Another day, another dollar. This week was great. I was already squatting and benching so often before this training cycle that after my first week of being sore due to new rep ranges my body decided it didn’t hate me.

 

 

Hardest and Easiest Gym Days

After hitting these rep ranges for a few weeks, I’ve discovered the hardest and easiest days in the gym. The hardest is five sets of seven. Oh man. For some reason five sets of seven is grueling, especially when done at 80%. Maybe it’s because I stayed in the three-to-five rep range all year, but take my word for it – it was a tough day. I can confidently recommend scheduling a rest day after this. There’s no need to burn out.

 

"Based on how the previous week felt, the goal is to achieve the same workout with an extra 5-20lb."

The easiest day? Ten sets of three. I’m used to throwing around some heavy weights, so this day is exhilarating, as I’m always ready to get after it.

 

Progressive Overload

As far as my training routine goes, the setup is pretty basic. Progressive overload is the name of the game. Based on how the previous week felt, the goal is to achieve the same workout with an extra 5-20lb.

 

For example, my bench sucks right now. It’s always been my kryptonite, so I plan on adding five pounds each week. Building strength with concise technique keeps you honest. My legs, on the other hand, can take a beating, so I added ten pounds on my squat for this week. I’ll be taking this on a week-by-week basis as well (I’ll add another 10-15lb next week).

 

RELATED: How to Make Social Events a Strength This Holiday Season

 

I didn’t end up deadlifting this week, which I wasn’t too happy with. It’s the holiday season, and I had family in town, so the gym had to take a back seat. I typically wake up even earlier to get a session in (as I hate missing a scheduled gym day), but it was Thanksgiving last week. I had the entire day to make bad choices (such as hooking up a gravy IV to my arm).

 

Here’s my turkey and gravy for the week:

 

Monday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

220 x 9 (4 working sets @ 70%+ 10lbs)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

175 x 3

160 x 6 (6 working sets @ 70% + 5lbs)

 

Tuesday

Pendlay Rows

160 x 10 (4 sets)

 

Dumbbell Rows

85 x 10 (4 sets)

 

Farmers Walks

75 x 30 seconds (5 sets)

 

Wednesday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

245 x 3

235 x 7 (5 working sets @75% + 10lbs)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

170 x 5 (7 working sets @ 75% + 5lbs)

 

Thursday

Thanksgiving Feast

 

Friday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

265 x 2

250 x 5 (7 working sets @80% +10lbs)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

205 x 2

180 x 4 (8 working sets @80% + 5lbs)

 

Saturday

Rest

 

Sunday

Squat

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

225 x 3

265 x 2

265 x 3 (10 working sets @85% + 10lbs)

 

Bench

135 x 5 (4 warm up sets)

185 x 3

205 x 2

190 x 3 (10 working sets 85% +5lbs)

 

That was it for the week. I felt refreshed and rejuvenated all week, but that didn’t make the lifts any less challenging. Just another week in paradise. 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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