T Nation

Elite and Beyond

Hey guys, I’m a long time lurker and decided to start a log now as I prepare for my first powerlifting meet on September 30th. I’ve had great success so far switching over to a westside based routine and following a lot of the protocols laid out in the westside book of methods and the threads in the powerlifting forum. This led me to believe that I can find some more advice and inspiration for my lifting by using a log on this site seeing as people can help me directly with my programming.

I maxed out recently after a 12 week cycle and added 60 lbs to my total putting me at 1285 with a 465 squat, 315 bench and 505 deadlift, missing 535 twice close to lockout. Although my next cycle is only 7 weeks in length, my goals for it include a 485 squat, 325 bench and finally getting that 535 deadlift, putting me at a total of 1345 at about 175 lbs BW.

My training will be broken down into 2 weeks accumulation, 3 weeks intensification, 2 weeks transformation.

These are the training sessions I’ve done so far this week (the first week of the cycle):

Monday - Aug 13th - ME Lower
Rack Pulls - 135x5, 225x5, 315x5, 365x5, 405x5, 455x5(PR), 485x2(added belt but stomach felt like shit so stopped), 365x8

Goblet Squats - 40x10, 50x10, 60x4x10

45 degree back exts - 1 platex6x10

Leg press - 3ppsx6x10

Blast Strap Fallouts - 6x10 (ugh)

Wed - Aug 15th - ME Bench
Ultra Wides - barxsomexsome, 95x5, 135x5, 185x5, 225x5, 245x5(PR), 265x5(PR), 215x8(PR)

Neutral Flat DB Bench - 35’sx10, 50’sx10, 65’sx4x10

Lying DB ext - 20’sx10, 30’sx3x10, 30’sx2x10(started doing them rolling style), 20x10(strict again)

Seated DB shoulder press - 30’sx15, 40’sx15, 45’sx2x15

DB rows - 100’sx6x10/side, x1x20/side

facepulls - 6-7x20

Friday - Aug 17th - DE Lower
Speed Box Squats - worked up to 235 for 20x2 in 18 mins 22 seconds

Speed Deads - worked up to 255 for 12x2 in 4 mins 22 seconds (switched b/w sumo and conventional every 2 sets)

Seated Leg Curls - 70,90,110x20

Belt Squat - 45x20, 90x3x20

Leg Press(close stance) - 3ppsx3x20 (slow negative)

45 deg back exts - 50x6-7x10

Forearm Roller - 25x2,35x2,45x2

*didn’t have time for abs, will definitely be doing that tomorrow

Saturday - Aug 18th - DE Bench
Speed Bench - worked up to 160x20x3 in 10 mins 22 seconds

Incline Neutral DB bench - 50’sx8, 75’sx11,8,8

Floor Tri Ext. - 20’sx8, 30’sx8, 40’sx8(started rolling halfway through), 50’sx8, 60’sx8, 70’sx8, 25’sx2x8(strict and super slow)

Lateral Raises - 20’sx10, 25’sx10, 30’sx10

DB Shoulder Swings - 75’sx2x10, 80’sx10

Meadows Stretchers - 120x4x10

Neutral CG Pulldowns - 120x4x10

T-bar shrugs - 2 platesx4x10
super set with band facepulls - minix4x10

Blast Strap Fallouts - 5x10

Notes: Awesome workout today despite having to do it a day early. Speed bench never felt so fast, pretty confident in my goal for the meet, especially since the 315 was pretty easy. Got a lot of volume work in for everything else and got my ab work in. Next is ME lower on monday.

Monday - Aug 20th - ME Lower
Low Box Squat(3 stack) - barx5, 135x5, 225x5, 275x5, 315x5, 365x3(PR by 1 rep, beltless, added stack), 365x5(added belt, PR), 295x8(beltless)

DB Romanian Deads - 80’sx10, 100’sx10, 120’sx10, 140’sx2x10(added straps)

Back Raises - 45platex6 or 7x10

Goblet Squats(close stance) - 75x6x10

Notes: The Low Box squatting was great. Stayed beltless for a while and used a way lower box than I’m used to. It was actually the same height I used for DE squats last week. The 3 stack is about 3-4 inches below parallel. The 4 stack is about 1-1.5ish inches below parallel. Either way some solid PR’s. Felt like if I didn’t start with the 3 stack I could’ve had a shot at 405 for 5 but I strained more this way and that’s the intent. Everything else was just high volume. Didn’t have time for ab work again but I’ll make up for that tonight. Next I got ME bench on wednesday.

Wednesday - Aug 22nd - ME Bench
CGBP - barxsome
95x8
135x5
185x5
225x5
245x5(PR)
265x4+1(PR)
215x2x8(PR)

Flat DB Press(neutral) - 40’sx10, 65’sx10, 80’sx10, 100’sx2x8,7, 70’sx15

Lying Tri Ext w/ kb’s - 25’sx8x10(burned like crazy)

One arm kb shoulder press - 45x6x10/side

Kroc Rows - 100’sx2x10, 120’sx2x10, 140’sx2x20(added straps)
Superset w/ - band pull aparts - somexsome

Meadows 6 ways - 7.5’sx4x10(so unexpectedly difficult)

Notes: Awesome workout again. This was my last ME day in the accumulation phase. Ended up with a few PR’s on CGBP which was awesome. My bench has been making great leaps lately and hopefully I can keep the momentum going. Really focused on feeling every little bit of these assistance exercises since my goal for the accumulation was to add some size to everything. Didn’t rest much so I could keep the burn going and left with a nice pump. Next workout is DE lower on friday.

Friday - Aug 24th - DE Lower
Speed Box Squats - worked up to 285 for 20x2 in 18.25

Speed Deads - worked up to 305 for 18x2 in 10.27 (switching between sumo and conventional every 2 sets)

Notes: I was toast after all this and called it there. The squats took the life out of me and the deads were just the icing on top. Although they weren’t as bad. As much as I hate this stuff, it really does build a great base for my later training. I got one day left of accumulation, then starting monday it’s intensification phase. Next workout is DE bench on sunday.

Sunday - Aug 26th - DE Bench
Speed Bench - worked up to 190x20x3 in 13.10

Incline Neutral DB Press - 70’sx16, 80’sx10, 60’sx18

Lying KB tricep ext - 25’sx8x10

Lateral KB raises - 25’sx8x10

T-bar Rows - 1px10, 2px10, 3px10, 3p+25x10, 3px10, 2px20
superset with - band pull aparts - minix7x30

KB Curls - 25’sx6/arm, 35’sx6/arm
switch to one arm version - 25’sx2x6/arm

Spider Crawls - microx2xtil tired

Notes: Awesome last day for the accumulation phase. The speed bench was moving nice and fast, especially for never having used that much weight for speed before. The assistance work was also awesome. Left with a huge pump and with my shoulders feel awesome from the spider crawls. Tomorrow is the first day of intensification with some ME Lower. I’ll be doing some reverse band pulls.

Monday - Aug 27th - ME Lower
Reverse Band Deads(lights -75@bottom) -
135x5
225x3
315x3
405x3
495x3
545x2(added belt,PR)
495x3(sumo)
445x2x5(first conventional, second sumo)

Paused Squats - barx6, 135x6, 225x6, 275x6, 335x6(PR,all beltless)

Hell Mornings(minis) - barx10, 95x10, 135x10, 185x2x10

Leg Press+Avg bands - 3ppsx10, 4ppsx10, 5ppsx10, 6ppsx10

Standing Band Crunches - Avg bandx100 total reps

Notes: Awesome first day for the intensification phase. The reverse band pulls felt great. I used a light band this cycle instead of the monster minis from last cycle because I feel like I need some heavier weight to grind out at lockout, which is exactly what I got. The 545 double should’ve been a triple but I felt like I had to puke so I dropped the bar. Either way the weight felt great in my hands and I feel like I’m on a good path towards my goals.

Wednesday - Aug 29th - ME Bench
2 board bench - barxsome
95xsome
135x5
185x3(added 2 board)
225x3
255x3
285x3
315x2(PR,almost had 3)
335x3(PR,added slingshot)
355x1(PR)
355x2+1(PR)
265x5(no slingshot,PR)

CG Floor Press(2 sec pause) - barx6, 95x6, 135x6, 185x6, 225x6, 245x4(PR), 245x11(added slingshot)

Floor Band JM Press(short monsters) - barx10, 65x10, 95x2x10

Klokov Press - barx8, 95x8, 115x8, 95x8,5

BB Rows - 95x10, 135x10, 185x10, 225x10

Facepulls - 80x20, 100xsomex20

BB Curls - 60xsomex10

Notes: Awesome workout today. Got a few big PR’s on 2 board which is a lift I’m weak at - weaker than off the chest. This gave me a lot of confidence towards hitting my 335 goal for the meet. Finally got to add the slingshot back into training. Really love the tricep overload. I know it’s what helped me destroy my workouts last cycle. I also tried some extra tricep work after the 6rm exercise and it felt like too much. I think I’ll save the extra tricep work for DE bench days. Tomorrow I’m gonna be doing some extra back work since my energy was gone by the time I got to it today. Should be good.

Thursday - Aug 30th
Just did a bunch of lat and upper back work, threw in some biceps too…forgot to write it all down though.

Friday - Aug 31st - DE Lower
Speed Box Squats(with mini bands) - worked up to 235x12x2 (felt slow, looked fast on video, hmm)

Speed Deads(with short monsters) - worked up to 255x12x2(switched between conventional and sumo every 2 sets)

GM - 135x6,225x6,315x2 275x4(dumb idea but it was late and I really wanted to get going, still technically a PR)

Goblet Squats - 110x6x10
superset with lying band leg curls - lightsx5x10, 1x20 (crazy pump from this)

Band KB Swings - 45kb light bandx3x20 (this was ridiculous, definitely doing this more often)

Abs - 50 total reps (just played around with an avg band for a bit, almost puked so I stopped)

Calf work - somexsome

Saturday - Sept 1st - DE Bench
Speed Bench(with mini bands) - worked up to 160x10x3, then 185x3x3 with slingshot(all soooo fast)

CG Foamroll Press - 135x6, 225x6, 275x6(PR), 315x6(add slingshot, PR), 345x4 1(PR)

BB Throat Tri Ext - barx12, 65x2x12

DB Lateral Raises - 25’sx6x12

T-bar Rows( mini band) - 1px2x15, 2px10, 2p 25x10, 3px10, 3p 25x10, then dropset from 3p-2p-1px8 each

Seated DB Power Cleans - 25’sx5x10

Hammer Curls - 35’sx10, 45’sx2x10

Monday - Sept 3rd - ME Lower
Reverse Band Squats(monsters, -50 at the bottom) -
135x3
225x3
315x3
365x3
405x3
435x3(added belt)
465x3(PR)
495x0,1(PR,added multi purpose wraps to my knees for second attempt at it, just made the knees feel better)
405x5(no belt)

Hell Pulls(paused at knees, conventional) - 135x6, 225x6, 315x6, 425x6(PR, all beltless)

Hell Mornings(monster minis) - barx10, 95x10, 135x10, 185x10, 135x10

Leg Press - 3ppsx15, 4ppsx15, 5ppsx10, 6ppsx10

Blast Strap Fallouts - 3x10

Standing Band Crunches - Avg bandsxsomexsome (just kept going til my training partner was done his stuff)

Notes: Today was awesome. Reverse band squats have been a good indicator for me. Whatever I can triple I can do for 1 rep raw for sure. But last cycle I got 455x2 and squatted 465x3. It could be that my squat is at about 475-85 raw right now. I think the 495 fail came from not being tight enough, as well as never having had a weight that heavy on my back before. I should look into some heavy walkouts. Also the hell pulls were awesome. The final rep on the PR set was a grinder after the pause. I think this really helps with my sticking point and teaches me to grind through at the top, so I have a better fighting chance. Wednesday I got ME Bench, can’t wait.

Wednesday - Sept 5th - ME Bench
Floor Press(2-4 sec pauses) -
barxsome
95xsome
135x5
185x3
225x3
255x3
275x3(PR)
300x0,1(PR)
315x2(added slingshot, failed 3rd, PR)

Foamroll+1board - barx6, 135x6, 225x6, 275x6(PR), 315x5(PR)

Standing OHP - barx8, 65x8, 95x8, 115x8, 135x5(PR)+3 push pressed

BB rows from pins - 135x10, 185x10, 225x10(added straps)

Karwoski Rows - 225x10, 135x2x15(with straps)

Pullups against bands - minix10, monsterx10, lightx10

BB curls - 60x10, 80x10, 100x8

Calf Work

Notes: Awesome day with some good PR’s. The floor press has always been a lift much weaker than my bench so this gives me confidence for an increase for the meet. We paused for less time once we hit the higher sets, but never less than 2 seconds and we never counted for our own sets. The 300 was actually miscounted as I always wait to hear “1,2” then press on the 2 but my friend forgot to count and I waited until he eventually did. Makes me especially proud since the first go at 300 was paused for exactly 2 seconds. Got some good tricep work on the makeshift 4board lol and the OHP was also a good PR, could’ve maybe gotten 6. Next workout is DE Lower on friday.

Friday - Sept 7th - DE Lower
Speed Squats(with monster minis) - worked up to 215x12x2

Speed Deads(with short lights) - worked up to 255x10x2(switched between sumo and conventional every 2 sets)

Seated GM - barx6, 135x6, 225x6, 275x6(PR), 295x6(PR)

Leg Press with bands(Average bands) - 3ppsx10, 3ppsx10(added bands), 4ppsx10, 5ppsx10, 6ppsx10, 7pps+200lb friendx10 lol
superset with lying band leg curls - lightsx7x15-20

Band KB Swings - 45kb+avg bandx2x20

Calf Work - somexsome

Grip Work - somexsome

Notes: Awesome day today. The speed work felt wayyyy better today than last week. I lowered the straight weight to 45% for speed squats but increased the band tension to monster minis. For deads I kept the same straight weight but increased the band tension as well. Next week I’ll use the same straight weight but increase the band tension once more to finish off the 3 week wave. The seated GM’s were pretty awesome. I’m pretty sure I had 315 in me but I already had a 30lb PR and wanted to get on with the workout. The rest was just getting a huge pump in my legs and hammering my lockout + some calf and grip work. Was supposed to restart muay thai tomorrow after a month off but the gym is closed so I’ll be heading in to do some back work since I missed that yesterday as well as some ab work and some heavy walkouts to get used to 500+ on my back.

Sunday - Sept 9th - DE Bench
Speed Bench(with monster minis) - worked up to 160x10x3, then did 185x3x3 with the slingshot

Fat JM Press - barx6, 95x6, 135x6, 185x6, 205x6(PR), 225x6(PR)

Floor Band Skullcrushers - ez bar+monster mini bandx4x15

Seated Lateral Raises+Press - 30’sx6x10+15

Wide Neutral Grip Pulldowns - 120x10, 160x10, 200x10, 240x8, 180x15

Facepulls - 100xa bunch, 120xa bunch more

Calf Work

Notes: Speed Bench felt awesome. My setup is staying together for every set and the bar is moving really well. Next week I’m gonna lower the weight to 45% and use light bands. The fat JM press was also awesome. Got a 40lb PR there. I was gonna continue to overload with the slingshot and tried 245 but it felt off so I just called it there. Everything else was just pump work. Tomorrow I start the final week of intensification with ME Lower. I’ll be doing Deficit Sumo Deads.

Monday - Sept 10th - ME Lower
Sumo Deads -
135xsome
225x3
315x1
405x1
455x1
495x1(PR)(added belt)
515x0,0(stopped just above my knee)
405x5,8(PR)(no belt)

Hell Squats(with light bands) - barx6, 135x6, 225x6, 315x6, 405x5(PR)(added belt)

Hell Mornings(lights) - barx10, 95x10, 135x10, 185x8, 135x15

Leg Press w/ Avg Bands - 2ppsx2x25, 3ppsx25, 4ppsx25

Blast Strap Fallouts - bwx3x10

Forearm Roller - 25, 35, 45

Notes: Me and my training partner decided on regular sumo deads today instead of the deficit. Always thought my sumo pull was a good indicator. The 495 PR was a good indicator that my conventional pull has gone up. I should be right around the 535 range now. The hell squats were fun and hard. Took 405 on for reps for the first time ever and got 5. The hell squats make popping out of the bottom hard as they drag your upper back back down. I don’t know the tension the bands gave at the top but I’ll probably find out this week. Overall today was an awesome last ME Lower day. Really looking forward to ME Bench on wednesday.

Wednesday - Sept 12th - ME Bench
Reverse Band Bench(monster minis, about -50 at the bottom) -
135xsome
225x5
275x1
315x1
345x1
365x1(PR)
385x0
385x1(added slingshot)
405x1(PR)
425x0
295x5(no slingshot, PR)

Triceps Death (used 3 2 inch foam blocks, double on each) - barxsome, 135x6, 225x6, 285x5(PR, was dead by this point)

Seated OHP - barxsome, 95x8, 115x8, 135x7(PR)
then…
Seated Pin OHP(top of head) - 135x8, 155x8, 185x8

Meadows Rows - 1px10, 2px10, 3px10, 4px10(added straps)

T bar rows - 3ppsx2x10

Facepulls - 100x10, 120xsomex20

Seated DB power cleans - 25’sx2x10

Calf Work

Notes: Benching went really well. Got a huge reverse band PR. Although the bands take off about 50 lbs at the bottom, the carryover is more like 30 lbs for me. Last cycle I did 345 and benched 315 paused, so this new PR of 365 should mean I’m good for 335 paused. After hitting the big 405 slingshot PR though my energy was pretty much gone and I just wanted to get through the workout. Got a decent PR on the triceps death and the seated OHP too. All in all an awesome session. Next workout is DE Lower on friday.

Friday - Sept 14th - DE Lower
Speed Box Squats(with monsters) - worked up to 215x10x2

Speed Deads(reg monsters) - worked up to 275x8x2(switched b\w sumo and conventional every 2 sets)

Pin GM - barx6, 135x6, 185x6, 225x6, 275x6

Goblet Squat - 60x5x12
Superset with machine leg curl - 115x5x15

Notes: Both my training partners couldn’t make it and had the bands I wanted to use, so I had to switch my plans for the speed work. Still turned out fast and strong so I felt pretty good about it. Also hit a different gym which was wayyy too hot inside which made the GM’s feel even more like death. 275 was not a PR but it was a good struggle so not too bad there. By the time I got to the main assistance I was sweating like crazy and just felt super out of it, so I got what I could done and left. Not a horrible day but could’ve been way better.

Sunday - Sept 16th - DE Bench
Speed Bench(with light bands) - worked up to 135x8x3, then 185x3x3 with slingshot

Incline CG Bench - barxsome, 95x6, 135x6, 185x6(PR), 225x4(PR), 225x4(added slingshot, ass came up so called it there), 135x20+5

DB Tri Exts - 20’sx10, 30’sx10, 35’sx3x10(switched to kb’s)

Upright KB Shoulder Press - 20’sx4x10
superset with reg KB shoulder press - 35’sx4x10

Pullups - bwx6x10
superset with DeFranco pull aparts - mini bandx6x15-20

Hammer Curls - 30’sx3x10
Superset with band curls - monstersx3x15

Notes: Today was an awesome workout. Actually got to use the light bands which put a lot of tension at the top. Not sure on the approximate amount but I’ll measure it out with dumbbells soon. The CG incline was done to just above this pin height so we could keep more tension on the triceps. I wanted more volume on this 6rm exercise than other weeks since I think we’ve failed to really bring some in due to time. Everything else was major pump work. Left feeling great and I’m really excited to start the transformation phase leading to the meet. Tomorrow I got 75% squats and deads for singles and some assistance work. Everything should be good to peak for the 30th.

Monday - Sept 17th - ME Lower start of transformation phase
Squats - worked up to 355(75%) for 3 beltless singles

Deads - worked up to 385(75%) for 3 beltless singles

Back Raises - bwx20, 1px3x20

Leg Press - 2ppsx2x20, 3ppsx2x20

Pulldown Standing Abs - 70x20, 90x20, 120x10, 90x20, 70x20

Forearm Roller - 25, 35, 45

Notes: Good start to the transformation phase. Getting used to the competition lifts again by doing some light singles. Everything felt great for the squats and deads. I just couldn’t get my back straight for deads but I’ll fix that come meet day. The accessory work was just meant to stretch and give me a nice pump. That was also the last direct grip work I’ll do until the meet. Wednesday I have ME bench where I’ll also be doing some 75% singles with competition form and full commands. Should be fun.

Wednesday - Sept 19th - ME Bench
Bench - worked up to 235(75%) for 3 singles with full commands

DB Bench - 60’sx3x15

Throat exts - barx3x15

Bradford press - barx15, 65x3x12

Pullups - bwx4x10

Facepulls - 100x4x20

DB curls - 25’sx2x8/side

Notes: Another good day for the 75% singles. 235 felt amazingly easy. The full commands weren’t bad at all and didn’t take away any speed or strength from the press. The rest of the workout was just getting some blood into my bench muscles. On friday I start my squat and deadlift 90% doubles which will determine my exact attempts for the meet. Then on sunday I’ll be doing the same for bench, and after that it’s pretty much just super light assistance and foamrolling until the meet, as well as technique practice with the bar.

Friday - Sept 21st - DE Lower
Speed Squats - worked up to 235x3x2, then
275x1
315x1
365x1(added belt)
425x2(PR)

Speed Deads - worked up to 255x3x2, then
315x1
365x1
405x1
455x1(added belt)
475x2(PR, decided to use opener to double instead)

Back Raises - bwx4x15

Leg Exts - 90x4x15

Leg Curls - 90x3x15

Cable Woodchops - 100x3x10/side

Notes: Today went just as well as I’d hoped. The Squats felt amazing all the way through and the 425 double was easier than last cycles 405 double. My attempts for the meet are gonna be 435 opener (light enough so I can sink it and calm my nerves), 470 2nd(a 5 lb PR), and 485-500 3rd. I’m really gonna go by feel on the final attempt. I know I’m good for at least 485 but if 470 flies up then I’ll take 500 for a spin. The deadlifts also went really well. I decided to double my opener this cycle for deads since last cycle I already doubled 455. The 475 felt really awesome and I held the second rep at the top for a good 6-8 seconds. My deadlift attempts are gonna be 475 opener, 515 2nd attempt (10 lb PR), and 535-545 3rd attempt. I really want to pull at least 535 since it’ll be 3x bw for me. The rest of the work was really light pump work which I really needed. Sunday I have DE bench where I’ll be doing 90% doubles again and cementing my attempts for bench.

Sunday - Sept 23rd - DE Bench
Speed Bench - worked up to 165x3x3, then
185x1
225x1
255x1
285x2(PR, added wraps and belt)

DB Bench - 55’sx3x15

DB tri ext - 25’sx3x15

Lateral Raises - 20’sx2x10(with my training partner pushing down at the top), x15

Pullups - bwx3x10

Facepulls - 100x3x20

Cross Body Hammer Curls - 30’sx3x8/side

Notes: Benching felt amazing today. Everything was done with full commands just to be ready for the meet. The first rep with 285 flew up, the second was a little slower but definitely still fast. To top it off it was a 20 lb PR. I’m really confident with using it as my opener, followed by 315 then 335. The assistance was just like my assistance on monday, just to get some blood in the muscles that work the movement, nothing difficult. This was the final training day, and now the rest will consist of light technique work, some pump work, stretching and foamrolling. The last day I’ll do anything will be thursday, then it’s just rest. So with my highest aims for the meet, 500/335/535, I can possibly hit a 1370 total, just 26 lbs short of elite. My minimal aim is 1345. Cant wait to head to North Bay.