Powerlifting 30. End of week 14 summary ... backing off the bench

Monday morning weigh in 88.8kg, Saturday morning weigh in 89.2kg.

Obviously Monday morning had to start with a bit of Halloween fun spooking Sean as he opened up at 7am, but it was soon down to business on the power rack!

Given the recent lack of progress with my bench press, I am following the advice in Practical Programming for Strength Training and incorporating two back-off weeks, this being the first. Hence, this weeks work sets were as follows:

Monday: Squats 5@95kg, 5@117.5kg, 5@127kg (4,1), 5@110kg, 5@107.5kg

Tuesday: Deadlifts 5@110kg, 5@125kg, 5@145kg, 5@147.5kg (4,1), 5@125kg

Wednesday: Bench press 5@80kg, 5@80kg, 5@80kg

Thursday: Squats 5@97.5kg, 5@117.5kg, 5@127kg (3,1,1 - down from Monday), 5@112.5kg, 5@110kg

Friday: Deadlifts 5@112.5kg, 5@127.5kg, 5@145kg, 5@147.5kg (1,1,1,1,1), 5@127.5kg. The lesson here is that 2 heavy deadlift sessions per week is too much. There is no enough time for recovery and adaptation to occur, so from here on, I will be doing just one heavy session per week.

Sleep on Wednesday evening was not as good as usual and I had mild elbow (tendonitis) pain on Thursday. After completing my squats I did some abs and obliques and left it at that and the pain had gone by Friday. Certainly, I am getting towards the end of my novice phase now because I am starting to miss some of my full 5 reps in all my lifts. As discussed in the Practical Programming book, this should happen between 3 and 9 months following the onset of training and I have now been training for a little over 4 months so am within that prescribed time frame.

Nonetheless, there are still a few options left to try and squeeze out a little more weight increase in my linear progression novice stage. In order to do this I will be reducing my workload to 3x3 (as of next week) and will also consider increasing my rest periods before I progress on to the intermediate training phase. I have also ordered some 0.25kg discs to complement the 0.5kg discs I already have.

I have also been looking at potential future competitions for next year and have made contact with the British Powerlifting Organization regarding membership, but am still waiting to hear back from them.

Thanks for reading!