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:14

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Benches

Monday – 1/25/10

Raw Benches: [45/20, 75/10, 105/6, 130/3] 142/7, 150/5, 157/3

Curl Bar Rows: [65/10, 75/6] 85/8, 90/6, 95/4

DB Flyes: [3.75s/10] 6.25s/12, 7.5s/10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:05

______________________________

Deadlifts

Wednesday – 1/27/10

Raw Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 195/6, 255/3] 285/7, 310/5, 330/1, 330/3

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [2.5/10] 3.75/12, 5/10, 6.25/8

Side Bends: [---/10] 5/12, 7.5/10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:09

After doing platform DLs last week, this week it felt like a short stroke on DLs, and the weights felt relatively light. But that might have caused me a problem. On the first try with 330, the weight came up faster than I expected, and I lost my balance backwards. I let go of the weight rather than try to gain control of it and risk hurting myself. After tightening the weights back up and resting a minute, I then pulled the 330 for an easy triple. I never lost my balance like that before on DLs.

But that minor mishap aside, this week went as planned.


Rotation II/ Week C

Bodyweight: 119.0 pounds.
Body Fat: 12.2%.
Lean Body Mass: 105 pounds.

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Thursday – 1/28/10

Incline DB Bench [10s/20, 20s/10, 30s/6] 37s/7, 42s/7 45/5, 47s/3

Pull-ups: [bwt./8, 2.5/4] 5/8, 7.5/5, 10/4

Hammer Curls [15s/10] 20s/12, 22s/10

Rotator Cuff (sitting, front): [3.75/10] 6.25/12, 6.25/12

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:14

I had some problems setting up my FID bench for the DB inclines, and then I started too light and had to do an extra set. But after that mis-start, the workout went well, and I still got done in under 1:15. But not sure what happened on the second set of pull-ups. It was supposed to be for six reps. Maybe I didn’t rest enough after the first set.

______________________________

Squats

Sunday – 1/31/10

Reverse Band Squats:

(average {#4} bands choked around the top of my power rack so there is virtually no tension at the top):

[45/20, 135/10, add bands: 225/6, 250/3] 280/7, 300/5, 320/3

Leg Extensions (legs together): 2.5/12, 5/12, 7.5/12, 10/12

Crunches: 25/12, 30/10, 32/10

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:13

RB squats went very well. I’m not a real fan of leg extensions, but I’m doing them here mainly to help stretch out my hamstrings, and of course, for some added quad work. But I had no idea how much weight to use, never having really done them with the leg attachment on the FID bench I got a year and a half ago, so I started very light and worked up.

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Benches

Monday – 2/1/10

Band Benches (mini-bands): [45/20, 75/10, add bands: 45/6, 70/3] 85/7, 95/5, 105/3

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out): [30/10, 40/6, 47/3] 52/8, 55/6, 57/4

DB Flyes: [3.75s/10] 6.25s/12, 7.5s/10, 8.75s/8

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:07

______________________________

Deadlifts

Wednesday – 2/3/10

Chain Deadlifts (sumo; chains weigh about 90 pounds):

[45/20, 135/10, add chains: 135/8, 185/6] 205/7, 225/5, 245/3

Hyperextensions: [--/10, 7.5/6] 12/12, 15/10, 17/8

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: 20, 20

Stretching: 10-15 minutes

Workout time: 1:13

A very good workout. In fact, this whole second rotation, like the first, went well and as planned. But I made several changes along the way. But I think I got everything figured out. So I’ll begin to see with the next rotation how this plan will work out.

This log is continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 2/4/10 - Three Week Rotations III & IV of VII.



Full Workout Logs: Starting 12/23/09: Three Week Rotations I & II of VII. Copyright 2009-2010 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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