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GuineaPig’s Training Log - Road to 3 Plate Bench + 600kg Total to Defeat Gym Nemesis


30 bucks a month vs 100s I think lol

Quick maths going off the number of people in the group ~800 and there’s also a seperate for Skynet AI and JTS AI there’s gotta be at least 45k rolling in a month between the two. $$$


How experienced are most of the lifters in AI coaching?


LOL after you missed the 125kg bench the guy saw you there in the back and just kept walking XD


All sorts. Plenty stronger than me plenty weaker


Actually he came back around to help unload the plates after


I was wondering because in the RTS group coaching they were saying that once you were at something like 350 or 400 Wilks you should get custom coaching. I knew a guy who was in the group coaching (I think I mentioned that) and the deadlift volume was way too much and was killing his squat too. He wanted to just reduce sets but they talked him into the custom coaching and he ended up doing good, I cant remember exact numbers (he was a small guy) but he pulled something over 3x bodyweight and squatted about 3x.


Here’s the response. Not bad.

Can’t say my faith in the AI gods is that strong anymore tbh. Not really sure where to go from here


Well, the AI thing is new so you can expect there to be some issues. At least Blevins is being helpful. I don’t know a whole lot about him but he seems like a decent guy and had a bunch of free programs and stuff, my criticisms of this whole thing are nothing against him or Chad but rather just what seems to be a basic cookie-cutter program for the intermediate masses.

A 12-16 week training cycle would be good for your meet, but seeing as you have what, 20-24 weeks or so, what do you do for now? You could just do two training cycles back to back, probably a shorter one first, but I think getting some work in wraps sooner rather than later would be good for you as well. I don’t really know what his opinion is on long term planning, I think Chad’s approach (as stated in videos and book) makes sense and for yourself a hypertrophy block would be the best thing to do right now. Is that an option? What about wraps, have you talked to him about that?


The email is only meant for “technical” enquires but I’m sure it gets flooded with non technical stuff because plenty of answers go unanswered on the FB group.

I’m leaning towards leaving AI Coaching tbh

It’s a lot of trouble for something that hasn’t work super well and probably gonna be a bit of “down time” as stuff gets sorted out maybe “losing” a month of training because it’d be real similar to training that didn’t produce much results in the mean time.

If I stay I’ll hit him up with the wraps question but it’s almost like asking him to program something new for me kinda defeats the purpose of AI

Hypothetically speaking, say a block is a months training and I got 6-7months until the meet, would it make sense to plan to go:

Volume/Strength/Volume/Strength/Volume/Strength/Peak (2weeks after the end of a strength block)

Or Volume/Strength/Peak+Test Volume/Strength/Peak+Test

To assess where I’m at get new maxes what’s working or nah. Or would should I be able to gauge progress and going in the right direction within a training block maybe rep PRs or such?


Exactly this. I saw some samples of Chad’s coaching from a while back and at the end of each block he had the guy working up to a 8rm or 5rm, which makes a lot more sense to me and eliminates the need to peak and test. Peaking doesn’t seem to have any long term benefits, it’s just preparing yourself for some max lifts and after that it always seems like you’re taking a couple steps back. If you’re not going to compete very often then peaking and testing a couple times a year won’t hurt but it’s something that can easily be overdone.

I’m not your coach, and I’m not really a coach anyway, but if I was coaching you I would have you do some high volume and hypertrophy stuff for the next 2-3 months and then start ramping up the weights. Right now since you are far from the meet you could focus mostly on variations of the comp. lifts, but not necessarily eliminate the comp. lifts altogether, and as you get close they would become the main focus. Basically, you would be in offseason mode for now until about 4 months out.

The thing with powerlifting is that it’s actually pretty easy to design a decent program, it’s not like training for some other sports where you need so many different skills and qualities. You just need to develop and maintain technique in 3 lifts, add muscle, and become more “neutrally efficient” by lifting heavy weights. The problem that arises for a lot of people is that there are so many different options for how to set up your program, basically you just need to choose something appropriate and stick with it while keeping volume at a reasonable level.


About this part here, there is some confusion with the term “block”. You hear Chad talking about phases, those can be made up of multiple blocks AKA mesocycles, which aren’t necessarily a month either. So you could have 2-3 mesocycles for a hypertrophy phase, another 2-3 mesocycles for a strength phase, and then one mesocycle for peaking since you’re not an elite SHW (not yet, but keep eating all those donut and we’ll see…). If you are nowhere near a meet you can switch back and forth between strength and hypertrophy blocks, and if you already have a lot of muscle you can just focus on volume with low rep sets instead.


So… VVVSSSP or VSVSVSP will work

Testing/Peaking is unnecessary. Use RPE, reps in reserve, AMRAPS to gauge progress.

Thanks for your help big man. I’ll send you a donut next time I stop by Krispy Kreme


I think maybe two strength mesocycles before peaking would probably be better than one in the 2nd option. You don’t necessarily have to use RPE, I keep track of RPE and use it to determine the next week’s weights but I don’t like the RTS style of autoregulation for it’s own sake. If I’m planning to do 5 reps and have to cut it at 4 I don’t cry about it either.



Gonna take a light sesh in the gym today feeling smashed post test and still recuperating from last bits of sickness I guess.

@chris_ottawa and I wrote a lot above but TLDR looks like I’m gonna go off AI coaching.

Having issues with getting AI to spit out something not stupid and don’t really wanna be wasting a month or so while it gets fixed so back to my own shit but with many great lessons learned.

Chill sesh today so gonna sit and brainstorm ideas and put them up here as I go and try them out.


High Bar vs SSB - got some SSB options in the gym. Tried high bar but tbh dunno where to put that bar feels weird everywhere lol. Terribly uncomfortable especially if the bar shifts about on locking out the concentric or unrack

High-bar focusing on being upright and, lowering under control and going deep.

Dunno which of these bars would work best but I can’t find the bar pad for the silver one. Silver has bit less gamble angle. Surprisingly the thick boy feels much more comfy on my back than high bar.

SSB same cue as high bar just watching for upper back position also. Can feel the throwing around it try’s to make you do but can resist it so far. Apparently once you go heavy enough it suddenly starts throwing you around?

From today SSB > High Bar just on comfort alone. But also feels goot Upright and challenging everything. Dunno how much the bar weighs though

Maybe SSB + rep comp squat because my squat style is already hydrid bar position and relatively upright. Not exactly a new stimulus. Comp squat might be in already if I’m practicing wraps


I like DBs and I like big power tits so maybe some of that and flyes.

Tried close grip bench today. Dunno how close is close tbh. Dunno if wide bench would be better? Doesn’t feel easy at least if that’s what we are going for.

Spotos did fuck all so next strength phase I think extra long pause bench will be my assistance.


Tried out some deficits. Might be good for extra ROM and weakpoint training no? Never actually done a block of them properly though

Tried out both conventional and sumo deficits.

Conventional is simple enough. Small deficit + stiff bar.

Sumo bit harder to set up. Plates on the floor slide so tried some 15s. Loaded up 120kg worth of smaller plates lol and gave it a go. Looks dumb but works. Feels… interesting. Not as distinct an extra challenge as deficit conventional (the height of the deficits pretty close I think)

Could just do rep work on regular sumo.

Maybe stiff bar work vs deficit?

Hmm. So many options

Back to the drawing board I think.


Now we done eating everything to prep the test back on that diet bullshit:

Chicken Roasting Portions + Rice: 40p
2x Rainbow Paddle Pops: 5p
Protein Shake: 60p
Prawn Dumplings: 10p
Noodle Soup: 20p


More research and thoughts on programming: (learning is fun for once lol). Gonna put it down here for my own note

Phase Length and Proportion

Using the below vid and my recent training blocks/logs info especially regarding fatigue levels I’m thinking up some stuff.

MESOCYCLE/BLOCK LENGTH (like how many weeks of overloading training can be done before a light/deload week is required)

These past weeks of training going off my fatigue level numbers looks like 4 weeks is my number (5 maybe but might be pushing it). The program kept pushing through to 6 weeks and that week had all high fatigue numbers. It was followed by a taper and max out so instead that I could just have a light week.

TOTAL PHASE LENGTH (is like the length of the whole program from start to meet)

6 months to the meet bit long ~24 weeks pretty much the high end of total length. Usually weaker/smaller/less advanced lifters use longer programs and maybe it’s just me not being happy with my gains and comparing to insta but I think a longer total phase would be appropriate

PHASE PROPORTION (how much time spent Volume training and va how much time Strength training)

The bigger/more advanced an athlete is the less volume phase they need so they need to spend a bigger proportion of their time in strength phases.

Peaking seems like my program had me do it in 3 weeks so will go with that maybe a bit longer if time.

@chris_ottawa I may be mistaken but you seem to enjoy thinking and learning about this stuff I’m pretty thicc so I think your recommendation 2-3months volume and 3-4 strength is about right. How about erring on the side of strength so 2 months volume 4 months strength? Better?

What a great vid for learning would recommend out of ten


Me when bulking. Unfortunately also me when cutting


The weight is in front so it pulls you forward, if you have trouble staying upright this will fix it and if you don’t then it’s sort of in between a front squat and high bar except you won’t dump the bar like in a front squat.

If the SSB feels way better than high bar it might be a better choice for you, any lift that feels awkward and you can’t get the technique right won’t have the same training effect as one that doesn’t have those problems. SSB squats are pretty non-technical, probably less so than any other sort of squat. It would probably be a good idea to still do your comp squats once a week just to maintain the technique, some people do well with long breaks from the comp lifts but others take a while to get back in the groove.

All the bench variations you mention are good, those are the main ones I would do. If you have dumbbells heavy enough for you then DB bench is great. For wide grip and close grip you want to go somewhere between 2 fingers and a hand’s width wider/closer, pausing wide grip bench also is supposed to put more strain on the pecs. Those plus comp. bench and some OHP or incline and maybe some dips basically cover everything, throw in some flys and direct tricep work and you’re good.

Some people say that deficit sumo deadlifts are no good (Dan Green for one) but other people like Chris Duffin and Andrey Malanichev use them so I guess it varies from person to person. I seem to get some good carryover from them, they help with drive off the floor and also work your hips and back harder because of the more horizontal back angle. If you can consistently use the small plates then that’s perfect, one reason people have a hard time doing them is because you need a surface that won’t move around. I do them standing on plates in a power rack, my stance is close enough for that to work but otherwise I would have to get some rubber mats or something.

Conventional deadlifts, RDLs and SLDLs are probably worth doing too, just not all of them.


That could work, but I think you would be pushing the limit for how long you can keep doing the same sort of training and still make gains. After a while you just stop responding to the same thing, that’s basically why periodization works. How exactly you plan to program this is also another thing to consider, you could do a hypertrophy phase, then a volume phase where you mostly do submaximal work and really focus on technique before moving onto heavier strength-focused stuff.