Barbell Medicine Powerbuilding II Template – Week 5

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 5

I’ll be including screenshots of the current graphical analysis of the estimated one rep maxes. I think it’s a great time to highlight these because we are able to get a good comparison for the first half of the program, which is hypertrophy/volume focused. We are comparing the same rep ranges across the major movements.

Most of the graphs will show an upward trend, which is the goal of the program and will conclude the first half of the program to be quite successful in bringing up estimated one rep maxes. The last half of the program should show if the program is good at improving actual one rep maxes.

Day 1

355×6@8 x2

The squat session went well, I did lose focus on one set and only performed 5 reps instead of six. The last set did bring the RPE up to a 9. This does mark the end of the volume intensive section of the template. What’s interesting/dissapointing is that when compared with week 1, I only increased my RPE8 weight by 20lbs, and my RPE9 weight by 10lbs. However, I was able to increase the volume and weekly tonnage lifted for the squat.

Incline Bench Press
185×10@8 x3

Great results here, I am back to using the same weights as I was two weeks ago, but because of the shoulder issues I was experiencing lately, I’m very happy that I was able to a- train & b- get back to the weights lifted in a relatively short time frame.

Split Squats w/SS Yoke Bar
80×12@8 x2

Happy that this was the last week performing this movement, it wasn’t my favorite. This probably means I should be performing more single leg movements, but it’s just not that enjoyable an exercise variation.

Day 2

Bench Press
252×5@8 x2

Again, since dealing with this shoulder issue, I think it’s a great result that shows that dealing with a minor injury doesn’t have to mean there will be a huge setback. On a week by week basis the shoulder is feeling better despite pushing through the pain during the workouts.

Squats w/SS Yoke Bar
190×10@8 x3

These squats are a great variation, especially at the higher rep ranges. I’ve found them to be very comfortable using a heeled squat shoe, it removes some strain in my hips and knees with this squat variation.

Beltless Overhead Press
95lbs MyoReps

Stayed a bit conservative with the weight selection and repeated last week’s weights. Still had a bit of shoulder discomfor that got in the way of the technique, my current work around has been to modify the bar path by leaning back a bit more than usual as well as shortening the range of motion.

Day 3


Deadlifts felt great, I was a bit over confident with the weight selection. Bumped up to 395lbs for 5 at what I expected to be RPE8, ended up being an RPE9. Because the program calls for a bit more volume, I lowered the weight to 385lbs and pushed out one more set. A couple of technical issues appeared, with weight shifting forward to my toes being the biggest culprit.

Touch Bench Press
225×8@8 x4

Super satisfied with the results from the bench press. I was able to use the same weight as two weeks ago, but 10lb increase from last week, with no shoulder discomfort. Great result, as I didn’t regress in weight too much and have been able to continue bench pressing during the shoulder incident

Pendlay Row
185×12@9 x3

A bit disappointed with the results from today’s rowing efforts, I missed last weeks 16 reps by 4, only being able to get out 12 reps in the first AMRAP set. Strength isn’t linear, so I’m not too concerned at all, potentially extra fatigue from the heavier weight selection in the deadlift.

Day 4

Overhead Press

The best the overhead press has felt in weeks, and I was feeling confident enough with the shoulder stability that I pushed the weight up. You can see by the graph that this was the only movement that didn’t have an overall upwards trend, more of a decrease and stagnation across the five weeks. This is and continues to be a lift that I struggle with.

Romanian Deadlift
275×8@8 x3

RDLs were solid, especially with the switch to using lifting straps. I was surprised with how much of a mental difference using straps made the lifts. I guess, without any concern about the grip, my body was able to engage more muscles to deal with the weight load, because this was a marked increase over the previous weeks, simply by adding straps.

Feet Up Bench Press
155: MyoReps

Increase in weights used over last week, but lower reps were achieved. Looking at the numbers, this probably wasn’t the best strategy, since I completed both fewer reps as well as less overall tonnage for this exercise. Which is I am thinking is counter productive to the higher volume nature of MyoReps.


Thankfully, the shoulder issue has mostly subsided. There is still some lingering pain during certain overhead movements, like taking off shirts. But during training, the biggest obstacle now, has been overcoming the under-training in my pecs & shoulders. The right side is noticeable weaker than the left and when the fatigue sets in, some pain starts to creep in too.

GPP days call for some pullups, previous weeks I left them out completely, last week I did dumbbell rows without any pain. This week I was able to complete a whopping 20 pullups, which was a great result coming back from the injury.

With half of the program over, I think the template has been quite successful at driving up results. This has been acheived in all the big three lifts, with the overhead press stagnating, but the overhead press is a weak point in my training and performance.

Despite training with and through a shoulder injury, my numbers went up and the pain has subsided.

Past Week’s Blogs:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

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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