T Nation

Training for USAPL Raw Nationals


#1

First time going to any contest this big so I'm excited. I'm now 24 and in the open class, and a very average lifter, so it's really just for fun and the invaluable learning experience. I'm usually around 255 so I will probably go 275 and try to lose some weight later, as I expect my weight to climb up a bit over the cycle.

In the off season I do alot more volume, typically 5x5 without any belt, wraps etc. For the next 12 weeks I am following a SQ/DL setup modeled after Rickey Dale Crain's program and for bench a 12-week cycle developed by Brad Gillingham.

Week 12

4/26- Sunday
Squats-135x10 225x5 275x3 315x3 330*x5x2 sets
Pause squats-280*x5x2 sets
Leg curls-3x10
Sit-ups- 3x12
Calf raise-3x20
Elliptical-20 min

4/28- Tuesday
Bench-135x10 185x3 225x3 250x1 275x1 295**x1 265x5x3 sets
paused last rep of each set and singles
Floor press-135x5 185x5 225x3x2 sets
Nose breakers-4x12
Hammer Curls-4x12
4-way neck
Bike- 20 min

*-belt
**-wrist wraps


#2

I'm planning to compete as well, so hopefully I'll see you there. It's a lot of fun - just make sure you're sinking your squats!


#3

lol, I've done a few USAPL meets so I know how strict they can be.

I think I'm not lifting until Sunday but should be there for the whole weekend. Thanks and best of luck with your training.


#4

Yeah, last year they were super anal with the squats, at least on the women/lightweight men day. More anal than they seemed to be with other National level comps.


#5

4/30: Thursday

DL-135x10 225x5 315x3 365x1 385*x5
DL off plate-335*x5
Pulldown-3x8
Dummbell row-3x10 each arm
Farmer's walk- 2 sets
Reverse crunch-3x10
Neck bridges
Heavy bag- didn't keep time, will use a timer next time I'm pretty sure I chumped out here


#6

5/2: Saturday
BP- 135x8 185x8 215x8x2 sets- last rep paused each set
Dummbell overhead press-3x10
Pushdowns-3x10
Reverse preacher curls-3x15

/First week, kind of boring, everything still light


#7

Best of luck! I'll be there competing in the 181s.


#8

Week 11

5/3- Sunday
Sq-135x10 225x5 275x3 315x3 340*x5x2 sets
Pause squats-290*x5x2 sets
Walkouts- 455* 500*
Will tack these on every other week I didn't feel so brave under the heavier weights
Shrugs-315x8 405x8 495x6 585x2
Gym has these 1lbs collars so technically every set was 2# heavier but whatevs
Pull through-3x15
Ab wheel-3x10
Calf raise-3x20
Elliptical- 20 min

Felt easier than last week, everything felt real light


#9

Thanks man right back at you!


#10

5/5/2009: Tuesday
BP-135x3 185x3 225x3 275x1 305x1- tried cutting back warmups but didn't go so well, single wasn't hard but slower than I would have liked 270x3x5 sets- went alot better, good bar speed
Floor press-135x3 230x3x2sets
Westside extensions-3x10
Straight bar curls-5x5
Neck work- 4 way neck
Bike-15 minutes


#11

5/8/09- Friday
Deadlift- 135x10 245x5 335x3 395*x5
DL off plate-345*x5
Bent row-245x5x2 sets
Pulldown-3x12
Farmer's walk with hex dumbbells-3 sets
Abdominal work


#12

5/9/09- Saturday
Bench-135x10 205x3x3 sets (close) 205x3x3 sets(medium) 205x3x2 sets (wide)
Incline dumbbell press-3x10
Nose breakers with straight bar-3x8
Hammer curl-3x15
4-way neck
bike- 20 minutes


#13

Week 10

5/12/09: Tuesday
Squat-135x10 225x5 275x3 315x3 350*x5x2 sets
first set a bit shaky, second set effortless, might not have been warmed up enough?
Pause squat-300x5x2 sets
Pull through-3 sets
ab machine- 3 sets
calf raises-3x20
*- belt

5/13/09: Wednesday
Bench- 135x10 185x8 225x5 250x1 275x1 300x1 315^x1- last rep of each paused
280x3x5 sets- had to dig deep on last set, got pretty tired
2-Board press- 250x6x2- paused all reps
Hammer curl-3x10
Pushdowns with rope-3x15
elliptical- 20 minutes
^-wrist wraps


#14

Looks like there will be quite a few of us there. I'll be competing on Sunday as well. Good luck with your training leading up to the meet.


#15

Thanks! It will be exciting to meet everyone there. Raw lifting seems to really be growing in popularity.

5/17: Sunday
Bench- 135x10 185x10 225x8x2- paused last rep each set
Dumbbell military press-3x8
Pull-ups: 8,7,6
Chest supported row-3x8
Rope pushdowns- 3x20


#16

Week 9 -

5/18/09: Monday

Squat-135x10 225x5 275x3 315x3 340x1 360*x5x2 sets
very frustrating, this is a weight I can do in my sleep but for the life of me I couldn't keep the arch in my lower back today, I kept rounding over. That wouldn't make me miss here but in the back of my mind I know on a max attempt I can't afford to have my lower back round over, this is something I need to fix PRONTO.

Box Squat-275x2x6 sets

Bulgarian Squat-3x8

Pull through-3x15

Roman chair sit up-3x12

Calf raise-2x20

elliptical- 20 minutes


#17

Cliff notes: did some brainstorming on the way home; lean forward on squats due to weak glutes and hamstrings; I'm going to switch pause squats out for manta ray squats, add box squats after deadlifts and do an extra exercise for the hamstrings. Hopefully 9 weeks is enough time to fix this

.....

I realized that I have a tendency to lean forward alot and use almost all quad on the pause squats, which I think might have ingrained in me the bad habit of rounding my lower back. In addition although I feel stronger I feel slower, even on the lighter weights whereas I used to be very explosive. For that reason I tried doing box squats instead.

In my experience also I have had trouble gaining if I squat once a week, as I have been doing the past month. I think I'll add box squats after deadlifts Thursday, and Sundays when I squat I will do 2 sets of manta ray squats instead of the pause squats, which will hopefully teach me to stay more upright as the weights go up.

Finally, I had encountered an issue before in that when I set up my rear sticks out and my body is in an inefficient position to squat, which will tend to make the beginning of the movement into a good morning. I would say I "relapsed" last workout and the one before. To my understanding this problem is a result of weak glutes/hamstrings which would make sense to me as my quads are alot stronger and more developed than my hamstrings. I had to start the Bulgarian squats with a humble pair of 30s, which means I have a long way to go, but I guess I still have some time. Additionally I pushed the weight for pull throughs up, as I had just kind of been sleepwalking through them with a moderate weight, and am definietely feeling soreness in the whole posterior chain today.


#18

5/20: Wednesday
Bench-135x8 185x8 225x5 250x1 275x1 300x1 320*x1- lost focus at the bottom wasn't a max but went up slow as hell
290*x3x4 sets 290*x2- locked out third rep but butt came off bench
*-wrist wraps

was feeling run down so I cut out assistance work today; didn't get much sleep last 2 days


#19

Good luck to everyone competing at Raw Nationals. I will be competing at 242.


#20

Thank you and same to you Phil!

5/21: Thursday
SQ(12 inch box)- 135x10 225x3 275x2x6 sets
Deadlift- 135x10 225x5 315x1 365x1 405*x5x2 sets
Pulldowns-3x8
Reverse hypers-3x15
ab wheel-3x10
Bike 20 minutes

5/23: Saturday
Bench- 135x10 205x3x8 sets
Shoulder machine press-1x15 3x8- felt uncomfortable on shoulders will stick with dumbbells
Side raises-3x15
Westside extensions-7x8