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Full Workout Logs - Starting 11/17/2014

Part B of Two by Two Training Plan

Weeks 1-2
(False Start)

by Gary F. Zeolla

These workout logs are continued from Full Workout Logs: Starting 10/2/2014 - Part A of Two by Two Training Plan - Weeks 7-12 of 12.


For a quick background to these logs, due to health problems, for about three years up until a year ago I was only able to work out at a low intensity and had lost my appetite. As a result, I lost a significant amount of bodyweight and strength and was in the doldrums emotionally and spiritually. But I very gradually began to increase my food intake and my intensity and weights in training. I also took steps to improve my emotional and spiritual states. So now, a year later (November 2014), I have regained the lost weight; I have improved my strength levels significantly, and I am doing much better emotionally and spiritually. I even have thoughts of competing in powerlifting again, possibly as early as late February 2015. If I do, I will compete raw (no squat suit or bench shirt), but with a belt, wrist wraps, and knee wraps. For more on these improvements, see Regaining Muscular Bodyweight and Strength and Steps to Being Emotionally and Spiritually Uplifted.

That said, having finished Part A of my Two by Two Training Plan, it is now time to start Part B. In Week A, I will still be doing two powerlift look-alike lifts as in Part A; but in Week B, I will be doing the actual powerlifts. I am really looking forward to that as I am anxious to see where my lifts are after all of the preceding training. I will continue to post my workouts at the end of each training week.

Through Part A I was experimenting with different rep ranges for different exercises, but I think I got things figured out. So my planned warm-up sets (in brackets) and work sets x reps are:

Reps 1. Powerlifts and powerlift look-alike lifts: [3-4 x 10, 6, 3, (1)] 3 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2
Reps 2. Other compound movements: [3 x 10, 6, 3] 3 x 7-8, 5-6, 3-4
Reps 3. Isolation exercises: [2 x 10, 6] 3 x 9-10, 7-8, 5-6

An initial 20 rep warm-up set is done for the first lift of the day to get the blood flowing, and the final warm-up single in Reps 1 is only done as needed. A belt and wraps will be worn on the powerlifts and look-alike lifts on the last warm-up set and all three work sets. A belt and/ or wraps will be worn otherwise as needed. A couple of exercises (DB benches and SLDLs) are look-alike lifts, but I will use Reps 2 for them, as I don't feel comfortable working up to a heavy double or single on them.

I use a small range for my reps as I progress best by training to almost failure. Follow the link for full details, but basically I mean the last rep of each work set should be very hard but only occasionally a full max. And I try to stop a set before missing a rep, so I only very rarely miss a rep, only if I misjudge how hard the final rep will be before attempting it.

I work out in the late afternoons four days a week (Su, M, W, Th), but I take an extra day off once a month to aid recovery. I also do cardio in the mornings, walking twice a week and hitting a heavy bag twice a week. For further details on all of these ideas, see my fitness Web site and my Starting and Progressing in Powerlifting book. My fitness Web site also contains previous workout logs, cardio logs, diet evaluations, and much more.

Age: 53.
Height: 5'1".
Bodyweight, body fat, and lean body mass: See each week.
Note: Body fat percent and LBM are being measured with a Sequoia Fitness: Warrior Digital Body Mass Caliper.
If you need one, it is available from Amazon.

Gear as indicated; if not indicated, then completely raw (no supportive gear).
Warm-ups are in brackets. All weights are in pounds. Format: pounds/reps.
Workout times include set-up, warm-up, lifting, stretching, and clean-up.

See also my Cardio Logs - September through December 2014.

Week 1 (Week A)

Bodyweight: 120.2 pounds.
Body fat: 12.3%, 14.8 pounds.
Lean body mass: 105.5 pounds.

Bench Assistance

Monday – 11/17/14

Gear: Crain Redline wrist wraps; Nike Sneakers.

Incline Bench [Dumbbells: 10s/20; Barbell: 45/10, 75/6, add wraps: 105/3] 120/8, 125/4*, 125/4

Lats: [Pulldowns (underhand): 45/10, 70/6, Chin-ups: add wraps: bwt./3] 5/8, 7.5/6, 10/6

Reverse Barbell Curls: [45/10, 50/6] 55/10, 57/8, 60/6

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:12

Incline benches did not go well. I started too heavy and had to put in a full max effort to get my planed number of reps. I thus got fewer reps than I wanted on the second set and didn’t increase the weight for the third. I was also sore while doing them and afterwards. But the rest of the workout went as planned. So I think there is a problem with the first exercise in my bench assistance workout.

I’ve been alternating incline benches with overheated presses, as both are upward pressing movements. But I think they are too different, so I am only working the same muscles in the same way every other week, and that is not enough, hence the ongoing soreness. So I need to pick one and do that both weeks. Inclines would be the better of the two for a bench assistance exercise, so I will l do those, with a barbell this week and with dumbbells in Week B. I’ll mix things up some when using the barbell by starting with a higher rep range (Reps 2) the first half of each part of my training plan, then switching to lower reps (Reps 1) for second half of each part.

I was a little leery to do chin-ups since I strained my left wrist on them back in the summer. But I wore wrist wraps, and that kept my wrist from bothering me.



Wednesday – 11/19/14

Gear: Crain: squat shoes, power belt, Genesis wrist wraps; APT heavy knee sleeves.

Low Squats: [regular: 45/20, low: 105/10, 135/6, add belt & wraps: 165/3] 185/6, 195/4, 205/2

Partial Squats: [135/10, 185/6, add belt & wraps: 235/3] 260/6, 275/4, 290/2

Bicycle Abs: 20, 20

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:12

A much better workout. I picked the weights just right. The final rep of each work set was very hard, but not a full max effort. That is just the intensity I want.



Thursday – 11/20/14

Gear: Nike sneakers; Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Decline Benches: [45/20, 85/10, 110/6, add belt & wraps: 135/6] 150/6, 157/4, 165/2

Dumbbell Benches: [35s/10, 42s/6, add belt & wraps: 50s/3] 57s/8, 57s/6, 60s/4

Barbell Rows: [45/10, 57/6, 70/3] 80/8, 85/6, 90/4

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:20

I hadn’t done decline benches in years, but somehow I picked my weights just right. But then on DB benches, my final warm-up set felt so light that I increased my planned weight for the first work set. I got my planned number of reps, but the last rep was a full max. I should have stayed with my original plans. So to get back on track, I repeated the same weight for the next set and did my originally planned reps; and that adjustment gave me just the right intensity, so I increased as originally planned for set three.



Sunday – 11/23/14

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

Platform Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 200/6, add belt & wraps: 260/3] 285/6, 300/4, 315/2

Stiff Leg Deadlift (conv.): [135/10, 170/6, add wraps: 205/3] 225/6, 235/4, 235/2

Dip Bar Leg Raises: [0/10] 3s/10, 3s/10

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:12

My competitive DL stance is sumo, so I am doing sumo PDLs to aid the pull off of the floor; the hardest part of the lift (at least for me). But then I am doing conv. SLDLs to give the low back and hamstrings more work than they get with sumo DLs.

The “3s” on the leg raises are 3 pound ankle weights. I got these many years ago when I was rehabbing after knee surgery, but I hadn’t used them in ages. I also have 5s, but I doubt I’ll use them. The 3s have Velcro, so they are easy to put on and off, but the 5s have two buckles, which are too much of a pain to do and undo for two quick ab sets.

That said, I didn’t sleep for the two nights prior to this workout due to an allergic reaction to a new protein powder I was trying (see my review of MRM Egg White Protein at Supplements: iHerb Natural Foods Reviews). But I cranked up heavy metal Christian music (a.k.a. White Metal), got psyched up, and put in a very good workout. I got all of my planned reps, although they were a little harder than I had hoped with being so tired.

Week 2 (Week B)

Bodyweight: 120.8 pounds.
Body fat: 11.9%, 14.4 pounds.
Lean body mass: 106.4 pounds.

Bench Assistance

Monday – 11/24/14

Gear: New Balance Sneakers; Crain power belt, Redline wrist wraps.

Dumbbell Incline Benches (alternate arms) [10s/20, 20s/10, 27s/6, add belt & wraps: 35s/3] 40s/8, 42s/6, 45s/4

Lats: [Pulldowns (overhand grip): 45/10, 70/6, 90/3] Dip Bar Pull-ups: bwt./8, 2.5/6, 5/4

Curl Bar Curls [35/10, 45/6] 50/10, 52/8, 55/6

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:12

As mentioned last week, I am changing to doing inclines for both bench assistance workouts, using dumbbells this week. Since I did them pressing the arms together in Part A, for this Part B I will be doing them alternating arms for some variety. And doings so was tough, much harder than doing them with arms together.

My dip bars are bars with hooks that I put in my power rack. For pull-ups with them, I put them in the top hole of the power rack. So my hands are parallel and over shoulder width apart; that makes them very tough as well. But I got all of my planned reps, so a very good workout.



Wednesday – 11/26/14

Gear: Crain: squat shoes, power belt, 2.5 meter Genesis knee wraps (1), Genesis wrist wraps.

Squats: [45/20, 135/10, 185/6, add belt & wraps: 235/3] 260/6, 275/4, 285/2

Dumbbell Calves: [10/10, 20/6] 27/10, 30/8, 32/6

Sit-ups: [bwt/10, 7.5/6] 15/10, 16.2/8, 17.5/6

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:18

I was a tad high on a couple of the reps on squats, and the first two sets were harder than I had hoped, so I didn’t increase as much as I planned for the final set. I used wraps twice back in the summer and not for four years prior to that, so I am rusty on them. But I’ll get used to them again!


Thanksgiving Day Benches

Thursday – 11/27/14

Gear: Nike sneakers; Crain: power belt, Genesis wrist wraps.

Benches: [45/20, 85/10, 110/6, add belt & wraps: 130/3] 145/6, 152/4, 160/2

Dumbbell Flyes: [10s/10, 15s/6] 20s/10, 21s/8, 22s/6

DB Rows (elbows in): [35/10, 42/6, 50/3] 55/8, 57/6, 60/4

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:10

I was able to work out today as my family had our Thanksgiving dinner three weeks ago, due to my niece-in-law being due on the 21st. As it turned out, she’s late, so Aaron is not here yet. But he will be fifth great-nephew (plus one great-niece). I’m looking forward to meeting him on Christmas.

That said, another sleepless night before this workout due to my multiple chemical sensitivities. But as usual, I put in a good workout, getting all of my planned reps; but I had to work harder than I had planned.



Sunday – 11/30/14

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

Deadlifts (sumo): [45/20, 135/10, 185/6, add belt & wraps: 235/3, 275/1] 305/6, 320/4, 335/2

Leg Curls (alternate legs): [5/10, 10/6] 12.5/10, 13.75/8, 15/6

Side Bends: [10/10; 20/6] 30/10, 32/8, 35/6

Stretching: 5-10 minutes

Workout time: 1:12

Stress over personal issues and computer problems kept me from being able to get psyched up for this workout, but I still managed to get my planned reps on all the sets. However, I had to work harder than I planned and tweaked my tender right hamstring in the process.

But most of all, I did not listen to my own advice that I give in my powerlifting book:

It is also good to have included what is called “deload” weeks in your routine. A deload week is when you do not work as hard as usual during your workouts in order to provide a break from hard lifting….

If you are starting with an alternating weeks type of routine, then the first two weeks will all be “new” exercise and thus a very good time to not work as hard as usual. This will also give you time to figure out your form on each lift before pushing hard on them.

What is needed is to back-off or “deload” on occasion, dropping the weights and intensity down for a period of time and then working back up. …

The off-season/ in-season routine [which I now call my Two by Two Plan] is especially helpful in this regard as it has two built-in places for backing off, at the start of each season [or Part]. And with the complete change of exercises season to season, it is very natural to start relatively easy at the beginning of each new season while you are learning (or re-learning) how to perform the lifts and thus avoid any possible emotional turmoil over not pushing hard enough. But then plenty of time is still allotted for progress over the remainder of each season.

I should have “deloaded” these first two weeks of Part B, using weights that were hard but not very hard like I did. But my lifting was going so well I didn’t want to back off. As a result of not doing so, I now feel overtrained. To correct this, I will need to take one or more days off, possibly the rest of the week. That will give me time to recover and for my hamstring to heal. Then when I start lifting again, I’ll do what I should have done in the first place: drop the eights down so that I am not working quite as hard, then gradually build back up again. But I will lose several training weeks by not having done this in the first place, and it ends any thoughts of competing again for the foreseeable future. I really hate it when I don’t listen to my own advice.

These workout logs are continued at: Full Workout Logs: Starting 12/7/2014 - Routine B of Two by Two Training Plan - Weeks 1-6.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 11/17/2014 - Part B of Two by Two Training Plan - Weeks 1-2 (False Start). Copyright 2014 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs: 2014 - Present

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