Exhausted, sluggish, yet still breathing. I finally get to enjoy a rest day, after weeks and weeks of hard work. My previous twelve-week training cycle culminated in a 63lb gain across my three lifts, yet with only six weeks before my next meet, there’s no time for rest. 

 

 

Lessons From my Last Meet

My last training cycle focused a lot on building weak points, and strengthening muscles that needed it, which proved to be successful. The training was great up until the point I tweaked my back doing heavy singles weeks before my meet. This left a lot to be desired in the deadlift, as I only beat my personal record (PR) by eleven pounds since I was still relatively injured. I’ll just work that much harder on my next cycle.

 

Breaking Muscle Shop

I learn more and more about myself, as well as the human capacity, every time I compete. I squatted more than I had planned by switching my third attempt. I also learned some weaknesses on the bench that need to be addressed in the future, and how (and how not) to push through an injury. Not only that, but I also saw some people putting up monster numbers. Seeing squats and deadlifts over 600lbs can be eye-opening and exciting, as I know I can put those numbers up some day if I put in the work.

 

Six Weeks Isn't Much Time

With my last meet in the books, I only have six or seven weeks to train, depending on whether or not I take a deload week somewhere in the middle. As far as deloading goes, I really just listen to my body – if my body needs a break, I’ll decrease my volume for a week. I’ll be taking at least one week off of deadlifting at the beginning of my cycle to recover from the stress my body endured during my previous training and meet (I’ve replaced them with a few pull ups, because why not?).

 

Six weeks isn’t much time, six weeks isn’t much time, six weeks isn’t much time. I have cut all accessory lifts during this short training cycle, except for rows, as I feel they are one of the accessory lifts that translates to a bigger squat, bench, and deadlift. No overhead pressing, no cleaning, just lots and lots of squatting, benching, and deadlifting.

 

I’ll be training four times per week and dramatically increasing my volume for this cycle. It’s going to be hell, but with proper nutrition and eight hours of sleep (most important), I shouldn’t have a problem recovering. Here goes nothing!

 

This Week's Training

Training Maxes (95% of competition max)

  • Squat - 285lb
  • Bench - 215lb
  • Deadlift - 345lb

 

Most of my training is based off of my 1RM, in an effort to gradually get strong, so for training intents and purposes, my maxes are 95% of my previous competition lift. With that being said, I finish off my benches and squats with either a heavy single or an overload, so my body can adapt to the heavier weights.

 

Monday

Squat

  • Bar x 10 (2 sets)
  • 135 x 5
  • 185 x 3
  • 230 x 3 (5 working sets @ 80%)
  • 245 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Bench

  • Bar x 10
  • 95 x 5
  • 135 x 5
  • 175 x 2 (5 working sets @ 80%)
  • 195 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Pull Ups

Bodyweight x 5 (4 sets)

 

Tuesday

Bench (1 second pause on chest)

  • Bar x 10
  • 95 x 5
  • 135 x 5
  • 140 x 5 (6 working sets @ 65%)
  • Overload/Static Hold 235 x 10 seconds (3 sets @ 110%)

 

Squat (5 second pause in the hole)

  • Bar x 10 (2 sets)
  • 135 x 5
  • 155x5 (3 working sets @ 55%)
  • 175 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Seated Row

  • 80 x 5
  • 120x5
  • 160x5 (5 working sets)

 

Wednesday

Yoga

 

Thursday

Squat

  • Bar x 10 (2 sets)
  • 135 x 5
  • 185 x 3
  • 200 x 8 (3 working sets @ 70%)
  • Overload/Static Hold 315 x 10 seconds (3 sets @ 110%)

 

Bench (Floor Press)

  • Bar x 10
  • 95 x 5
  • 135 x 5
  • 140 x 6 (4 working sets @ 65%)
  • 185 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Pull Ups

Bodyweight x 5 (5 sets)

 

Friday

Rest

 

Saturday

Bench (Pin Press)

  • Bar x 10
  • 95 x 5
  • 135 x 5
  • 150 x 1 (10 working sets @ 70%)
  • 185 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Squat (Goblet Squats)

  • 35 x 10 (2 sets)
  • 55 x 5
  • 70x10 (3 working sets)
  • 85 x 1 (training max for the day)

 

Bent-over Row

  • 95 x 5
  • 135 x 5
  • 175 x 3 (5 working sets)

 

Sunday

Rest

 

Next week I’ll delve into my squat and bench variations deeper, and just generally check in so you know I’m still alive and kicking. Stay active!

 

Ryan Seaver is a novice powerlifter who found his love for the sport after six years of going to the gym religiously. Follow Ryan's journals to learn how to get started as a competitive lifter.

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