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2017 Two-Stage Trinity Training Plan

Overview and Summary

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      I just finished the first half (Rotations I-IV) of my Trinity Powerlifting Training Plan, and the training plan has been going very well. I have been making steady progress on all of my lifts, both the actual powerlifts and all of my assistance exercises.

      Most of the time, I have done the higher reps in my planned rep ranges. Normally, I like to top out with the lower reps, but my training went so well, I didn’t need to drop the reps. I even tied or set new 50s PRs on most lifts for which I had 50s PRs for that exercise in that placement in the workout. The main exception was the actual powerlifts, as this was the first time I ever did them second in a workout. But I now have 50s PRs to look to better next time.

      My thought now is that I would continue to make progress for another one or two rotations, but I fear that I would stagnate after that. This was a concern I had when I first designed this routine.

 

 

Background

 

      To explain, I have found I need to do the same exercise in the same manner for at least four workouts to make significant progress on it, which is what I just did. But if I do the same exercise in the same manner for more than six workouts, my progress stops and even goes backward. That is why I always incorporate a change in my routine at the six workout point.

      I also have found I need to backoff in the intensity of my training about every three months then build back up. If I don’t, I burn out, and my lifts begin to drop.

      With my former Two by Two Plan, I alternated between two different training weeks within two different training routines (hence the name “Two by two”). Each routine ideally lasted twelve training weeks. Different exercises were done in each training week and in each training routine. That meant I did a given exercise six times. I also did backoff workouts the first two weeks of each routine. That kept me from stagnating over a 24 training week (six month) period.

      With this Trinity Plan, I am rotating through three training weeks. I designed it with two routines, Trinity 1 and Trinity 2. But I was planning on using Trinity 1 for the entire training period between contests, then Trinity 2 next time, between my next two contests. But I now know my next contest will be APF/ AAPF Ohio State Championships, September 9, 2017.

      Counting out the weeks, I should get in a total of eight full three week rotations before this contest. If I followed my Trinity Plan as it was originally designed, that would mean I would do each exercise eight times and would train hard for 24 training weeks straight. Based on my experience, that is too many times in a row for the same exercise being done in the same manner and without backing off.

      What this means is, my original Trinity would work, if only four to six rotations are to be done, or for 12-18 training weeks. But I am planning on entering just two contests a year, which gives me about 24 training weeks between contests. As such, I am revising my Trinity Plan to fit this timetable.

 

Overview

 

      I am going to call this new version of my Trinity Plan my “Two-Stage Trinity Training Plan.” I thought of this variation when I first designed my Trinity Plan. It is what I was referring to in the introduction to my previous “Overview” article when I said, “If this new training plan works well, I will probably stick with it for at least the next couple of training periods. If it doesn’t, I have a variation of it to try later.” Rather than waiting, I am switching to this variation now.

      For this Two-Stage Plan, rather than using Trinity 1 throughout one training period then Trinity 2 the next time, I will switch to Trinity 2 for the second half of the routine. That will keep me from getting burned out by doing the same exercises in the same manner eight times in a row. But I will now call these two halves of my training plan Stage One and Stage Two.

       For these two stages, the actual powerlifts are done in both routines, except they were done second in their respective workouts in Rotations III and IV of Stage One, but they will now be done first in Stage Two. Different assistance exercises are done between the two stages, except for speed work. I don’t have enough variations to change all of them, so I will need to repeat most speed exercises in both stages. But to give me a couple more variations, I will try doing jump squats and deadlifts with both a close stance and a wide stance. I also do not enough variations of the minor exercises in my morning workouts to change most of them.

      In addition, with my Two by Two Training Plan that I had been using, there were two natural places to back off in the intensity of training, at the beginnings of each routine. But the way I initially designed the Trinity Plan, there was only one, at the beginning of the training plan. But this change makes the Two-Stage Trinity Plan similar to the Two by two Plan in having two parts, giving two natural places to backoff, at the beginning of each stage.

      To keep from getting confused, I will restart the rotations count from Stage One for Stage Two. That means, my first workout using this new plan will be: 2017 Two-Stage Trinity Powerlifting Training Plan, Stage Two, Rotation I of IV, Week A, Bench Assistance.

      Finally, my planned sets x reps remain the same, and I am still planning on doing peaking workouts for the actual powerlifts the last week of hard training before a contest, regardless of which training week it is supposed to be.

      I'm confident this new plan will work. At least it better, as I’ve spent a lot of time working on it. And if it does, again, I will probably stick with it for at least the next couple of training periods. But if it doesn’t, I have a couple of other ideas I might try, or I could go back to my Two by Two Plan.

 

Summary

  

      This chart presents a summary of my exercise selections for both stages of my Two-stage Trinity Powerlifting Training Plan. The exercises for Stage One are what I did for the first half and that I then called Trinity 1. For Week C, the indicated order of the look-alike lift first then the actual each powerlift second was for Rotations III-IV, as discussed above. In Rotations I-II, they were reversed, as they will be in Rotations V-VIII.

      The exercises for Stage Two are changed somewhat from what I originally wrote for Trinity 2. And I will probably make some changes in the exercise selections the next time I use this plan, as I will then know better what works and what I am doing.

 

Notes:

      I am planning on competing raw with wraps for the foreseeable future, so I am only including workouts for such, as trying to design workouts for raw without wraps or raw with sleeves or for equipped would get too confusing. But the needed changes should be rather obvious.

      I am also planning on competing doing sumo deadlifts, as I can pull about ten pounds more sumo than conv. That is why there is more sumo than conv work. If I were to plan on competing doing conv deadlifts, then I would reverse the emphasis to mostly conv work.

      The links are to where the piece of gym equipment can be purchased from Amazon.

 

Abbreviations:

CG = Close Grip

MG – Medium Grip (my regular grip)

WG = Wide Grip

BB = Barbell (usually my Heavy Duty Power Bar)

CB = Curl Bar

SCB = Super Curl Bar (different grip angles than a regular curl bar)

DB = Dumbbell

RB = Reverse Bands

RC = Rotator Cuff

 

Bench Assistance:

Stage One:

Week A: CG Decline Benches, WG Seated Presses, One-Arm DB Overhand Rows (elbows out), CG SCB Curls.

Week B: 3 Count Pause Decline Benches, DB Seated Presses (arms together), MG Cambered Bar Rows, MG SCB Reverse Curls.

Week C: DB Decline Benches (arms together), MG Seated Presses, WG BB Rows, MG CB Curls.

Stage Two:

Week A: WG Decline Benches, CG Seated Presses, WG Cambered Bar Rows, CG CB Curls.

Week B: DB Decline Benches (alternate arms), WG Seated Presses, MG BB Rows, Preacher CB Curls.

Week C: MG Decline Benches, MG Standing Presses, CG BB Rows, MG SCB Curls.

 

Squats:

Stage One:

Week A: Pause Squats, RB Squats, Speed RB Squats.

Week B: Chain Squats, Extra Low Sting Ray (front, close stance) Squats, Jump Squats.

Week C: Squats with Sleeves, Squats with Wraps, Speed Squats.

Stage Two:

Week A: Low Squats, Bench Squats, Jump Squats (wide).

Week B: Chain Squats, Olympic Squats (extra low, close stance, high bar with a Manta Ray), Speed Chain Squats

Week C: Squats with Wraps, Squats with Sleeves, Speed Squats.

 

 Benches:

Stage One:

Week A: Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, Band Benches, Speed Band Benches, MG CB Rows.

Week B: Chain Benches, 3 Count Pause Benches, Speed Benches, Two-Arm Underhand DB Rows.

Week C: DB Benches (alternate arms), Benches, Speed Push-ups, CG SCB Rows.

Stage Two:

Week A: Cambered Bar Benches, Rack Benches, Speed Benches, CG CB Rows.

Week B: 3 Count Pause Benches, Chain Benches, Speed Chain Benches, WG CB Rows.

Week C: Benches, DB Benches (arms together), Speed Push-ups, MG SCB Rows.

 

Deadlifts:

Stage One:

Week A: Sumo Deficit Deadlifts, Conv Chain Deadlifts, Speed Sumo Deadlifts, Hand Gripper (holds)

Week B: Sumo RB Deadlifts, Sumo Snatch Grip Deadlifts, Speed Sumo RB Deadlifts, Hand Gripper (reps)

Week C: Conv Snatch Grip Deadlifts, Sumo Deadlifts, Jump Deadlifts, Hand Gripper (holds + reps)

Stage Two:

Week A: Sumo Snatch Grip Deadlifts, Conv RB Deadlifts, Speed Conv RB Deadlifts, Gripper (reps)

Week B: Sumo Chain Deadlifts, Sumo [Deficit] SLDLs, Speed Sumo Deadlifts, Gripper (holds)

Week C: Sumo Deadlifts, Conv Deficit Deadlifts, Jump Deadlifts (conv), Gripper (holds + reps)

 

Morning Workouts:

Week A:

Stage One:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, RC: Shoulder Horn (one arm at a time); Abs: Sit-ups

Day 2: Step-ups, Sitting BB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, in; Abs: Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises

Day 4: Jump Rope, Standing Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time), Lying Leg Curls (alternate legs)

Stage Two:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, RC: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms); Abs: Sit-ups

Day 2: Step-ups, Sitting BB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, in; Abs: Dip Bar Leg Raises

Day 4: Jump Rope, Standing Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time), Lying Leg Curls (alternate legs)

 

Week B:

Stage One:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, Shoulder Horn (arms together); Abs: Crunch-Side-Bend Combo

Day 2: Step-ups, Standing DB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, out; Abs: Leg Raises

Day 4: Jump Rope, Standing Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs)/ Lying Leg Curls (one leg at a time)

Stage Two:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, RC: Sitting, front; Abs: Crunch-Side-Bend Combo

Day 2: Step-ups, Standing DB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, out; Abs: Twisting Leg Raises

Day 4: Jump Rope, Standing Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs)/ Lying Leg Curls (one leg at a time)

 

Week C:

Stage One:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying on side; Abs: Decline Sit-ups

Day 2: Step-ups, Standing BB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, up; Abs: Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo (ankle weights)

Day 4: Jump Rope, Lying Adductors (like stretch; ankle weights on knees), Lying Leg Curls (legs together)

 

Stage Two:

Day 1: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying on side; Abs: Decline Sit-ups

Day 2: Step-ups, Standing BB Calves

Day 3: Heavy Bag, RC: Lying, up; Abs: Bicycle Abs.

Day 4: Jump Rope, Lying Adductors (like stretch; ankle weights on knees), Lying Leg Curls (legs together)

 

Top Times:

Heavy Bag: 15 minutes

Step-ups. 12 minutes

Jump Rope. 3 minutes

 

Not Used:

Extra Low Squats, Partial Squats, CG Benches, WG Benches, DB Benches (arms together) Rack Benches, CG Cambered Bar Rows, WG SCB Rows, Conv Deadlifts, Conv SLDLs, Wrist Roller (overhand and underhand).

   

Conclusion

 

      Here’s praying this Two-stage Trinity Training Plan prepares me well for APF/ AAPF Ohio States in September. For my first workouts using this revised plan, see 2017 Two-Stage Trinity Powerlifting Training Plan, Stage Two, Rotations I and II.

 


2017 Two-Stage Trinity Training Plan: Overview and Summary. Copyright 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site June 10, 2017.

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