Archive for category Training templates

Q&A- 13 weeks until my first powerlifting competition


Hey Craig

I have been doing 5-3-1 since August. I want to test myself in an upcoming powerlifting competition. It’s 13 weeks away. Can you help me with a suggested build up?

My current max lifts are:

Squat- 185
Bench- 100
Deadlift- 200

These are raw and I will compete as a novice and raw also.

My goals for the competition are:

Squat- 200
Bench- 110
Deadlift- 210

I have added about 30% to all of my lifts since I began. I have also put on 6 kg and I am about the same bodyfat percentage. I now weigh about 79 kg.

Thanks

Brad

Hi Brad

I am pleased to see you are going to compete. In keeping with my simple style, I suggest you keep on doing what you are doing!

You have 12 weeks of training with one week of de-loading before you compete. Therefore I suggest that you continue with 2 additional cycles of 5-3-1 and apply a slightly modified approach to the last 4 week cycle.

A few points to note:

1. Base you first cycle (block) on your current 1RMs. Continue with your assistance work. If you need additional help here please let me know.

2. For block 2, I suggest adding 5kg to your squat and deadlift maxes and 2.5kg to your bench. We can review these depending on how your reps go during block 1. Again, assistance work as normal but vary from cycle 1 as always and look to continue to attack weak points.

3. Before you start block 3 we need to have a really good look at your maxes. They need to be realistic of course. The big change for this last cycle is that we want the reps to be closer to 5-3-2. Yes 2 and not 1 for week 3. I prefer to finish with a strong double and not an uncertain single. You will note from the attached template that I remove the 90% conversion and we use 85%, 90% and 95% of the actual 1RM. This is because we want to be in that actual 5-3-2 range with heavier weights.

I have attached a template detailing your schedule at this stage. I suggest you complete weeks 1-3 and then we can catch up and talk about block 2 in more detail.

12 week build up

Enjoy your training. I expect you will do even better than the goals you have set yourself.

Keep me posted.

Cheers

Craig

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Q&A- Upper/lower body split


Greetings

I have been training for about 6 months and doing an overall body thing as you suggested. I have made some good gains in size and strength. I am keen to move to an upper/lower body split and train 4 days per week. Any thoughts?

Cheers

Hey bro

I think 6 months on an initial overall body program is a minimum. Hopefully you have been working hard on your technique on the core lifts in this time.

After 6-12 months I recommend an upper and lower body split over 2 days with each workout repeated twice per week. This is an excellent way to progress to the next level. I suggest the following structure:

Workout A- Chest, shoulders, triceps and core
Workout B- Posterior chain, upper back, biceps and core

Monday- Workout A
Tuesday- Workout B
Wednesday- Rest
Thursday- Workout A
Friday- Workout B
Saturday- Rest
Sunday- Rest

I would recommend 2 movements per bodypart with reps in the 6-12 range. Let me know if you want some help with exercise selection.

Cheers

Craig

bigger stronger smarter

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Max effort bench


Up until now I have been using a bit of a hybrid approach to training my upper body. I like the Westside approach of hitting a core movement and breaking new ground and then changing the exercise regularly. The difference for me is that I have been working in the range of 5 reps. The classic Westside approach is to hit a max effort single.

I have decided to lower my max effort day reps and look to hit a PB in the range of 1-3 reps. I still intend to back off and hit lot of volume once I have completed my top set.

Next week is incline bench press with chains. I am excited with this change in approach.

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So you want to be a powerbuilder- 6 day per week template


The following template is designed for lifters who are training 6 days per week. The key days are Monday and Wednesday from the powerlifting perspective. On Monday the onus is on the bench press and on Wednesday the focus is on the squat and deadlift. It is a simple program based around completing one core exercise and then assistance work. The movements are suggestions only and should be rotated on a regular basis. The assistance work is based around intensity and volume and and improving weak points.

Monday- Bench (chest and triceps)
Tuesday- Upper back and biceps
Wednesday- Posterior chain
Thursday- Shoulders
Friday- Arms
Saturday- Quads
Sunday- rest
An example program would be:
Monday
Flat bench press- working up to a PR in 1-5 reps
Dumbbell incline press- 4×8-10
Dips- 4×8-10
Close grip bench press- 4×8-10
Rope pushdowns- 4×15
Tuesday
Front lat pulldown- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Cable rows- 4×8-10
T-Bar rows- 4×8-10
Behind neck pulldowns- 3×10
Barbell curls- 4×6-10
Cable preacher- 4×8-10
Wednesday
Box squats- working up to a PR in 1-5 reps.
Cambered bar good mornings- 4×6-8
Reverse hack squats- 4×6-8
Leg curls- 4×6-8
Speed deadlifts- 6 reps with 30 seconds rest between each rep.
Thursday
Front barbell press- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Smith machine behind neck press- 4×6-10
DB side laterals 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Upright rows- 4×8-10
Friday
Close grip bench press- 1×10, 1×8,2×6
Incline tricep extensions- 3×8-10
Tricep pushdowns- 6×15
Barbell curls- 4×6-10
Cable preacher curls- 4×8-10
Saturday
Leg press- 10×10
Hack squats- 4×15
High bar squats- 5×10
Leg extensions- 3×15-20

Abs and calves can be added at the end of each workout. One exercise for each.

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So you want to be a powerlifter- Part I


Introduction
I decided to write a series of short articles to help those who are interested in powerlifting. These people could be from any background. They maybe complete newbies to the gym, they could be advanced gym goers. They could be injured football players. They could be aged 14 or 74.

From my perspective, there is a lack of information for aspiring lifters. This is hardly surprising when you consider powerlifting as a sport:
– It receives little media attention;
– It is famous for drug scandals;
– The equipment is expensive;
– There are very few gyms which cater for powerlifters;
– The referees often think they are bigger than the sport.

Despite this, there is something very special about powerlifting. I can remember my introduction. I was a promising Rugby League (League) player who had just started using weights for my sport. I watched a few guys doing squats one day in the gym. I asked them if I could join in. Pretty quickly I was breaking national records in training. I was hooked, I had the bug. I still played League that year but my desire was now to be a competitive powerlifter.

The initial attraction is hard to describe. I think that the process of continually becoming stronger and measuring this in a competitive format was what did it for me. I also loved developing muscle and I quickly discovered the correlation between strength and muscle.

Powerlifters are almost universally a great bunch of guys and girls. They love doing their best but they also love seeing other succeed. This element also appeals to me greatly. It is an individual sport with team sport camaraderie.

First steps
Getting involved in powerlifting is becoming easier in some locations. In Christchurch we have a club set up within a gym which is dedicated to powerlifting. Eastside Barbell provides the opportunity to get started.

Your first step should be to research where the local powerlifters hang out. Google you National or local powerlifting association and make contact. Dedicated facilities like ours are not common but powerlifters do tend to congregate together at the gym. Make contact and get involved. As I have said above, powerlifters are almost always receptive to helping others.

What to look for
A powerlifting friendly gym will offer specialised equipment that is unique to powerlifting. This may include platforms, specialised bars, chains, bands, a glute ham raise, a reverse hyper extension. Shinyland gyms are often reluctant to cater for powerlifters. I recall that when I used to train at such a facility we used to take our own bars and chains and we even finished our workouts at home where we kept our reverse hyper and glute ham raise.

Look for a gym that best caters for your needs. In the absence of a dedicated facility you will just have to find the best fit. Then lobby the gym for additional equipment.

Minimum requirements are:

– Olympic bars and weights;
– Power rack;
– Bench press
– Deadlift platform.
Make sure you are able to use chalk!

The culture of a gym is probably just as important. Make sure the gym is recognised as being supportive of high performance. People are also important. Do they look like they want to go to the gym or are they there because it’s the thing to do?

Shortly, I will introduce you to powerlifting training and competing.

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Powerbuilding- training template 6 days per week


The following template is designed for lifters who are training 6 days per week. It is a simple program based around completing one core exercise and then assistance work. The movements are suggestions only and should be rotated on a regular basis.

Monday- Bench (chest and triceps)
Tuesday- Upper back and biceps
Wednesday- Posterior chain
Thursday- Shoulders
Friday- Arms
Saturday- Quads
Sunday- rest

An example program would be:

Monday
Flat bench press- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10 (or max effort- working up to a new record)
Dumbbell incline press- 4×8-10
Dips- 4×8-10
Close grip bench press- 4×8-10
Rope pushdowns- 4×15

Tuesday
Front lat pulldown- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Cable rows- 4×8-10
T-Bar rows- 4×8-10
Behind neck pulldowns- 3×15
Barbell curls- 4×6-10
Cable preacher- 4×8-10

Wednesday
Box squats- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10 (or max effort- working up to a new record)
Cambered bar good mornings- 4×6-8
Reverse hack squats- 4×6-8
Leg curls- 4×6-8
Speed deadlifts- 6 reps with 30 seconds rest between each rep.

Thursday
Front barbell press- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Smith machine behind neck press- 4×6-10
DB side laterals 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Upright rows- 4×8-10

Friday
Close grip bench press- 1×10, 1×8,2×6
Incline tricep extensions- 3×8-10
Tricep pushdowns- 6×15
Barbell curls- 4×6-10
Cable preacher curls- 4×8-10

Saturday
Leg press- 10×10
Hack squats- 4×15
High bar squats- 5×10
Leg extensions- 3×15-20

Abs and calves can be added at the end of each workout. One exercise for each.

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Powerbuilding- training template 3 days per week


This template is designed for lifters who are training 3 days per week. It is a simple program based around completing one “core” exercise and then assistance work. The movements are suggestions only and should be rotated on a regular basis.

Monday- Chest, shoulders and triceps
Tuesday- Rest
Wednesday- Upper back and biceps
Thursday- Rest
Friday- Posterior chain
Saturday- Rest

An example program would be:

Monday
Flat bench press- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Dumbbell incline press- 4×8-10
Dips- 4×8-10
Log press- 4×6-10
Upright rows- 3×8-10
Close grip bench press- 4×8-10
Rope pushdowns- 4×15

Wednesday
Front lat pulldown- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Cable rows- 4×8-10
T-Bar rows- 4×8-10
Behind neck pulldowns- 3×15
Barbell curls- 4×6-10
Cable preacher- 4×8-10

Friday
Box squats- 1×10, 1×8, 1×5, 1×8, 1×10
Hack squats- 3×8-10
Cambered bar good mornings- 4×6-8
Leg curls- 4×6-8
Speed deadlifts- 6 reps with 30 seconds rest between each rep.

Abs and calves can be added at the end of each workout. One exercise for each.

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