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Volume Supplemental Phase For PL

I kind of dabbled about where to put this, but I guess my training heavily favors powerlifting, so i guess I’ll drop it here. I’m going back to my roots and trying to build up some weaknesses with some volume and supplemental lifts.

So for bench my obvious weakness is triceps, so CGBP is an easy solution, and should still be appreciable weight.

For Deadlift, my power off the floor sucks, so deficit is a clear win. Once again still with respectable weight.

However, with squat, my biggest flaw is my core strength/bracing, and quads. I dont quite have the mobility for a safe front squat. So I settled on Zerchers. The issue being I’m doing 5×10, and I cant do much weight at all. Like 115lbs, vs a standard working weight on back squats of… 240-320 depending on the rep range. How can I mitigate strength loss during these 6-8 weeks with this being the case? Thanks in advance!

For bench/deads hard to say what’s appropriate without vids but that wasn’t your question. Hard to assess so I don’t usually takes people’s word for it without vids.

For squats assistance work that is close to the main movement should be heavy-ish so at 115lbs searchers would be more like a tertiary movement after that one for higher reps.

Volume put into safety bar squats, high bar squats, pause squats, pin squats, tempo squats depending on your exact needs / weaknesses would be more appropriate as ur secondary movement. Zerchers could be your tertiary movement but many others would be appropriate.

Dunno what program is being run but u may also want to consider not completely straying from the back squat entirely. U can hit some 5s once a week or week and a half to maintain better while concurrently putting work in on ur weaknesses

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I’m actually researching a bit while in was waiting on replies here, and I’m definitely kind of evolving this as I go. It’s amazing what you forget when you dont do it. (Ie how to do anything past 5 reps lol)

I’m thinking something along the lines of keeping the “comp lifts” if you will, at like… 1×8 @ 70ish percent, then 4×8 × 60ish percent. That way they’re getting the volume they need, as well as being able to have plenty of gas for the lifts like zerchers and other supplemental. Somewhere I went full retard and deemed i just needed to remove all comp lifts for the volume.

I will say though, this is the first time in a long time I’ve felt that endorphin rush, and didnt feel like hung beef in a meat locker in a long time. Didnt quite realize what I was putting my body through.

If my squat was 320, then I wouldn’t worry about weaknesses. I’d just do a squat and then something aimed at control, like a tempo squat or pin squat.

I’d work my core through a plank with elbows on a Swiss ball or some other unstable surface.


Depends on what u want. 3x5 @ RPE 6 week 1 and working up to an 8-9 RPE would be enough to maintain the feel for heavy weights. The rest of your recovery capacity can be put into something that should be hammering ur weaknesses: muscular or technique/movement.

5x8 is pretty much full on volume and won’t leave lots of room to push assistance/accessory stuff IMO.

I’m ask anyway because this thread may be steered that way: u have any vids of heavy sets for us?

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I honestly dont know what is considered eligible for “heavy weight” in the powerlifting parts of the forum, I’ve actually never spent much time here, but my max is now 410, I usually just dont go much higher than 320 for working weight in the programs I’ve ran. I’m doing a general volume phase due to overall fatigue. I keep feeling a bit beat up, and just tired all the time, plus I’ve ignored it for the better part of a year. So this is a bit multifaceted.

I’ll definitely note this. I’m not really sure how my body is going to react to volume to be honest. I’ve been running 531, and while I support everything about the program, i feel like I’m young enough and (bored enough) to actually try to periodize a bit and push my body, I just have to be smart and actually build up these weaknesses I’ve developed first. I’ll probably try your idea and see how it feels, if I’m still ready to bounce of the walls I may ramp it up a hair. (I realize the point isnt to grind my body into dust, but theres nothing more I hate than finishing a workout and thinking “now what?”)

Also, I didnt mean to completely ignore your first comments. I should specify, my bench I’m pretty unconcerned with. Anytime in focus too hard on it, I bum my shoulder up, and anytime I treat it as the bullshit part of the week without much attention, it tends to climb steadily. As far as deadlift, it’s actually been capped at 485 for… way longer than I care to admit, but I’ve also done literally nothing to address it. I just know I can do 485, and it’s a struggle, but I cant seem to get 500 an inch off the ground. So I figure I’ll start with deficit and get some ass behind it off the floor, and then focus on any weaknesses moving up.

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Won’t go into this too much in case de rail thread but weakness off the floor can be a lot of things. At its simplest if it’s just too much weight you won’t budge it. However if it’s within reason to hit a lift and u are missing at the floor (even with sumo) u should think about positioning + tightness/tensioning in the start position. Deficits will build strength and get you there but if you are already strong enough but lacking in those things just cuing may be sufficient maybe a bit of pause deadlifting will get you there without having to run a full program of volume followed by strength.

Pauses worked well for me recently. I’m gonna follow up with an exploratory block of deficits soon though but I know pauses will always be there for me to go back to


Derail away, you’ve already provided me with a great amount of insight.

Paused Deadlift brings back horrendous memories of running Darkhorse and struggling to keep my lungs in my chest. I have never sweat so much in my life than P. DL in the middle of July for AMRAP.

But I actually plan on running them again in the near future. If nothing else to build some mental fortitude.

I do want to specify, the volume/lighter phase of this is a lot to do with my mental and physical fatigue. It’s definitely interfering with my job a bit and I’ve got to balance it out. I dont think a simple deload is going to do the trick, I just want to have some fun in the gym for a little bit again instead of chasing 5lbs month after month. I’m just trying to do it in a productive manner that will ultimately help more than hurt.

I appreciate the feedback though dude. While I feel like I’ve been lifting and asking questions forever, I don’t really have any fellow lifting friends. Like… I lift with 2 other guys, but they’re in it for their own reasons and are happy listening to me, they definitely dont provide anything for me to chew on. So this place and google are pretty much my lifting bible.

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When it comes to training for strength and for other lifting disciplines when we get stronger we can smash ourselves exponentially more.

I can’t say I know u at all well but I sense ur a guy who likes to push it. That’s all well and good but heavy weights + volume + high exertion loads = running into a wall quickly. I’m that way and have had to learn recently that light-er days are necessary. Still working on it tbh

Efficient training is not two weeks of productive heavy work than digging yourself in a fatigue hole for another two before deloading for a while and then repeating. With smart fatigue management you can get 4-5 weeks of productive work deload and then follow up with another 4-5 week block.

I don’t know if this has been addressed further down but unless you have some extenuating circumstances as to why you can’t front squat, I’d work on your mobility and even if you do, i’d work on mobility.

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Absolutely my dude/ette. That’s a main side focus for me currently. Lots of dynamic warm ups, and static stretching at night for a while. Immobility is a sign of poor health, and in eat up with it.

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If your core and bracing is an issue, maybe consider some tempo paused squats. Something like 3 secs (or 3 count) down, 1 second pause and then up. I have been doing 3 sets of 6 reps at about 65% of my normal squat 1RM on a seperate day to training squats and they definitely help.
If quad strength or size is also a focus then you need to find some assistance that works this for you. I like Bulgarians or rear foot elevated split squats for squats but they don’t sit everyone. Maybe a walking lunge or some narrow stance bodybuilder type squats to really focus on the quads.

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If you’re not going to do the competition lifts then you need to chose variations that are fairly close and still allow you to lift some relatively heavy weight. If you are zercher squatting 30-40% of your squat for a few months you can expect to be weak as shit plus have to relearn how to squat properly since it is a totally different movement.

Learn how to brace properly, and do it while lifting. And do some quad-specific work, my first choices would be something like leg press or hack squats because technique is not a limitation and they are less stress than squatting. If all you have is a bar and a rack then high bar squats with or without will make you use your quads more, SSB are goo to and Hatfield squats are even better.

The other problem is that if your technique is lacking then learning a different movement pattern isn’t necessarily going to help, it will just be more time spent practicing something that isn’t the lift you want to improve. If I was you I would learn to do the competition lifts properly (including bracing) and just do some bodybuilding-style assistance work after.


Absolutely. I was speaking with Guineapig earlier and came up with an alteration. I’ll use my bench workout from earlier today as an example for quick copy/paste ability:

More of a focus on still using some appreciable weight starting out with the comp lift, followed by a variation hitting a notable weak point for high reps, but still on the heavier end of the spectrum before devolving to dumbbell work/isolation work to ice it off.

Regarding bracing; it’s definitely more technique related if I had to guess, so it might be worth asking here.

When Benching/Deadlifting, I feel the… clinch I guess you could call it. I breath in through my nose, swelling into my diaghram/stomach, whatever you want to call it, then get the last bit of air I can through my mouth. Staying nuetral and locked in. I feel like a damn bowling ball.

If i fail on deadlift, it’s just complete lack of power off the floor.

If I fail on bench it’s always my tris being fried.

However on squat… i dont really know how to describe it… it’s like i can feel and literally hear the air escaping my thoat. I’m tight, but I cant keep the air down, and under very heavy loads I can feel the depressurization affect it. The only time I’ve actually bailed on a squat was feeling like I was about to fold, so I dumped it. The legs felt like they were there.

Also, I know it’s not the core of your reply, but for equipment I’ve got barbells, dumbbells, chains, and a rack. So any variation outside if those are a no go.

You just don’t know how to brace properly. Duffin/Kabuki has a whole bunch of videos, watch them. You aren’t doing it right.

Maybe in addition to bracing issues your back and glutes are weak rather than your quads. Maybe you should just do your regular comp squat and deadlift.

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I’ll go take a gander, thanks for the direct responses.

May be worth looking at back tightness also.