5/4/16 – Week 2, Day 1 – Max Effort Lower

I am moved back home for the summer and back to training at the local gym. I was hoping to get my first day of this training week in yesterday but after moving out, driving home, and then moving in, it was not in the cards. I am happy that I made this call though because today’s training session went well. After chatting with Brandon about the variation I should use for deadlift during this cycle I have chosen to hit block pulls on my heavy deadlift days but from a relatively low level. This will help me work on my sticking point right below my knee and also practice setting up close to the bar and pulling against my legs. The first deadlift session of the program went as follows…

  • Stretch and Warm-Up
  • 2″ Sumo Block Pull
    • 135×5, 225×5, 275×5, 315×3, 365×3, 405×3, 455×3, 475×3, 505×3
    • 325×5, 375×5, 425×8
  • Sumo Deadlift (3 Count Pause at Knee)
    • 225×3, 275×3, 315×3
  • Paused Squat
    • 225×6, 275×6, 295×6
  • Pull Throughs – 4×20
  • Back Hypers w/ Hold (vs. Elitefts Pro Mini Band) – 3×12
  • Standing Cable Ab Pulldowns – 4×20

Training lasted a little longer than normal today because I kept changing my mind on what to do. My local gym does not have a deadlift platform of block to pull off of so I began warming up by doing rack pulls in a conventional stance. After working up to about 365, I decided that this was not cutting it, moved the bar outside the rack, and pulled off of laid over thick bumper plates in such a way that the bar was lower and I could pull from a sumo stance. According to my hard copy training log, I hit a PR on block pulls today even though I do not really believe it. My log said that my previous PR was 495 however I could have sworn that I have gotten 505 before. A will let it slide this time and update my record book but this doubt has prompted me to finally create a spreadsheet with all the lifts, bars, and variations I use and the corresponding PRs for each. I have been meaning to do this for a long time but today’s training finally sealed the deal. The good news is that this is still only the first set of max effort days for this cycle and I am already bringing down PRs. I am very excited to see where I am at in five more weeks and the end of the program!

I am still playing a major game of catch up on my training days after my little hold up during finals but that just means I get to up my frequency a bit. The problem right now is that I am going to the Elitefts Compound this Saturday with a team mate to train and I am hoping to hit heavy squats. I am not about to travel all the way to London, OH to do a dynamic bench session. At this point however, even if I train everyday, I cannot get this training week completed before Saturday morning when I travel over there. Nonetheless, I will figure out something such as cutting out dynamic bench until after the compound or maybe do a fusion speed day. Either way I will figure it out and get caught back up. This isn’t the first time this has happened and definitely won’t be the last. Adapt and Overcome, Until next time!


4/25/16 – Week 1, Day 1 – Max Effort Lower

I’m back at it! After a very long deload week I am officially back into offseason powerlifting training. I missed posting about the last two training sessions before the week started due to a full schedule which even involved a trip to the Elitefts S4 Compound with Purdue Barbell for a seminar with Dave “Under the Bar” Tate himself. Aside from resting up nothing I did this past week is training log worthy, mostly just normal shenanigans and recovery work. The first ME Lower training session since before my last meet went as follows…

  • Box Squat (vs. Elitefts Pro Light Bands)
    • 45×5, 135×5, 225×5, 275×3, 295×3, 315×3, 335×3
  •  Paused Front Squat
    • 165×12, 185×10, 205×8
  • Stiff Leg Sumo Deadlift
    • 245×8, 275×8, 315×8
  • Glute-Ham Raise – 4×12
  • Back Extension – 4×20
  • Standing Cable Ab Pulldowns – 4×15

I always forget how much Brandon’s Beta Test program takes out of me during the first week while I am reacclimating myself to powerlifting training but it just means I have to push myself that much harder. Ethan and I were under time constraints today so the rest between sets was not optimal. We pushed through it and even had a little time to catch my breath once we got through the supplemental work and into accessories. During our seminar with Mr. Tate we got learned on how we should tweak our form on some of the accessories (i.e. Glute-Ham Raise) so we are getting some more bang for the buck now. I can already feel everything getting tight and stairs will be hard for a few days but that’s the price we pay for pretending to be bodybuilders for six weeks. I am overjoyed to be back under heavy weights again. Going into the training session I was anticipating getting more weight on the bar but the band/box combo really humbled me today. As per usual I will be alternating deadlift and squat variations on max effort lower days so I have two more heavy days with this movement during the duration of this cycle to get that number up. My power will come back fast now that I’m into powerlifting movements but I will just have to endure this readjustment time to the heavy sets with compound movements. School will be over for me a week from tomorrow and summertime always seems to see faster progress for my lifts than when I’m bogged down with school. It’s time to hop back on the gain train! Until next time!