Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director

2016-17 Two by Two Training Plan Preview

By Gary F. Zeolla

      Having competed in APF/ AAPF Ohio States - 2016, it will soon be time to begin a new training plan in preparation for my next contest. My last training plan went well, so I will be sticking with my “Two by Two Powerlifting Training Plan.” Namely, my training plan will continue to consists of two routines (a Post-Contest Routine and a Pre-Contest Routine), with two training weeks within each routine (Week A and Week B). Similar but different exercises are done in each of the four training weeks. Each routine lasts 10-12 training weeks, so any given exercise is done at most six times during the course of the six-month training plan. But there were a few hiccups in my previous plan, so I will be making a few changes to try to correct those problems in my new training plan.


    During my first two training weeks, I realized some of the following proposed changes were not going to work. Thus before once again breaking the "If it's not broken, don't fix it" rule, I changed my plans. But I kept my original thoughts so as to remember in the future and so that others will know what I was originally thinking. But then I added "updates" (indicated by headers in blue) to indicate why I now think those changes would not work and what I will do instead. I also added updates to indicate when I think a proposed change will work. Hopefully, my back and forth thoughts will help the reader to make similar decisions.


Backoff Workouts


      I “peaked” too early for my recent contest. My training had been going great up until 2-4 weeks before the contest, but then it took a downturn. I think that happened due to a change I made at the beginning of the Pre-Contest Routine. I had been doing “backoff” workouts the first two weeks of every routine for some time, dropping the weights about 10% from the last time I had done each exercise.

      But this time I instead took two days off between routines and then did what I called “starter workouts” and only dropped the weights 5%.  That seemed to work for a while, but then I think I got burned out and had to take more extra days off than usual. And that led to me peaking and feeling overtrained before the routine ended. Thus I messed things up by breaking the “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” rule.

      Needless to say, I will fix this by going back to using backoff workouts and not bothering with the two days off between routines. Thus the first two weeks of this and subsequent routines will be backoff workouts, dropping the weights about 10%.

      But I’m not sure what I will do about extra days off otherwise. I have been taking an extra day off every four weeks for some time. That works at times, but at other times it is not necessary and seems to throw me off. It probably will not be necessary after the first four weeks, with the first two of those weeks consisting of the aforementioned backoff workouts. But after that I might only take an extra day off when I feel I need it rather than on a specific schedule.


    I need to be careful what I base the 10% drop on for my backoff workouts. For an exercise in my second workout in this routine I based it on a set of six reps from my previous training plan that was an "exceptional" set, meaning it went much better than the next two sets in that workout and any others in that routine. As a result, I needed to work much harder than I had planned on for that set. I thus now know I need to base that 10% drop on a "normal" set. But otherwise, doing backoff workouts is going back to what I was doing before "breaking" it, so I will definitely be utilizing this approach at the start of each routine.


Moving 5-6 Rep Set


      I will make one change to my what is laid out in my Sets x Reps Philosophy and Plan article. There I talk about doing 3 sets x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2 reps. But I am finding that doing a first set to 5-6 reps is tiring me out for the next two sets. For instance, for my final workouts for each actual powerlift before my recent contest I wanted to do 6, 4, 2 reps, but after getting the six reps for the first sets, I only got three reps for all three second sets and only a single for two of the three final sets.

    To fix this I could simply increase by less weight from set to set. But the purpose of the second two sets, especially the last one, is to condition the body to the handling of heavy weights. Moreover, my attempts at a contest are based on what I use for those two sets. Thus instead, I will move the 5-6 rep set from first to last, so I will be doing 3 x 3-4, 1-2, 5-6. This will be similar to the “Drop Reps with Backoff Set” approach I have done before with good success. However, for that, the final set would be done raw and for 7-8 reps. But here, my plan is to use the same gear as for the first two work sets and to only do 5-6 reps.

      With this change, I should have more energy for the two lower reps sets and should be able to keep using the same heavy weights. But I will use slightly less weight for the 5-6 reps set than if I were doing it first, as what matters for it is not so much the weight but the intensity. This is only a slight change and thus all I say about the reasons for my approach in the “Sets x Reps” article still apply.

      But the one drawback to this new plan is I will need to do one more warmup set due to starting heavier on my first work set. It will be a single with the same gear as I will be using on the work sets and with the same weight as I will use for the 5-6 rep set later. I will also do a warmup double or triple before the single with gear, plus a few sets for higher reps without gear before that. I am planning on using this approach for both of my two main exercises for each workout, which is to say the actual powerlifts and/ or look-alike lifts. And doing five sets total with gear for both of these exercises will add to my workout times, but hopefully not that much.


    The plan to move the 5-6 rep set from first to last did not work out for a couple of reasons. The first is the potential problem just mentioned: doing so required adding another warmup set with gear. That extra warmup set takes about five minutes total, between the time it takes to change the weights, rest, tighten gear, do the set, and loosen the gear. Multiply that by two, and that would add ten minutes to my already too long workouts.

    Second and a concern I had but didn't mention is that I have gone 9/9 at all three contests I have entered in my 50s. For all three, I was using the 3 x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2 approach. With that approach, I am doing three sets, adding weight each set. That prepares me perfectly for doing three attempts at a contest, adding weight each attempt, with the weight increases between attempts being the same as between sets throughout the training routine. I am thus very used to that much of a jump in weight. But with the 3-4, 1-2, 5-6 approach, that pattern is broken, and I am concerned it might throw me off picking and performing attempts at a contest. Also, and related to the preceding, dropping reps and adding weight for three sets with increasing intensity on each set seems "natural," while dropping reps and adding weight for two sets, then doing the reverse for a third set seems unnatural.

    On the warmup sets, at the end of my previous routine, I began doing a "free" (no weight) warm up set of 15-20 reps before my first warmup set with the bar. That worked well and enabled me to feel less stiff than when my first set was with the bar. And reading over my old training logs I noticed that I had been doing this free set for the first couple of years when I started lifting again in the early '00s, which was in my early 40s. But then for some reason that I don't mention, I stopped doing it.

    That was a mistake, so my warmup sets will now be: 15-20, 10, 9, 7, 5, 3, 2 reps for the first exercise of my squat and deadlift workouts. I don't need as many warmups on benches as I don't use near the weights and am not as stiff in my upper body, so I start with a set of 15 reps with the bar, then do sets of 9, 7, 5, 3 reps. The final set is with 10% less weight than I will be using on my first work set, and the other sets are spaced evenly down from there.

    But note, by the "bar" I mean 65 pounds on squats and 50 pounds on benches, as that will be the weight of the bars at my next contest, so I want to get used to starting with that weight. The deadlift bar will also be 50 pounds, but I do that first set as I am moving the bar into place, so I don't want to stop just to put a pair of 2-1/2s on.

    The second set of the workout uses the same pattern, except the free set and the set with the bar is not done. For the next exercise or two, I do one to three warmup sets as needed.


Rearranging and Changing Exercises


      In my previous routine, I made good progress on benches and related lifts the first ten weeks, but then the last couple of weeks, I stalled or even backtracked. That could have been due to my exercise selections. On Bench Assistance (BA) day, I was doing a variation of declines and of inclines each week. On Bench day, I was doing two-alike lifts Week A and regular benches and a look-alike lift Week B. For both of the declines and all four bench moves I was using a regular grip. With arching on benches, they are similar to declines, just not as steep, but the same downward angle. And I think that was too much work with the same grip from a similar angle. Conversely, on inclines, I was using a close grip Week A and a wide grip Week B, and I think that was too much of a difference for them to offset each other.

      Given all of this, for declines and inclines, I will do one exercise each routine with a regular grip and one with a “odd” (close or wide) grip each routine. For benches, I was going to substitute wide grip benches for one exercise in the Post-Contest Routine and close grip benches for one exercise in the Pre-Contest Routine. But at my most recent contest, I had a very difficult time with the lockout on my third attempt. This has also often been the case in training. As such, I will do rack benches (lockouts) rather than wide grip benches; but I will still do close grip benches, as they do help with the lockout by working the triceps.

      For squats, I plan to continue to compete raw with wraps, but I will also do squats with sleeves for an assistance exercise and maybe someday I will compete that way. If I were to do so, I would do more bottom-end work. But for now, squats with sleeves will be my main bottom end assistance exercise, as I can handle more weight with them that for other variations, so they should help squats with wraps more than the variations.

    Also for squats with wraps, on my third attempt I almost stalled at the halfway point. The same had been happening in training both with sleeves and with wraps, with even missing a couple of times at that point. I am already doing top end work that should help, but apparently is not. The only other thing I can think of is maybe that is the transition point from the glutes to the quads being the main movers, so I will strengthen the quads via a form of squats with a close stance. I will do Sting Ray (front, close stance) squats in the Post-Contest Routine and Manta Ray (high bar, close stance) squats in the Pre-Contest routine.

      For deadlifts, the only issue I had at the contest was with my grip. As I explain in the update in my powerlifting bars article, I think that was due to the Ohio Deadlift Bar I train on having deeper knurling than the contest bar. I plan on continuing to use my Ohio Deadlift Bar for training, but to even things out, I might try not using chalk in training, but then to use it at a contest. Otherwise, I already starting doing reverse curls on both BA days, which I have found to best help in that area, so I will continue with them. I just need to put more effort into them and to watch my form, and not just buzz through them as I have been doing.

    Also, I don't think I will do conv SLDLs anymore, as I am leery about re-injuring my tender right hamstring on them. But I will do sumo SLDLs, as the strain on the hamstrings is not as great on them. But they still directly work the low back in a manner that will have the greatest carryover to sumo deadlifts, my competitive stance.

      Another minor change I will be making is to flip flop which type of rows I will doing on each Bench day. I had been doing them underhand on BA day and overhand on Bench day. I also do reverse curls on BA day, and I tried doing curls on Bench day. If that had worked out, the pattern of doing one exercise overhand and one underhand in each workout would have made sense. But doing curls on Bench day proved to be too much as it made for too long of workouts. Also, as I expressed previously, I really think my biceps get enough work from all of the rowing and the reverse curls. As such, I will flip flop the rows, so that the underhand version, which works the biceps more, are done by themselves on Bench day. Then on BA day, the overhand rows and reverse curls will be done, both of which work the biceps but in a less direct manner, but together, the biceps will get a significant amount of work.


    This rearranging and changing of exercises is sound and based on how things went at my most recent contest and in my previous Pre-Contest Routine. But I rearranged things some more so as to be able to do both the top-end work and the WGBPs in my Post-Contest Routine, along with the CGBPs in my Pre-Contest Routine for the reasons stated.

    I will definitely be doing the two mentioned variations of close stance squats, as I think that is the answer to the squat problem I've been having, and they are good squat assistance exercises overall. In fact, reading over my old training logs, I had the same idea at one time back then when I had the same problem of stalling at the halfway point. I thus started doing close stance, high bar squats (this was before I got the Manta Ray), and that seemed to help. But then for some reason, I got away from the close stance squat work. That was another mistake that I will correct by going back to doing what I had been doing at one time that was working.

    It worked out not using chalk in my first two deadlift workouts, so I will continue to try and not use it, so as to strengthen my grip and to not have problems with my grip at contests, for which I will use chalk.


Powerlifts and Others in Both Routines


      A more significant change I will make is to do the actual powerlifts in both training routines, in Week B. I had only been doing them in Week B of the Pre-contest Routine. In this way I will do each actual powerlift up to a dozen times per training plan, rather than just the six times I have been doing. Hopefully, in this way I will make better progress on them.

    But by "actual powerlifts" I mean squats with wraps and sumo deadlifts, but I will do squats with sleeves Week A in both routines, for the reasons mentioned above. As for deadlifts, sumo has always been my competitive stance, but I will train conv and sumo deadlifts evenly. Week A, I will do conv deadlifts followed by a sumo look-alike lift. Then Week B, I will do sumo deadlifts followed by a conv look-alike lift. I will follow this pattern in both routines, except I will change the exact look-alike lifts.

      The main reason I am doing this is I think conv deadlifts are the best assistance exercise there is for sumo deadlifts, giving the low back and hamstrings more work than they get from sumos. But come contest-time, if I end up pulling more conv than sumo, then I will of course pull conv at the contest. But I seriously doubt that will happen as I’ve always been able to pull about ten pounds more on sumos than on conv deadlifts.

      I will still “backoff” on all of these lifts at the start of the Pre-Contest Routine, dropping the weights, but then building up again throughout the routine, hopefully “peaking” for a contest at the end of the routine. But then, with this change, I might end up getting burned out on them and see a drop off at the end of the training plan. Hopefully, that will not happen, but if it does, then I will go back to my former plan.

    But if it does work, then next time I might do a few look-alike lifts both routines, namely the ones I think are the best ones. Right now, I am doing my "best" assistance exercises in my Pre-Contest Routine. But if I do them in both routines, then there will not be as great of a difference between routines as previously, and I could enter a contest at the end of either routine. In that case, I might need to change the names of them back to just “Routine A” and “Routine B” that I used to call them. But I doubt I would as I cannot afford to enter more than two contests a year, and doing so would be too much on me health-wise. Also, I doubt I would make progress if were to enter a contest every three months.


    The first time I did an exercise I had just done in my previous routine, it felt just like that--that I had just done this and did not want to do it again. It just did not feel right, and I could easily see myself not being able to get into doing it throughout that routine, let alone routine after routine after routine. But by only doing the same exercise every other routine, it gives me a break from that given exercise, so when I do it a routine later, it seems "fresh," and I can put full effort into it. This is all psychological, but it is important . But physically, I could easily see my concern about getting burned out on the actual powerlifts before contest-time at the end of the second routine with doing them throughout the training plan.

    In fact, this changing of exercises routine to routine is the whole point of the "Two by Two" part of my training plan, so to deviate from it would be a radical change. But my training has been going well since I began using this plan when I began training hard again in my 50s, so again, "If it's not broken, don't fix it."


Update: Deadlift Variations


    With only doing regular sumo and conv deadlifts in the Pre-Contest Routine and with not wanting to do conv SLDLs, I needed at least one more deadlift variation to do in the Post-Contest Routine. I thus Googled "deadlift variations" and came up with two possibilities: snatch (wide) grip deadlifts and hack (behind the back) deadlifts. I tried both of these in my first deadlift workout.

    On the snatch grip deadlifts, the purpose of them is to lengthen the pull, both at the bottom and at the top. They are thus even more different from regular deadlifts than deficit deadlifts. But the main caveat I found for them was a male had to be careful not to use too wide of a grip or the bar would hit his nuts. Given this, during my first deadlift workout, I experimented and found the widest grip I could use without that happening was to grip the bar with my outside fingers just inside of the rings, or about one hand width wider than my regular grip. Women could of course go wider, but I don't think you would want to go much wider anyway as they would be too tough.

    I also found a page that said to use a stance slightly wider than your regular conv stance. And experimenting, I found that was in fact the ideal stance. Specifically, I used a stance about one inch wider than than my conv stance. But I found that I could not use a sumo stance at all, as I couldn't even pull 135 with it! But with the slightly wider than conv stance, I used about 20 pounds less than the weights I would have used for a conv 2-1/4" deficit deadlifts backoff workout, so the snatch grip deadlifts are a tough exercise. But they felt good, and I think they will be an effective exercise, working the pulling muscles in a slightly different manner than regular deadlifts. I will thus continue to do them in my Week A Post-Contest workout.

    However, the hack deadlifts did not work at all. They purpose for them is to work the quads more than they get worked with regular deadlifts. But the warning I read about them was that they were hard on the knees. And pulling just 135 for one rep, I could tell that would be the case. It really bothered my knees. I tried a second rep, and that was it. There was no doubt they would hurt my knees. That was with a conv stance. I could not do them at all with a sumo stance, as it was just too awkward. As such, I will not be doing and would not recommend hack deadlifts, but I will be doing and would recommend snatch grip deadlifts. Just find the appropriate grip, and they should be an effective exercise.

    Since the hack deadlifts did not work out, I did sumo SLDLs instead, and those felt good. I will thus be doing them Week A and sumo deficit deadlifts Week B. Then in my Pre-Contest Routine, I will combine the two and do sumo deficit SLDLs. I tried a couple of reps after the regular SLDLs in that workout, and I think they will be effective.


Update: Morning Workouts


    Doing calves in the morning was not working out, as they are too hard of an exercise. I will thus be moving them to my Week A deadlifts workouts, the shortest of my squat and deadlift workouts. I will only do standing calves, as there is no easy way to do them seated with my home gym. I will then do leg curls and an adductors/ abductors exercise each week in the mornings rather than every other week as I have been doing. Hopefully, that will rehab my right hamstring and right adductor more effectively.

    I will do the leg curls on days that I will be doing squats later, and the adductors/ abductors exercise on days that I will be doing deadlifts later. In that way, the hamstrings will be worked directly twice a week, with the leg curls then with deadlifts, and the adductors and abductors will be worked twice a week, with squats then the adductors/ abductors exercise. Of course, squats also work the hamstrings and deadlifts the adductors and abductors, but not near as much as the reverse.

    For the leg curls, I will do them as I have been, lying on my FID bench and using the leg curl attachment. I had been doing them with legs together, but with that form, I feel like my good (left) leg just pulls my bad (right) keg along, so the right hamstring is not being rehabbed. I will thus continue doing them alternating legs, but I will alternate that with doing them one leg at a time. I will also try doing them standing using ankle weights, again, alternating doing one leg at a time and alternating legs. That will give me the four variations in need to do a different variation in each of my four training weeks.

    However, on the adductors/ abductors exercise, I do them standing using ankle weights. I tried doing them lying on my side, but that was too awkward. As such, unless I can think of another variation, I will only have two variations. I will do them one leg at a time Week A and alternating legs Week B of both routines.


Number of Weeks


      God-willing, the contest at the end of this training plan will be IPA PA States in York, PA on March 4, 2017. With that date, the last minor change is due to time. In my last training plan I did two 12 week routines, as I had time for the full 24 training weeks. But this time I will only have 22-23 training weeks, depending on how many off days I take. As such, the Post-Contest Routine will only last 11 weeks, and the Pre-Contest routine 11-12 weeks.

      With the first routine being an odd number of weeks, I will start the Pre-Contest Routine with Week B, so as to be sure to get in the all six workouts of the Pre-Contest Routine where I will be doing the actual powerlifts. But that will mean I will be doing Week B in odd numbered weeks and Week A in even number weeks, while it is usually and more logically the reverse.


    This number of weeks in each routine of my new training plan and the flip lopping of training weeks in the Pre-Contest Routine are necessitated by the date of my planned next contest and are still within the 10-12 weeks per routine that my training is designed for.


A Near Setback


      After competing on Saturday, September 10, 2016, my plan was to take a week off and to start training again on Sunday, 9/18. But on Tuesday afternoon I began feeling sick and had a head and chest cold for the next five days. That was the third time I had gotten sick the week after a contest. That is not surprising, as not only do I get run down from the contest itself, but there is all of the stuff I have to do afterwards due to my multiple chemical sensitivities.

      After I got home from the contest on Sunday, I spent three hours unpacking. It took so long as I was organizing things for next time. But more so, I needed to wipe off everything I had with me that could not be washed, while sorting things to be washed. Everything I had with me at the hotel and at the contest needed to be cleaned, as it bothered me sensitivities-wise at both places.

    Over the next three days, I was busy writing up the afore linked to contest report, the charts and logs for my new training plan, and this article, while getting caught up on email, all in the midst of doing all the washing. I consider the break from work starting from when I leave for a contest on the Thursday afternoon before the contest until I get all of this done after the contest my vacation from work.

    By Wednesday afternoon, I was finished with all of this, having posted the first draft of this article and having finished my ninth and final load of wash. I thus was able to get some rest then get back to work Thursday morning working on my four-volume writing project (see Writing Plans). By Sunday I had recovered from the cold sufficiently to be able to start training as planned. But I was still dragging a bit, so it was good I had already planned on starting with backoff workouts. And I had to forgo my plans to visit my mom at a nursing home during the work break, as I didn’t want to give her my cold and didn't feel up to going out. But at least I got to talk to her on the phone on Saturday, and she sounded like she was doing better than when I visited her the week before the contest. I thank the LORD for my recovery and her doing better.


    Throughout my first training week, I was still feeling a bit sick, with some mild coughing and excessive mucus and feeling a bit more fatigued than normal. It wasn't until the end of the second training week that I was finally feeling fully recovered from being sick.


Update: Sex x Reps


      The sets x reps plan described at Sets x Reps Philosophy and Plan has been working, but not quite as well as I would like. I thus have been reading over my old Training Routines and Training Logs: 2002-05. These are from when I first started lifting again in my early 40s and was making better progress. At that time, it is apparent I made the best progress when I incorporated for the powerlifts both higher (5-8) reps and lower (1-4) reps in each training routine. Also at that time, I usually used a three rep range, writing it up as 6-8, 4-6, or 2-4 reps. Only when I planned on doing singles or doubles did I have just a two rep range (1-2 reps). Those larger reps ranges worked well with my philosophy of training to almost failure, for which I train very hard, but I try to stop just short of actually missing a rep.

      With my current plan of doing 3 sets x 5-6, 3-4, 1-2 reps on the powerlifts and look-alike lifts, I am doing both higher and lower reps as so defined, but barely. I am only doing one set in the lower end of the higher reps range. And the only two rep range does not work quite as well with training to almost failure. But I very much like the drop reps approach I have been using, for the reasons stated in the Sets x Reps article and above.

      To incorporate all of this now, I am going to open up my reps ranges by raising the top reps by one. I will thus write it up as 3 x 5-7, 3-5, 1-3 reps. In this way, when I do the highest reps of 7, 5, 3, I will be doing two sets in the higher rep range and one set in the lower rep range. Then when I do the lowest reps of 5, 3, 1, I will be doing one set in the higher range and two in the lower. However, back in my early 40s, the sets in the higher reps range were always done completely raw, with only the sets in lower reps range being done with gear. But now in my mid-fifties, I know my aging body cannot handle doing any work sets without gear, so I will be using a belt, wrist wraps, and knee sleeves or knee wraps for both the higher and lower reps sets.

      When I first thought of such an idea at the beginning of my previous routine, I mentioned that I might combine these reps with a periodization cycle, dropping the reps every four week (see Routines Review and Preview). In that case, I would do 7, 5, 3 for two workouts, then 3 x 6, 4, 2 for two workouts, then 3 x 5, 3, 1 for the final two workouts. But that would have me trying for a specific number of reps in each workout. But doing so caused me problems, as discussed in the Sets x Reps article.

      As such, I will only plan on a specific number of reps for my initial workouts, when I am doing backoff workouts. For them I will pick my weights so as to be able to do 3 x 7, 5, 3 without a full effort. I will do so by checking my logs for the previous time I did each exercise and basing the initial weights on the best five rep (first) set of the final 5, 3, 1 workout, dropping the weights by 10% for the five rep (second) set in the backoff workout of 7, 5, 3 reps. I will then figure out the other two sets from there, dropping 5% for the first set and adding 5% for the final set. That is my usual weight increase, 5% set to set to cause a drop of two reps.

      Then after those initial workouts, I will gradually increase the weights each workout. How much each workout will depend on how things are progressing and how hard the previous workout’s sets were. I wait until the next day to write up the weights for my next workout, and this is where my workout videos are very helpful. I can better gauge how hard a set was later, when I am relaxed and watching the video, than when I am psyched up during a workout. In any case, through the course of the routine, the gradual increasing of weights should have me gradually dropping the reps, so that by the final workouts ideally I should be doing 5, 3, 1 reps. I will thus be cycling down the reps, but rather than in prescribed manner, it will be the “natural” progress of reps.

    However, I will have an idea of the specific reps I am hoping to get on each work set of each exercise going into a workout. I will call these my "target reps" and will once again indicate them in parentheses in my logs before the work sets for each exercise. But if I fall short on reps in a set, I will not consider it a missed rep, if the reps are still within the prescribed reps range for that set. And with that mindset, I will try to refrain from trying a rep when I know I probably will not be able to get it and thus missing it. Again, my "training to almost failure" philosophy is to stop just short of actually missing a rep.

      For exercises other than the powerlifts and look-alike lifts, I will use a similar approach but with higher reps as warranted by the given exercise. Below is a summary of these planned reps, with the set indicated by which I will pick the weights for my initial backoff workouts.

Powerlifts and look-alike lifts:
3 x 5-7, 3-5, 1-3
For backoff workout: use 5 rep set weight from previous plan minus 10%.

Upper back and speed work:
3 x 6-8, 4-6, 2-4
For backoff workout: use 6 rep set weight from previous plan minus 10%.

3 x 9-11, 7-9, 5-7
For backoff workout: use 9 rep set weight from previous plan minus 10%.

Calves, abs, and leg curls:
3 x 10-12, 8-10, 6-8
For backoff workout: use 10 rep set weight from previous plan minus 10%.

Rotator cuff work:
3 x 12-14, 10-12, 8-10
For backoff workout: use 12 rep set weight from previous plan minus 10%.


Updated Conclusion


      I’ve been sticking with the basic design of my Two by Two Plan ever since I started training hard again in my 50s in the fall of 2013, as it works well. But I keep on “tweaking” it. Sometimes these tweaks help, but more often than not, they do not. As such, I am very leery about changing anything. That is why I so quickly undid some of my proposed changes. Since things have been going well, there is no reason to risk messing things up. One last time: "If it's not broken, don't fix it." But some of the changes are based on my training logs, as indicted, so they are attempts to go back to what worked better in the past.

    Also, reviewing my older workout logs, it is apparent that I change things too much and too frequently. And many times, I have made changes throughout a training routine and even shortly before a contest. That has most certainly hindered my progress. But at least this time I did all of my experimenting during the first two weeks of training post-contest, when I was doing my backoff workouts, with my next contest over five months away. That is the time to be doing any needed experimenting. But here's praying I got things all figured out, and I will try to stick with my plan as it now is throughout this training plan until my next contest. As indicated, God-willing, that will be IPA PA States in York, PA on March 4, 2017, just over five months from this last update on September 30, 2016.

      See 2016-17 Training Plan Workouts Summary for an outline of all of my planned exercises in this training plan. I changed my planned exercises several times during the first two weeks, as indicated above. But again, here's praying I got things figured out now and will be able to to stick with the indicated exercises throughout this training plan. For the first six weeks of workouts of this new training plan, see 2016-17 Two by Two Powerlifting Training Plan; Post-Contest Routine, Weeks 1-6 of 11.


2016-17 Training Plan Preview. Copyright 2016 by Gary F. Zeolla.

The above article was posted on this site September 14, 2016.
It was last updated September 30, 2016.

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

Text Search     Alphabetical List of Pages  Contact Information

Fitness for One and All Home Page

Books and eBooks by the Director