Training Blog – Modified Barbell Medicine Strength Template – Week 2

Week 2

Day 1

It’s great training some heavy singles again, I’m paying more close attention to the % prescriptions in order to get the weight choices a more specific goal to shoot for and see if my RPE matches that weight, after completing the lift. Since all the weights are a % of my one rep max, I should be capable of lifting the weights, so if I can lift them, it’s simply a matter of attaching an RPE to that weight – at least that’s the plan.

The singles for both the SSB Squat & overhead press went great. Nothing pushing the max, but the percentages listed went well. I think my conditioning from the Darkhorse has helped carry over in this new attempt, since I didn’t feel too fatigued during the back off sets, since I paired them with the giant set movements.

Both fifth sets of back off/volume work, were cut out in order to keep within my 90 minute time frame.

Day 2

My thinking is that by paying more attention to percentages of 1RM, rather than solely basing weight on RPE should help drive up the outcomes of the program, in regards to one rep max strength. The truth lies somewhere between the two extremes, the only reason I am leaning more towards percentages, is I paid a lot closer attention to RPE last time I ran the program, and I think this may have minimized some of the effects from the training program.

I paired the deadlift and bench press in the same superset, mainly due to equipment constraints. I would however, also like to be able to pair the squat and overhead press in one superset if equipment allowed. My top set of bench press was 285lbs, which is 30lbs off my last tested 1RM. My top set for deadlifts was 455lbs, which is 45lbs off my last tested 1RM.

Wrapping up with tempo squats, still feels rough, especially since I’ve already squatted heavy the previous day and deadlifted this session. I am opting to perform all my accessory squat movements without a belt in order to further mitigate stress in the accessory movements.

Day 3

After assessing last week’s third day, which had too many movements that didn’t agree with my shoulders. I changed it up a bit, and found a combination of movements that don’t aggravate the joint, which is great.

The addition of the sandbag press, is a strongman style movement. This press variant adds an element of instability, due to the nature of the sandbag, as well as throws the center of gravity more forward of the midline of the body. If you don’t have access to atlas stones, this would be the next best thing. Since I also have only a single 100lb sandbag, this will be a rep dependent movement over the next few weeks.

Day 4

The below knee cap block pulls increased again this week to 20lbs above my current one rep max for 4 reps (515lbs). I am curious to see if this overloading of the deadlift will transfer over to the regular deadlift, or at least strengthen the surrounding musculature in order to pull more weights off the floor.

This was paired with zercher squats, which may be too many squats in a week – at this point, I would have performed some sort of squat variant every day. But the zercher squat, being extremely novel, may be able to mitigate stress whilst driving up some adaptations in the front carry position. This also really hurts my arms, having to resort to placing on some knee sleeves around my elbows to cushion them from the barbell.

Wrapping up the day with some incline close grip bench press – as an overhead press & bench press assistance movement in one. I think I’ll be wearing wrist wraps in the future, due to a barbell slip incident, luckily I set the safety pins to the correct height.

PSA – Alwayts practice safe lifting when training alone…

Don’t get complacent and remember to set safeties at the correct height

Too good not to share…

Paired with some high rep Romanian deadlifts and ab twists.


The first week saw some superset movemnts that didn’t work well for the day. But I think this week, I was able to get them better paired and more suitable for the type of training that will be progression through the next 12 weeks.

Part of this re-run of the program will involve figuring out which movements work best together and don’t come at too much of a cost to one rep max strength. It has mean that there are less back off/volume sets being ran, but I think sticking with the heavy single work, should still help bring up the heavy single reps this time around.

Past Week’s Blogs:

Week 1


*I’ve placed the intro segment down here, since you hopefully read this already in the previous weeks’ ediitions*

For the next 12 weeks I will be documenting my training using a modified version of the Legacy 12 Week Strength Template from the good folks over at Barbell Medicine (BBM). I will be running the 12 Week Strength Template (12WST), which I have modified based on my own preferences and goals. I recently completed the Darkhorse Training Template, which I really enjoyed the giant set nature of the program, but missed the single rep training. I really wanted to do the 12WST with supersets, based on some movement pairing from the Darkhorse Template. Nothing groundbreaking, but a modification from the original form of the 12WST from BBM.

This will be the third time I’ve run the program, which I’ve seen very good outcomes in my one rep max strength in the past. Here will be the main modifications I’m making to the program:

  • Giant/Super sets throughout the days, in order to train more movements as well as include ab and upper back movements.
  • Due to time and scheduling constraints, workouts will be limited to 90 minutes max and only four days a week. I’m hoping the superset/giant sets will be able to make up for the lack of GPP days
  • Most of the heavy squat work will be done with the EliteFTS SS Yoke barbell, due to my shoulder issues
  • Slightly more of a focus on overhead pressing, as well as the inclusion of strongman movements.

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.

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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.

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