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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 March/ 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 switch 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 they 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 limit, 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 my normal practice.

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 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

Forthcoming.


 

Rotation IV

 

Week A

Forthcoming.


Week B

Forthcoming.


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.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
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