Barbell Medicine Powerbuilding II Template – Week 7

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 1

Day 1


The squat is feeling more balanced and practiced after a good length of time performing the movement. I achieved a 10lb increase at the top set over last week, so progress continues.

Wide Grip Incline Bench Press

I experienced a little weakness at the bottom of the press, but no real shoulder issues during the movement, which is great. There was a 15lb increase at the top set over last week.

Hatfield Squats
250×10@8 x2

Second encounter with the Hatfield squats feel great, I’m getting accustomed to the arms providing some assistance to the movement. I could work on full extension at the top of each rep. Sets of 10 are good with this movement, as it prevents too much overload in the form of heavy weight being used and overtaxing the body.

Day 2

Bench Press

The bench press went really well this week. I did notice some mis-grooving with the lowering phase of the bench press, which lead to a slightly slower descent than I normally would like. The shoulder held up just fine during the heavy single and the subsequent volume sets. I was very happy to get a 10lb increase from last week and match my 2018 PR for the press.

Paused squat w/SS Yoke Bar

These really test out my stamina and endurance. The pause isn’t that bad for the first couple of reps, but towards the end of the set and the workout, these start to tax my breathing rather than my strength

Beltless Strict Overhead Press
95×12@10 x2

I was satisfied with my heavier AMRAP set, being able to push out four more reps than last week. But was disappointed with my volume work. I had to drop the weight by 20lbs for the same RPE for the set/rep scheme for today. I do think my form is improving, at least until muscular fatigue sets in. Again, coupling this with the paused squats, it is becoming apparent that conditioning is negatively affecting my performance.

Day 3


The deadlift is going great, I’m slowly sorting out the technique issues. I have bene focusing on fixing my starting position with a higher hip position to add efficiency to the lift. There was a 15lb increase from last week’s top set, so great progress here, catching up to my last tested PR of 485.

2 Count Pause Bench Press
225×6@9 x3

Lever Rows
225×10@8 x2

I supersetted these two movements to save time and get a conditioning effect. It is reminiscent of the Bodybuilding program style, with a chest-back superset. I enjoy working the antagonist muscle groups like this, as it is really able to push your conditioning, since your ‘resting’ one group of muscles while using another and completely taxing the cardio systems.

Day 4

Overhead Press

Today’s overhead press session was very interesting, as I had an almost black-out experience for the two heavy singles of the day. The press itself didn’t feel all that difficult for either set, right on their respective RPEs. However, once I re-racked the weight to my shoulders my vision started to narrow in and I had to put the bar down on the safety bars.

*PSA* Always use safeties *PSA*

Stiff Leg Deadlift
351×6@8 x3

Close Grip Bench Press

I opted to superset these two movements in order to save some time and get a little bit of a conditioning effect by reducing the rest periods. Both are feeling great, I was able to increase the weight for the SLDL, with lifting straps the movement feels more secure. I was able to lift CGBP two more reps than last week’s AMRAP set.


One common theme developing in my recent analysis of lifting has been my endurance to lift for sets across. Most of the main movements prescribe multiple volume/fatigue sets and I am rarely able to continue with the sets due to the RPE9 threshold being hit at the first set.

Overall, it’s great to see continual progress over last week across most of the movements. I think as the weeks’ go on, we should be able to get close to and exceed my previous lifting maxes during this template

Past Week’s Blogs:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6

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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