Hi Steel Nation, thanks for your reply.
At this stage, my goals are to get stronger in the powerlifts, and maybe one day compete. I live in Australia, so PL is not a big sport over here. But I have always been impressed more by someone who can move a lot of weight (with good form of course).
Around 2003 to mid 2005 I was doing Westside style training at a commercial gym, and managed to get a 137.5kg bench, 165kg squat and 190kg deadlift, done at a bodyweight of around 95kg before some nagging shoulder and lower back injuries set in. Looking back, I’m pretty sure the injuries were a result of:
a) lack of stretching (I did virtually none)
b) lack of deloading (maxing out every week unless I was too injured to do so)
c) not properly understanding my weaknesses (eg too much tricep work for bench when I was a raw lifter and should have been working on my pecs and shoulders more since my sticking pt was a few inches off my chest).
I got frustrated with those injuries and took some time off from lifting and came back to the gym months later a lot weaker and not as driven to making stregth gains. I basically farted around doing various supersets just looking to stay in shape.
Fast forward to today and now I lift at home, having recently bought some equipment (powercage, oly bar + plates, adjustable dumbells - real old school) after being through commercial gyms for ages. The one I was at only had 1 squat rack and 1 flat bench, so I got fed up with it. Training at home is so much better. I feel I have my drive to get strong back again, I’ve cleaned up my diet and I now stretch religiously and do a lot of prehab work to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes again. Injuries suck. I’m really pleased I gained 20kg (maybe a little muscle memory was involved) in the 7wks I was doing the bench program. When I started it, I had just returned after a 1 month o/s holiday and I tested out at 100kg for the bench.
So today, I’m a little wiser about how I train and more conscious of preventing injuries before they happen.
The backoff week sounds like a good idea. I think I’ll do 1 week of light sessions, followed by 2 weeks of slightly more intensity, then I’ll start my next program for the deadlift.