T Nation

Modified 10 Day Layers for Powerlifting


6 weeks ago, I finished the 10 day push/pull layers and made incredible progress. 5% or more strength increase on the main lifts while losing 15 lbs in 5 weeks! I'm going to do it again, adjusted to my personal weaknesses/goals:

1. Floor press ramp to 1RM
2. Competition-style bench press ramp to 1RM, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Bench press from pins just above sticking point, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. DB low incline press 5 x 5
5. Front squat 3 x 3 (70-75% focusing on perfect technique)

1. Competition-style deadlift ramp to 1RM
2. Deadlift from pins just below knees, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Deadlift from pins above knees, start at 70% of no.2 and ramp to 1RM
4. Back squat 6 x 2

1. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 1RM
2. Chinese pulls, start at 70% of no.1 and ramp to 1RM
3. Kroc rows 5 x 5
4. Front squat 3 x 3

1. Competition-style bench press ramp to 3RM
2. Competition-style bench press 8 x 3 @ 90% of no.1
3. DB low incline press 5 x 10
4. Front squat 3 x 3

1. Competition-style deadlift ramp to 3RM
2. Competition-style deadlift 6 sets of 3 with 90% of no.1
3. Back squat 4-5 x 6-8

1. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 3RM
2. Snatch-grip high pulls, 6 sets of 3 reps with 90% of no.1
3. Kroc rows 4 x 10
4. Front squat 3 x 3

1. Slight decline bench (not from pins) ramp to 6RM
2. Slight decline bench (not from pins) 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
3. DB low incline press 5 x 15
4. Face pull/rope pushdown superset 3 x 15/15
5. Front squat 3 x 3

1. Deadlift standing on a 2" block ramp to 6RM
2. Deadlift standing on a 2" block 4 sets of 6 with 90% of 6RM
3. Back squat 3 sets of 10-12

1. Snatch-grip high pulls ramp to 6RM
2. Snach-grip high pulls 4 sets of 6 with 90% of no.1
3. Kroc rows 3 x 15

DAY 10
Meet simulation: Squat, Bench, Deadlift 3 attempts each


I'm open to any and all suggestions/comments. Squatting almost every day might seem excessive but 3 light sets shouldn't be an issue.

Thanks to Thibs for sharing the layer system. I swear I progress on his programs like no other, and I've tried just about everything.

I might post up a log if anyone is interested, just let me know!


Congrats on the amazing progress! It's late, I gotta go to bed so I'll check your training tomorrow, but just wanted to drop by to congratulate you on your gains.


Thanks coach! I put in the work, but you definitely deserve a lot of credit.

Most guys like me don't go to the gym, or go a few times and quit because we're starting from so far behind and make such slow progress. It took a year of busting my ass consistently day in and day out just to bench 135 and I was 6'2" 190 lbs skinny fat. The next year I benched 165, and progress slowed from there until I started beast building, hpmass, 6 weeks to superhero and now the layer system. I'm at 210 lbs now and benched 260 for the first time, and deadlifted 475. Not bad for a dude that couldn't bench 65 lbs in high school!

It's safe to say I'm addicted for life, but it's a good addiction to have lol


that is wonderful. great stuff! congrats on your progress and keep up the god work!


Good work wramsey! Would be great if we could follow your training in a log!


Ok, it would help if you told me what your weaknesses and goals are.


@domcib thanks man!

@rpm500 i'll post a log up in a few days, i'll link here!


primary goal:
get to 8% body fat, which is probably around 190 lbs and i'm sitting around 210 right now with vague outline of abs. So ~15% i think. i'm looking to accomplish this mainly through diet. 2k calories including peri-workout has me losing 1-1.5 lbs a week and staying strong.

training goals:
press 200, squat 405, bench 315, deadlift (conventional) 500 @ 198 or less. right now i press 175, squat unknown (recently switched to pl squat), bench 260, deadlift 475. i hope to do all these within a couple years. any training that moves me closer to any of these goals i'm cool with. really itching for 500 dl and 275 bench though :slightly_smiling:

bench- 2-3" above chest is my sticking point, bar stops a bit after this on a max attempt. i think my chest is the weakest pressing muscle. i'm really efficient at using the stretch reflex, and i think part of my gains while losing weight are due to pausing every rep below 90%.

squat- technique, just trying to get used to sitting back and engaging the hips after olympic high bar back squatting for so long

deadlift- lock out. i am strong off the floor, to the point where i can deadlift more than rack pull from pins just above the knees! weak glutes maybe?

any advice is greatly appreciated!


For that one a good method to use is the double pause bench press. A method that was quite common among German olympic athletes. Lower the bar to the chest, pause for 2 seconds while keeping full tension (keep back tensed, lift chest up, squeeze the bar with your hands), lift it up to just above your weak point and hold for 2 seconds then finish the lift.

I would do this instead of pin presses from above the sticking point. It will teach you to rely less on the stretch reflex. The pin press from above the sticking point is good to strengthen the weak region, but will do nothing for the way you bench. 3 cycles of the double pause bench THEN you can move on to the pin press above sticking point... basically rewire your firing pattern during the bench then strengthen the weak zone (if its still weak).

If you don't intend to do an actual powerlifting competition I don't see the point. The olympic high bar squat is a superior exercise and has less crossover with the deadlift.

Could be, but normally that is not an issue (weak glutes) with those who did a lot of high bar full squats. Hamstrings or upper back might be more probable weak areas.


ok cool I'm excited to try double pauses now

honestly it's all psychological. at my heaviest 258 lbs i could full squat only 315 even though i pulled 455. and that's squatting 3-4 times per week and not deadlifting much. i have long femurs and it's too frustrating to lose fat and 3 years of squat progress with it.

a couple of months ago i was box squatting near max with my feet pointed too straight ahead and had to use terrible form to get up. then i was stupid and did broad jumps after. the outside (hamstring) tendon underneath my left leg still pops back and forth when i go to depth on pl style squats. it doesn't hurt and is fine on front squats. any idea what's going on?

i think i'll take your advice and just do olympic full squats. no pain and like you said, a better exercise. i'll have to get used to deadlifting in olympic shoes. oh and no plans to compete any time soon :slightly_smiling:

yeah i had heard glutes were the most common reason for a weak lockout but my glutes are a strength if anything imo for the reason you said. my best guess is upper back because that's what feels strained the most when doing pin pulls. we'll see how the kroc rows do.