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Two by Two Powerlifting Training Plan - 2016

Post-Contest Routine, Weeks 1-6 of 12

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from New Two by Two Training Plan and Next Contest Plans.


Stats:
Age: 54 (but I will be turning 55 at the end of March).
Height: 5'1".
Bodyweight, body fat, and lean body mass: See each week.
Note: Body fat percent and LBM are being measured with a Sequoia Fitness: Warrior Digital Body Mass Caliper, available
from Amazon.

Next Contest: God-willing, in September, 2016, exact contest TBD.

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 - January through June 2016.


Health Setback

I experienced a significant health setback on Saturday (3/10/16) that extended through my workout on Monday. I considered delaying the start of my new training routine, but I had already taken a week off and hated to wait any longer. And besides, I had already planned on backing off for my first two weeks of training. I even designed my training plan so that my easiest workout would be my first workout post-contest, so I went ahead and worked out. But I had to drop my weights a little more than I had planned.

This was very frustrating as I had hoped I would feel refreshed after the week off for when I started my new routine. And it brought back memories of the several times in the ‘00s that I had to cancel contest plans due to such a health setback. But I am thankful it happened a week after a contest, when I have six months until my next contest, rather than the week before a contest as happened in '09. That contest did not go well, with me almost bombing out, and that ended up being my last contest for the next six years as I had many more such episodes over the next few years. As such, if this setback happened a couple of week ago, my recent contest would not have gone as well as it did .

Here’s praying I can avoid any more such difficulties as I begin training for my next contest and that it becomes a reality.


Week 1 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 118.0 pounds.
Body fat: 11.7%, 13.8 pounds.
Lean body mass: 104.2 pounds.
Waist: 31-1/2”

These measurements are from Sunday, 3/13. This was the first time I weighed myself since my contest on Saturday, 3/5. My weight was down slightly from the morning of the contest. That is normal as I tend to lose my appetite when I am not working out. But now I will try to gradually regain to 120-122 and then keep it there until I cut for my next contest.

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Bench Assistance

Sunday – 3/13/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers. 

Incline Benches: [Dumbbells: 10s/15, Barbell: 45/9, 70/7, 95/5, and gear: 112/3], 120/6, 125/4, 130/2

Dips: [Bars: bwt./9, 20/7; Gymnastic Rings and add wrist wraps: bwt./5] bwt./7*, bwt./7, 2.5/5, 5.0/3

V-Grip Chin-ups: [bwt./6, bwt./4] bwt./7, 2.5/5, 5/3

Preacher Reverse Curls: [30/9, 35/7] 40/9, 42.5/7, 45/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:33

I did gymnastic rings in my last routine, but I am repeating them in this routine as they are more of a post-contest exercise given the lighter weights. I will then do regular dips on bars in my pre-contest routine, for which I use much heavier weights. But here on the rings dips, I did an extra initial set as I was not going down far enough on the first try.

Videos:

BB Incline Benches

Gymnastic Rings Dips

I recorded three sets of these as I am going to use this video to replace the video accompanying my review of the rings on Amazon. In the video I initially used I was not going down far enough.

V-Grip Chin-ups

I recorded two sets here to show that when doing an odd number of reps, I alternate which side I start with. But for some reason, it seems harder when I start on the left as compared to starting on the right.

Preacher Reverse Curls

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Squats

Monday – 3/14/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (all squats); Nike sneakers (calves).

3 Count in the Hole Pause Squats: [regular: 55/20, 125/9, pause: 145/7, 165/5, add gear: 185/3] 205/6, 215/4, 225/2

Partial Squats: [135/9, lower safeties: 135/5, 175/7, 210/5, add gear: 240/3] 265/5*, 275/3*, 285/1*

Speed Squats: [95/6] 110/7, 115/5, 120/3

Barbell Calves (on 2-1/4” platform]: [95/9, 117/7] 130/9, 135/7, 140/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:53

I expanded the name of my first exercise from just “pause squats” to “3 count in the hole pause squats” in order to distinguish them from what others in this forum call pause squats, which would more fully be called “momentary midway pause squats.” The point is: the way I do them they are a bottom-end exercise, helping one to get out of the hole, while the way others do it they are a top-end or midway exercise. But I do partial squats for the latter, which I think is more effective due to the handling of greater weights for them.

Speaking of which, I had been doing the partial squats from hole 12 in my power rack, which puts me slightly below the halfway point. But after my first warmup, I dropped the safeties one hole (2”) to hole 11. That put me at about 2/3s of the way down. I was thinking that doing them from that point might help more with my midway sticking point for squats with wraps. But I did not like it, for several reasons.

First, doing so required dropping the weights down yet again, and I still did not drop them enough. I wanted 6,4,2 reps, but only did 5,3,1, and that required working harder than I had planned. As such, I will probably only be able to handle as much weight as I do for squats with sleeves, which is to say, less than for squats with wraps. It thus takes away the overload effect of the exercise.

Second, it felt awkward going down that far then stopping. I cannot help to mention that how far down I was going is how far most gym-goers go down for what they think are regular squats.

Third, the next day I compared the video from this workout to videos of previous workouts doing partial squats from hole 12 and doing squats with wraps. And it seems clear that going to hole 12 is below where I start struggling for squats with wraps, so the extra depth of hole 11 is not necessary.

Fourth, they bothered my right adductor. I’m not sure why, maybe due to the awkwardness. But it really bothered me the next couple of days and had me very worried.

All of this is to say, next time I will go back to hole 12 and stick with it from now on. Thus my partial squats will be from a little below midway, and I should be able to use a little more weight than I do for squats with wraps.

Videos:

Pause Squats Set 2

Pause Squats Set 3

Partial Squats

Speed Squats

Barbell Calves

Music:  Pandora – Plumb Radio
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Benches

Wednesday – 3/16/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [40/15, 60/9, 80/7, 95/5, add gear: 110/6] 115/6, 120/4, 125/2

Rack Benches (Lockouts): [85/9, 105/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] 150/6, 157/4, 165/2

Speed Benches: [55/6] 75/7, 80/5, 85/3

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out): [30/9, 42/7, 52/5] 60/7, 62/5, 65/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:45

I was feeling almost back to normal by this workout. I thank God for that.

For this workout I used the cambered bar I purchased recently for my home gym. For those who don’t know what it is, below is a pic of the cambered bar lying beside my power bar. Note that this cambered bar only weighs 40 pounds. I will write a full review of the bar and the exercise I am doing with it later. But here, I will say I really liked it and am glad I got the bar. But using it was harder than I thought, so I had to use rather light weights. I also found out the hard way that the cambered part tends to swing down between sets, and I hit my head on it leaning back for my final set. Ouch!

Videos:

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches

Rack Benches

Speed Benches

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out)

Music: iHeart - Skillet

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Deadlifts

Thursday – 3/17/16

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (conv DLs and SLDLs); Adidas Title Run Basketball shoes (jump DLs and side bends).

Conv Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 185/7, 235/5, add gear: 285/3] 315/6, 330/4, 345/2

Sumo Still Leg Deadlifts: [135/9, 155/7, 175/5, add gear: 190/3] 205/7, 215/5, 225/3

Sumo Jump Deadlifts: [55/6] 65/7, 70/5, 75/3

Dumbbell Shrugs: [30s//9, 40s/7] 45s/9, 47s/7, 50s/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:52

I did an exercise for the adductors and abductors (inner and outer thigh muscles) after my walk Monday morning, with no added weight other than that of my shoes. I think that is what aggravated my tender right adductor and why it started to hurt later during my squat workout. It then bothered me even more so after my that workout and got progressively worse over the next day and a half. But then it began to feel better after my morning cardio on Wednesday. By this workout it was only bothering me slightly, and I made it through this workout without aggravating it. I was planning on doing the adductors/ abductors exercise with ankle weights at the end of this workout, but thought it best to leave well enough alone. I thus did shrugs instead.

 Watching the video, I wasn’t getting enough height on jump deadlifts. That was because of being leery about my adductor, so next time I will use the same weights and work on that.

One of the pairs of collars for my Olympic-sized dumbbell bars was no longer holding. If you watch the video of DB rows from yesterday, you can see me having to tighten them. APT was the only place I found selling them separately, so I ordered a pair over the weekend. The package arrived during my workout, so I opened it just before doing the dumbbell shrugs, and the new collars worked just fine. They are listed as being for a curl bar, but they are the same. E-Z Curl Olympic Collars.

This was the first time I did dumbbell shrugs in my home gym and any kind of shrugs in ages, so it was also the first time I used a pair of APT wrist straps I had gotten a while ago, and they worked just fine as well. Lifting Straps.

Videos:

Conv Deadlifts

Sumo Still Leg Deadlifts

Sumo Jump Deadlifts

Dumbbell Shrugs

Music:  iHeart – Thousand Foot Krutch

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Moring Workouts

Rotation 1, Day 1

Sunday – 3/13/16

Heavy Bag: 9:00 (minutes : seconds)

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

Abs: Sit-ups: [2.5/11] 7.510/, 8.75/8, 10/6

Workout Time: 0:28 (hours : minutes)

 

Rotation 1, Day 2

Wednesday – 3/16/16

Heavy Bag: 10:00

Rotator Cuff: Lying, in: 4.5/14, 4.75/12, 5.0/10

Abs: Leg Raises: 15, 15 reps

Workout Time: 0:26


Four Volume Project

This has nothing to do with lifting, but it is the other big part of my life. I finally fully finished the first draft for all four volumes I am currently working on. They are as follows, with the current number of pages for each:

1. Why Are These Books in the Bible and Not Others? Volume One: A Translator’s Perspective on the Canon of the Old Testament – 377 pages. 

2. Why Are These Books in the Bible and Not Others? Volume Two: A Translator’s Perspective on the Canon of the New Testament –  405 pages. 

3. Why Are These Books in the Bible and Not Others? Volume Three: Apocrypha – Books Not in the New Testament – 366 pages. 

4. Analytical-Literal Translation of the Bible (ALT): Volume VII: The Apostolic Fathers – 116 pages 

I began this project on May 29, 2015. I thus have written or translated 1,264 pages in less than 10 months. I thank the LORD for the progress. But I usually do five drafts, so I still have a long way to go. And the exact page numbers might change as I review the books, but I’ve included all of the material I wanted to. 

On the final volume, it will be a small volume, but still larger than Volume Three of the ALT with the Poetic Books, which is only 104 pages. But those are 8-1/2” x 11” pages, as are all seven volumes of the ALT, whereas the other books are 6” x 9”. 

May the LORD be with me as I continue to work on this massive project. For further details, see the updated My Writing Plans page on my Christian Website.

 


Week 2 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 118.6 pounds. 

For consistency, I will try to remember to weigh myself the first day of each training week, which is to say, the morning of my Bench Assistance workout, and use that weight here.

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Bench Assistance

Sunday – 3/20/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Decline Benches: [20s/15, 30s/9, 40s/7, 47s/5, ] add gear: 55s/7, 57s/5, 60s/3

Barbell Presses: [45/9, 52/7, 60/5, add gear: 65/3] 70/6, 75/4, 80/2

Pull-ups: [bwt./6, bwt./4] bwt./7, 2.5/5, 5/3

Curl Bar Curls: [35/9, 40/7] 45/9, 47/7, 50/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:42

I gave my home gym a much needed cleaning on Friday. It took two hours, and I was very tired afterwards. But it was worth it, as it was really nice working out without having dust fly up every time I set something down!

That said; this was the first time I did my Week B Bench Assistance workout in 4-1/2 weeks due to taking time off around my recent contest, and I felt it. I had to drop all of the weights for all four exercises more than I had initially planned, and I felt very sore during and the workout. But I’ll get used to it again.

Videos:

Dumbbell Decline Benches

Barbell Presses

I didn’t bother recording pull-ups and curl bar curls, as that would require moving my phone to a different location, and it wasn’t worth the effort.

Music: iHeart – Disciple Radio

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Squats

Monday – 3/21/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (squat work).

Reverse Band Squats: [65/20, add bands: 155/9, 190/7, 225/5, add gear: 250/3] 270/6, 285/4, 300/2

Manta Ray (close stance, high bar) Squats: [95/9, 120/7, 145/5, add gear: 165/3] 185/6, 195/4, 205/2

Speed RB Squats: [155/6] 175/7, 185/5, 195/3

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 2.25/12, 2.5/10, 2.75/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:51

I was very concerned about this workout, with having aggravated my adductor in my last squat workout. But by this workout, it was not bothering me at all, even during my morning cardio. And it did not bother me at all during this workout, until the speed work. It bothered slightly during it. I was concerned about that and conspired skipping it, but I moved it to the end of my squat work just in case. That is probably a better place for it anyway, even if it requires taking the bands off and putting them back on and doing a warmup set or two for the speed work.

In any case, my adductor hurt some afterwards, but not too much. And it felt fine after icing it, but then bothered me slightly the next day. But I think it is going to be okay. I just have to be cautious with it.

Videos:

Reverse Band Squats

Manta Ray Squats

Speed RB Squats

Music: iHeart – Bloodgood

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Benches

Wednesday – 3/23/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Chain Benches (chain setup weighs 40 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[45/15, chains: 85/9, 100/7, 115/5, add gear: 130/3] 145/6, 152/4, 160/2

Wide Grip Benches: [75/9, 90/7, 105/5, add gear: 120/3] 135/6, 140/4, 145/2

Speed Chain Benches: 105/7, 110/5, 115/3

Curl Bar Rows: [50/9, 65/7, 80/5] 90/7, 95/5, 100/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

I was going to do the WGBPs first and did my first warmup set with a wide grip, but it did not feel good, especially on my tender left pec, so I thought it best to do them second so as to be more warmed up. The chain benches then went well, as did the WGBPs, so I will stick with that order. But it does require removing the chains then putting them back on for the speed work after the WGBPs. I thought I might also have to do a warm-up set, but found it was not necessary.

I used my new chains for this workout, after using my new cambered bar last week. Add in a bucket to put the chains in, and altogether I spent $226 to try to improve my lackluster bench. Here’s praying that investment proves to be worthwhile.

Videos:

Chain Benches

Wide Grip Benches

Speed Chain Benches

Curl Bar Rows

Music: iHeart – Holly Soldier Radio

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Deadlifts

Thursday – 3/24/16

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (all deadlift work); Nike Sneakers (side bends).

Sumo Platform (3” Deficit) Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 185/7, 230/5, add gear: 270/3] 295/6, 310/4, 325/2

Conv Reverse Band Deadlifts: [add bands: 185/9, 225/7, 260/5, add gear: 295/3] 325/6, 342/4, 365/2

Speed Conv RB Deadlifts: 185/7, 195/5, 205/3

Seated Side Bends: [15/8, 25/6] 30/9, 32/7, 35/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:00

This was a good workout, with everything going according to plan, except, the workout took too long. That was in part because I was having problems utilizing my training log on my PC tablet. But most of all, it just takes time to set up and take down the bands, so this will probably be a longer workout. On the log, the next day I had to uninstall and re-install One Drive to get it working right again.

This was the first time I did side bends seated, but I wanted an alternative to standing side bends, so I figured I’d try them. They felt awkward, but I think I’ll get the hang of them.

Videos:

Sumo Platform Deadlifts

Conv Reverse Band Deadlifts

Speed Conv RB Deadlifts

Seated Side Bends

Excuse my back, but I couldn’t figure out how to set things up the other way in my tight home gym. I used two angles; the second is probably best.

Music: Pandora – Plumb Radio

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Morning Workouts

Rotation 1, Day 3

Sunday – 3/20/16

Heavy Bag: 10:30

Rotator Cuff: Sitting, front: 3.75/14, 4.0/12, 4.25/10

Abs: Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo: [bwt./9, 5/7] 10/10, 11.25/8, 12.5/6

Workout Time: 0:29

 

Rotation 1, Day 4

Wednesday – 3/23/16

Heavy Bag: 11:00

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

Abs: Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises: --/15, --/15

Workout Time: 0:28

Jesus Christ Superstar

Yesterday during my workout I listened to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” I used to listen to this double-album on Good Friday all the time back in the day. I later recorded it on a cassette tape and got rid of the albums. I can even remember studying this rock opera in music class back in junior high school (try that today!). But I hadn’t listened to it in years and was surprised the tape still played. I was even more surprised I still knew all of the words to all of the songs.

I always liked this rock opera, and it handles some scenes very well, like Jesus in Gethsemane, the flogging of Christ, and the crucifixion. All very somber scenes. But in other ways it is not very Biblically accurate, such as Jesus crying out “Heal yourselves!” when being pressed by the crowds that you hear in the video. But the biggest problem is it ends with the crucifixion of Christ. But I fixed that by adding a CCM song about the resurrection at the end of my tape.

17But if Christ has not been raised, your* faith is futile [or, worthless]; you* are still in your* sins. 18In that case, also, the ones having fallen asleep [fig., having died] in Christ perished. 19If in this life only we have been hoping [or, have been having confident expectation] in Christ, we are of all people most pitiful.

20But now Christ has been raised from [the] dead! He became the first-fruits of the ones having fallen asleep [fig., having died]. 21For since by means of a man death [came], also by means of a Man [is] [the] resurrection of [the] dead (1Cor 15:17-21; ALT3).

The video is of my Bench Assistance workout. It consists of Incline Benches: 130/4, 135/2; Gymnastic Rings Dips: 5.0/5, 7.5/3; V-Grip Chin-ups: 5.0/5.

Video

Happy Easter everyone!


Week 3 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 120.2 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Saturday – 3/26/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Incline Benches: [Dumbbells: 10s/15, Barbell: 45/9, 70/7, 95/5, and gear: 112/3], 125/6, 130/4, 135/2

Dips: [Bars: bwt./8, 20/6; Gymnastic Rings and add wrist wraps: bwt./4] 2.5/7, 5.0/5, 7.5/3

V-Grip Chin-ups: [bwt./6, bwt./4] 2.5/6*, 5.0/4.9*, 7.5/3

Preacher Reverse Curls: [30/9, 37.5/7] 42/9, 45/7, 47.5/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:31

I moved this workout up a day so as to be able to take Easter off. This was my first hard workout since my contest, and it went well. The only difficulty was on v-grip chins. But that might have due to not doing enough warmup, as the final set went well, so I will make some adjustments next time.

Video and Music already presented.

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Easter Sunday – 3/27/16

I took this day off so as to be able to focus on celebrating the resurrection of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to spend time with my family. Below are a few pics from my family’s get-together.

 

The eggs for the Easter egg hunt, 50 for each of the eight kids.

 

The eggs scattered around my brother’s backyard. There's more eggs to the right and left.

 

The twins with their eggs.

The older kids with their eggs, with my niece in the foreground.

 

The food.

 

More food.

We also celebrated my birthday. The red shirt is for my next contest. It will probably only allow a short-sleeve shirt without a pocket, whereas all of my T-shirts have pockets, so I needed one without one. And I really needed a Pirates shirt, along with new sheets for my daybed.

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Squats

Monday – 3/28/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (all squats); Nike sneakers (calves).

3 Count in the Hole Pause Squats: [regular: 45/20, 135/9, 155/7, 175/5, pause and add gear: 195/3] 215/6, 225/4, 235/2

Partial Squats: [135/9, lower safeties: 135/5, 175/7, 210/5, add gear: 242/3] 270/6, 282/4, 295/2

Speed Squats: [95/6, 105/4] 115/7, 120/5, 125/5

Barbell Calves (on 2-1/4” platform]: [95/8, 120/6] 135/9, 142/7, 150/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:49

Normally, the day after a family get-together I feel off for various reasons I won’t bore you with, and I had a hard time getting motivated and concentrating at the beginning of this workout. I thus forgot to add fives to the bar for the first warmup set, as 55 pounds will probably be the weight of the squat bar at my next contest. And I forgot to pause my third and fourth warmup sets as I wanted to, but then I got it together for the final warmup, and the rest of the workout went very well.

This was the workout I aggravated my adductor on two weeks ago, so I was concerned about it. But I did not notice any discomfort in my adductor this time and only a slight discomfort in my hamstring.

Video

I am now back to recording one video for my whole workout. I will probably record the top two sets of the first two exercises, plus maybe a set or two of one or both of the next two exercises.

Music:  Pandora – Skillet
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Benches

Wednesday – 3/30/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [regular: 40/15, 60/9, dead stop: 80/7, 95/5, add gear: 107/3] 120/6, 125/4, 130/2

Rack Benches (Lockouts): [85/9, 105/7, 125/5, add gear: 142/3] 157/6, 165/4, 172/2

Speed Benches: [55/6, 70/4] 80/7, 85/5, 90/3

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out): [30/9, 42/7, 55/5] 62/7, 65/5, 67/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:40

A rough night and day before this workout led to me having a hard time getting motivated for this workout, but it still went well. Although I probably could have gone a little heavier on all the work sets but didn’t want to push it with the mood I was in.

Video

Music: Pandora – Holy Soldier

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Deadlifts

Thursday – 3/31/16

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands, wrist straps (on shrugs only).

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (conv DLs and SLDLs); Adidas Title Run Basketball shoes (jump DLs and shrugs).

Conv Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 190/7, 240/5, add gear: 290/3] 320/6, 337/4, 355/2

Sumo Still Leg Deadlifts: [135/8, 165/6, add gear: 195/4] *215/6, 225/7, 235/5, 245/3

Sumo Jump Deadlifts: [45/6, 55/4] 65/7, 70/5, 75/3

Dumbbell Shrugs: [30s//9, 45s/7] add wrist straps: 50s/9, 52s/7, 55s/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:51

Ditto my comments about my adductor and hamstring from squat day, except I felt a minor discomfort in my adductor after the first work set of jump deadlifts, but it felt fine for the next two and otherwise, and the minor discomfort in my hamstring has been the case for some time. As such, I am not concerned about either, and I will not mention about them again unless something changes. I am thus now poised for hard training without having to concern myself with injuries for the first time in seven months. I thank the LORD for that.

I did an extra set of SLDLs as the first set was too easy, and I forgot to do seven rather than six reps. And with that, this was the hardest workout since my contest, and I felt it in DOMS afterwards. But it felt good!

Video

Music:  Pandora – Bride Radio

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Moring Workouts

Rotation 2, Day 1

Saturday – 3/26/16

Heavy Bag: 11:30

Rotator Cuff: Shoulder Horn (arms together): 4.75/14, 5.0/12, 5.25/10

Abs: Sit-ups: [2.5/9, 6.25/7] 8.75/10, 10/10, 11.25/6

Workout Time: 0:32

Videos:

Shoulder Horn (arms together)

Sit-ups

 

Rotation 2, Day 2

Wednesday – 3/30/16

Heavy Bag: 12:00

Rotator Cuff: Lying, in: 5.0/14, 5.25/12, 5.5/10

Abs: Leg Raises: 20, 20 reps

Workout Time: 0:29

Videos

Lying, in

Leg Raises


My Diet Evaluation Logs - 2016 have been updated with March's numbers.


2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for America: A Review - Part Two

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for America: A Review - Part Two is a new article on my fitness website. It overviews the latest dietary recommendations from the USDA and finds them for the most part to be sound guidelines.


 

Week 4 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 119.6 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Sunday – 4/3/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Decline Benches: [20s/15, 30s/9, 37s/7, 45s/5, add gear: 52s/3] 57s/7, 60s/5, 62s/3

Barbell Presses: [45/8, 55/6, add gear: 65/4] 72/7, 77/5, 82/3

Pull-ups: [bwt./8, bwt./6, 1.25/4] 2.5/7, 5.0/5, 7.5/3

Curl Bar Curls: [35/9, 42/7] 47/9, 50/7, 52/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:44

A good workout. I increased my rep ranges on presses by one rep for each set, as I don’t think it would be beneficial to eventually work up to a 1RM, as they are not really a bench look-alike lift. Also, this way the reps will be same as for DB declines and pull-ups, so that I don’t get confused. Note that my first set on them last time should have been for 6 reps not the 8 reps I wrote down.

But more importantly, it’s Opening Day! But it looks more like Christmas Day, with the ground being snow-covered. Actually, it’s going to be colder today at game time than it was on Christmas (40 versus 60 degrees). But no matter to Pittsburghers. Just dress like it’s a Steeler’s game, and “Play Ball!” Let’s go Bucs!!

Video

You see a first for my home gym in this video—on the first set of presses, the bar got caught in the light string and shut the light off! The bar often hits the string, but it took over 10-1/2 years for that to happen.

Music: iHeart – Stryper Radio

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Squats

Monday – 4/4/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (squat work).

Reverse Band Squats: [55/20, add bands: 155/9, 195/7, 230/5, add gear: 260/3] 285/6, 300/4, 315/2

Manta Ray (close stance, high bar) Squats: [100/9, 125/7, 150/5, add gear: 175/3] 195/6, 205/4, 215/2

Speed RB Squats: [155/6, 165/4] 175/7, 185/5, 195/3

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9] 2.5/12, 2.75/10, 3.0/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:01

An excellent workout. The only problem was the workout time. Adding to it somewhat is trying to do the speed work at the end of my regular squat work. That requires too much changing of equipment and doing a couple of warmup sets. Thus I will move the speed work to after regular RB squats, even thought I’d rather do it last.

Video

 Music: Pandora – Red Radio

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Benches

Wednesday – 4/6/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Chain Benches (chain setup weighs 40 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[45/15, chains: 85/9, 105/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] 150/6, 157/4, 165/2

Wide Grip Benches: [75/9, 95/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] 137/6, 145/4, 152/2

Speed Chain Benches: 110/7, 115/5, 120/3

Curl Bar Rows: [50/9, 65/7, 85/5] 95/7, 100/5, 105/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

Another excellent workout, except for a couple of minor problems. First, a few mental lapses during this workout caused me to get behind and added to the workout time. Second, I had a difficult finding and staying in the groove for WGBPs. That of course is due to not being used to using a wide grip, but hopefully I’ll get the hang of it. Third, the speed work did not feel good. I think doing WGBPs in-between the chain exercises is too awkward. Thus like for squats, I will move the speed work to after the regular chain benches, even thought I’d rather do it last.

Video

 Music: Pandora – Decyfer Down

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Deadlifts

Thursday – 4/7/16

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (all deadlift work); Nike Sneakers (side bends.

Sumo Platform (3” Deficit) Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 185/7, 230/5, add gear: 275/3] 305/6, 320/4, 335/2

Conv Reverse Band Deadlifts: [add bands: 185/9, 225/7, 265/5, add gear: 305/3] 335/6, 352/4, 375/2

Speed Conv RB Deadlifts: 195/7, 205/5, 215/3

Seated Side Bends: [20/8, 27/6] 32/9, 35/7, 37/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:06*

Another excellent workout, except for again taking too long. That was due to several minor problems. First, after my first work set of PDLs, there was blood on my thigh. I couldn’t see how I scrapped my thigh since I trimmed my fingernails right before this workout. It turned out to be from the back of my right hand, from a winter crack, probably from walking in the cold in the morning. Then some more mental lapses, such as starting to take down the bands after my last set of RB DLs, forgetting I still had speed work to do.

That said; the weights were a bit light on the RB DLs, so I increased an extra five pounds for the last set and will increase that much more next time.

But most of all, the knurling on my Texas power bar is getting worn after ten years of use, and I’ve been having problems holding onto the bar for a few weeks now, and it was really pronounced today. I had to chalk the bar between every work set. I am thus now looking into getting a new bar.

For this workout the speed work was already where I wanted it due to the exercise order.

Video

Music: Pandora – Skillet

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Morning Workouts

Rotation 2, Day 3

Sunday – 4/3/16

Heavy Bag: 12:30 (minutes : seconds)

Rotator Cuff: Sitting, front: 4.0/14, 4.25/12, 4.5/10

Abs: Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo: [bwt./9, 5/7] 2s + 11.25/10, 12.5/8, 13.75/6

Workout Time: 0:29 (hours : minutes)

The “2s” refers to my changeable ankle weights.

Videos:

Sitting, front

Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo

 

Rotation 2, Day 4

Wednesday – 4/6/16

Heavy Bag: 13:00

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

Abs: Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises: --/15, --/15, --/15

Workout Time: 0:31

 

Videos:

Lying, down

Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises

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Islam articles

Off topic of lifting, but with Islam being so much in the news of late, I have been writing articles about Islam and posting them on my Christian website. If anyone is interesting, they are listed at: Islam.


Week 5 of 12 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 120.6 pounds.
______________________________

Sunday – 4/10/16 

This was my planned monthly extra off day. I didn’t really need it, as I only put in two weeks of hard training, with two weeks of backoff workouts before that. But I have run into problems anytime I have skipped my planned extra day off, so I took it off anyways and worked on my writing project instead. It worked out well, as I spent the afternoon adding an important section I almost forgot to Volume Two of my forthcoming 3 volume set, “Why are These Books in the Bible and Not Others?” I thank the LORD for that and for the progress I am making on this massive project.
______________________________

Bench Assistance

Monday – 4/11/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Incline Benches: [Dumbbells: 10s/15, Barbell: 45/9, 70/7, 95/5, and gear: 112/3], 130/5, 135/2.2*, 140/1

Dips: [Bars: bwt./10, 20/8; Gymnastic Rings: bwt./6, add wrist wraps: 2.5/4] 5.0/7, 7.5/5, 10/3

V-Grip Chin-ups: [bwt./6, 1.25/4, add wrist wraps: 2.5/4] 5.0/5.8*, 7.5/3.7*, 10/2

Preacher Reverse Curls: [30/9, 40/7] 45/9, 47/7, 50/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:50*

It used to be that for my first workouts after my monthly extra day off I would feel refreshed and roaring to go. But lately, I feel sluggish and that was the case here. This can be seen by my getting buried on the final rep of the second set of inclines and not being able to go up all the way on the final rep of the first two sets of chin-ups, but most of all by the workout taking 19 minutes longer than last time. The same was also true in Week 3 after two weeks of backoff workouts. What that means is, so far I’ve had one good week of workouts, in Week 4, since my most recent contest. I might have to rethink things in terms of my extra off day and backoff workouts.

Video

Music: iHeart – Pillar Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 4/13/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (all squats); Nike sneakers (calves).

3 Count in the Hole Pause Squats: [regular: 55/20, 135/9, pause: 160/7, 185/5, add gear: 205/3] 225/6, 235*/4, 250/2

Partial Squats: [135/9, 175/7, 215/5, add gear: 247/3] 275/6, 290/4, 305/2

Speed Squats: [95/6, 110/4] 120/7, 125/5, 130/5

Barbell Calves (on 2-1/4” platform]: [105/8, 127/6] 142/9, 150/7, 157/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:02

I felt much better for this workout, and it went very well. The second work set of pause squats was a misload. It was supposed to be 237, but I had a 2.5 rather than a five on one side. But otherwise, everything went as planned.

Video

Music:
X2004 – Christian Rock Hits

Kutless – Seas of Faces

The 10” tablet I use for my workout log unexpectedly died at the beginning of this workout, so I had to use the 7” tablet I usually use for my workout music for my log and switch to my music box for music.

 ____________________________

Benches

Thursday – 4/14/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [regular: 40/15, dead stop: 60/9, 80/7, 100/5, add gear: 115/3] 130/6, 135/4, 140/2

Rack Benches (Lockouts): [90/9, 110/7, 130/5, add gear: 150/3] 165/6, 172/4, 180/2

Speed Benches: [60/6, 75/4] 85/7, 90/5, 95/3

Dumbbell Rows (elbows out): [30/9, 45/7, 57/5] 65/7, 67/5, 70/3

Stretching: ~5 minute

Workout time: 1:46

An excellent workout. I am getting the hang of my new cambered bar, so I increased the weights from last time more than usual and still got my planned reps. Ditto for the rack benches. I knew I could increase the weights a little extra due to going back and reviewing my videos from last time and noting how hard the final rep of each set was. I then did the same for the rest of my workouts and made needed adjustments, as I feel like I’ve been dogging it some since my recent contest. This shows how valuable videos are, as they enable workouts to be reviewed later.

Video

Music: iHeart – Holy Soldier

With this station, I get a mixture of white and dark metal, thus why you hear Ozzy sandwiched in-between Bride and Barren Cross during the rack and speed benches. But it is all great lifting music.

______________________________

Deadlifts

Sunday – 4/17/16

Gear: Crain power belt; APT: knee sleeves, wrist bands, wrist straps (on shrugs only).

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (conv DLs and SLDLs); Adidas Title Run Basketball shoes (jump DLs and shrugs).

Conv Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 195/7, 250/5, add gear: 300/3] 330/6, 347/4, 365/2

Sumo Still Leg Deadlifts: [135/10, 165/8, 190/6, add gear: 215/4] 240/7, 252/5, 265/3

Sumo Jump Deadlifts: [45/6, 57/4] 70/7, 75/5, 80/3

Dumbbell Shrugs: [35s/8, 45s/6] add wrist straps: 52s/9, 55s/7, 57s/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:03

This was the best deadlifts have felt since a month before my recent contest. Going in I was planning on doing the lower rep in my rep ranges for the two main exercises, but I felt so good I did the higher reps. And that enabled me to tie my 50s PRs on all three work sets of conv DLs that I set last August, shortly before my hamstring injury. I also even increased the weights a little extra for the SLDLs.

The only problem was the workout took too long. But that was mainly due to the DB shrugs taking so long. I also feel like doing them will over train my shoulders, so next time I will substitute something totally different.

For this workout I used my new “Dead Wedge.” It is a less expensive alternative to a deadlift jack, but it works just fine. I got it at Amazon.

Video 

Music:

Pandora – X-Sinner Radio

Kutless – Sea of Faces.

My 10” tablet once again died on me, right after the SLDLs. I thus had to switch to my smaller tablet for my log and to use my music box. That also added to my workout time.

______________________________

Moring Workouts

Rotation 3, Day 1

Wednesday – 4/13/16

Heavy Bag: 13:30

Rotator Cuff: Shoulder Horn (arms together): 5.0/14, 5.25/12, 5.5/10

Abs: Sit-ups: [2.5/9, 6.25/7] 10/10, 11.25/10, 12.5/10

Workout Time: 0:32

This was the best my morning workout felt since my recent contest. Hitting the heavy felt like it went fast, rather than dragging on and on like it had been, and sit-ups felt so light I did extra reps on the second and third sets.

 

Rotation 2, Day 2

Sunday – 4/17/16

Heavy Bag: 14:00

Rotator Cuff: Lying, in: 5.0/14, 5.25/12, 5.5/10

Abs: Leg Raises: 25, 25 reps

Workout Time: 0:29
 

Week 6 of 12 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 120.8 pounds.

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Monday – 4/18/16

Gear: Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Dumbbell Decline Benches: [20s/15, 32s/8, 45s/6, add gear: 55s/4] 60s/7, 62s/5, 65s/3

Presses: [Dumbbells: 20s/10, Barbell: 45/8, 57/6, add gear: 67/4] 75/7, 80/5, 85/3

Pull-ups: [bwt./6, 1.25/6, 2.5/4] 5/6, 7.5/4, 10/2

Curl Bar Curls: [35/9, 45/7] 50/9, 52/7, 57/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:50

A good workout, with everything going according to plan. Except once again I had tablet problems. That is why in the video you see me preparing for my final set of presses, but stopping and re-starting. The tablet was playing two songs at once, and I couldn’t concentrate!

I cleaned out the corner behind my platform so I could store some of my equipment there rather than in my power rack. This way, I won’t have to move it every time I work out. The pic is of this corner. My new bar holder for my growing collection of bars in the middle. A box holding my new ankle weights is to the left. Behind that is are the leg curl and preacher curl attachments for my FID bench. To the right are buckets with my chains for squats and deadlifts. On top of them is my foam squat box, and on top of that is the Dead Wedge I mentioned about last week. To the far left is the junk I piled up to get it out the way. This should give you a sense of how cramped my home gym is. Click for a larger image.

 

 The bar holder works very well. I just have to be careful taking the bars in and out as there is just enough clearance to the ceiling. I got it at Amazon.

 Video

 Music: iHeart – Skillet Radio

______________________________

Squats

Wednesday – 4/20/16

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

Shoes: Crain Power Squat Shoes (squat work).

Reverse Band Squats: [65/20, add bands: 155/9, 195/7, 235/5, add gear: 270/3] 300/6, 315/4, 330/2

Speed RB Squats: 180/7, 190/5, 200/3

Manta Ray (close stance, high bar) Squats: [110/9, 135/7, 160/5, add gear: 185/3] 215/6, 225/4, 235/2

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [--/9, 2.0/7] 3.0/10, 3.25/8, 3.5/6

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:56

An excellent workout. Once again going in I was planning on doing the lower reps in my rep ranges for the two main exercises, but I felt so good I did the higher reps, even with increasing the weights more than usual from last time for both exercises. The 330 on the top set of RB squats was probably the most weight I’ve had on my back in a long time, and it felt good, even if it was with band assist.

Moving my speed work to after the RB squats enabled to get done in less than two hours, but it left me a bit winded for the Manta Ray squats, so I might rearrange my exercises so as to do it last.

Video

 Music: Pandora – Creed Radio

I got my small tablet working enough that I can play music on it, but that is all I really need it for as I use my large tablet otherwise. I thank God for that as I really didn’t want to have to buy another tablet just for music.

______________________________

Benches

Thursday – 4/21/16

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Chain Benches (chain setup weighs 40 pounds, which is included in the indicated weights):

[55/15, chains: 85/9, 105/7, 125/5, add gear: 142/3] 157/5, 165/3, 172/1

Speed Chain Benches: 107/7, 110/5, 115/3

Wide Grip Benches: [75/9, 95/7, 112/5, add gear: 127/3] 142/5, 150/3, 157/1

Curl Bar Rows: [55/9, 75/7, 90/5] 100/7, 105/5, 110/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:50*

Another excellent workout. Once again going in I was planning on doing the lower reps in my rep ranges for the two main exercises, but this time I actually did the lower reps. That is good as it means I chose my weights just right, as I want to do the lower reps as often the higher reps.

Ditto my comments from squat day about speed work and exercise order here.

The workout time is exaggerated as I took the time to measure the height of my bench after I was done benching to see how it compared to the specs in a couple of different rulebooks. My bench is 18.75” high if I put my feet on the floor, but I use blocks under my feet, so the effective height is 16.5”. The height in the rulebooks is 16.5” to 18.75”. I never had a problem with my feet touching flat on the floor previously at contests, so the benches were probably all at the lower end this range. But at my last contest at York Barbell, the bench was probably at the higher end, so my feet did not touch flat on the floor. I thus had to borrow someone else’s blocks, but I will need to take blocks myself from now on just in case.

Video

Music: Pandora – Holy Soldier

______________________________

Deadlifts

Sunday – 4/24/16

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes (all deadlift work); Nike Sneakers (side bends).

Sumo Platform (3” Deficit) Deadlifts: [45/15, 135/9, 185/7, 235/5, add gear: 285/3] 315/5, 332/3, 350/1

Conv Reverse Band Deadlifts: [add bands: 185/9, 235/7, 280/5, add gear: 325/3] 355/6, 372/4, 390/2

Speed Conv RB Deadlifts: 200/7, 210/5, 220/3

Seated Side Bends: [20/8, 30/6] 35/9, 37/7, 40/5

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:58

Right before this workout, I experienced computer problems, and that got me started late and feeling frustrated and distracted. Also, I ordered a new power bar, but it did not arrive in time for this workout, so once again I had to chalk the bar between every work set. But despite the distractions, this was a very good workout, with everything going according to plan. I even got done in under two hours.

I increased the weights more than usual for the two main exercises, and that gave me the intensity I wanted. However, I think I have too much tension for the bands, as I used 25 pounds more than for regular conv DLs last week. Plus, the RB DL sets here were a bit easier than last week, so the difference is probably five pounds more than that. That is a bit too much for lifting raw. Also, reviewing the video, it looks like the band assist is not letting go until about mid-thigh, while I want it to stop just above the knee, so next time I will lower the safety bars in my power rack to which I have the bands attached by one hole (2”). That should lessen the tension I am guessing by about ten pounds.

Videos:

With being distracted, I messed up and stopped the recording after PDLs. I then went with it and recorded separate videos for each exercise.

Sumo Platform (3” Deficit) Deadlifts

Conv Reverse Band Deadlifts

Speed Conv RB Deadlifts

Seated Side Bends

Music: Pandora – Bride then Petra Radio

______________________________

Morning Workouts

Rotation 3, Day 3

Wednesday– 4/20/16

Heavy Bag: 14:30

Rotator Cuff: Sitting, front: 4.25/14, 4.5/12, 4.75/10

Abs: Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo: [bwt./9, 7.5/7] 4s + 12.5/12, 13.75/10, 15.0/8

Workout Time: 0:35

 

Rotation 3, Day 4

Sunday – 4/24/16

Heavy Bag: 15:00

Rotator Cuff:  Lying, down: 4.25/14, 4.5/12, 4.75/10

Abs: Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises: [--/15] 2s/15, 2s/15

Workout Time: 0:33

 This was the first time I did the full 15 minutes on the heavy bag that I am planning on doing since my contest last month. I will stay with that duration now and try to increase my intensity.


These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Two by Two Powerlifting Training Plan - 2016; Post-Contest Routine, Weeks 7-12 of 12.


Full Workout Logs: Two by Two Powerlifting Training Plan - 2016; Post-Contest Routine, Weeks 1-6 of 12. Copyright 2016 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
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