This is the seventh installment to my series documenting my experience with the powerlifting/strongman template created Sebastian Oreb. The program consists of 12 weeks, dedicated to building power mainly for strongman and powerlifting competitions. The program is split into three different phases to build up overall power for competing in strongman events.
Check out my YouTube Vlog Series about training with Thor’s Power Program.
Squats: 2×2 – 425lbs
Technique is beginning to come back for the squat, at an RPE 8.5 the squats felt good technique wise, but still not as proficient as they once were. The ramping intensities along with decreasing volume are feeling good.
One thing I like to recommend for higher intensities is to use the same reps for the warmups as you do for the working sets, past approximately 50% of the targeted weights. E.g., for this weight of 425lbs, after 185lbs I will only perform warm up sets of 2 up until my working sets.
Warmups are another great way to get some extra volume in. My last warm up set will be within 10-20lbs of my targeted working sets, this allows me to make any last minute adjustments to account for unexpected changes in RPE. E.g., if 405lbs felt like an RPE10. I won’t proceed with 425lbs.
SSB Front Lunges: 3×10 – 110lbs – superset – SSB Single Leg Calf Raise: 3×12 110lbs
Due to the substitution needed for this exercise, I’ve alternated to front squats for this week, and will go back to reverse lunges next week. More similar calf work. Because I am using supersetting these, I chose to not stand on a 45lb plate. My little extra movement added in is to lift my toes at the bottom to ensure my heels are getting a fuller range of motion.
High Incline Press: 2×2 – 225lbs
I am not the biggest fan of this movement. The high angle feels awkward, as well as being unable to move my head backwards out of the way of the barbell. I’m not sure how the weight calculator is used, but the 225lbs weight I used today, was meant to be the prescribed weight for 4 reps 2 weeks ago. This weight was very challenging.
Weighted Chin-ups: 25 – 35lbs 2×8
I’m really enjoying the weighted chin up substitution movement. Because it’s part of a superset, there is less volume required. I want to ramp up the weights used. All my warmup sets were performed without any extra weight, ramping up the reps from 5-8.
Beltless Overhead Press: 4×8, 155lbs -Superset- Fat grip Row: 4×8, 185lbs
I like the beltless OHP as a very specific accessory movement for the press. I am not enjoying the fat grip row. I am concerned with how effective it is as a movement. The weight’s being lifted are significantly decreased, due to the lack of grip stability. My concern would be my back isn’t getting stressed enough due to the lighter loads. I would suggest using another movement to build grip strength, maybe fat grips around the trap barbell for the weight carries.
1″ Deficit Deadlift: 2×2 – 425lbs
I am looking forward to the week where I am able to perform a regular conventional deadlift. The extra range of motion is great at adding some difficulty without increasing intensity. Which is great from a recovery standpoint.
Weight Carry: 255lbs
Instead of turning around, I changed the movement, to setting the weight down after each end of the platform, turning myself around without the weight and picking it back up to walk back to the other side. Turning in a tight circle didn’t feel great.
Romanian Deadlift: 3×8, 315lbs
Feels great to be using three plates for this assistant movement. I am still feeling the movement in my hamstrings, and am going around 2″ below the knee. I don’t think it matters too much if you choose to use a belt or straps with this movement. Since the target muscle is the hamstring/posterior chain. I would recommend using straps, rather than using an alternate grip, just to help maintain symmetry for the generally longer reps.
Bench Press: 2×2 – 290lbs -Superset- Weighted Pull Ups
The bench press is the only movement that I am currently exceeding the weights prescribed in the template. It might be the fact that this is the only movement that has been consistently preformed for the last 7 weeks, or the sheer amount of upper body work that this template uses.
I tried to use a similar width grip fo the pullups. The final two working sets I was able to use 35lbs & 40lbs extra weight. They feel great as a movement and will probably continue to incorporate these in my programs moving forward.
Low Incline Press: 3×8, 215lbs -Superset- Pendlay Row: 3×8, 195lbs.
I used the same weights as I used last week for the incline bench and 10lbs less on the Pendlay Rows. Since these are assistance movements, I am not too concerned with the stalled/decreased weights used, as I am more focused on the extra volume for accessory movements for muscle activation.
Tune in next week for a review of the final week of phase 2, week 8!