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Training Routine Format

for Raw Lifting

by Gary F. Zeolla

This format is continued from Training Routine Format - Part Four: Outline. For that format, I was planning on competing with full gear. But in January 2006, I decided to compete raw. By "raw" I mean competing with a belt, wrist wraps, and knee wraps. These are the rules for the WNPF's raw division, which I will now be competing in. For an explanation of why I decided to switch to raw lifting, see my workout notes at Full Workout Logs: Starting 12/17/05: Rotation 3 of 4.

I'll still use the same basic format for training, but with two major changes. First, I am cutting back to only lifting three times a week. I feel I need the extra recovery time.

Second, there will be some changes in exercise selection. Most notably, when training for competing with gear, more emphasis is placed on working the top part of each lift, with a focus on using chains and bands. When competing raw, more emphasis needs to be placed on strengthening the bottom part of each lift, although, the top part still needs work as well. So bands and chains and other top end work will still be done, but it will be balanced off with lower end work. This change is reflected in the assistance exercise choices below.

But note that this format could be used for those competing with gear. After the cycle below it's indicated where the gear would be added.

General Background

Lift three times a week, alternating through four different workouts, so each training week lasts 9-10 days.

Day One: Bench Assistance, Arms, Abs.
Day Two: Squat, Upper Back.
Day Three: Bench, Arms, Abs.
Day Four: Deadlift.

Rest periods between work sets:
Squats and deadlifts and major assistance: 4-6 minutes.
Benches and major bench assistance: 3-5 minutes.
Remaining exercises: 1-3 minutes.
Warm-up sets: about half of above times.

Training Format

Basic Plan:
Do PLs and one major assistance each week.
Change all assistance exercises every 3-4 weeks.

Sets and Reps:
Powerlifts and major assistance:
2 sets of varying reps, as indicated below.

Abs and calves: 2x8-12.
All other exercises: 2x4-10.

Basic Cycle:
Phase I: 2-4 weeks: 2 x 7-8 - no gear
Phase II: 2-4 weeks: 2 x 5-6 - no gear
Phase III: 3-6 weeks: 2 x 3-4 - belt and wraps
Phase IV: 1-2 weeks: 2 x 1-2 - belt and wraps (plus suit and shirt if using them at the contest)

Major Assistance: Follow same rep progression, except stick with 2x3-4 for Phase IV, and no gear throughout.
Number of weeks for each phase will vary depending on amount of time until contest.
Repeat cycle a couple times if no contest for a while, maybe with a "practice contest" at end of first cycle.

Do cardio work on three off days.
Lift: M, W, F / Cardio: Tu, Th, Sa.
Take Sundays off.

Day One:
1st Bench assistance
Rotate: Wide Grip Bench, BB Declines, BB Inclines.
2nd Bench assistance
Rotate: Close Grip Bench, DB Inclines, DB Declines.
Phases I & II only: Overhead Presses (BB or DBs), Dips.
Reverse Curls
Rotate: Barbell, Curl Bar, DBs.
2 Abs

Day Two:
One major assistance: Choose from lists below (alternate top end and low end/ general work).
Top end work: Band Squats, Reverse Band Squats, Chain Squats.
Bottom end/ general work: Manta Ray (high bar, close stance) Squats, Sting Ray (front) squats, Low Squats, Pause Squats.
2 Upper Back
1st: Rotate: BB Rows (close grip [DL grip], medium grip [bench grip], wide grip [squat grip]), Curl Bar Rows.
2nd: Rotate: DB Rows (elbows in, elbows out, underhand grip).
Phases I & II only: Pull-ups (wide or close grip), Parallel Grip Pull-ups, Chin-ups.

Day Three:
One major assistance: Choose from lists below  (alternate top end and low end/ general work).
Top end work: Band Bench, Reverse Band Bench, Chain Bench.
Bottom end/ general work: DB Bench, Alt. Arms DB Bench, Pause Bench.
Phases I & II only: Overhead Presses (BB or DBs), Dips.
1 Biceps
Rotate: Barbell Curls, Curl Bar Curls, Rotating DB Curls, Hammer Curls, DB Rotations.
2 Abs

Day Four:
Deadlifts (sumo, my competitive stance)
One major assistance: Choose from lists below (alternate top end and low end/ general work).
Top end work: Band DLs, Reverse Band DLs, Chain DLs.
Bottom end/ general work: Platform DLs (sumo), Conventional Stance DLs, Conventional Stance Platform DLs, SLDLs (legs bent), Good Mornings (legs straight).
Shrugs (with GMs only; BB or DBs).
Rotate: Standing Barbell, Standing DBs, Sitting BB.

For a variation of this format, see Training Routine Format for Raw Lifting - 2.

Full Workout Logs

See Full Workout Logs for a list of my workout logs.

Training Routine Format for Lifting Raw. Copyright 2006 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site January 22, 2006.
It was last updated February 9, 2006.

Powerlifting and Strength Training

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