Today starts my second run of the Renaissance Periodization Powerlifting Strength template.
When you fill out the template, you put in various 5RM or 8RM values, depending on the movement. It so happened that the week 4 numbers of the prior cycle worked well for this. Granted, I didn’t have true rep-maxes on week 4: it was designed for 1/fail, and some I was able to crank out more than say 5 reps (on a 5RM exercise). But that’s fine. Borrowing from Wendler, it’s never a bad thing to start too light, to be a little more sub-maximal. Granted you can’t go way down, but heck: if I cranked out 6 reps and had one left in the tank, AND it’s still a progression from the prior cycle, I think that’s an alright place to start.
I am not changing much on the layout of the sessions themselves: basically keeping the same movements, tho maybe some slight modifications. For example, I’ll still dumbbell press but I’m using less weight and adding a pause in the bottom position — as a means to work with my present shoudler issues.
Side note: I am more and more convinced my issues are in my shoulders. I’m giving some thought to doing my bench pressing with the swiss/football bar so I can use a neutral grip as that will basically force my elbows more into my body — they really can’t flare out. Not sure, just started to think about the mechanics of that over this past weekend.
But then speaking of issues…
I picked up a new set of knee sleeves. I noticed my elbow sleeves had ripped so I bought replacements (same as before: Mark Bell’s STrong sleeves size XXL), and while I was at it I opted to buy another set of knee sleeves — not that I needed them, but I wanted to try one size smaller to see how it went. So I picked up the STrong knee sleeves size XL (normally I do XXL). For sure, they fit a bit tighter and getting a full knee bend is a little harder. I did notice a hint of pop in the bottom position, but really it’s not much.
What I really noticed tho? The added compression felt good on my knees and kneecap. My left knee has been giving me troubles (and yes I’m on the cusp of getting X-rays on it), but boy if it didn’t feel good all through the session and even now as I write this up.
I’m also really working on “TIGHT” as my main cue. I know to be tight, and I think to be tight, but I know that 1. I could be tighter, 2. I could be more completely tight (e.g. whole body), 3. I need to keep that tightness.
I think part of my arm issues is because lack of tightness — in my grip. I notice if I work to crush-grip the bar AND KEEP THAT then life’s better. It’s really evident doing something as simple as band pull-aparts in my warm-up. If I let my wrists be only somewhat rigid, there’s some tension in my elbows. But if I really squeeze hard and ensure my wrists are solid, no pain.
And also, when tight, everything just works better, is stronger, etc.
So when squatting today, I did my best to make every rep a time to reset. Get tight, go down, come up, take a moment to reset myself and get tight, then do another rep, etc.. I think that made a big difference. I still need a bunch of work, especially at ensuring the upper back remains tight. But I’ll get there.
Anyways, this is a good first day of the new cycle. Light, minimal, just getting into the groove.
2/fail. 3 minutes rest on big movements, 2 or 1.5 on smaller movements.
RP Powerlifting, Strength Cycle 2, week 1
- Squat (low bar)
- bar x 10
- 135 x 5
- 225 x 5
- 255 x 3
- 285 x 6
- 285 x 6
- 285 x 5
- Front Squat
- 165 x 10
- 165 x 8
- Competition Deadlift (triples)
- 135 x 3
- 225 x 3
- 265 x 3
- 265 x 3
- Stair Calves
- 70 x 10
- 70 x 10
- Reaching Situps
- 22 x 12
- 22 x 12