Barbell Medicine Powerbuilding II Template – Week 3

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. This will cover the first week of training. 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 3

Day 1

One of today’s main aim was to reduce my rest periods in between sets, in an effort to increase intra-workout recovery abilities as well as keep session times to a minimum. I think this had the effect of decrease weights used in accessory movements for the day. If we are basing the outcomes of the program based on the RPE training, I should be getting a good amount of training stimuli and also getting better adapted to shorter breaks.

340×6@8 x3

Squats are feeling better, during my warm up sets, my right front hip flexor feels tight (it has felt tight for a week now), however once the weight gets over 315lbs, the sensation seems to dissipate.

Close Grip Incline Bench Press

There was definitely some fatigue kicking in here. What was an RPE 6 last week, was closer to an RPE 7.5 – 8. The movement didn’t feel bad, I just felt tired a lot earlier in the sets and my triceps were feeling like they were out of energy.

SSB Split Squat
70×12@8 x2

Just like the bench press, my energy levels were waning and I wasn’t able to lift the same amount of weight this week, as I was last week. The burn in the quads felt great, however I was placing slightly more weight on my back leg than I think is necessary.

Day 2

Competition Bench Press
255×5@8 x3

The bench press felt solid, for some reason this week my legs couldn’t get into the right position. I was having issues stabilizing and getting the right angle to push my traps into the bench. Nevertheless, this was an improvement over last week.

I did start to experience some increased discomfort in my right shoulder, I first felt this sensation after doing a set of planks last week. It hasn’t seemed to disappear just yet, my uneducated guess is that it’s either my squat grip is causing some shoulder discomfort or the introduction of narrow grip bench pressing.

SSB Squats
170×10@8 x3

These felt better than last week, I think if I had longer rest periods I could put more weight on the bar. However, I think it’s a good thing that I am keeping the rest periods down, as my conditioning should see some improvements over the coming weeks.

Beltless Overhead Press
MyoReps – 90

A small 5lb jump over last week, oddly enough, the shoulder issue doesn’t affect or show up at all when I perform overhead presses. So I was able to push through some more MyoReps, which I am actually enjoying this time around.

Day 3

My right shoulder was acting up a little bit today, but nothing that interfered too much with the main workout. None of my lifts were affected too much by the pain/issue. I prefer to carry on as best with my workouts and try not to catastrophize any pain that I feel, provided the movements don’t create too much pain. The DOMS from this workout, seemed to last for most of the day, with the height of the pain being the afternoon following this session.

375×6@8 x2

My deadlifts took a total of 57 minutes to complete, I wasn’t too focused on the time between sets during this session, which would explain the longer time it took to complete deadlifts, I also was able to complete only five warmup sets before the working sets. My conditioning should also catch up over the program, as I had to drop the final set by 10lbs to stay at an RPE8.

Touch Bench Press
235×8@8 x3

Surprisingly, even with the shoulder issue, I was able to bump up the weights used for the final sets, and was able to stick with the same weight for sets across at the same RPE.

Pendlay Row
195×18 AMRAP
185×12 x2

I opted to stay at the same AMRAP weight as I used last week, and pushed out some more reps, in an effort to minimize any pain on the shoulders. For the following sets, I bumped up the weight and they still felt solid.

Day 4

Today, was an interesting day dealing with the shoulder pain. There were some after effects from the previous day’s work. However, the pain after today’s workout wasn’t as bad as after Day 3. Especially, the day after Day 4, the shoulder didn’t feel too bad.

Overhead Press
160×5@8 x3

These felt horrible. The pain in my right shoulder was pretty significant, even with an empty barbell, I did a couple extra warm up sets and did some banded pull-a-parts in between warm up sets. I could feel my form deteriorating and relying a fair amount on my left side. Surprisingly, I wasn’t too far off from last week’s weights used. I tried to ignore the pain when rating RPE, since it’s not really a rating of pain, rather effort.

Romanian Deadlifts
235×8@8 x3

I think not using lifting straps, is helping with my static grip strength. In the past, when it got to these weights at this rep range, I would opt to use lifting straps to help push through. However, I haven’t had to use them and the bar seems stable enough throughout the movement.

Feet Up Bench Press
135 MyoReps

Due to the shoulder, I had to back off the weight here. Not as much pain was felt when compared with the OHP. The bench just felt overall unstable and the stretch a the bottom of the bench on my right pec, felt too tight to add any significant weight.


The week’s training went well, despite the shoulder issues. By not catastrophizing the injury, I was able to push through the last couple of days of the workout, without too much lost progress or significant pain experience. Yes, the pain in my right shoulder was there and I would probably rate it a 3/10. But I wanted to push through the pain and see what I could achieve, since in the past, this type of incident would have led me to have a rest week and potentially cut short my progress.

With the end of the week and the my shoulder not feeling any worse than it did after Day 3, I’m concluding that I haven’t made the injury worse and what it has taught me, is that my body is pretty resilient and I am able to make progress (albeit slower) whilst coping with some amounts of pain.

Past Week’s Blogs:

Week 1
Week 2

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.

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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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