Over the last 10 weeks I have documented 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 tenth and final 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**
The top set of squats was a match for last week, no increase and no decrease. Unfortunately, I was not able to set a new single rep PR for the squat with this template. I was able to set some multiple rep PRs along the way however. Accumulated fatigue is starting to set in, as I had to drop the back off sets by much more than I was able to complete last week.
Incline Wide Grip Bench Press
Again, not feeling the best for today’s workout, with a decrease in the top set of 15lbs when compared with last week. The benefit of RPE training, is this autoregulation of the weights used, I am able to dial back the weights used, whilst leaving perceived intensity at the same level, which is in some ways providing a similar stress level to my body, without over taxing it.
My single win for day one, is my increased top set to be able to perform Hatfield squats with 300lbs. I’m really enjoying this movement and will continue to implement this on an ongoing basis for my future programming. I’m not too concerned with how much direct effect this will have on the squat, I am simply enjoying the squat variety so much that I want to continue.
New PR set! Stoked to get a 5lb PR for a single of 320lbs. Just another example of trusting the process, two weeks of stalled progress stalling at a 315lb bench press, which was my current PR set a few months ago. The extra volume sets were also a 5lb increase over last week.
Paused Squats w/SS Yoke Bar
The pause at the bottom continues to be right around one second, so finishing the program off strong. The top set was a 10lb decrease since last week, but I was able to push out an extra set of 8. More volume and more tonnage, using slightly less weight. Using flat soled shoes during the movement, didn’t have too much of a difference in technique, I still used a slightly narrower stance than my typical low bar back squat.
Beltless Overhead Press
I took a different tact with this week’s overhead press accessory movement and didn’t focus on weight or volume, instead focused on technique. I kept the weights low and the reps in the 10-12 range, in order to focus on maintaining a braced core and glutes. This is a huge weak link in the chain, as I have noticed when the weight gets heavy, my core and glutes seem to disengage and a huge arch in my back creeps into the movement.
Not the best deadlift session, which was surprising, because the warm ups were feeling great. Top set was 20lbs less than the 495lb PR set last week. I was sorer for longer after that win last week, so possibly more evidence for the case of a deload week is necessary. Not too disappointed with the lack of replication of last week’s weight, because it didn’t feel unexpected due to the other signs of weakness creeping in amongst more of the main lifts.
Paused Bench Press
Two new PR’s set on these two movements. I enjoy the fact that I can use the same weights for each of these movements for different reps. Not sure if this was intentional or if its detrimental, since I may have a mental bias towards the two weights being equal, meaning that I am leaving weight on the table or loading too much weight on either of the movements.
Not a win with the weights used for the overhead press, but on a positive note I did take this time to focus on the technique and I think by not putting too much weight (pun intended) on my shoulders and really concentrating on the technical side of the overhead press, I came away from this session with a better execution of the overhead press technique. Given the last two weeks of poor performance, and my conclusion that my ‘almost black outs’ have something to do with the poor core engagement and the severe arching of the back when it comes to heavy weights, I didn’t experience any black out moments and was able to keep the core engaged and minimized my lower back arching during the lift.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
Close Grip Bench Press
No new PR’s hit on this final superset session. Not worried about the lack of progress, because the weeks prior to this have shown good progress and I have been seeing an upward trend over the entire template. Strength isn’t linear and I think this is just confirming my mental assumption that I need a deload week.
This is the last week of the Powerbuilding II template. I’ll write another article with an actual review of the program shortly, this summary will be like all the others and summarize the week’s progress and results.
Most of the results across this week would indicate that a deload week would be quite helpful. With a focus to the long term goals, I am not too concerned with the ‘poor’ performance of one week, because of the progress I’ve made over the last 10 weeks.
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Past Week’s Blogs:
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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.Barbell Medicine