Training Template

Dirty Dave wrote:

So is your training set up as some kind of bulgarian/westside hybrid? I just notice alot of frequency and variation in your training. Maybe you’ve done it before but you should lay it out.

I think I’ll publish an e-book.  The title will be “How to bench 2x* bodyweight raw and drug free”.  The subtitle will be “Reduce your squat in only 2** hours a day” 

*(actually 1.99x)

**(sometimes 2.5)

Kidding about the e-book.  Here’s how I train right now:  I pretty much follow Broz’s Bulgarian methods for powerlifting.  Read more and visit my useless forum here.  I use things that are Westside-ish (bands on some deadlifts, floor press, high rep dumbbell bench) but I wouldn’t call it a hybrid.  Broz training = Lion.  My training = Tiger.  Westside = Zebra.  Just because tigers and zebras both have stripes…okay, I love analogies but I suck at them and now someone is gonna post “how dare you call yourself a tiger and louie simmons a zebra”  Just forget it.

1. I always superset my training.  I do a set of squats with the bar.  I do a set of benches with the bar.  Squat with 135.  Bench with 95, etc, etc.  If I finish the pressing, (provided I’ve already hit my heaviest squat for the day), I start deadlifting.  Superset squats and deadlifts?  Yes, and not give a fuck.

2. I train 7 days a week.  I missed 5 days in the last 6 months.  Christmas, Thanksgiving, once when I was sick, once when I was really tired, and once when I went to visit my Grandma who lives in the mountains.  I don’t train as well on 12 hours rest (if i train in the evening and then again the next morning) as I do on 24.  It took me a while to accept that fact, but it’s fine.  If I miss a day the next day I don’t max, just go up to where I’d do volume at and do that.  I train about 2 hours a day, sometimes 2 1/2, I could physically do more, but I have family and work obligations.

3. I sometimes wamup by sometimes doing the first of these stretches.  Other times I just warm up by doing the bar.  I don’t never foam roll.  Sometimes I’ll stretch my hamstrings after I train.  I do these band pulling exercises for my shoulders in between my earliest sets.  So: Squat-Press-1 x band pull -Squat…etc  Sometimes I hang from the chinup bars for a few seconds between sets.  Feels nice.

4. Squat – I do Low Bar Squats everyday, and work up to a max.  That’s either where I get stapled, or more usually where I start grinding and it looks and feels awful.  Then I stop.  Then I put on the manta ray (or u could do high-bar squats same difference) and do a couple of light/medium singles (225, 315).  Then I do volume.  I just do singles, doubles or triples.  I just do as much as I can.  My goal is to get 30 total reps and I can do that with like 325, or i can use a higher weight like 365 and just do a few singles.

note, right now my squat is going terribly, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

5. Press – I do the rotation of bench, floor press, light stuff.

5a. Bench – *this depends on how much time I have and if i have a spotter, but if I have both time and a spotter, then: I use medium grip one time, then comp grip the next time.  Except with the slingshot I always use comp grip.  I go up to a max, and then I put on the slingshot and go to a max.  Then I drop the weight and do a little volume (like 2xdoubles, or a triple) with the slingshot.  Then I drop the weight some more and take off the slingshot and do more volume.

5b. Floor Press – Go to a max, drop down & do volume.

5c. Light stuff – a few light high rep sets with dumbbell bench.  Then Behind the Neck Press which I am not very good at but I go up to a double or whatever.  Then military press, i start above my last BTN press, go to a max, then drop down and do a little volume.

6. Deadlift.  Do sumo deadlifts like this:  Sumo – Sumo+monster underfoot – Sumo – Sumo+light – Sumo – Sumo+ Avg – repeat.  Just do about 10 singles at different deficit heights or even from boxes.  Try to pull fast and not grind, but do try to set PRs

7. Accessory work.  One day I will do chinups/pulldowns.  Then the next day I’ll do some kind of row.  Sometimes I forget/don’t care/don’t log these.  I do these medium heavy.  don’t like BB rows, well i love ’em but by the end my back is pretty tired and I really don’t feel like loading up yet another barbell when i could just do cable rows or machine rows or something fun.

Training like this isn’t as hard as it seems.  Olympic lifters do similar.  My  recommendation to someone jumping into it is not to do 3 days/wk, then a month later 4 days/wk, then 5, etc.  I would just do 7 days a week, but be very conservative with your maxes and volumes at first.  Let’s say your best squat ever is 405.  The first day, what’s that, 350 was sort of hard-ish?  Fuck it, onto the volume:  Maybe 225 for 10 sets of 2.  You can go up from there and you shouldn’t be a pussy about it, but yeah don’t kill yourself neither.

Everybody always asks me about it but nobody ever tries it for themselves.


Weight: 191.4 (+1.6) not laffing about that laffy taffy now, are you?  and went out to dinner tonight probably only gonna get worse ugh way to turn a cheat meal into a cheat weekend you undisciplined fuck

High Bar Squat: 45×5, 135×4, 225, 275, 315, 345, 365, 375

already violating the template, but yeah my squats are a problem so I’m trying new approaches and mentalities to fix them

Low Bar Squat: 380, 400, 410, 420, 430, 440

Manta Ray Squat: 225, 315, 360×1,1, 365×1,1

Dumbbell Bench: 35×35, 45×30,15, 55×30

BTN Press: 45×6, 89×2, 109×2, 119×2

Mil Press: 135×2, 155, 175, 185, 190, 195; 179×2

195 and 179 from a rack.  didn’t help me press 195.  i should maybe use 1.25 lb plates again for this

Sumo+Average band: 10 sets, 20 lb PR at every height, up to 275 from the floor which was pretty quick

Time: 2:10, i think

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16 thoughts on “Training Template

  1. My recommendation is to not train for 2hrs a day, 7 days a week when you have a wife and two young kids.

    Still don’t know how you do it, honestly. Are you in love with the power rack? Should your wife be worried about your relationship with the manta ray?

    • spoken like a man with a pretty, new-ish gf, and no kids.

      so you’re saying 3 hrs a day would be better?

      srs one of them is usually at school (or online learning/playing video games on weekends) and the other taking a nap when I’m allowed to go.

      and i don’t work 40 hrs/week

      • I dunno, my wife freaked out like every six months from me spending about an hour and a half, 3x a week.

        Of course, she has been unemployed forever and clinically depressed and shit, so that probably made a huge difference when she’s sitting at home doing dick all day and I’m at work and when I get home I run off to the gym for a couple of hours, it wasn’t so great for her mental state.

        She’s finally done school and has a couple of job offers, so that will be better now I guess. Probably not…

      • Didn’t you say you worked at the gym? Or is that another gym?

        Also I don’t know why you’re so down about your squat. 440 is more than 90% of your meet PR, and these days you’ve been working up to that easily. You’re pretty set to beat your meet squat PR in April, bench as well.

        • that was like 10+ years ago.

          down about my squat bc last year I squatted 465 at the meet. & afterwards worked up to 485 in the gym. You don’t need to train for 6 months 7 days a week to decrease your squat or increase it by a piddling amount. I was doing that fine 3 days a week training for 90 minutes. That said, I think my mindstate and my squat state is on the upswing.

          And after the meet, if it is not too Great-Pumpkin-ish a thing to expect, I think it will continue to improve.

  2. Very interesting, I appreciate you putting this up. I’ve had similar success with 6 days a week squatting. I normally squat low bar but when i did this training i kept it all high bar and once i switched back i felt better than ever. I never tried it for bench but all of the best benchers i know do it often. My new career involves a fair amount of endurance related adaptation so this type of training is not practical for me now, but i know it works.

  3. Leonid Taranenko only trained 4 days a week as a 110 class lifter. He only started training six or seven when he moved to supers. He still won a gold medal and a world record in the total as a 110. Mind you, he got famous for breaking the world record clean and jerk as a 110 when he trained six days a week, but hey. Also he spent 3-6 hours a day in the gym, too. I’d like to think pointing this out proves my argument for less is more, since he trained only 4 days a week at one point, but he did train pretty long times during those 4 days, more than likely.

    Don’t know if it’s quite applicable, but hey.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonid_Taranenko
    http://www.dynamic-eleiko.com/sportivny/library/news/nv005.html

    • Your “less is more” would only apply if he had lifted more weight when he was training 4 days a week than when he was training 6-7. Instead, it just means that he was such a talented individual that he could get to the level that he did only training 4 days a week.

      I will say that most people don’t need to be training near that much a week in order to progress, as long as they’re working hard, and actually making sure there is some sort of progression in their workout.

      Fortunately, as an Olympic lifter, I get the Russians’ own volume recommendations to base my programming on. So it’s easy for me. I don’t know if such a thing exists for powerlifters…

        • Yeah, some would say that the Bulgarian approach is the antithesis of the Russian… Dunno about that, but it’s definitely simpler in its execution. None of that math stuff to worry about.

  4. Do you have any particular percentage you do for the volume sets or do you just pick something that seems reasonable?

  5. Pingback: Volume Explained | Coach's Blog

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