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Full Workout Log - Starting 6/21/09

Four Week Rotations: Weeks 1-7 of 20
(Rotations I-II of V)

By Gary F. Zeolla

These workout logs started after RAWU NE and PA Powerlifting Championships - 2009.

Next contest: RAWU North American Powerlifting Championships, November 14-15, 2009 in Greencastle, PA. If anyone is interested in this contest, details are on RAWU’s Web site.

Weight Class: 114s.
Age Class: Masters II (45-49).

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

For background to these workouts, see my post Plans and Updates.

Week 1 (Rotation I/ Week One)

Bench Assistance

Sunday – 6/21/09 (Father’s Day)

Speed Band Bench: [45/15, 95/8] add bands: 45/6 x 3, 55/4 x 3 (weight/reps x sets)

Pull-ups (V grip): bwt./8 x 2, 2.5/6

Triceps Pushdowns: [25/12] 35/12 x 2

Hammer Curls: [10s/12] 12s/12 x 2

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:08

I haven’t done speed work is quite a while, so I figured it would be good to do for the first bench assistance day of each rotation. But I am still pausing each rep at my chest. That way, I can focus on exploding off of the chest after the pause. I will most likely be competing unequipped from now on, wearing just a belt and wrist wraps, so it is vital to work on the press off of the chest.



Monday – 6/22/09

Front (Sting Ray) Squats: [45/15, 75/8, 95/5/ 110/3] 125/6, 135/4

Reverse Band Squats (average {#4} bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is virtually not tension at the top of the lift):

[185/8, 225/5, 265/3] 295/6, 315/4

Sit-up: [--/12] 5/12, 7.5/12

Step ups: 3:00

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: ~1:30



Wednesday – 6/24/09

3 Count Pause Benches: [45/15, 95/8, 115/6] 125/6, 135/4

Close Grip Benches: [95/8] 115/6, 125/4

Barbell Rows (medium grip): [45/8, 70/4] 80/8, 90/6

Shoulder Horn (arms together): 5/158, 5/15

Heavy Bag: 3:00

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:11

In my powerlifting book I describe the “3 Count Pause Benches.” For them, I am pausing on each rep for a slow three count (“1001 – 1002 – 1003”). This should make the regular pause at a contest seem short, but they were tough, so tough that I was not able to do nearly as much on the CGBPs as I had hoped. But that was also due to using the “1001” counting method described in my other post. In fact, with pausing for a full second I will need to drop all of my planned weights for the rest of my benching moves in this routine. But in the long run, I think this plan will make for a better unequipped bench at my next contest.



Thursday – 6/25/09

Platform Deadlifts (sumo; 4 planks, 3”): [45/15, 135/8, 185/6] 225/6, 245/6, 275/6, 295/4

Conv. Deadlifts: [135/8, 205/6] 245/6, 265/4

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: [--/12] 3s/12, 3s/12

Jump Rope: 2:00

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:22

I have found the hardest part of my competitive sumo deadlift is the initial pull off of the floor, so platform DLs with a sumo stance are the ideal assistance exercise.

I mention in my book about doing “opposite stance deadlifts” as an assistance exercise. That is what I am doing on the second exercise. I am doing conv. DLs to give the low back and hamstrings more work than they get with sumos.

It had been a while since I had done either of these lifts, so I wasn’t sure how much weight to use. I started too light on the PDLs and had to do more sets than I had planned to get to hard sets. That left me rather tired for the conv. DLs, hence the rather light weights there.

Week 2 (Rotation I/ Week Two)

Bench Assistance

Sunday – 6/28/09

Incline Bench: [45/15, 75/8, 95/6] 115/6, 125/4

Dips: [bwt./8, 25/5, 45/3] 60/6, 70/4

Pull-ups: bwt./8, bwt./8, 5/6

Pulley Strap Triceps Pushdowns: [25/12] 30/12, 30/12

Reverse Curl Bar Curls: 35/12, 35/12

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:22



Monday – 6/29/09

Low Squats: [45/15, 95/8, 125/5, 155/3] 175/6, 195/4

Partial Squats: [225/8, 255/5, 285/3] 315/6, 340/4

Twisting Crunches: [--/12] --/15, 2.5/10

Step ups: 3:30

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:19



Wednesday – 7/1/09

Dead Stop Benches: [45/15, 95/8, 115/6] 135/6, 145/6, 155/4

Chain Benches (chain setup weighs 90 pounds): [45/8] 65/6, 75/4

Dumbbell Rows (underhand grip): [30s/8, 40s/4] 50s/8, 52s/6

Shoulder Horn (alternating arms): 2.5/15, 2.5/15

Heavy Bag: 3:30

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:20

I only recently got the idea for the “Dead Stop Benches” from a bodybuilding mag, so I do not mention them in my powerlifting book. In the magazine they were called “push presses.” The idea is to setup in a power rack with the safeties set so that the bar is right at your chest. You then push the bar up from a dead stop off of the safeties. For bodybuilders, this exercise is to focus on working the chest. For me as a powerlifter, it is to focus on the push off of the chest for lifting without a shirt. And let me say, it is a tough exercise, but I think it will be very effective.



Thursday – 7/2/09

Reverse Band Deadlifts (sumo; #4 average bands, set so there is very little tension at the top):

[45/15, add bands: 185/8, 250/5, 315/3], 350/6, 280/4

Stiff Leg Deadlifts: [135/8, 175/5, 210/3] 235/6, 250/4

Dip Bar Leg Raises: [--/15] 3s/10, 3s/8

Jump Rope: 2:15

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:27


Week 3 (Rotation I/ Week Three

Bench Assistance

Sunday – 7/5/09

Decline Bench: [45/15, 95/8, 115/5] 135/6, 145/6, 155/4

DB Presses: [10s/8, 20s/5] 25s/8, 27s/8, 30s/6

Chin-ups: [bwt./8] 2.5/, 5/6

Curl Bar Triceps Presses: [15/12] 25/12, 30/10

Preacher Curls: 35/12, 40/10

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:24



Monday – 7/6/09

Unequipped Squats

Gear: Crain: power belt, squat shoes; APT: wrist bands, Convict then heavy knee sleeves:

[45/15, 135/8, 185/5, add gear (Convicts): 225/3] 250/5, switch to heavy knee sleeves: 250/5, 270/5, 290/3

DB Calves: [20/10] 25/12, 27/10

Crunches/ Reverse Crunch Combo: skipped

Step ups: 4:00

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:28

For this workout, I wanted to experiment with the difference between APTs Convict and heavy knee sleeves. The former are thicker and more supportive, but they are difficult to get on and off and even to pull up and down between sets. So I started with the Convicts and did one somewhat heavy set of 250/5. Then I switched to the heavy knee sleeves and did the exact same set. The second set seemed no more difficult than the first. Meanwhile, I have found the heavy knee sleeves to provide sufficient support for knee protection, so I will stick with the heavy knee sleeves from now on.

That said, I was a little anxious for this workout as it was the first time doing regular squats since my recent contest, where squats did not go well. My main concerns were with my form and being sure to sink all of my reps. The form I think I got down, but I still had a problem on depth. Specifically, the first rep of my last two sets was too high. I had the same problem with not sinking the first rep of sets before my recent contest. The rest of the reps I sink just fine, but of course, you only do one rep at a contest. I’m not sure if it is a mental block or what, but I really need to work on sinking that first rep!

With the changing of knee sleeves and doing an extra set for my experiment, I was getting tired and the workout was going to take too long, so I skipped the ab work.



Wednesday – 7/8/09

Unequipped Benches

Gear: APT: bench belt, 24” Black Mamba wrist wraps:

[45/15, 95/8, 115/5, add gear: 135/5] 145/5, 152/4, 160/3

Front Laterals: [10s/12] 12/12, 12/12

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

Heavy Bag: 4:00

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:16

With pausing for a full second on each rep, my bench will probably be down for a while. But in the long run I think it will prove to be beneficial.



Thursday – 7/9/09

Unequipped Deadlifts (sumo)

Gear: Crain: power belt; APT: wrist bands, original knee sleeves; Nike wrestling shoes:

[45/15, 135/8, 215/5, 285/3] add gear: 315/5, 330/4, 345/3

Hyperextensions: didn’t work out

Leg Curls (alternate legs): 5/10, 10/10

Twisting Leg Raises (reps to each side): 12, 12

Jump Rope: 2:30

Stretching: ~10 minutes

Workout time: 1:18

DLs went well, as planned.

However, after thinking of a possible way to rig a hyperextensions setup in my power rack last winter, this was the first time I actually tried doing them. Unfortunately, my plan did not work out. I couldn’t get it set up the way I had hoped. So I did a couple of light sets of leg curls instead.

Week 4 (Rotation II/ Week One)

See "Adding Deload Week" at Plans and Updates for why I changed from a three to a four week rotation.

Deload/ Speed Bench Assistance

Sunday – 7/12/09

Speed (“Clap”) Push-ups: [regular: 10, 10] 5, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4

Speed Lat. Pulldowns: [regular: 45/8] 55/6, 55/6, 60/5, 60/5, 65/4, 65/4

Triceps Pushdowns: [35/8] 45/10, 50/8, 52/6

Reverse Curl Bar Curls: [35/8] 40/10, 42/8, 45/8

Stretching: 10:22 (minutes: seconds)

Workout time: 1:00 (hour: minutes)

I’m using a timer to be sure I am only resting about 30-40 seconds between speed sets and holding my stretches for 20-30 seconds. I am also timing my entire time spent stretching to be doubly sure I am not rushing through it.

For all of my speed work, I am doing one or two warm-ups sets in a regular (non-speed) fashion, but then all of my work sets are done in a speed fashion.

I went very light on the reverse curls as I wasn’t sure if they would aggravate my Ganglion cyst or not. But it felt okay, so I’ll go heavier next time.

In my “Adding Deload Week.” post I said I thought these workouts would take about an hour. Well this one took exactly one hour. I started at 4:01 pm and was finished at 5:01 pm. Pretty good estimating I would say.


Deload/ Speed Squats

Monday – 7/13/09

Speed Squats: [regular: 55/15, 125/10] 135/6, 135/5, 145/4, 145/4, 155/3, 155/3

Barbell Calves: [bwt/10, 135/6] 145/10, 150/8, 155/6

Crunch-Reverse Crunch Combo: 30, 20

Stretching: 8:47

Workout time: 0:58


Deload/ Speed Benches

Wednesday – 7/15/09

Speed Benches: [regular: 45/15, 95/8] 75/5, 80/5, 85/5, 90/5, 95/5, 95/5, 105/3, 105/3

Speed Rows: [regular: 45/8] 55/6, 55/6, 60/5, 60/5, 65/4, 65/4

Curl Bar Triceps Presses: [25/8] 35/10, 37/8, 40/6

Preacher Curls: [35/8], 42/10, 45/8, 47/6

Stretching: 10:00

Workout time: 1:05

I started too light on the speed benches, so I just kept adding weight and doing sets until I hit an appropriate weight.


Deload/ Speed Deadlifts

Thursday – 7/16/09

Speed Deadlifts: [regular: 45/15, 145/8] 175/6, 175/6, 185/5, 185/5, 195/4, 195/4, 205/3, 205/3

Dumbbell Calves: [25/8] 30/10, 32/8, 35/6

Bicycle Abs (reps to each side): 25, 20

Stretching: 9:30

Workout time: 1:02

I liked the set x rep scheme I used here, doing two sets each of 6,5,4,3 reps. This does involve a lot of changing of weights, but it keeps it from getting boring, and I still got all eight speed sets done in less than 11 minutes. Also, the first two sets provide some cardio via a wind-sprint like effect, while the latter two sets get into heavier weights. So I think I’ll use this scheme for all of my PL speed work from now on.

Week 5 (Rotation II/ Week Two)

Final Workout Log (for a while)

Bench Assistance

Sunday – 7/19/09

Dips: [bwt./10, 25/8, 40/5, 55/3] 70/5, 75/4, 80/3

DB Presses: [10s/8, 20s/5, 25s/3] 31s/6, 32s/5, 34s/4

Pull-ups (V grip): [bwt./6, 2.5/3] 5/6, 7.5/5, 10/4

Rotator Cuff (Lying in & out): 5/15, 5/15

Workout time: 1:16



Monday – 7/20/09

Front (Sting Ray) Squats: [45/15, 75/8, 100/5/ 120/3] 135/6, 145/5, 155/4

Reverse Band Squats (average {#4} bands choked around the top of my power rack, set so there is virtually not tension at the top of the lift):

[226/5, 285/3] 315/6, 335/4, 350/3

Sit-up: [--/10] 10/8, 10/8

Step ups: 4:30

Workout time: 1:13

I changed the way I put the bands on the bar. I was placing them inside the weights against the outside of the inner collar. But they tended to slip off. So for this workout I placed them between the first two plates, and that worked out well.

Picture 1

Picture 2



Wednesday – 7/22/09

3 Count Pause Benches: [45/15, 95/8, 110/5, 125/3] 135/6, 145/5, 150/4

Close Grip Benches: [95/8, 115/3] 125/6, 130/4, 135/4

Barbell Rows (medium grip): [55/6, 80/3] 95/6, 100/5, 105/3

Heavy Bag: 4:30

Workout time: 1:06



Thursday – 7/23/09

Platform Deadlifts (sumo; 4 planks, 3”): [45/15, 135/8, 205/5, 265/3] 295/6, 305/4

Conv. Deadlifts: skipped

Dip Bar Reverse Crunches: skipped

Jump Rope: skipped

Workout time: 0:38

See my post Hamstring injury, again for details on this workout and why this will be my final workout log for a while.

These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/10/09: Rehab Workouts - Weeks 1-6 of 6.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 6/21/09: Three Week Rotations: Weeks 1-6 of 19 (Rotations I-II of VI). Copyright 2009 By Gary F. Zeolla.

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