Critique My 12 Week Plan

A little background on me: I’m 21 years old, been training for powerlifting for about 5 months now (my first meet was in Feb.) after training for about 18 months to walk on to my college football team. Obviously that didn’t work out, but I had a decent base of strength to work with when I first got into powerlifting. I’m 5’11 and my normal weight is about 195 lbs.

My last meet was May 17th in which I cut water weight to compete at 181. I competed raw and was able to get a 450 squat (with knee wraps - APA), 285 bench, and 520 dead. I can bench 300 paused in the gym, but wasn’t able to get it in the meet because I was worn out from squats. I’m also able to pull alot more than 520 (I’ve done 550 easily in the gym), but I was stupid when picking my attempts and jumped all the way to 565 for my 2nd.

So I’ve got a 1255 raw total as a junior 181 in just my 2nd meet. Not too bad, but I’m definitely not satisfied. My lockout in both my bench and deadlift are terrible and my squat technique sucks. Here’s a link to my 2nd deadlift attempt which I missed
- YouTube .

I know that by fixing these problems I will be able to get a huge jump in my total. So I will be focusing on these in my training as well as just working on gaining overall strength and size. I know I should weigh more at my height so I hope to be walking around at well over 200 lbs 3 months from now.

Enough BS, now on to my plan.

It will be 4 days per week:
Sun - Bench
Mon - DE SQ/DL
Tue - Off/Extra Workout
Wed - ME Bench
Thu - Off/Extra Workout
Fri - SQ/DL
Sat - Off/Extra Workout

I plan on doing 3 cycles of 3 heavy weeks followed by 1 deload week. Each 3 week cycle will change slightly.

Sun Bench will look like this:

  1. Med Grip (pinky on the line) Bench
    Week 1 - 8x3x80%
    Week 2 - 8x2x85%
    Week 3 - 8x1x90%
    Week 4 - 3x5x75%
  2. JM Press/Tate Press
  3. Cable Rows (Heavy weight/low reps)
  4. Chinups (Light weight/high reps
  5. DB Laterals (Only a few light sets)

In the following cycles, everything will stay the same except I will switch to a close grip (index finger on the smooth part of the bar) in the 2nd cycle and a wide grip (index finger on the line) in the 3rd.

Mon DE SQ/DL will look like this:

  1. Speed Pulls w/Chains 8x2
    I haven’t determined the weights yet, but I will increase the weight each week before deloading. Probably somewhere in the 50-60% range.
  2. Assistance (RDL/GM/Reverse Hyper/GHR/Olympic Squat/Rack Pulls) - basically whatever I feel like doing that day.
  3. Land Mines
  4. CoC Gripper Work

In the 2nd cycle I will switch to low safety squat bar box squats and in the 3rd I will switch to parallel box squats for my DE work. I may also throw in some shrugs after my assistance exercise when I don’t do any form of deadlift.

Wed ME Bench will look like this:

  1. Work up to a max westside style.
    Week 1 - Bench Press w/Chains
    Week 2 - 2 Board Press
    Week 3 - Bench Press w/Bands
    Week 4 - RE work with DBs
  2. Military Press (Heavy Weight/Low Reps)
  3. Cable Rows (Heavy Weight/Low Reps)
  4. Pullups (Light Weight/High Reps)
  5. Possibly some type of tricep extensions if I have energy.

In the 1st cycle I will use a close grip on all ME movements, a wide grip in the 2nd cycle, and a medium grip in the 3rd.

Fri SQ/DL will look like this:

  1. Squat
    Week 1 - 8x3x80%
    Week 2 - 8x2x85%
    Week 3 - 8x1x90%
    Week 4 - 3x5x75%
  2. Assistance (RDL/GM/Reverse Hyper/GHR/Olympic Squat/Rack Pulls) - basically whatever I feel like doing that day.
  3. Shrugs
  4. Standing Ab Pulldowns
  5. Wrist strength (Curls/Extensions or lever bar work)

In the 2nd cycle I will switch to deadlifts and in the 3rd I will switch to low SSB box squats. I’ll also drop the shrugs when I’m deadlifting.

That’s it in a nutshell, I didn’t list any sets/reps for my assistance work because I will vary that depending on how I feel that day. I know it’s impossible to predict how my energy levels will be so I know that will change workout to workout. As far as extra workouts go on my off days, I do these as suggested by Louie Simmons. I’ve done this before so I have experience in judging when I can work in an extra workout and when I should skip it. Basically they will be short (15-20 min) workouts of light exercises such as band pressdowns, rotator cuff work, bodyweight lunges, pushing my truck, ab work, etc. I’m good at listening to my body so these will vary week to week.

Obviously its loosely based off the westside template. The reason I left out the DE bench is because I have good speed coming off my chest and need to work more on my technique and lockout. The reason I left out a traditional ME SQ/DL workout is because on those two lifts the strength is there, I’m just not very explosive and my technique sucks. I think the 3 week wave of 80%, 85%, and 90% will let me work on keeping good technique with heavy weights.

Any suggestions or constructive criticism is welcome. I plan on starting a log in the training logs forum when I start this off this sunday.

YOur going way too heavy on your dynamic bench press day, 8 singles with 90%? That is at the higher end of what you should be doing on ME day. You can work on technique with less weight than that, and would probably benefit with more reps.

It’s not a dynamic bench day. I said towards the end of that post why I don’t have a dynamic bench day. It’s a modified version of what CT recommends for motor learning/recruitment in part 1 of his Beast Building article. I’m not following westside exactly, but alot of what I put in there definitely comes from that style of training.

I want to work on my technique with heavy weights. I have great technique with light weights, everyone does. It’s when the lifts start getting heavy that my form breaks down.

If your going to go heavy on sunday then, I would suggest changing your ME movements to not be full range, for instance even just doing the bench with chains and bands off of a 1-2 board or a half a foam roller will eleviate some of the stress on your shoulders.

If your going to go heavy on sunday then, I would suggest changing your ME movements to not be full range, for instance even just doing the bench with chains and bands off of a 1-2 board or a half a foam roller will eleviate some of the stress on your shoulders.

Good point. Maybe I should change the order of ME movements so that the presses with chains and bands are on the same weeks as the 80% and 85% bench days, and the 2 board press is on the 3rd week in which I go 90%.