T Nation

Not Yet a BAMF :(

Age: 18
Weight: ~200 lbs. (I am looking to stay w/in 198 lbs. weight class)
Height: 5’8-9"

A little info:

I started training last October with the goal of adding mass. I was 145 lbs. then. I did not have the flexibility to properly perform squats or deadlifts. Essentially I went from the bar to my current weights on these two movements.

I added a significant amount of mass in a short time (~55 lbs.) and fell in love with the powerlifts. I researched meets and have one scheduled for May 24th.

I train with a strength coach. He encouraged me to explore the sport (a lot of my PRs are set with him, since he knows how to push me and give me a feeling of security while I’m under 2.5x my bodyweight).

Best Lifts
Squat: 500 x 5
Bench: 275 x 2
Deadlift: 405 x 4

Goals for May 24th Meet

  • Bench 315 raw
  • Deadlift 450
  • Master the squat suit (bench shirt brought me to 335 lbs; in my suit I have not even been able to approach my raw max)
  • GRIP STRENGTH

About possible imbalances: I guess I’m one of those people who can squat more than deadlift. My bench is weak, I think, in comparison to the other lifts. I am training it more thoroughly, as my previous attitude towards it (boring lift) limited me. Should I add board/floor presses??

I am entirely open to suggestions from the powerlifting crowd here. I am always trying to figure out the optimal routine for my body and need all the pointers I can get. And if it helps me prepare for my meet, I’ll… well, that’s negotiable.

You are a very strong 18 year old! You are doing great, keep it up.

Make sure you are staying healthy.

^ Thank you sir.

4/12

Bench
160 x 5
175 x 4
190 x 3
210 x 3 x 2
240 x 2 x 2
255 x 2 x 2
270 x 2
255 x 2 x 2
240 x 2 x 2
210 x 3 x 2
190 x 5
175 x 8
160 x 10

Ridiculous volume. Didn’t have time for anything else so I will be hitting the auxiliaries hard on Thurs/Fri.

SLDL
45 x 10
135 x 10

Deadlift
225 x 3
315 x 3
365 x 3
405 x 3
425 x 3 PR

Squat
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 3
405 x 3
455 x 3
495 x 3
515 x 3 PR

High Rack Pull
315 x 3
405 x 3
455 x 3
495 x 3 (baseline PR)

Power Stairs
60
70
80

Leg Press
630 x 8

Each rep on this was held at the bottom for increasing time. The first rep was 1 second, the second 2, etc.

A lot of triples today. I will be out of town for the weekend so I figure I will recover from this no problem.

Inspired by the arm size threads recently, I got around to measuring my biceps today at 17". Not bad for someone who never directly trains them mirite?

Bench
160 x 5
175 x 4
190 x 3
210 x 3 x 2
240 x 2 x 2
255 x 2 x 2
270 x 2 x 2
280 x 2 PR
270 x 2 x 2
255 x 2 x 2
210 x 3 x 2
190 x 5
175 x 8
160 x 10

Close Grip Bench
130 x 5
160 x 5
175 x 4
190 x 4
210 x 3 x 2
225 x 3 x 2
240 x 2 x 2

Front Squats
45 x 5 x 2
95 x 5
135 x 6
185 x 6

Kroc Rows
90 x 20 PR
100 x 10 PR

Front squats were mostly to get blood into my legs. I tweaked my back a bit last week and it affected my walking this weekend. And there was a lot of walking. Eventually my hammies were pulling really tight, my right calf got real tender, and my foot got ridiculously sore.

That’s not the only reason the front squats are so light - I still cannot get the barbell positioned right. The first few sets were okay, but I was planning on getting 10 reps on the last 2 sets (and another heavier set). The bar slipped out of the pocket (and tore up my shoulder a bit…)

Anyways, 280x2 is the most I have ever benched. I finally got the 90’s x 20 with the rows and moved up to 100s. Surprisingly my grip did NOT fail. I must be getting stronger in that area, and I’m glad.

I’m worried about three things on meet day: not following bench instructions/the pause killing me; squat depth (band stretching has helped me consistently bring the weight down); and my grip failing on a heavy dead.

Deadlift
135 x 5
135 x 10
225 x 5
225 x 3
275 x 3 x 2
315 x 2
315 x 3

Box Squat
135 x 5
225 x 5
315 x 5
405 x 3
495 x 3
545 x 2 PR

The last deadlifting session fucked with my back a bit so this time I worked out formal issues. I changed my stance to either a wide conventional or a narrow sumo… not too sure. My toes are pointed more outward and there is still a good bend in the knees.

Before, I was really muscling the weight up with my back. I couldn’t seem to properly utilize my legs to carry the movement. Now, with this movement, I really have more balance as far as what muscles are working.

The box squats were to get me used to the sort of weight I’m hoping to crush at competition. The last rep was a little sloppy, but all of them prior to that flew up.

Bench
160 x 5
190 x 5
225 x 3 x 6

Pulldown
150 x 8
170 x 8 x 2

Face Pulls
80 x 20
120 x 16
150 x 12

DB Shoulder Press
50 x 15
60 x 12

Calf Raises
45 x 15
90 x 10
115 x 10

Short and sweet. The face pulls and pulldowns felt great. I’m experimenting with the high-high rep auxiliary work.

I was planning on working squats yesterday but was still wiped from the box squats. Hm. Here’s today:

Bench
135 x 10
205 x 3
225 x 3
245 x 10 (RP) PR

Floor Press
135 x 10
205 x 3
225 x 3
255 x 3
260 x 10 (RP) PR

Neutral DB Press
60 x 10
70 x 9

Kroc Rows
100 x 12
100 x 10

Bench Dips
BW+80 x 15 > BW+45 x 10
BW+80 x 15 > BW+45 x 5

Pressdowns
60 x 12
80 x 12

This was my first time using floor presses so maybe that explains why I didn’t get too heavy on them. Also, the rest-paused set of 245 x 10 prior to them really shot me. I was pushing really hard this work out and have the following weeks planned out pretty well.

Box Squats
135 x 10
225 x 5
315 x 5
375 x 3
405 x 3
425 x 10
315 x 20

Leg Press
225 x 10
315 x 10
405 x 10
495 x 10

A little wiped by the time I got to leg press, and I did the light sets because I haven’t pressed in awhile. I will step it up and get back to where I was before.

SLDL
95 x 12
135 x 10
225 x 8

Deadlift
135 x 5
225 x 5
275 x 3
315 x 3
335 x 10

Semi-Sumo Deadlift
225 x 5 x 2
275 x 5

Rack Pulls
315 x 3
365 x 3
405 x 4

Power Stairs
50 x 12
60 x 12
50 x 12 > 60 x 12
60 x 12 > 50 x 12

First time doing the power stairs, and after all the other deadlifting it felt pretty good. I’m hitting a submaximal wave leading into competition based on the theory that doing x amount of weight 10 reps will advance my max accordingly. And with lessened chance of injury.

I say your one BAMF at 18! Sickly strong at that age.

^ Thanks man, I’m getting there.

Squat w/ Suit
135 x 6
225 x 6
315 x 3
345 x 3
365 x 5

2 Board Press
135 x 5
225 x 3
245 x 3
275 x 10

5 Board Press
225 x 5
275 x 4
315 x 3
335 x 2
375 x 1

Bench Grip Series
135 x 10 normal grip
135 x 10 close grip
135 x 10 wide grip

Front Squat
135 x 10 x 2

Squat Jump
135 x 10
185 x 10

Pressdowns
120 x 10 x 2

Bench Dips/Kennelly Dropset
115 x 5 > 105 x 5 > 80 x 5 > 45 x 5 > BW x 7

Box Squat
325 x 5
355 x 5
375 x 5
425 x 5
455 x 10

Leg Press
495 x 10
585 x 10

Inverse Hack Squat
275 x 10
365 x 10

Bench
205 x 5
225 x 5
235 x 5
265 x 7

DB Press
55 x 10
60 x 10

Upright Row
65 x 10
85 x 10

Lateral Raises
22.5 x 10 x 2

I am going to start using the military press as an addition to the “big three,” sort of like the 5/3/1 program. My bench is suffering because of how weak my shoulders are. After the board presses Saturday I really noticed how underdeveloped they are. It’s not about getting my shoulders stronger to increase my numbers. It’s about not getting my limbs torn off on heavy attempts.

Anyways, this was brutal. I’m glad I changed my mind about doing a 20 rep box squat after the 455 because I would have definitely puked. And I wanted that burrito to stay down…

SLDL
45 x 10
135 x 10
225 x 5

Deadlift
275 x 5
315 x 5
335 x 5
365 x 5
385 x 5

Rack Pulls
315 x 3
365 x 3
405 x 5

Power Stairs
80 x 12 steps x 3

2-Board Press
225 x 5
245 x 5
255 x 5
275 x 5
300 x 10

Partial Press (Off Chest)
185 x 10

Speed Bench
185 x 5 x 2

Squat (w/ suit)
275 x 5
315 x 5
335 x 5
355 x 5
405 x 10

1 Leg Squats
BW x 10 x 2

Box Jumps
BW x 20

1 Leg Box Jumps
BW x 10

Pin Lockouts
315 x 11
315 x 10

I’m going to be getting a new suit. I have 405 all day but the sticking point in the suit (which is actually a bit above parallel) made me work waaaaayyyyy too damn hard. Shopping is fun.

PR Night

Box Squat
405 x 5
425 x 4
455 x 3
475 x 2
565 x 7

Bench
225 x 5
245 x 4
275 x 3
285 x 2
315 x 5

Leg Press
585 x 10
765 x 10
855 x 10

Military Press
95 x 10
135 x 6 baseline PR

I went into box squat expecting 515 x 10. Training partner said, “Fuck that, 565” and there we are. Should’ve gotten the full 10 godDAMMIT.

Anyway, biggest thing for me was bench. The ever elusive 3 plates. I hadn’t even done this once and tonight I got it for five. I’m still ecstatic.

I’m going to start bringing presses into my bench days a looootttt more. This is a baseline PR. It’s time to rape the fuck out of this lift. Protect these joints son

Pretty embarrassing session yesterday. I was wiped from the Box Squats on Thursday and couldn’t get my quads or glutes to activate in the deadlift.

However, I got some sldls and GHRs in and now my hamstrings are totally fried. That’s the best part.

Squat
315 x 5
375 x 4
425 x 3
455 x 2
555 x M

2 Board Press
225 x 5
245 x 4
275 x 3
315 x 2
355 x 4

I just walked out the 555 squat but since my legs (particularly hammies today) were destroyed I was too shaky. I was wrapped too. I’ll hit it this week for sure though, Tuesday or Wednesday. And that’ll be it until the meet this Sunday.

Thats a pretty beastly squat man. Question though, that last post you made you said you did a 355x4, 2-Board press, was that shirted?