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2015-16 Two by Two Training Plan

Routine B (Pre-Contest)

Weeks 1-6 of 12

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from Full Workout Logs: Starting 10/14/2015 – Two by Two Plan; Routine A (Rehab), Weeks 7-12 of 12.


Age: 54.
Height: 5'1".
Bodyweight See each week.
Note: Body fat percent and LBM are being measured with a Sequoia Fitness: Warrior Digital Body Mass Caliper. If you need one, it is available from Amazon.

Next Contest: God-willing, IPA PA States, March 5, 2016 in York, PA.

Gear as indicated; if not indicated, then completely raw (no supportive gear).
Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times include set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up.

See also my Cardio Logs - September through December 2015.


New Articles

For a review of my previous routine and a preview of this routine and my contest plans, see the new article Dealing with an Injury. It also discusses the progression of my hamstring injury through my Rehab Routine and into the start of my Pre-Contest Routine. For comments about the new exercise of dips with rings in the first workout of this new routine, see the new article Gymnastic Rings.


Week 1 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 121.4 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Sunday – 11/29/15

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Incline Benches: [10s/15, 20s/9, 30s/7, and gear: 37s/5], 42s/8, 45s/6, 47s/4

Dips: [Bars: bwt./9, 20/7], Rings: bwt./3, bwt./5, bwt./8, bwt./8

Chin-ups: [bwt./6, bwt./6, 2.5/5] 5.0/8, 7.5/6, 10/4

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [35/9, 45/7] 50/10, 52/8, 55/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:48*

This workout went well. But the workout time is meaningless due to the time spent fiddling with the new rings.

Videos:

During the first two weeks of this routine, I will be recording the top set of each exercise as a separate video. This way I can post them on the Weightlifting Exercises Videos section of this website. But for this workout, I recorded the top two sets of dips and forgot to record the chin-ups.

Dumbbell Incline Benches

Dips with Rings

Curl Bar Reverse Curls

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Squats

Monday – 11/30/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps; APT heavy knee sleeves.

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes.

Squats with sleeves: [45/20, 115/9, 155/7, 190/5, add gear: 225/3] 245/6, 257/4, 270/2

Chain Squats (Chain set-up weighs 90 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[135/9, 175/7, 205/5, add gear: 235/3] 260/6, 272/4, 285/2

Speed Chain Squats: 155/8, 162/6, 170/4

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 1.25/10, 1.25/10, 1.25/10

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:53

For comments on this workout, see the aforementioned Dealing with an Injury article.

Videos:

Squats with sleeves

Chain Squats

Speed Chain Squats

Leg Curls (alternate legs)

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio
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Benches

Wednesday – 12/2/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

3-Count Pause Benches: [Regular: 45/15, 70/9, Pause: 90/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] 140/6, 147/4, 155/2

Reverse Band Benches (#2, yellow, monster-minis): [95/9, 115/7, 130/5, add gear: 145/3] 160/6, 170/4, 177/2

Speed Reverse Band Benches: 95/8, 100/6, 105/4

Barbell Rows: [45/9, 57/7, 70/5] 80/8, 85/6, 90/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:30

The pause benches were a little tougher than I would have liked for my first workout, but I picked the weights just about right for the RB benches. However, I accidently set up the bands differently than I wanted. I chocked them outward rather than inward. The former stretches the bands more and thus adds more. Next time I’ll choke them in and keep the weights about the same.

Video

I forgot about wanting to record the exercises separately and recorded them as one video. I was a little distracted due to using my new PC tablet for my workout log for the first time rather than a paper tablet. The PC tablet will work great. I just need to get used to it.

Music: Pandora – Resurrection Band Radio

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Deadlifts

Thursday – 12/3/15

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes; Nike sneakers.

Conv Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 195/7, 250/5, add gear: 300/3] 330/5, 347/3, 365/1

Sumo Rack Pulls: [135/9, 185/7, 235/5, add gear: 285/2]

Sumo Reverse Band Deadlifts: [225/7, 280/5, add gear: 320/3] 345/6, 360/4, 375/2

Sumo Speed RB Deadlifts: 185/8, 195/6, 205/4

Sitting Barbell Calves: Skipped

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:58*

For comments on this workout, see the aforementioned Dealing with an Injury article.

Videos:

Conv Deadlifts

Sumo Reverse Band Deadlifts

Sumo Speed RB Deadlifts

Music: Pandora – Saint Radio

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Morning Workouts

I’m one day behind on my morning workouts, so the first workout is the last day of my previous routine, then the second is the first day of my new routine.

Week 12, Day 4

Sunday – 11/29/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff:  Lying, down: 4.0/14, 4.25/12, 4.5/10

Abs: Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises: [--/9] 3s/22, 3s/22

Workout Time: 0:33

 

Week 1, Day 1

Wednesday – 12/2/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms): 4.0/14, 4.25/12, 4.5/10

Abs: Decline Sit-ups: [bwt./11] 5.0/14, 6.25/12, 7.5/10

Workout Time: 0:36

Week 2 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 121.8 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Sunday – 12/6/15

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Barbell Decline Benches: [45/15, 85/9, 105/7, add gear: 125/5] 155/6, 162/4, 170/2

Dumbbell Presses: [10s/9, 17s/7, add gear: 25s/5] 27.5s/8, 29s/6, 30s/4

Dip Bar Pull-ups: [bwt./4, bwt./4] bwt./8, 2.5/6, 5/4

Dumbbell Curls: [10s/9, 20s/7] add wraps: 25s/10, 26.5s/8, 27.5s/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:47

Bummed. I should be in Columbus competing in a contest today, at least that was my plan back in August, before my hamstring injury. But I need to forget that and focus on my new plan of a contest March 5th. That said; this was a good workout and went as planned.

Videos:

BB Decline Benches and DB Presses

I recorded these exercises together as I post them on the same page on my website.

Dip Bar Pull-ups

DB Curls

Music:
iHeart - Fireflight Radio
Pandora – Red Radio

Rather than the old notebook PC, I used my new PC tablet for the music. I tried using iHeart, but it kept stopping on me, so I switched to Pandora, and it worked just fine.

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Squats

Monday – 12/7/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps, Genesis 2.5-meter knee wraps.

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes, Adidas Title Run basketball shoes.

Squats with wraps: [45/20, 120/9, 160/7, 195/5, add gear: 242/3] 270/6, 282/4, 295/2

Low Squats: [95/9, 115/7, 135/5, add gear: 150/3] 165/7, 172/5, 180/3

Jump Squats: 65/8, 70/6, 75/4

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9]  1.25/12, 1.5/10, 1.75/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:59

The first two sets of squats went well. My form was good, and I was sinking every rep, except the first rep of the second set. But then I really sunk the last rep to make up for it. But then I had problems on the last set. I did not hit my foam squat box on the first rep. Trying to sink it more on the second rep threw my form off.  As I was coming up, I was leaning too far forward and really had to struggle to get control and finish the rep. I just thank God that I didn’t aggravate my hamstring doing what was a partial GM with a much heavy weight than when I injured my hamstring on GMs. Plus, the weight really felt heavy. That is no surprise, as this was the most weight I had on my back in months. Reviewing the video, it looks like I must have just missed my foam box on the first rep, as it looks good. But still, I don’t want to cut it too close and have there be questions about any records I might break. 

On the low squats, I am doing one more rep than usual for them for each set as the first rep is actually a half rep. I put my extra low box under me even though I don’t really need it, but I wanted to see how close I was to going down as compared to extra low squats. I didn’t touch the box, but the video shows I am very close to it. I put my camera lower for them to be able to better see the exercise and then kept it there for jump squats to see how low I am going and how high I am jumping. And my depth and height looks good. I must say; this was one workout where the videos were very helpful for reviewing afterwards.

Videos:

Squats with wraps

Low Squats

Jump Squats

 Music: Pandora – Fireflight

I really liked the Fireflight station on iHeart, before it started stopping on me, so I found it on Pandora. Fireflight is a female Christian rock group.

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Benches

Wednesday – 12/9/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Benches: [45/15, 80/9, 100/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] 147/6, 155/4, 162/2

Wide Grip Benches: [70/9, 90/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] 137/6, 145/4, 152/2

Push-ups: [Regular: 8] Clap: 8, 8, 8

Dumbbell Rows (elbows in): [32/9, 45/7, 55/5] 60/8, 62/6, 65/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:38

Benches and WGBPs were harder than I would have liked to start a new routine, but I will only go up by 2-/12 pounds on each set next time rather than five as I had planned.

 Videos:

Benches

Wide Grip Benches

Push-ups

 DB Rows (elbows in)

Music: Pandora – Altar Boys

I got a second tablet. I now have both a 7” and 10” one, both RCA, a Voyager Pro and a Viking Pro, respectively. It took me several tries to get tablets that actually worked right, but thank God I found two that do so and that I really like. I will be using the 7” Voyager for music and the 10” Viking for my workout logs, while still using my Galaxy S5 smart phone to record the workouts.

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 Deadlifts

Thursday – 12/10/15

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes, Adidas Title Run basketball shoes, Nike Sneakers.

Sumo Deadlifts: [45/15, 145/9, 200/7, 255/5, add gear: 305/3] 340/5, 357/3, 375/1

Conv Stiff Leg Deadlifts: [135/9, 180/7, add wraps: 225/5] 245/6, 257/4, 270/2

Jump Deadlifts: 65/8, 70/6, 75/4

DB Calves (on 3” platform): [25/9] 35/12, 37/10, 40/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:44

An excellent workout. I wasn’t sure how many reps I was going to do on the SLDLs. Last time I did them I used the same rep ranges as for jump deadlifts, but I hate doing that many reps for hard exercises, so I used the same rep ranges as for deadlifts.

That said; with this week’s training I have an idea what I might have been able to do if I had entered the contest this past Sunday; I might have been able to total about the same as at my last contest. Squats are down about 10 pounds, but benches are up about 10 pounds, while the 375 I pulled here is what I pulled at my last contest. But as I indicated in my “Dealing with an Injury” article, if I had kept those plans, I would have been pushing harder and might have re-injured the hamstring.

And besides, it would have not been worth all of the hassle and expensive of entering a contest just to total the same. Much better to wait and go for a higher total at my now planned contest next year. This week’s lifts are a good start and give me a good idea of reasonable goals for that contest. Here’s trusting the LORD for continued progress and that nothing goes wrong to derail these new plans.

Along those lines, my left side began hurting after this workout and more so the next day. I doubt it is anything since it didn’t bother me during the workout. But still, it is a good thing my planned monthly extra day off is Sunday, so I won’t lift again until Monday and squat until Wednesday. I’m sure it will be fine by then.

Videos:

Sumo Deadlifts

Conv SLDLs

Jump Deadlifts

Music: Pandora – Bride Radio

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Morning Workouts

Week 1, Day 2

Sunday – 12/6/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Lying on side: 3.5/14, 3.75/12, 4.0/10

Abs: Dip Bar Leg Raises: [bwt./11] 3s/15, 3s/15s

Workout Time: 0:32

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Week 1, Day 3

Wednesday – 12/9/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Lying, up: 3.5/15, 4.0/12, 4.25/10

Abs: Twisting Sit-ups: bwt./20, 2.5/12, bwt./12

The twisting sit-ups were much more difficult than I had planned, and I wasn’t sure how to count the reps. I started with left and right as one rep, but that was too hard, so I changed it to left as one and right as two.

Workout Time: 0:33


Week 3 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 120.4 pounds.

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Off Day

Sunday – 12/13/15

During my normal workout time, I did online Christmas shopping for all eight of my great-nephews and nieces. It only took two hours, then I watched the Steelers game.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 12/14/15

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Incline Benches: [10s/15, 22s/9, 32s/7, and gear: 40s/5], 45s/8, 47s/6, 50s/4

Dips: [Bars: bwt./9, 20/7; Rings: bwt./5] bwt./8, bwt./8, bwt./8

Chin-ups: [bwt./7, bwt./6, 2.5/5] 6.25/8, 8.75/6, 11.25/4

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [35/9, 47/7] 52/10, 55/10, 57/8, 60/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:50*

I wasted time again adjusting my new rings, but I think I finally got them just right. The dips on them felt good, but reviewing the video, I still want to go down a little bit more. Also from the video, I noticed I did five rather than my planned four reps on the last set of chin-ups. I guess I lost count. I started too light on the reverse curls, so I did an extra set. But I did them facing the other way until the last set, so in the video you see my struggling with moving the box I had the bar sitting on.

Video

I am back to recording the top sets of all four exercise in each routine as one video to post on the Workout Videos section of my website. 

Music: Pandora – Pillar Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 12/16/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps; APT heavy knee sleeves.

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes.

Squats with sleeves: [50/20, 120/9, 160/7, 195/5, add gear: 230/3] 255/6, 267/4, 280/2

Chain Squats (chain set-up weighs 90 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[135/9, 180/7, 215/5, add gear: 242/3] 270/6, 282/4, 295/2

Speed Chain Squats: 160/8, 167/6, 175/4

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 1.5/10, 1.75/10, 2.0/10

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:52

In the warm-up room for IPA contests, there is usually a squat bar weighing 65 pounds, a bench bar weighing 55 pounds, a deadlift bar also weighing 55 pounds, and collars that weigh five pounds each. So I am going to gradually adjust my warm-up weights with those poundages in mind. But for deadlifts at contests, I don’t do an initial warm-up set with the bar as I am usually plenty warmed up by then, so I will stick with 45 pounds for that set in workouts.

Correction: I later found out the bench and deadlift bars only weight 50 pounds. For details, see under "Bars at Contests" at New Home Gym Equipment: Part One.

That said; this was an excellent workout. The work sets for squats with sleeves were all 50s PRs. As for the pain in my side, it was initially in my oblique, so I was concerned I had strained it. But by Monday, I was only feeling it on my left lowest rib. That is where my fibromyalgia pain began way back in 2001. The quack I was seeing at the time diagnosed it as a strain and performed trigger point therapy. That did nothing. Then the pain wrapped around my torso to the back and eventually to my whole torso. At that point I went to a real doctor and was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Ever since then, when I am under stress, pain will flare up, starting with that rib. This time was a little different in that it started with the oblique, but still, I am sure it is not an injury and can be safely ignored. But it is still disconcerting.

Video

Music: Pandora – Barren Cross then Christian Holiday Radio

I usually switch to softer Christian music at the end of my workouts when I am stretching, but with Christmas I am listening to Christian Christmas music. And with still not working hard on leg curls, I switched to the Christmas music during them.
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Benches

Thursday – 12/17/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

3-Count Pause Benches: [Regular: 50/15, 70/9, Pause: 90/7, 110/5, add gear: 127/3] 142/5, 150/3, 157/1

Reverse Band Benches (#2, yellow, monster-minis): [95/9, 115/7, 135/5, add gear: 150/3] 165/6, 172/4, 180/2

Speed Reverse Band Benches: 100/8, 105/6, 110/4

Barbell Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5] 85/8, 90/6, 95/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:36

Pause benches were supposed to be 6,4,2, but I got started late and was tired before I even started this workout, and I think that affected them. Either that, or going too heavy last time is still hurting them. But then I set up the bands correctly this time, and the rest of the workout went as planned.

Videos:

Since I forgot to record separate videos for this workout last time, I am doing so this time. 

3-Count Pause Benches

Reverse Band Benches

Back to old habit of fiddling around too much before starting the lift. I really need to watch that.

Speed Reverse Band Benches

Barbell Rows

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 12/20/15

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes; Nike sneakers.

Conv Platform (2-1/4” Deficit) Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 185/7, 230/5, add gear: 275/3] 300/6, 315/4, 330/2

Sumo Chain Deadlifts (chain set-up weighs 90 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[155/9, add chains: 225/7, 265/5, add gear: 295/3] 330/6, 347/4, 365/2

Sumo Speed Chain Deadlifts: 225/8, 235/6, 245/4

Side Bends: [15/9, 25/7] 30/10, 32/8, 35/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:5

I was going to run my conv vs. sumo experiment to the end of this routine, but after 13 weeks my conv DL was running 10 pounds less than sumos. That is about what it has been for a long time, and I got tired of doing conv DLs, having done them in my last two routines, so I am ending the experiment. But I will still do conv work as assistance to sumos, hence the conv PDLs and speed work here and conv SLDLs in Week B.

That said; this was a good workout with everything going according to plan. The one snag was on the first rep of the top set of PDLs my form was off, so it was really tough. But I corrected it on the second rep, and it felt easier than the first.

Even though the pain in my side was not an injury, I will still take that as a warning to strengthen the obliques, so I am doing side bends here and will only do calves work Week A.

Videos:

Since I changed this workout completely, all of the exercise were “new” so I recorded them separately.

Conv Platform Deadlifts

Sumo Chain Deadlifts

Sumo Speed Chain Deadlifts

Side Bends

Music: Pandora – Bride then Petra Radio

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Morning Workouts

Rotation 1, Day 4

Wednesday – 12/16/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff:  Lying, out: 3.5/14, 3.75/12, 4.0/10

Abs: Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side}: 8, 8

Workout Time: 0:28

 

Rotation 2, Day 1

Sunday – 12/20/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms): 4.25/14, 4.5/12, 4.75/10

Abs: Decline Sit-ups: [bwt./11, 3.75/9] 7.5/12, 8.75/10, 10/8

Workout Time: 0:37

I’m alternating through four different morning workouts, doing them twice a week. To keep from getting confused, I am counting a cycle of the four workouts as one “Rotation.” I’ll have six such rotations in each routine. I also reduced the number of reps slightly on ab work when possible.


Week 4 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 121.4 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 12/21/15

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Barbell Decline Benches: [50/15, 90/9, 110/7, 130/5 add gear: 145/3] 160/5*, 167/3*, 175/1*

Dumbbell Presses: [10s/9, 20s/7, add gear: 26.5s/5] 29s/8, 30s/6, 31.5s/4

Dip Bar Pull-ups: [bwt./6, bwt./4] 2.5/8, 5/6, 7.5/4

Dumbbell Curls: [10s/9, 20s/7] add wraps: 26.5s/10, 27.5s/8, 29s/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:40

Once again I was planning on doing 6,4,2 reps on a bench exercise, but I only got 5,3,1, although I probably could have doubled the final set. But after doing 5,3 on the first two sets, I was thinking “single” on the final set and racked the weight before realizing I probably could have done another rep. But then the rest of the workout went as planned.

Video

Music: Pandora – Fireflight

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Squats

Wednesday – 12/23/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps, Genesis 2.5-meter knee wraps; APT heavy knees sleeves.

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes, Adidas Title Run basketball shoes.

Squats with wraps: [55/20, 125/9, 165/7, 200/5, add gear: 247/3] 290/3*, 305/1*, sleeves: 225/8

Low Squats: [95/9, 115/7, 135/5, add gear: 152/3] 170/7, 177/5, 185/3

Jump Squats: 70/8, 75/6, 80/4

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 1.75/12, 2.0/10, 2.25/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:00

I made a couple of important changes during workout. First, I just couldn’t bear the thought of doing 5-6 reps with wraps, so instead I switched to my “drop reps with backoff set” plan. For it I do two sets with gear for 3-4, 1-2 reps, then a backoff set of 7-8 reps. Previously, I had done the backoff set completely raw, but the last time I did that it bothered my knees, so here I switched to knee sleeves and kept the belt and wrist wraps on for it. But there is still a big difference between using wraps and sleeves. But most of all, this way I am not so tired out for the most important heaviest two sets. But I was hoping to do 4, 2 for them, but only got 3, 1. But still, the 305 was just five pounds shy of what I did at my last contest.

Second, with doing a set with sleeves here, it makes little sense to do squats with sleeves Week A, and I need more work with wraps to get used to them, so I will use the same plan for Week A, thus doing squats with wraps then sleeves both training weeks. I will also change my routine to do benches and deadlifts every week. This pattern is what I changed to at this time during my last pre-contest routine and is how my “Two by Two Plan” was originally designed--to do look-alike lifts instead of the actual powerlifts both training weeks during Routine A then the actual powerlifts both weeks during Routine B.

But what I’m not sure on is if I will stick with 3 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2 on benches and deadlifts or also change to 3 x 3-4, 1-2, 7-8. The latter makes less sense for them since there is not a change of gear for the backoff set. If I was still using full gear then doing the backoff set raw, it would make more sense. But I would probably need to keep on the belt and wraps I use on the heavy sets for the backoff set for safety sake. But still, the latter is a good plan for the actual powerlifts. But either way, I will stick with the former for the look-alike lift I will still be doing after each powerlift.

Video

I recorded the top set and backoff sets of squats as wanted to check my form on them. Also, my two favorite songs were playing during them.

Music: Pandora – X-Sinner

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Benches

Thursday – 12/24/15 (Christmas Eve)

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Benches: [50/15, 80/9, 100/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3, 150/1] 157/4, 165/2, 135/8

3-Count Pause Benches: [85/7, 105/5, add gear: 120/3] 135/5.9*, 140/3*, 145/2

Push-ups: [Regular: 8] Clap: 9, 9, 9

Dumbbell Rows (elbows in): [32/9, 45/7, 57/5] 62/8, 65/6, 67/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:38

I decided to try the drops reps with backoff set approach for benches, and it felt good. The first two sets were very hard, so I probably would not have gotten my planned reps on them if I had done a set of six first. This was confirmed by the 3-count pause benches that I moved to here after benches. The first set is written as “5.9” reps as I got the bar up high enough to rack it, but didn’t quite lock it out. I was then so wiped by struggling to lock it out that I only got three reps rather than my planned four reps on the next set. But then I rested a bit longer for the last set and got my planned double.

This has me thinking that maybe I should use the drop reps with backoff set approach for look-alike lifts as well. If I do, I might not need to do speed work, as I generally do the backoff set in a rapid fashion, so following it up with speed work might be redundant, unless I just do jump squats and deadlifts and speed push-ups. That will probably depend on workout length.

Videos:

Benches and 3-Count Pause Benches

DB Rows

I again recorded the top set and backoff sets of benches. I didn’t record the push-ups, but then I recorded the DB rows separately as I was using a different foot placement for them.

Music: Pandora – Disciple Radio

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 12/27/15

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes, Adidas Title Run basketball shoes, Nike Sneakers.

Sumo Deadlifts: [45/15, 145/9, 200/7, 255/5, add gear: 305/3, 340/1] 357/4, 375/1*, 305/8

Conv Chain Deadlifts (chain set-up weighs 90 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[135/9, 185/7, add chains: 225/5, 260/5, add gear: 290/3, 320/1] 335/4, 350/2, 290/8

Conv Speed Chain Deadlifts: 225/8, 235/6, 245/4

DB Calves (on 3” platform): [25/9, 35/7] 40/10, 42/8, 45/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:02

I was feeling off for this workout due to holiday stress. But the workout went as planned, except for the second set of deadlifts. It was supposed to be a double, but I couldn’t even budge the second rep. I moved chain deadlifts from Week A to here and switched from a sumo to a conv stance, and they went well. Reviewing my videos, I realized my backoff set is not really being done in a speed fashion, so I went ahead and did speed chain DLs. If you compare the sets in the video below, you’ll see the difference. The second and fourth sets are backoff sets, the fifth set is a speed set.

Video

Music: Pandora – Saint Radio

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Morning Workouts

Rotation 2, Day 2

Wednesday – 12/23/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Lying on side: 3.5/14, 3.75/12, 4.0/10

Abs: Dip Bar Leg Raises: [bwt./11] 3s/15, 3s/15s

Workout Time: 0:32

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Rotation 2, Day 3

Sunday – 12/27/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Lying, up: 3.5/14, 3.75/12, 4.0/10

Abs: Crunches: [bwt./11, 10/9] 15/12, 16.25/10, 17.5/8

Workout Time: 0:32


Week 5 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 121.0 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 12/28/15

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Incline Benches: [10s/15, 22s/9, 32s/7, and gear: 42s/5], 47s/7, 50s/5, 52s/3

Dips: [Bars: bwt./9, 20/7; Rings: bwt./5] bwt./8, bwt./8, bwt./8

Chin-ups: [bwt./7, bwt./6, 2.5/5] 7.5/7, 10/5, 12.5/3

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [40/9, 52/7] 57/10, 60/8, 62/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

I wasn’t planning on doing the lower reps in my rep ranges for the first and third exercises going in, but at this point in the routine, doing so is just fine. I’m finally getting a hang of the dips on rings. Next time, I’ll probably add some weight.

Video

Music: IHeart – Alternative CCM Radio, Fireflight Radio

I gave iHeart another chance, and it didn’t stop on me this time. I tried one of its pre-made Christian stations and a personalized one. Both played good music for general listening, but not for lifting.

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Squats

Wednesday – 12/30/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps, Genesis 2.5 meter knee wraps (squats, top two sets); APT heavy knee sleeves (squats, backoff set and partial squats).

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes.

Squats: [45/20, 125/9, 165/7, 200/5, add gear, with wraps: 247/3] 290/3*, 305/1*, sleeves: 230/8

Partial Squats: [135/9, 175/7, 210/5, add gear: 245/3] 275/6, 290/4, 305/2

Speed Squats: [135/7] 145/8, 150/6, 155/4

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 2.0/12, 2.25/10, 2.5/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:02

A personal problem right before this workout had me a bit distracted, and I forgot to record squats. That’s too bad, as I was hoping to add a rep to each of my wrapped sets from last time, but ended just repeating them. I really struggled about halfway up, and a video would have been nice to see exactly where. I had already planned on switching from chain to partial squats, as the latter is not as tiring or time-consuming. And it would be best to start the partials from my sticking point, or just below it. But even without the video, I think I was doing that. I didn‘t think a backoff set made sense for them, so I did my regular three drop reps sets.

Videos:

Since I didn’t record squats, I figured I might as well record the other three exercises separately. I recorded the top two sets of partials to really study my form and positioning. It looks like I’m leaning forward at the start and using mostly back to get the weight started. I will have to work on that.

Partial Squats

Speed Squats

Leg Curls (alternate legs)

Music: Pandora – Red Radio then Christian Holiday Radio (my last day for listening to Christmas music).
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Benches

Thursday – 12/31/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Benches: [55/15, 85/9, 105/7, 125/5, add gear: 140/3, 155/1] 162/3, 170/1, 140/7

Reverse Band Benches (#2, yellow, monster-minis): [95/9, 115/7, 135/5, add gear: 152/3] 170/6, 177/4, 185/2

Speed Reverse Band Benches: 105/8, 110/6, 115/4

Barbell Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5] 87/8, 92/6, 97/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:36

A sleepless night before this workout due to the aforementioned personal problem. I was also hoarse all day long, but I’m not sure why, but it kept me from screaming as much as usual doing this workout. But the workout still went very well and according to plan. I think I will stick with three drop rep sets for look-alike lifts, as a backoff set doesn’t make much sense for them.

Video

Music: Pandora – Pillar Radio

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 1/3/16

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes; Adidas Title Run basketball shoes.

Sumo Deadlifts: [45/15, 145/9, 200/7, 250/5, add gear: 300/3, 335/1] 352/4, 370/2, 310/7

Sumo Platform (3” Deficit) Deadlifts: [135/9, 185/7, 230/5, add gear: 270/3] 300/6, 315/4, 330/2

Sumo Jump Deadlifts: 70/8, 75/6, 80/4

Side Bends: [15/9, 27/7] 32/10, 35/8, 37/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:58

This was an excellent workout. I switched from conv to sumo platform DLs to help more with the pull off of the floor.

Video

Music: Pandora – Saint Radio then Mad at the World Radio

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Morning Workouts

Rotation 2, Day 4

Wednesday – 12/30/15

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff:  Lying, out: 3.75/14, 4.0/12, 4.25/10

Abs: Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side}: 10, 10

Workout Time: 0:29

 

Rotation 3, Day 1

Sunday – 1/3/16

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms): 4.5/14, 4.75/12, 5.0/10

Abs: Decline Sit-ups: [bwt./11, 5/9] 8.75/12, 10/10, 11.25/8

Workout Time: 0:34

I’m alternating through four different morning workouts, doing them twice a week. To keep from getting confused, I am counting a cycle of the four workouts as one “Rotation.” I’ll have six such rotations in each routine. I also reduced the number of reps slightly on ab work when possible.

______________________________ 

I completed my Diet Evaluation Logs for 2015, with the numbers added for December and for the whole year.


Week 6 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 121.4 pounds.
Body fat: 12.6%,
15.4 pounds.
Lean body mass: 106.6 pounds.
Waist: 32-3/4”.

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Monday – 1/4/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Barbell Decline Benches: [55/15, 90/9, 110/7, 130/5 add gear: 145/3] 160/6, 167/4, 175/2

Dumbbell Presses: [10s/9, 20s/7, add gear: 26.5s/5] 30s/8, 32.5s/6, 32.5s/4

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

Dumbbell Curls: [10s/9, 20s/7] add wraps: 27.5s/9, 29s/7, 30s/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:48

A very good workout. I got the reps on declines that I wanted last time. Dip Bar Pull-ups are going especially well, after struggling with them for a long time.

Video

Music: Pandora – Jonah 33 Radio

______________________________

Squats

Wednesday – 1/6/15

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps; 2.5 meter SlingShot World Record Wraps (squats), APT heavy knee sleeves (extra low squats).

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes, Adidas Title Run basketball shoes.

Squats with wraps: [60/20, 125/9, 165/7, 200/5, add gear: 247/3] 275/6, 287/4, 300/2

Extra Low (ATG) Squats: [125/9, 150/7, 175/5, add gear: 195/3] 215/6, 225/4, 235/2

Jump Squats: 75/8, 80/6, 85/4

Leg Curls (legs together): [5/9] 7.5/12, 8.0/10, 8.5/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:08

I made several changes for this workout. First, I started using my new SlingShot World Record Wraps. These are made by the same company as the SlingShot for benches. I never used that, but I think I am going to like these knee wraps once I get them broken in. I will write more about them later. But here, squats with the SlingShot wraps went very well.

Second, I think I will only use my two drop rep sets with backoff set approach on the powerlifts in Week A, but then my regular three drop rep sets approach for Week B. In this way, I will get some variety between the two weeks.

Third, I was doing what I call low squats. But they are a partial movement that stops about halfway up, which is exactly where I am struggling, so I switched to full movement extra low squats.

Fourth, I switched to doing leg curls with legs together here but will continue to do them alternating legs in Week A, again for the sake of variety.

Video

Music: Pandora – Saint Radio

______________________________

Benches

Thursday – 1/7/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Benches: [55/15, 80/9, 100/7, 120/5, add gear: 140/3,] 152/6, 160/3*, 167/2

3-Count Pause Benches: [85/7, 105/5, add gear: 120/3] 135/6, 142/4, 150/2

Push-ups: [Regular: 8] Clap: 10, 10, 10

Dumbbell Rows (elbows in): [35/9, 47/7, 60/5] 65/8, 67/6, 70/4

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

This was an excellent workout. All three work sets of benches were 2.5 pound 50s PRs, despite once again missing a rep on the second set. That missed rep again shows the value of my other sets x reps plan. However, I will stick with alternating them week by week, not just for the variety but because that way I can incorporate the two plans I have found to be most productive. I was able to lock out the final rep of the first set of pause benches with little trouble this time, along with the rest of the final reps.

Video

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

______________________________

Planned off day

Sunday – 1/10/16

During my normal workout time, I went to visit my uncle (my mom’s brother). He’s in his 70s, and back in November he fell and broke his hip. After spending time in the hospital and at a rehab center, he is now staying at his daughter’s house. He’s recovering rather well considering his age. Here’s praying he continues to do so and is able to go back to living at his own house on his own. Afterwards, I did some shopping, with probably too much walking for an off day. I just hope my legs aren’t tired out for my deadlift workout on Monday.

______________________________

Deadlifts

Monday – 1/11/16

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands.

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes, Nike Sneakers.

Sumo Deadlifts: [45/15, 145/9, 200/7, 250/5, add gear: 300/3] 335/6, 352/4, 370/2

Conv Chain Deadlifts (chain set-up weighs 90 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[135/9, 185/7, add chains: 225/5, 260/4, add gear: 295/3] 325/6, *352/4, *365/2

Conv Speed Chain Deadlifts: 230/8, 240/6, 250/4

DB Calves (on 3” platform): [25/9, 35/7] 42/10, 45/8, 47/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:10*

My legs felt fine, and everything went as planned on sumo deadlifts. But then during the chain work I kept messing up loading the bar. I don’t mean just forgetting a 2.5 on one side; I mean forgetting a 45 or the chains or leaving a 25 on one side that shouldn’t be there. Those mistakes I noticed immediately, but what I didn’t notice until after the set was that I put an extra ten pounds on for the second work set. I still got my planned four reps, but it was much harder than expected. Then I wasn’t sure what to do for the final set—if I should add an extra ten pounds for it too or not. I compromised and added an extra five pounds and again got my planned double and might have gotten it with five more pounds. All of the having to reset and re-figure things out got me behind, but still an excellent workout.

Video

Music: Pandora – Three Days Grace

The name of this group sounds like it would be Christian, but it is not. When I first started recording, during a song introduction a word was blurted that I’d rather not have on a recording, so I stopped the recording and started a new one. I kept the station on, and there was nothing objectionable after that, and I liked the music, and it made for good workout music. But I will never understand why performers have to use such language.

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Morning Workout

Rotation 3, Day 2

Wednesday – 1/6/16

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Rotator Cuff: Lying on side: 4.0/14, 4.25/12, 4.5/10

Abs: Dip Bar Leg Raises: [bwt./11] 3s/20, 3s/20

Workout Time: 0:32

Only one morning workout due to the off day.


These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 1/13/2016 – Two by Two Plan; Routine B (Pre-Contest), Weeks 7-12 of 12.


Full Workout Logs: Starting 11/29/2015 – Two by Two Plan; Routine B (Pre-Contest), Weeks 1-6 of 12. Copyright 2015-2016 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs: 2014 - Present

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