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How to Make It Happen Big

February 28, 2012 12:00 PM

ThomasPhillips Article
 
I’ve competed in 14 different Raw Powerlifting events in 5 different federations in the 198, 181 and 165lb classes; however, I will be doing my first powerlifting event in over 3 years for the PTTP team in July. (If you wish to lift with the team you can qualify in a local powerlifting meet or in the Tactical Strength Challenge on May 5th. Men are required to pull 2.5 times their body weight and ladies must pull 1.5 times their body weight)
 
What have I been doing and why the time off from powerlifting? Yes, I continued to squat, deadlift and bench press; however, I had taken this time to participate in various other sports I enjoy. My training volume remained high, but I dropped the intensity in favor of more 5 to 8 rep sets. When I return to the platform in July I plan to compete at 165 and will be following a 16-week program that I used with great success at the end of 2007. In that meet I Benched 310, Squatted 465 and pulled 550 (all raw lifts). Below is an example of that template along with some critical tips.
 
Before you begin:
 
1) The first week of EVERY single ME (Max Effort) lift, your last set should be "comfortably difficult;" meaning, you should have a bit left in you so you KNOW you can beat it the following week. That following week really go at it. Try to beat what you did on that 2nd week the 3rd week.
 
2) DE (Dynamic Effort) work should be done with "controlled speed" in mind. The percentages I give are baselines. You want the weight to feel moderately heavy but choose a weight where you can perform each rep explosively without the bar slowing down at all for each rep… if you start to slow you know you have gone too heavy.
 
3) Do not go to failure on any lift… a good spotter should keep the bar speed moving at a "good tempo" for all heavy lifts where the lifter gets "stuck." Spotters, do not allow them to "stay stuck!" For deadlifting, do not attempt a pull you know you don’t have in you that week. It is more important to hit all your lifts and miss a PR than to attempt the PR and miss. Be a good judge of what you have that week.
 
Monday: ME Bench Press * (3 to 4 supplementary exercises should be chosen after each workout out to bring-up and weakness / imbalances)…. This will vary greatly amongst individuals depending on where you are weak.
 
Weeks 1 – 3 work up to heavy triples with 3 board (beat previous week’s #)
Week 4: Deload – 8 sets of 3 with 60% to the chest (cut supplementary work in ½)
Weeks 5 – 7 work up to heavy triples with 2 board (beat previous week’s #)
Week 8: OFF
Weeks 9 – 11 work up to heavy double with 1 board (beat previous week’s #)
Week 12: Deload - 8 sets of 3 with 60% to the chest (cut supplementary work in ½)
Weeks 13-15 work up to heavy singles off chest no pause (beat previous week’s #)
Week 16 taper – 8 sets of 3 with 60% to the chest
 
Tuesday: OFF
 
Wednesday: ME Squat* (supplement with kettlebell conditioning e,g. double KB swings, front squats, lunges, etc). On deload weeks try to perform your squats an inch deeper and focus on speed coming off the box.
 
Weeks 1-3: Box squats to parallel with spider bar – work up to heavy set of 3
Week 4: Deload – 8 sets of 2 with 50-55% on buffalo bar to 1 inch below parallel
Weeks 5-7: Box squats with safety squat bar – work up to heavy set of 3
Week 8: OFF
Weeks 9-11: Box squats with buffalo bar, work up to heavy set of 3
Week 12: Deload – 8 sets of 2 with 50-55% on buffalo bar to 1 inch below parallel
Week 13-15: Box squats with straight bar, work up to heavy double
Week 16: Taper – no lifting, this is the Wednesday before the meet
 
Thursday: OFF
 
Friday: DE Bench Press* (Remember, speed of bar is the critical factor) – (3 to 4 supplementary exercises should be chosen to bring-up weakness / imbalances, but the exercises should vary slightly from Mondays supplementary work)
 
Weeks 1 – 3: 40% on bar, add bands until 60-65% on top
Week 4: Deload – moderate weight dumbbell press for 3 sets of 8 (cut supplementary work in ½)
Weeks 5 – 7: 45% on bar, add bands until 60-65% on top
Week 8: OFF
Weeks 9 – 11: 50% on bar, add bands until 60-65% on top
Week 12: Deload– moderate weight dumbbell press for 3 sets of 8 (cut supplementary work in ½)
Weeks 13-15: 55% on bar, add bands until 60-65% on top
Week 16 taper: Take off; this is the day before the event
 
Saturday: ME Deadlift* (I like to choose a good abdominal exercises after DLing as well as 3 sets of Glute-ham raise followed by 5 to 8 sets of weighted pull-ups for heavy singles).
 
*Note, I deadlift sumo, so you should perform the following routine with the stance you use in competition.
 
Weeks 1-3: Sumo DL off 2 inch platform and work up to a heavy set of 5 (try to beat previous week’s number)
Week 4: Deload, do 8 sets of speed deads with 60% on bar and cut supplementary work in ½.
Weeks 5-7: Sumo DL off 1.5 inch platform and work up to heavy triple (try to beat previous week’s number)
Week 8: OFF
Weeks 9-11: Sumo DL off 1 inch platform and work up to heavy double (try to beat previous week’s number)
Week 12 Deload, do 8 sets of speed deads with 60% on bar and cut supplementary work in ½.
Weeks 13-15: Sumo off ½ inch platform and work to heavy single (try to beat previous weeks number)
Week 16 taper: this is the Saturday before meet, do 8 sets of speed deads with 60% on bar and cut supplementary work in ½.
 
Sunday: Kettlebell conditioning (e.g. double KB swings and cleans)
 
Remember, you can qualify for the PTTP team in any powerlifting federation or in the Tactical Strength Challenge on May 5th. Men need 2.5 times their bodyweight and women 1.5 times their bodyweight. Hope to see you in Vegas!
 

 
 
For more info on the Tactical Strength Challenge please visit: www.TheTacticalStrengthChallenge.com
 
Thomas Phillips
Senior RKC, Z-health level 2, CK-FMS
Owner: Fit for Life pt
Creator: The Ultimate Transformation Challenge
Notable Achievements:
• Beast Tamer
• Raw Master class powerlifter @ 165
• First place in Tactical Strength Challenge in Elite or Open divisions on multiple occasions (2004-2009)
• 1st Place Open short and overall novice at Men’s OCB Central Eastern Seaboard bodybuilding
• 2002 Body for Life Grand Master Champion
 
 
 
 
 
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