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2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan

Rotations III and IV

by Gary F. Zeolla


These workout logs are continued from 2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan; Rotations I and II.


Stats:
Age: 56
Height: 5'1".
Bodyweight: See each week.

Next Contest: God-willing, in April 2018, exact contest TBD.

Notations:
330/6 – Pounds/Reps (all weights are in pounds).
[45/15] – Warm-up sets are in brackets.
(7,5,3) – Target reps for the work sets are in parentheses.
! – Sets marked with an exclamation point are new 50s PRs.
^ – Sets marked with a caret tied 50s PRs.
* – Items marked with an asterisk did not go as planned.
1:58 – hours : minutes (workout times include set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up).

Gear as indicated; if not indicated, then completely raw (no supportive gear).

For details on this training plan, see 2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan Overview and Summary.

See also: Speed and Isolation Exercises Workouts for Rotations III and IV of 2017-18 Tetra Powerlifting Training Plan.


Rotation III

 

Week A

Bodyweight: 121.9 pounds
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OFF

Sunday – 11/12/17

As mentioned previously, this was my first planned extra day off this training plan. I will now take an extra day off about once a month to aid recovery.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 11/13/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

CG Decline Benches: [45/15, 65/11, 80/9, 95/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 140/6^, 147/4^, 155/2^

WG Seated Presses: [45/9, 52/7, 60/5, add gear: 67/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 75/7, 80/5, 85/3

Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows: [30s/9, 40s/7, 47s/5, 52s/3*] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 52s/7, 55s/5, 57s/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:33

A good workout, except for a couple of minor miscues. First, on the second set of WG Presses, I started with a medium grip but then realized my mistake after the second rep; so I stopped, reset with a wide grip, then finished the set.

Second,  I started my warmups for DB Rows with 9 reps rather than the 7 I had written down, so when I loaded the bars for what I thought was my last warm-up set, I used the weights for my first wok set, so I had to repeat the same weights but for more reps for the work set.

Video

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 11/15/17

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

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Extra Low Chain Squats (two heavy chains): [--/13, add chains: 135/11, 165/9, 190/7, 215/5, add gear: 240/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 265/6, 280/4, 295/2

Sting Ray (Front) Squats: [65/9, 95/7, 120/5, Add gear: 140/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 155/6^, 162/4^, 170/2^

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:43

This was an excellent workout. My plan for squats is working great. As such, I might make a few changes to bring my plan for benches and deadlifts more in line with how the exercises are arranged for squats, if not for this training plan then maybe for the next.

Video

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Benches

Thursday – 11/16/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bars: Cambered Bar, Super Curl Bar

3-Count Pause Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [35/13, 55/11, 70/9, 85/7, 100/5, add gear: 110/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 120/6, 125/4, 130/2

Chain Benches: [Chains: 85/9,105/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 150/5, 157/3, 165/1

CG Super Curl Bar Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, add wrist wraps: 90/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 100/7, 105/5, 110/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:36

In Rotation I, I did Chain Benches with a 2-count pause in Week C. My thought was that the extra long pause would enable the lift to help both the top end and the bottom end of regular Benches. But I switched to a 1-count in Rotation II so as to emphasize the top end only. But I think I was partially right in the first place, so I will now extend the initial 2-count to a 3-count here and still use a 1-count pause in Week C. That way, I can work both the top end and the bottom end of Benches via Chain Benches and not do RB Benches, as I prefer chains to bands, and this will enable me to use chains both weeks, while working both the top end and bottom end of benches. I will use the same pattern for the rest of my Bench look-alike lifts, doing them once with a 1-count pause and once with a 3-count pause.

That said; the 3-Count Pause Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches were tough, so much so that Chain Benches did not go as well as planned. But I will get used to it. Also, I just did Chain Benches two weeks ago, but I had to do them again to get things in the proper order. That will happen with a couple of other lifts this rotation; but hopefully, that will be it, and I will be able to follow my planned four-week rotation for all exercises after that.

Video

Music: Pandora – Rez Band Radio

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 11/19/17

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes.

Bar: Ohio Deadlift Bar.

Sumo One Chain Deadlifts: [45/13, 135/9, Chains: 185/7, 240/5, add gear: 295/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 330/6, 345/4, 360/2

Sumo Deficit Stiff Leg Deadlifts: [135/7, 165/5, add gear: 190/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 235/7, 247/5, 260/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:58

In Rotation I, I did Sumo SLDLs. But in Rotation II, I replaced those with Conv Deadlifts. But reviewing my workout logs, it looks like my Sumo Deadlifts progresses best when I am doing Sumo SLDLs, so I am reinstating them. I will do them twice. Once here with a deficit and once in Week C without a deficit. That will have me doing six sumo lifts and just two conv exercises. I will then reverse the pattern for my next training plan, thus focusing on conv deadlifts with plans to compete that way. I will then plan on alternating focusing on and competing sumo then conv. I will use this pattern, as again, reviewing my workout logs, I will progress on one stance for a while, then stagnate on it. But by reversing the focus from training plan to training plan, I hope to avoid that stagnation. For the two opposite stance lifts each training plan I will do a form of Snatch Grips Deadlifts, as they are quite different from the regular lift, giving me a break from it in the off-plan, but still close enough to maintain strength in that stance.

I’ve always used my two-chain set for deadlifts, but I think that is too much weight for deadlifts, as all I want is a bit of overload. Therefore, for this workout I switched to my one chain set. It weighs 40 pounds, but since not all of the weight is loading, as seen in the first video below, I am only counting it as 30 pounds. With the change of chains, I wasn’t sure how much weight to use and probably went too heavy, as the work sets were very tough. But the SLDLs went well, but I was exhausted afterwards.

Video (chains loading and deloading during my first work set)

Video (regular workout video)

Music: Pandora – Demon Hunter


Week B

Week B of Rotation III of VI of 2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan

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Bodyweight: 121.2 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 11/20/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Decline Bench: [45/15, 65/11, 85/9, 105/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 150/6, 157/4, 165/2

CG Seated Presses: [45/9, 55/7, 65/5, add gear: 72/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 80/7^, 85/5^, 90/3^

CG Barbell Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, 87/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 97/7, 102/5, 107/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:33

A good workout, except I was coming up uneven on the declines and even on some on the presses. That is due to my weak right shoulder; but still, I need to be careful about that. Also, it did not feel good doing two close grip exercises in the same workout. I already figured on that and will be moving exercises around so as not to do two close grip or two wide grip exercises in the same workout.

Video

Music: Pandora – Petra Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 11/22/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps, Genesis 2.0 meter knee wraps; APT heavy knee sleeves.

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Extra Low Squats with Wraps: [--/15, 135/9, 165/7, add belt: 195/5, add wraps: 240/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 265/6, 280/--, 280/4, 292/2

Squats with Sleeves: [add gear: 135/9, 165/7, 195/5, 225/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 250/6, 262/3, 275/1

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 2:03

Extra Low Squats with Wraps went well, except, on the second set, as I hit the hole, the weights on the bar hit the weights on the bar holder on the side of my power rack. Usually the bar weights clear the holder weights, but the weight on the left side had slide out some. When they hit, it knocked the bar off of my back and onto the safeties. I thus had to reset the weights and bar and my gear and start the set over again. That all got me behind and tired out. I got my planned reps for that set and the final set, but I was very tired afterwards.

My first set of Squats with Sleeves went as planned, but I was very tired, and my legs were really pumped. As a result, the next too sets were very tough, and I didn’t even try the final planned rep on both. I think the problem was that Extra Low Squats with Wraps and Squats with Sleeves are too similar of exercises to do together, so I will change my Squat assistance exercises. But as it was, by the time I was done, the workout took too long, and I was overly tired afterwards.

Video

Music: Pandora – Holy Soldier Radio

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Benches

Friday – 11/24/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar, Dumbbell.

3 Count Pause Benches: [regular: 45/13, 65/11, 80/9, pause: 95/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 140/5, 147/3, 155/1

Close Grip Benches: [65/9, 85/7, 105/5, add gear: 120/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 135/4*, 140/3, 145/1

WG Super Curl Bar Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, 85/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 95/6, 100/4, 105/2

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:40

My left pec has been bothering me of late, so I am changing some of my bench exercises or the order thereof to take some of the strain off of it by pairing exercises that bother my pec with ones that don’t.

I was hoping for the top reps of my planned reps ranges on all of my work sets, but I only managed the lower reps, and on one set, the first set of CGBPs, I didn’t even manage that. By rows, I might have had the strength to do the top reps, but I was too tired to put in in the effort.

Video

Music: Pandora – Thousand Food Krutch Radio

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      After my overly long and tiring squat workout on Wednesday, I barely slept that night, then I had a serious allergic reaction Thanksgiving morning, leaving me feeling terrible and exhausted. I almost skipped going to my family’s Thanksgiving gathering; but I went, and I felt terrible and even worse by the time I got home, leading to another sleepless night. Then the next morning, I spent almost three hours trying to resolve a computer problem to no avail, and that took really got me stressed out.

      By lunchtime, I was still in an allergic reaction and not feeling good at all. But I had done my morning Bench workout on Thanksgiving morning, with plans to do my afternoon workout Friday afternoon. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do so or not, but I took a nap after lunch and was feeling a bit better, so I worked out. But the workout went terrible, with me missing at least one rep on every work set. But at least I didn’t get hurt, as often happens when I am feeling so dragged out.

      I was still in an allergenic state afterwards. But thank God, Friday night I finally got a somewhat decent night’s sleep, and my allergenic state calmed down by this morning (Saturday). It was also then that Twitter helped me to resolve the computer problem. I also revised that squat workout so that hopefully it won’t be so difficult next time. But still, that was two rough days I hope to not repeat.

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 11/26/17

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes.

Bar: Ohio Deadlift Bar.

Sumo Deficit Deadlifts: [--/13, 45/11, 135/9, 185/7, 225/5, add gear: 265/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 295/6, 310/4, 320*/1, 325/2

Conv Snatch Grip Deadlifts: [135/9, 175/7, 210/5, add gear: 245/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 275/6, 290/4, 305/2

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

Sumo Deficit Deadlifts felt good and went very well, but Conv Snatch Grip Deadlifts did not. That is instructive, as I did the former four weeks ago, but, due to moving things around, I last did the latter six weeks ago. That is instructive, as it does show I am on the right track with a four-week rotation. Doing an exercise once every four weeks is often enough to make progress on it, but any less would not work.

On the 320/1 set, it was supposed to be what the last set is. But as I pulled the first rep, I noticed the weight felt unbalanced. When I set that rep down, I looked to the left, and sure enough, a five that was supposed to be on the bar was sitting on the floor. Rather than risking getting injured pulling another and harder unbalanced rep, I stopped, put the weight on, rested as usual between sets, and did the set as planned. But that had me doing an extra set, adding to my workout time. But I still got done in a good pace and was not overly tired afterwards. That is also instructive, as it shows if my two exercises are somewhat different, it is not overly tiring. The difference here of course is changing from a sumo (wide) to conv (close) stance. I will use that approach for all of my deadlifts workouts, and I might use it for squats as well.

Video

On the misloaded set, you see me in the video looking to the left, getting set for the next rep, then stopping as I realize that would not be wise.

Music: Pandora – Bride Radio


Week C

Bodyweight: 121.0 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 11/27/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

3-Count Pause Dumbbell Decline Benches: [regular: 20s/15, 27s/9, 3-count: 35s/7, 42s/5, add gear: 50s/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 55s/7, 57s/5, 60s/5

Wide Grip Standing Presses: [45/9, 507, 55/5, add gear: 60/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 65/7, 70/5, 75/3

Medium Grip Barbell Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, 85/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 95/7^, 100/5^, 105/3^

(11-12, 9-10, 7-8)

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

This was the first time I did any form of DB Benches with a 3-count pause, and they were tough, so much so that I had to lower the weights more than I expected from when I did them without the extra-long pause.

This was the first time I did presses standing since my last training plan. I switched to them here so as to be able to do two pressing exercises with a wide grip. Just once every four weeks wasn’t enough due to the strain on the shoulders.

Video

Music: Pandora – Decyfer Down Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 11/29/17

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

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Chain Squats (two heavy chains = 90 pounds): [--/13, add chains: 135/9, 180/7, add belt: 225/5, add wraps: 270/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 300/6^, 315/3, 330/1

Extra Low Sting Ray (Front) Squats: [55/9, 85/7, 115/5, Add gear: 140/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 155/6!, 162/4!, 170/2!

Zercher Squats: 45/2, 65/2, 85/3, extra low: 85/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:54

The first set of chain squats really took it out of me, which is probably why the next two sets did not go quite as planned. But that might have also been due to not handling enough weight for Extra Low Squats with Wraps last week given that I was really struggling at the top of the lift, or it could have been due to that workout being too difficult. Either way, it is instructive and will be another reason I am making some changes to my squat workouts. The Sting Ray Squats, however, went great, and that is also instructive as I revise my squat workouts.

I then experimented with doing Zercher Squats, as I never did them before but am thinking of incorporating them into my next training plan. They felt good, so I probably will use them then. I recorded my last two sets of them as well as normal practice for the regular exercises.

Video

Music: Pandora – Resurrection Band

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Benches

Thursday – 11/30/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [35/13, 55/11, 70/9, 85/7, 100/5, add gear: 115/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 127/6, 135/4, 142/2

3-count Pause Chain Benches: [Chains: 85/9, 97/7, 110/5, add gear: 122/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 135/6, 142/4, 150/2

MG Super Curl Bar Rows: [45/9, 65/7, 80/5, 90/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 100/7^, 105/5^, 110/3^

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:38

A good workout.

Video

Music: Pandora – Rez Band Radio

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Deadlifts

Sunday – 12/3/17

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes.

Bar: Ohio Deadlift Bar.

Sumo Deficit Two Chain Deadlifts: [--/15, 45/10, 135/9, add chains: 225/7, add belt: 260/5, add wrist bands and knee sleeves: 295/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 325/6, 342/4, 360/2

Conv Stiff Leg Deadlifts: [--/15, 135/9, 160/7, add belt: 185/5, add wrist bands and knee sleeves: 205/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 225/7, 247*/5, 255/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:49

The chain deadlifts went well, then I was doing sumo SLDLs after them, but I wanted to try conv SLDLs. I tried doing the latter at the start of this training plan, but I couldn’t even bring myself to try to pull 135, as I just knew it would hurt my hamstring. But my hamstring is doing better, so I figured I’d give them another try but not go too heavy. My hamstring felt okay through the warmups and first work set. But then I messed up and put a pair of tens rather than fives on the bar for the second set, so I had to work harder than I planned, but my hamstring still felt okay. But to not push it, I only went up 7.5 pounds for the last set, but that set was harder than I expected. My hamstring bothered me a bit afterwards, but still not bad. But then it bothered me a bit more while I was showering. But then it felt better after icing it.

I think it will be okay, though I will continue to ice it to be sure. But as I was doing the conv SLDLs, I was thinking I was right in the first place, that doing sumo SLDLs would make more sense here, with plans to compete sumo at the contest at the end of this training plan. I am tentatively planning on emphasizing conv deadlifts and competing conv in my next training plan. I will post more about that idea at the appropriate time. But here, as I was doing the conv SLDLs, I realized it made more sense to do them when I would be focusing on conv deadlifts. Therefore, I will go back to sumo SLDLs for this training plan and hold off on trying conv SLDLs again until after my contest in March. In the meantime, I will make a slight change in my morning deadlift workouts so as to do leg curls every week, to try to fully rehab my hamstring before then.

Video of Chains

I took a video of my one-chain setup loading and deloading, so I took another with my two-chain setup.

Video (regular workout video)

Music: Pandora – Holy Solider Radio


Week D

Bodyweight: 121.4 pounds.

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Bench Assistance

Monday – 12/4/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

3-Count Pause Decline Benches: [45/15, 65/11, 85/9, pause: 105/7, 120/5, add gear: 135/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 1501/5, 157/3, 165/1

CG Standing Presses: [45/9, 50/7, 55/5, add gear: 60/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 65/7, 70/5, 75/3

Wide Grip Barbell Rows: [45/9, 62/7, 75/5, 87/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 97/7, 102/5,107/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:36

A good workout.

Video

Music: Pandora – Family Force 5 Radio

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Squats

Wednesday – 12/6/17

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

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Squats with Wraps: [--/11, 135/9, 175/7, add belt: 215/5, add wraps: 255/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2 or 4 x 4, 3, 2, 1, then 7-8) 285/4*, 295/4^, 305/2, 315/1, belt only: 215/8

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:34

Because of the difficulty and length of time it takes to use wraps, rather than doing a second exercise in this workout, I tried doing a “backoff” set of 7-8 reps with just a belt. I call this set a “backoff set” as I backoff dramatically on the weight from the 1-2 rep set. The backoff set being done with just a belt strengthens the bottom end of squats, but without adding significantly to the workout time and difficulty, as doing a second exercise does. I have used this approach before of doing my main sets with gear then a backoff set without gear; and it is effective.

But I wasn’t sure what set x reps plan I was going to use. At first, I was just going to use my normal 3 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2 plan. But doing six reps with wraps is very difficult, so I then thought of using my “peaking plan” of 4 x 4, 3, 2, 1. Since I am only doing Squats with Wraps once a month, I figured that might work. As I headed into the first work set, I still had not made up my mind, so I used the weight I was planning on doing for 5-6 reps. I figured I’d see how that set went, then take it from there.

As it turned out, that set went terrible. I was not hitting depth on the first three reps, then the fourth rep felt really tough, so I stopped there. I think the uncertainty led to me not begin focused. Also, I didn’t feel quite ready for the set, so I might need to do another warmup set.

At that point, I wasn’t sure what to do, so rather than going up 15 pounds like I had been for my normal plan, I just went up ten pounds, which is what I did for my last peaking workout. But for that set, I got really focused and psyched up and did four reps once again, hitting depth on all four reps. And that set tied a 50s PR and was the best set of the day

I then went up another ten pounds and was hoping for three reps, but the second rep was so hard, I stopped there. Then I added another ten pounds and did a single. But reviewing the video, if I hadn’t been thinking single, I might have been able to get a second rep.

The backoff set then went well. I was able to do it without a warmup set, and my knees did not bother me afterwards. And I got this workout done in a good time, and was not overly tired afterwards. As such, this overall plan might work, once I get all the bugs worked out. If I use it here, I might use a similar approach on Benches and Deadlifts. Or I have another idea for what to do about Squats with Wraps.

Video

Music: Pandora – Barren Cross Radio

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Benches

Thursday – 12/7/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar, Dumbbell.

Benches: [45/13, 65/11, 85/9, 100/7, 115/5, add gear: 130/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 145/5, 152/2*, 160/1

3-Count Pause Close Grip Benches: [45/1, 65/9, 3-count: 85/9, 100/7, 112/5, add gear: 112/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 125/6, 130/4, 135/2

DB Underhand One-Arm Rows: [30/9, 37/7, 45/5, 52/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 60/7, 62/7, 60/5, 65/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:46

Benches went terrible. But the next two exercises went well. This was the first time I did 3-Count Pause Close Grip Benches, but I think they will be effective.

Video

Music: Pandora – Pillar Radio

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Sunday – 12/10/17

OFF

This was my planned monthly extra day off. I thought of skipping it and pushing until Christmas, so I could take that day off, but then I realized that would be a mistake, as I have ended up injured when I have tried to skip my planned day off in the past. I will figure out what I will do about Christmas in a couple of weeks.

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Deadlifts

Monday – 12/11/17

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes.

Bar: Ohio Deadlift Bar.

Sumo Deadlifts: [45/11, 135/9, 195/7, add belt: 250/5, add sleeves and bands: 305/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 335/5, 352/3, 370/1

Conv Deficit Snatch Grip Deadlifts: [135/9, 170/7, add belt: 205/5, add sleeves and bands: 230/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 255/6, 270/4, 285/2

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:43

I was hoping I’d feel refreshed for this workout after my extra day off, but a sleepless night left me feeling very tired. But I took a nap before this workout and felt okay for it. But deadlifts still did not go well. I will post below what I think is happening with the powerlifts and how I hope to fix it.

But here, I will say, this was the first time I did Snatch Grip Deadlifts with a deficit, they were very tough! I especially felt them in my low back, and I didn’t even go that heavy on them, so I would not recommend them for those with a tender lower back. But for me, I think they will be an effective exercise.

Video

Music: Pandora – Saint Radio


 

Midway Training Plan Review

 

With having finished Rotation III out of VI, I am now halfway through this training plan. Overall, the first half of this training plan went well, and I think I am really going to like it.

However, the actual powerlifts did not go as well as I would have liked. I think the reason for that is I did not change them at the start of this plan as compared to the second half of my previous plan. Some other exercises that I also did not change also did not go well. But the exercises that I did change went well.

For the second half of this training plan, I have an idea on how to correct the problem on the powerlifts done in Week D and the main exercises that offset the powerlifts in Week B. For their workouts in Rotation IV, I will move these lifts which are normally done first in their respective workouts to second and the accompanying lift to first. I will then move them all back for the final two rotations. That differing placement makes a huge difference in the feel of the lift. For these workouts, I will need to drop the weights somewhat the exercises moved to second, both for the differing placement and to be sure I get the higher reps in my rep ranges. But I will increase the weights for the lifts moved to first.

In retrospect, I should have used this approach in Rotations I-III, then changed to the order I have now in Rotation IV. That would have kept me from feeling burned out on these exercises I know this approach works, as I used it in my last training plan for two weeks of workouts that got me out of a funk then, but I didn’t think it would be necessary this time. But I found out it was. But that is water over the dam. I just hope now that just one different workout for each lift will suffice to overcome my feeling of being burned out on them. In the future, I have a different plan to avoid this problem that I will explain later.

But here; I will also go back to doing some exercises that I tried in the first half of this routine, but then replaced with different exercises, but those “new” exercises did not work as well as what I started with.

Otherwise, I am done making changes in this training plan. With only three rotations left, to change anything after this rotation would not leave enough time to make progress on any given lift. Moreover, I don’t want to change anything else, as if this training plan works, I will be sticking with it in the future but with the above hinted at modification. And the only way to know that it works will be to stick with it from here out this time.

See the updated Summary on the Overview page for an outline of all of the exercises I will now be doing and sticking with to the end of this training plan. They are listed in their normal order not in the order that I will be using for just the next rotation.


 

Rotation IV

 

Week A

Bodyweight: 121.5 pounds
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More Changes

 I know I said I wasn’t going to, but I made a several more changes to my exercise selections and placements. But that is because I realized a couple of more mistakes I made in my training routine. It is all rather complicated, so I will wait until I am sure my corrections are correct before explaining it all. But for what I will now be doing, see the updated Summary on the Overview page.

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Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 12/13/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Dumbbell bars, Texas Power Bar.

Dumbbell Decline Benches (arms together): [20s/15, 30s/9, 40s/7, 47s/5, add gear: 55s/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 62s/6, 65s/5^, 67s/3^

WG Seated Presses: [45/9, 55/7, 62/5, add gear: 70/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 77/7^, 82/5^, 87/3^

CG Barbell Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, 90/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 100/7^, 105/5^, 110/3^

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:42

For my next probable contest, a Texas Power Bar will be used for Benches, so I will start to use my TPB for all benches and presses, and I will use it for my rows on my BA day.

That said; it was very cold in my basement, so I had a hard time warming up. That is probably why I only got six rather than my planned seven reps on my fist set. But then after that, I was warmed up and tied 50s PRs on all of the rest of the sets. I will add a warmup set to try to be better warmed up for my first set.

Video

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Squats

Thursday – 12/14/17

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

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Extra Low Squats: [--/13, 45/11, 125/9, 155/7, add belt: 155/5, add wrist wraps and sleeves: 210/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 235/, 247/4, 260/2

Partial Squats: [1add gear: 205/5, 247/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 275/6, 290/4, 305/2

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:30

The Texas Squat Bar that will be used at my next probable contest is the same thickness as my HDPB, 30 mm.

Going extra low on Chain Squats lessens the amount of weight too much in comparison to Squats with Wraps, so I will not be doing them anymore. Instead, I moved Extra Low Squats to here and followed them up with Partial Squats. That will give me both bottom-end and top-end work in this workout.

That said; this was a good workout. I even got done in a quick time. That was probably because I cut down on my warmups for the second exercise.

Video

Music: Pandora – Christian Rock Radio

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Benches

Sunday – 12/17/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bars: Cambered Bar, Texas Power Bar, Super Curl Bar

Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches: [35/13, 55/11, 75/9, 90/7, 105/5, add gear: 120/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 132/4*, 135/4, 142/2

2-Count Pause Chain Benches: [Chains: 100/7, 120/5, add gear: 140/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 155/6, 162/4, 170/2

WG Super Curl Bar Rows: [45/9, 60/7, 75/5, add wrist wraps: 85/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 95/7, 100/5, 105/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:39

I’m not sure why the first set of Cambered Bar Benches did not go well. It could have been due to being burned out form using a 3-coutn pause the last time I did them, or simply doing them too often. But either way, I will not be doing either of those anymore as part of the above-mentioned corrections. I then dropped my planned weights for the next two sets, and they went well with that adjustment.

I then decide that a 2-count would suffice for RB Benches to relax the stretch reflex of both the muscles and the bands, rather than the 3-count I was going to use. And they went well with that change. That is instructive, as this was the first time I did them since Rotation I.

But throughout this workout, my left upper arm was bothering me. I’m not sure why, but I might have just slept on it awkwardly.

Video

Music: Pandora – Mad at the World Radio

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Deadlifts

Monday – 12/18/17

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

Shoes: Nike wrestling shoes.

Bar: Ohio Deadlift Bar.

Sumo Deficit RB Deadlifts: [45/13, add bands: 155/9, 205/7, 255/5, add gear: 305/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 340/6^, 357/4^, 375/2^

Sumo Deficit Stiff Leg Deadlifts: [135/7, 165/5, add gear: 195/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 245/7, 257/4, 270/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:43

The Texas Deadlift Bar that will be used at my next probable contest is the slightly thinner than my Ohio Deadlift Bar, 27 vs. 27.5 mm. These bar specs are important, as they can affect the feel of the lift. But I should be fine, as my bars being the same or similar to what will be used at the contest. I will post details about the contest shortly.

That said; both exercises went well. However, it took me about ten minutes to take down the bands and to convert the setup in my power rack from the first to second exercise, and that got me tired out. As a result, I was fighting fatigue as I did the SLDLs and was exhausted afterwards. Since RBs deadlifts are not that great of an exercise, especially with lifting raw, they might not be worth the effort, so I might substitute something else here, even though I said I didn’t want to make any more changes to this training plan. At the very least, I need to remember that I don’t need to take the bands down altogether between the exercises. I can just hang them up out of the way, like I did after I used them in my morning workout for speed work to make room to do the rest of my morning workout, leaving them up for this workout.

Video

I didn’t realize it until I reviewed the video, but I only did four reps on my second set of SLDLs, not the five reps I planned on doing. I guess I got confused. But I did the right number of repos for the other two sets. At least I think I did for the first set, which I didn’t record, but I definitely did my planned triple for the final set which was recorded.

 Music: Pandora – Saint Radio


Change in Contest Plans

       I was going to enter a powerlifting contest in March 2018. But due to all of the changes I have made to my new training plan through the first half of it, I have decided to delay my next contest until April. That will give me time to experience the full effects of my training plan in its updated and hopefully improved form. This delay will mean I will get in seven rotations of my Tetra Plan before the contest.

      I think I have all of the changes made that I am going to make starting with Rotation IV, so this delay will enable me to do four rotations with the updated plan. That will give me time to make progress on it and hopefully be better prepared for an April contest than I would have been in March.

      There are a couple of possible contests with a couple of different federations already posted that I could enter, but I am wanting to see if any additional possible contests are posted on the various federation websites after New Year’s Day before making a final decision on which contest to enter.


Week B

Bodyweight: 122.2 pounds.

______________________________

Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 12/20/17

Gear: Crain power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Coleman sneakers.

Bar: Texas Power Bar.

WG Decline Bench: [MG: 45/15, WG: 55/11, 75/9, 95/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 140/6, 147/4, 155/2

CG Seated Presses: [55/7, 65/5, add gear: 75/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 82/7!, 87/5!, 92/3!

MG Barbell Rows: [60/7, 75/5, 87/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 97/7!, 102/5!, 107/3!

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:31

I did WG Declines in Rotation I, but then changed to regular Declines, as the WG was bothering my tender left pec. But it is feeling better now, so I figured I’d give them another try. But they will fit better in Week A, so I will flip-flop them with DB Declines next time. That is because I will be doing Benches with a WG in Week C. Similarly, I will do Cambered Bar Decline Benches in Week C to offset the Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches in Week A.

That said; this workout went well, despite not doing wide grip work in weeks. It also worked cutting out one warmup set on presses and rows. That enabled me to get done in a quick time.

Video

Music: Pandora – Petra Radio

______________________________

Squats

Thursday – 12/21/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps, Genesis 2.0 meter knee wraps; APT heavy knee sleeves.

Shoes: Dexter boots.

Bar: Heavy Duty Power Bar.

Extra Low Sting Ray (Front) Squats: [--/13, 55/9, 85/7, 110/5, add gear: 135/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 162/6!, 170/3.5^, 177/1+1^

Chain Squats (two heavy chains = 90 pounds): [add chains: 135/9, 180/7, add belt: 225/5, add wraps: 260/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 285/6, 300/4, 315/2

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:55

Chain Squats are one of the exercises I was referring to in my “Midway Training Plan Review” that I did not change from my previous training plan and are not going well that I am moving to second in their respective workouts.

That said; this was a difficult workout for several reasons. First, both sets of sixes really left me winded. You would think I would be used to doing that many reps by now.

Second, I was having trouble with the Sting Ray moving, flipping the bar off of my shoulders. You’ll see that in the video. I never had that problem before, and I’ve been using the Sting Ray for over a decade. But maybe it was due to moving the hooks on my power rack down a hole. I did so due to problems re-racking the bar in my last couple of workouts. But maybe having to quarter squat the weight up and out was messing up how I positioned the Sting Ray on my shoulders, so I will move the hooks back up next time and see if that helps. Or I might just not bother with front squats and do close stance back squats of some sort instead.

Third, I learned a while ago that chain squats are too difficult of an exercise to do second, and that was reinforced with this workout. I was really getting tired while doing them. But even with getting winded on the first set, the next two sets went surprisingly well and felt good. But then, I dropped the planned weights by five pounds to ensure getting my planed reps. And good thing, as I barely did. But next time, I will reverse the order of these lifts back to the better order of chains first then Sting Ray, and that should clear up that problem.

Video

Music: Pandora – Demon Hunter Soldier Radio

______________________________

Benches

Sunday – 12/24/17

Gear: Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Shoes: Adidas AdiPower lifting shoes.

Bar: Texas Power Bar.

Close Grip Benches: [45/13, 65/11, 65/9, 85/7, 110/5, add gear: 125/3] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 140/3*, 135/5, 140/4, 147/2

3 Count Pause Benches: [add gear: 80/7, 100/5] (5-6, 3-4, 1-2) 135/3*, 135/4, 140/2

CG Super Curl Bar Rows: [65/7, 80/5, 92/3] (6-7, 4-5, 2-3) 102/7, 107/5, 112/3

Stretching: ~5 minutes

Workout time: 1:40

3 Count Pause Benches is another exercise that I moved to second for this rotation. But that is not going to solve the problems with this training plan. I did not sleep the night after this workout, as I was feeling overtrained. Thus once again, I felt terrible for a holiday. Then I didn’t sleep Christmas night either. As a result, I am going to have to take at least a couple of days off then start over again with a new training plan. Actually, I will go back to an old one that worked well. I might still be able to enter a contest in April. But I will need to wait for a while to see how the new/ old plan works before deciding which contest to enter and when.

As for what went wrong with this plan, go back to my original Overview article, under the heading “Not Two-Stage.” Note the line, “My concern is that I might get burned out along the way.” That is what happened, both because of not changing all of my exercises from my previous plan and because of trying to train hard too long without backing off.

Video

I forgot to record my second set of both bench exercises, another thing that went wrong in this workout.

Music: Pandora – Decyfer Down Radio

 

Note: Deadlifts will be included as an “Extra Day” at the start of my new training plan.


Week C

Forthcoming.


Week D

Forthcoming.


 

These workout logs are continued at: 2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations V and VI.


2017-18 Tetra Raw Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations III and IV. Copyright 2017-18 by Gary F. Zeolla.

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