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**
Removing the conditioning from the squat performance, seems to help me a fair bit with the squat. This says more about my lack of conditioning than it does about my strength. I am looking forward to see how my squat performs for heavy singles in the coming weeks.
Wide Grip Incline Bench Press
The wider grip meant I felt more pressure on the pecs, which highlighted some potential weaknesses for my regular bench press. Whereas the close grip helped to emphasis the triceps, the wider grip will help emphasize the chest.
First time in my life performing this squat variation. I enjoyed the movement and with any new movement was very conservative with the weight selection. This is especially true without any safeties being used, since I had to setup outside of the squat rack. I did some research and found this to be a good overloaded squat variant, as the arms holding the other barbell, allows for some extra assistance to be added through any sticking points.
I took a bit more of a conservative approach to the bench press this week. Heading back into heavy singles is always exciting and I want to be sure to not overshoot the RPE for the day. Keeping the macro picture in mind
Paused Squats w/SS Yoke Bar
The goal of a paused variant of the lift is to remove the stretch reflex from the bottom of the lift. It also helps add some extra difficulty to a movement without having to add more weight. I am enjoying the use of the SS Yoke bar for my squat accessories, as it feels more comfortable than a front squat or even high bar back squat.
Beltless Overhead Press
Not impressed with today’s efforts with the overhead press. But I am relieved that the shoulder issue is resolving itself, with much less discomfort during the overhead press, which has bothered me in recent weeks, especially when performed after the bench press.
First time with heavy singles and I might have been a bit too overconfident with the weight selection. The included RPE calculator estimated a 438lb single, so I opted for a 440lb single and was probably closer to 8.5 RPE. Not the biggest concern in the big scheme of things and this single at RPE8.5 does mean my estimated one rep max is currently 10lbs lower than my tested deadlift from two months ago.
Two-Count Pause Bench Press
Supersetting these two movements was a great option and dropped the workout session time by a lot. It’ll be interesting to see over the coming weeks if the weight starts to diverge or if they track each other, given the different rep selection for opposing muscle groups.
My shoulder issues subsided by the third warmup set. I still took it slow with the warmup sets, only increasing by 20lbs each set, however it still only took 40 minutes to work through this section of the workout. With relatively light weights being used, the ramp up to working sets doesn’t take too long. The shoulder issue did reappear towards the final heavy set and my form broke down a fair amount for the last set of four, with a lot of layback and incorrect bar path
Stiff Legged Deadlifts
These felt really good, I don’t think my grip will keep up with the weights that I will be able to lift in the coming weeks. My grip was already starting to give out on the final set. I feel these a lot more in the back and hamstrings, relative to the Romanian Deadlift variety.
Close Grip Bench Press
The flat bench with a close grip was a great finisher for volume work. My chest and triceps got a good pump out of the high rep sets. I based my working set on 70% of my current regular bench press one rep max. I think this worked out well and will most likely stick with this weight next week and aim for 15 reps.
Overall, this week went well. Introducing heavy singles felt great and I was looking forward to this section of the program. The skill of heavy singles will be good to work on in the coming weeks, and I am satisfied with my performance, not having performed heavy singles for at least two months.
With the shoulder issue all but gone from a training perspective, I’m am relived it was nothing serious and am looking forward to pushing myself again. My only actions taken with regard to my shoulder pain, was to take a couple extra days of rest spread over two weeks, drop the working weights, add in extra warmup sets and adjust my range of motion for certain movements.
Past Week’s Blogs:
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.
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.Barbell Medicine