Barbell Medicine Powerbuilding II Template – Week 2

For the next 10 weeks I will be documenting my training using one of the new waves of templates recently released by the good folks over at Barbell Medicine. I will be running the Powerbuilding II Template, which is a hybrid program combining hypertrophy and powerlifting.

I’ll include some more about the program towards the bottom of the page. The template does include General Physical Preparedness (GPP)/Cardio sessions over the week, but they’re not the main focus of the program, so I will omit their discussion in my training logs.

I will be breaking down the weights used with the following format:
Weight Used x Reps @ RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)
Subsequent sets will be listed below
**All weights used will be in pounds**

Week 2

Day 1

335×6@8 x2

A little improvement over last week, still not where I would like my squat to be, but I’m hoping for more improvement in the coming weeks

Close Grip Incline Bench
185×10@7 x2
195×10@8 x2

These are feeling great, I’m focusing on touching my chest on every rep. I used to perform these without the chest touch, I think the fuller range of motion is better.

SSB Split Squat
70×12@8 x2

Second time performing these, I had to switch over to the SSB in order to add more load to the movement. I’m feeling a little bit more competent with this motion and focusing on keeping most of the weight over the front leg.

Day 2

Bench Press
250×5@8 x2

Slightly higher weights at RPE8, I was a bit more conservative with the weight jumps with the bench.

Safety Bar Squats
160×10@7 x2
170×10@8 x2

The extra volume this week, was good and I think is helping with the hypertrophy aspect of the program. I feel a lot more competent with the SSB, after the month or so of continuous use under the Thor Power Program, I am feeling better with the load balance using the SSB.

Beltless Overhead Press
85lbs – MyoReps

I wasn’t a big fan of the MyoRep structure the last time I ran the Hypertrophy focused template. However, this time running the MyoReps is feeling a lot better, this may be because I have a better understanding of the purpose behind it and am getting better at weight selection.

The MyoReps feel very similar to burnout sets used in bodybuilding, such as drop sets, or forced sets.

Day 3

375×6@8 x2

Not as high as I thought, based on my actual one rep max set a few weeks ago. But still an improvement over last week’s performance. This is a good example of specificity in performance. Since this weight at this rep range & RPE, would put my estimated one rep max, around 20lbs under my actual one rep max.

Touch Bench Press
230×8@8 x3

Very much bodybuilding style set-rep scheme as well as the technique, without performing a pause at the chest, you are able to lift slightly more weight and get a cadence throughout the set with the weights being lifted.

Pendlay Row
175×12 x2

Based on last week’s weights used, this was another improvement. The estimated one rep max is going up, so hopefully the trend continues.

Day 4

Overhead Press

I went a bit off programming instructions and continued with another set. The suggestion is to stop at the weight that hits your target RPE, I overshot the RPE on this one, -the OHP is still a troubled movement I am focusing on improving. Instead of stopping at the RPE 8.5, I dropped the weight a little bit and continued with another set at RPE8, in order to get some more volume

Romanian Deadlifts
225×8@8 x3

I was able to complete all these without a belt or lifting straps. I will continue to perform the movement this way in order to get a bit more grip stimulus. The template also recommends not using a belt for any accessory work, I’ll aim to continue this trend for the rest of the program.

Feet Up Bench Press
155lbs MyoReps

Removing the leg drive out of the bench press makes this variety a great way to focus the bench on the pecs and triceps. I like to keep my feet on the bench and tend to drive my lower back into the bench (kind of like an opposite bench arch), whilst still driving my armpits down into my back pockets.


Week 2 continues the trend of improved estimated one rep maxes across the main lifts. With the extra volume, the sessions are averaging 15 minutes longer than last week. I will aim to keep a better eye on the time during sessions as well as condense the warmup sets.

About Barbell Medicine

I highly recommend checking out the folks over at Barbell Medicine, for a wealth of free information, all backed by doctors and other subject matter experts! They have a very informative podcast & YouTube channel.

Barbell Medicine Digital Training Templates

About the Powerbuilding II Template

Trainees who want to focus on increasing muscular size while improving strength in the powerlifts, e.g. the squat, bench press, and deadlift. While we expect most to see improved muscle size and strength, this is not a template focused explicitly on powerlifting or bodybuilding. Rather, this serves as a blend of strength-training and body-building wrapped up into one template. Similar to the Hypertrophy templates, this is one of our preferred off-season templates for strength athletes for those who want to gain muscle mass- though we continue to focus training resources on the powerlifts in this template. Finally, the Powerbuilding II template is a more advanced template for those who are interested in losing body fat or who are looking to increase muscle size and strength in the powerlifts.

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