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Full Workout Logs

Starting 9/11/06

Rotation I

by Gary F. Zeolla

These workout logs begin after competing in APF PA States Powerlifting Championships - 2006.

Age: 45
Weight class: 114s/ 123s.
Next contest: probably not until March/ April 2007.

For details on this routine, see Training Routine Format - 3 Week Rotation.

Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout time includes set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up.

Week One - A

Bench Assistance/ First workout post-contest

Monday – 9/11/06

Standing Press: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 65/5] 75/6, 80/4

Dips: [--/6, 25/6, 35/3] 50/6, 55/4

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/6, 40/3] 50/6, 55/4

Reverse BB Curls: [45/8] 55/8, 55/8

Rotator Cuff: [2.5/15] 5/15, 5/15

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 8

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:24

This was my first workout since my contest Labor Day weekend. My new routine is rather complicated, but I’m trying to include everything that seems to have worked for me over the last four years.

This workout is a little different. I’m calling it “Bench Assistance” but I don’t do any actual benching. Instead, I am working the benching muscles via the presses and dips. I figure this will be good for a change.


Raw Squats/ Injury update/ Widening stance

Wednesday – 9/13/06

Raw Squats: [55/15, 145/10, 195/6, 240/3] 265/6, 285/4

Sting Ray (Front) Squats: [75/6, 105/3] 125/6, 135/4

Jump Squats: [55/6] 75/6x3

Standing DB Calves: [10/10] 20/12, 25/12

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:25

I injured my right hamstring at my contest Labor Day weekend. I didn’t lift at all last week. But to rehab the hamstring, several times I went for a walk, and then did stretching afterwards, along with some weightless leg extensions and leg curls, heat before, ice afterwards. During this workout, I didn’t notice the hamstring at all, but afterwards it bothered me some. But once I iced it, it felt okay. Today, it’s a little sore, but not bad. So I think I will be okay. But the real test will be Monday when I deadlift the first time since my contest.

On another issue, after my contest back in April, I widened my squat stance a couple of inches, and I did so again with this workout. And the wider stance felt pretty good. So I’ll probably stick with it.


Raw Benches/ I’m such a wuss!

Friday – 9/15/06

Raw Bench: [55/15, 95/10, 115/6, 135/3] 150/6, 160/4

DB Bench: [30s/8, 45s/4] 55s/6, 60s/4

Clap Pushups: 3x5

BB Rows (medium grip): [45/6, 65/3] 85/6, 90/4

Hammer Curls: [10s/12] 15s/8, 17s/8

Twisting Dip Bar Leg Raises (reps to each side): 10, 8

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:26

The clap pushups were supposed to be “Rocky” pushups (alternating, one-arm; from the first movie). I used to these all the time in college, but when I tried to do them here for my speed work, I couldn’t do a single rep! I’m such a wuss! No wonder my bench sucks so much.

In college, my best bench in competition was 240, done at 1982 PA State Collegiates (which was good for the PA State collegiate record). That lift was of course done without a shirt since they weren’t even invented yet. When I competed raw in April of this year, I benched 190. For both of these contests, I weighed in at 121. So at the same bodyweight, my bench is off by 50 pounds.

Click for a larger imageFor comparison, at that same PA State Collegiates, I deadlifted 430 (wearing a “supersuit” and again, good for the PA record), while at both of my most recent contests, I pulled 400 (the first without a suit, the second with a suit). So my DL is only off by 30 pounds. It should be the other way around!

I’ve been blaming my poor bench now on my right shoulder, which I messed up in a bicycle accident over six years ago. But I couldn’t even do a single one-arm pushup with my left arm. So something is clearly wrong.

I think I will experiment with different grips and positions for benches. Looking at a pic of me benching in college (scanned from an old issue of Powerlifting USA), it looks like I used a wider grip but little arch. I widened my grip a little for this workout, and I might try using less of an arch and position my feet as seen in this pic. I figure I got to try something, as my bench is going nowhere.

As for the Rocky pushups, I’ll switch to clap pushups for now. And next time, I’ll do the DB benches in an alternating arms fashion. Maybe that will bring my strength up so I can imitate Rocky once again.


Raw Deadlifts

Monday – 9/18/06

Raw Deadlift: [55/15, 145/10, 205/6, 265/3] 285/6, 305/4

Jump Deadlift: [45/6] 75/6x3

Good Mornings (legs straight): [45/6, 95/6] 105/6, 115/4

Shrugs: [45/6, 95/6] 115/6, 135/6

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:20

This was the first time since my contest 16 days before that I deadlifted, and my last DL workout was 12 before that. So the last time I actually did a DL workout was four weeks ago. And the last time I deadlifted raw was over four months ago. So the DLs were really tough.

This was also the first time in a long time that I did GMs and shrugs. So I had no idea how much weight to use. So I started light and worked up, being more concerned with correct form than the weight.

On a good note, my hamstring bothered me some, but not enough to hold me back. I think my hamstring is going to be one of those nagging injuries that will bother me on occasion, but not enough to keep me from working out. But I will continue with heat before and ice afterwards for a while.

Week One - B

Bench Assistance

Wednesday – 9/20/06

Standing Press: [DBs: 10s/15, BB: 45/10, 60/6, 70/3] 80/6, 85/4

Dips: [--/6, 25/6, 40/3] 55/6, 60/5

DB Rows (elbows out): [30/6, 42/3] 52/6, 57/4

Reverse Curls: [45/8] 57/6, 57/6

Rotator Cuff: [2.5/15] 5/15, 5/15

Twisting Sit-ups (reps to each side): 12, 9

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:22


Raw Squats

Friday – 9/22/06

Raw Squats: [55/15, 145/10, 195/6, 250/3] 275/6, 295/4

Sting Ray (Front) Squats: [80/6, 115/3] 135/6, 145/4

Jump Squats: [55/6] 80/6x3

Standing DB Calves: [20/10] 30/12, 30/12

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:18


Raw Benches with college form

Monday – 9/25/06

Raw Bench: [55/15, 95/10, 120/6, 140/3] 155/6, 165/4

DB Bench (alternating arms): [30s/8, 40s/4] 50s/6, 55s/4

Clap Push-Ups: 6x3

BB Rows (medium grip): [55/8, 75/4] 90/6, 95/4

Hammer Curls: [15s/12] 20s/10, 20s/10

Twisting Dip Bar Leg Raises (reps to each side): 11, 9

Heavy Bag: 1 minute

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:34

With this workout, I tried using the form I used in college (wider grip, no arch, legs extended). Having the legs extended felt better than tucking them under me, along with the wider grip. But no arch didn’t feel right. So I’ll keep the first two points but go back to arching.

I also decided to go back to hitting my heavy bag after my bench days. But I didn’t think of it until I had already started lifting, so I had to dig out my heavy bag and gloves and bolt the C-clamp onto the rafters during my workout. And that added to my workout time. So I only hit the bag for a minute. But I’ll gradually increase time and intensity with each workout.


Raw Deadlifts – Much better

Wednesday – 9/27/06

Raw Deadlifts: [55/15, 145/10, 205/6, 265/3] 290/6, 310/5

Jump Deadlifts: [55/6] 85/6x3

Good Mornings (legs straight): [55/8, 95/4] 110/6, 120/6, 130/6

Shrugs: [95/8, 120/4] 145/6, 160/6, 170/6

Step-ups: 2 minutes

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:30

This workout felt much better than last week. In fact, the GMs and shrugs were so easy that I did an extra set for each. So that basically confirms that last week’s workout was so tough due to it being too long since I had last deadlifted. But I’m back into my regular rotation now, so hopefully DLs will start moving again.

Week Two

Bench Assistance

Friday – 9/29/06

Incline Bench: [45/15, 75/10, 95/6, 115/3] 130/5, 135/4, 140/3

DB Decline Bench: [30s/8, 45s/4] 55s/6, 60s/5

Curl Bar Rows: [45/6, 70/3] 85/6, 95/5

Standing Curl Bar Triceps Extensions: 15/10, 25/10, 30/10

Curl Bar Reverse Curls: [45/8] 55/8, 55/8

Decline Sit-ups: [--/12] 5/12, 5/12

Heavy Bag: 2 minutes

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:38

As I feared, the triceps extensions bothered my left elbow. I just can’t seem to do any direct triceps work. But no matter. The triceps should get enough work from all my pressing moves, especially the close grip benches and dips I do on other days. And besides, this workout took a little too long, so it would be best to drop off the extensions anyway.


Reverse Band Squats, etc.

Monday – 10/2/06

Reverse Band Squats (light bands choked twice around the top of my power rack):

[55/15, add bands: 195/10, 245/6, 295/3] 325/5, 345/4, 365/3

Speed RB Squat: [145/5] 195/5, 185/5, 175/5

Box Squat: [145/6, 195/3] 215/5, 230/4

Standing BB Calves: [125/12] 145/12, 145/12

Step-ups: 2-1/2 minutes

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:34

It felt good handling some heavier weights via the RB squats after a couple of weeks of raw squats. But I started too heavy on the speed squats, so I had to keep dropping the weight.

The box squats were really tough. I was straddling the box, which made my stance a little wider than I’ve been using. But it should work out well. On my raw squat days, I’m also doing Sting Ray (front) squats with a close stance. So doing box squats with a wider stance will balance those out.


Chain Benches, etc.

Wednesday – 10/4/06

Chain Bench (2 pairs of heavy chains; set-up weighs about 90 pounds):

[55/15, 95/10, add chains: 55/5] 75/5, 85/5, 95/4, 105/3

Speed Chain Bench: [45/5] 55/5x3

Close Grip Bench [105/6, 120/3] 135/5, 145/4

BB Rows (close grip): [45/8, 65/4] 85/6, 90/5

Rotating DB Curls: [10s/8] 20s/10, 20s/10

Reverse Crunches: 12, 10

Heavy Bag: 2:15

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:25

I had been using one pair of heavy chains for benches and two pairs for squats. I figured this made sense since I squat almost twice as much as I bench. But rather than as a percentage of total weight, I think a better way to look at things is the difference between the tension at the bottom and top should be the same as when wearing a suit or shirt. My shirt adds as much as my suit does, so it makes sense to use the same chain weight for benches as for squats.


Reverse Band Deadlifts, etc.

Friday – 10/6/06

Reverse Band DLs (light bands choked once around the top of my power rack):

[55/15, add bands: 195/10, 245/6, 295/3] 325/5, 345/5, 365/4, 385/3

Speed RB DL: [195/5] 215/5x3

Platform SLDLs (legs straight): [145/6, 210/3] 235/5, 250/4

Sitting BB Calves [125/12] 135/12, 140/12

Step-ups: 2:30

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:40

I started too light on the RBDLs, so I did an extra set. This added to my workout time, but I really wanted to finish with a heavy triple.

The step-ups seem to work the quads quit a bit, so they fit better for my cardio work on squat days. For DLs days, form now on I think I will jump rope instead.


Week Three

Bench Assistance

Sunday – 10/8/06

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/10, 125/5, 150/3] 160/5, 170/4

DB Incline Bench: [30s/8, 40s/4] 50s/6, 55s/5

DB Rows (elbows in): [30/8, 40/4], 50/6, 55/4

Reverse DB Curls: [10s/10] 15s/10, 17s/10

Crunch/ Side Bend Combo (reps to each side): 10, 10

Heavy Bag: 2:30

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:35

With this workout, I am going back to lifting every other day rather than just 3x/week, and I’ll drop off walking on my off days. With winter coming, I’d rather not be walking. But that is why I started the cardio work at the end of my workouts.


Squats with full gear – wraps test

Tuesday – 10/10/06


(Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes, wrist wraps; 2.5 meter knee wraps, double-ply squat suit; Titan: 2.5 meter THP wraps):

[55/15, 145/10, 205/6, suit & shoes: 260/3, belt & Crain wraps: 310/1]

THP wraps: 340/4, Crain wraps: 360/3, THP: 380/2, Crain: 400/1

Step-ups: 2:45

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:43

At my contest Labor Day weekend I squatted 415. So it felt good hitting 400 for my first heavy workout since then. That gives me a good starting point to work up from for future heavy workouts. One thing though, my upper back is really cramped up today. But I was able to make a chiropractor appointment for this afternoon, and that usually takes care of it.

A few notes on the gear. I originally used Crain knee wraps, but then I switched to using THP wraps for my last two contests. But I never really compared them. So with this workout, I alternated them to get an idea of which worked best.

The THP wraps stretch out more and seemed to give a little more “pop” at the bottom. The Crain wraps are stiffer and seemed to help more in the top half of the lift. It even seemed easier walking the weight out with the Crain wraps. But overall, one seemed as good as the other. But I should mention that the Crain wraps were more worn than the THP wraps, so new Crain wraps might have been a little better. So I’ll probably get new Crain wraps and go with those.

Also, I wasn’t sure what suit to use. I was going to use my Frantz suit since it is easier to get on and off. But it is not as good as the Crain suit. And I think it is good to get conditioned to handling the heavier weights in training, so I figured it was worth struggling to get into the Crain suit. I’ll probably use it for DLs as well. But I am hoping to get new suits before my next contest. Most likely, I’ll get Ricky’s new “Extreme Plus” suits.

I went with 2.5 meter rather than 2.0 meter wraps for the same reason as the Crain suit, to get conditioned to the heavier weights they enable.


Unlucky Friday the Thirteenth Benches

Friday – 10/13/06


(Gear: Crain: power belt; “combo” shirt, wrist wraps):

[55/15, 95/10, 125/6, shirt: 155/3, belt & wraps: 175/1]

190/4, 195/3, 200/2, 205/1

Rows (wide grip): [55/8, 70/4] 90/6, 95/4

Curl Bar Curls: [40/8] 55/8, 55/8

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 20, 20

Heavy Bag: 2:45

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:33

I was supposed to do this workout on Thursday, but I was really dragging. So I pushed it back to Friday the Thirteenth. Not that I’m superstitious or anything, but this workout didn’t go well.

My shirt just didn’t feel right. For my last contest, I had two Crain shirts sewed together. That probably would have worked out well, if the seamstress hadn’t messed the shirts up when she sewed them together. She re-did the hems, lowering them at the neck and shoulders. I think that’s why the shirt didn’t help as much at my contest as I had hoped. And that was confirmed with this workout.

The bar felt very unstable, and I had a hard time keeping it in the groove. This explains why I missed my third attempt at my contest when the bar veered towards my head. But no matter as my next contest will probably be an IPA or WNPF meet, and my sewed together shirt would not be legal in either. So I really need a new shirt. I most likely will be ordering a new Crain Double Xtreme Plus shirt.

In addition, my right shoulder began bothering me while I was doing the wide grip rows. This is the same shoulder I messed up in a bicycle accident over seven years ago. I didn’t think much of it, so I finished my workout. It is bothering me some today, but I don’t think it’s going to be a problem. But I’m icing it to be sure. And I won’t be doing wide grip rows anymore.


Deadlifts with full gear

Sunday – 10/15/06


(Gear: Crain: power belt; double-ply squat suit; drug store knee and wrist wraps, Nike wrestling shoes):

[55/15, 145/10, 205/6, add suit and shoes: 260/3, add belt & wraps: 310/1]

340/4, 360/3, 380/1, 400/1

Jump Rope: 2:15

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout Time: 1:26

I got done with this workout just in time to watch the Steelers demolish the Chiefs, 45-7. It looks like Big Ben is over his post-accident/ surgery slump. Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu also did great for the first time since their injuries. And with Cincy and Baltimore losing, the Steelers are back in it. Yes!

Sorry, I couldn’t’ resist. Back to my workout. It went well. I pulled 400 at my contest last month, so it was really good hitting that for my first heavy workout since then. But then, maybe I went a little too heavy as I am *really* sore today. But then, that could also be from the jumping rope, since I hadn’t done that in months.

My set/ rep scheme of 4 x 4,3,2,1 for my full gear workouts is working out well. The only rep I missed for my three full gear workouts was the second rep with 380 here. But my workout times are about where I want them.

On the gear issues, I wore my Crain squat suit backwards for this workout. I had worn this suit for my squat workout last week but hadn’t washed it since then. I didn’t wash it since if I wore the same suit for both lifts at a contest, I wouldn’t, of course, be washing it in-between lifts. But it just didn’t feel right. I felt like it was messing up my form.

These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 10/17/06: Rotations II and III.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 9/11/06: Rotation I. Copyright 2006 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs

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