Barbell Medicine Powerbuilding II Template – Week 8

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


Feeling solid this week, only being 20lbs shy of my current one rep max. I am not worried about the crackling in my knees, this is known as crepitus and can be ignored for the most part, provided you have no pain as well. Again, condition appears to be the weak link in my training, as I am barely able to get a lot of volume in due to fatigue.

Wide Grip Incline Bench Press
225×8@9 x2

These are feeling a little more solid, as each week moves forward. I am using a grip width that varies between the ring and middle fingers. As the weight gets heavier, I tend to bring the grip inwards. In other news the AB-3000 bench by Rep Fitness is holding up just fine and without the fear of the unit failing, I have been able to really drive these numbers up.

Hatfield Squats
260×10@8 x2

Pay attention to the height of the support barbell/hand holds, I set the supports too low this week and lead to a much more bent over version of this lift, as I was trying to maintain a good grip without hitting the SS Yoke on the support. I am really enjoying this movement and would recommend anybody with the necessary equipment give it a go.

Day 2

Bench Press

I was able to match my current one rep max, as tested in the 2019 Garage Gym Competition, which was a great result. There was some slight misgrooving on a couple of warm up sets and the volume sets, during the upwards motion of the press. But I was able to correct it on subsequent sets.

Paused Squats w/SS Yoke Bar

I won’t label these as the ‘two count paused’ as prescribed in the template, because I didn’t really get a true two count, not even with the self counting method.

Beltless Overhead Press
100×12@9 x2

A great way to build up core stability as well as get a good movement pattern in. I did have to drop the weight down for the second volume set, as my form started to break down. One of the biggest challenges I face with this movement is maintaining a relatively flat back angle and keeping my core braced throughout the entire movement.

Day 3


I was able to reach within 10lbs of my current one rep max, and this was performed at a hypothetical lower effort level RPE8 versus RPE10.

2-Count Pause Bench Press

Lever Rows
235×10@8 x3

Just like last week, I supersetted these two exercises. I enjoy performing this as a superset as it cuts down the time and is a fun combination of movements to perform. Both exercises saw a 10lb increase from last week.

Day 4

Overhead Press
170×4@9 x2

Somewhat of a setback this week, as I experienced the almost-blackout phenomenon that I experienced last week, except at a much lower point in the workout. I didn’t want to push it again, as my form was also starting to break down. My form wasn’t great even with the subsequent volume reps with lighter weights. In hindsight, only performing the overhead press twice per week, isn’t as conducive to gains for my own progress. With this in mind, I am not too worried, as my other three lifts continue to make significant progress.

Close Grip Bench Press
210×12@8 x3

Stiff Leg Deadlifts
325×6@8 x2

Just like last week, I supersetted these two movements and both showed an improvement over last week, which is great. It doesn’t look like the rest of the workout was affected by the almost blacking out incident from the overhead pressing, in fact I didn’t experience anything close to it for the rest of the day.


Not too sure what caused near passing out incident, but it looks like the rest of the day was unaffected. I’ll keep an eye on it as it may be indicative of something to worry about, if it persists. Otherwise, the week went well overall, with another upward trend in weights being used over most of the main movements. We are closing in on most of my current one rep maxes, which is a great sign.

With the ‘power’ part of the power building template in full swing, I think it’s a great result that my single rep maxes at RPE8-9 are approaching weights that were my previous RPE10 lifted weights. If this was a pure strength focused program, I would be a little disappointed with the slower progress of my one rep max increases.

Past Week’s Blogs:

Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7

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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