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In my last post about my return to the powerlifting platform. I posted my planned pivot out of that block. The Pivot went well, fatigue dropped, sore things got a lot less sore.
Then I ran another developmental block, so I figured I’d post about that and how it went.
The goal of the block was to explore some meme variants, get another block of drama-free strength training in, and see if I could reverse grip 3 plates. For no other reason than the meme factor of doing it.
The Microcycle for Dev Block 2 was as follows.
Front Squat x5@8, Drop 5%
Reverse Grip Bench x1@8, x3@8, Repeat till x3@9
Bulgarian Split Squats 3 sets @9
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8. Drop 10%
Paused Closegrip Bench x3@8, Repeat till x3@9
DB Overhead Press 3 sets @9
SSB Squat x1@7
Reverse Grip Bench x1@7
Sumo Deadlift x1@7
From my previous training, I’ve really never managed to do a great number of sets on lower movements. Even while I was just doing more hypertrophy-style training, I really struggled to get past 4 work sets at a higher intensity. Having had my main block going into my last competition being to test out minimal effective dose stuff, I averaged 1-2 drop sets per week.
In this dev block, I aimed to see what volume was like at a couple of breakpoints. I also kept upper volume minimal with repeats, though I’ve never had issues with upper volumes ever.
Along with me not really having the time to train for hours, I need to keep sessions pretty concise. Here are a couple of tables regarding fatigue % drops.
I’ve already written about them in depth here.
But TL;DR higher % drops take longer, and equal more total volume on average. Whilst being auto-regulating.
I’ve picked out 15% total volume for the week between my Front Squats and Trap bar Deads. So we’re going in pretty low, but remember I’m not very accustomed to this.
I chose an SBD day on the third day, to limit my total volume, and also to see how it works. I’ve never done one in a block before and they seem fairly popular now, with the rationale of sports practice (doing all three lifts on the same day).
I also decided to play around with measuring bar speed and using it to help make some decisions through training. Overall my training priorities went something like:
Pain lead. If something goes past a 3/10 on the pain scale, we call it.
RPE. My own perception of how performance felt.
Average bar speed on the app. If I couldn’t decide based on how it felt, I’d watch the video and decide based on the video and the measured speed.
Let’s look at some top sets from week 1.
Reverse Grip Bench x1@8 120kg 0.27ms
Front Squat x5@8 110kg 0.46ms
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8 200kg 0.42ms
These singles are technically week 2. I did my first-week session in a warm-up room at a comp, so I didn't get vids.
SSB x1@7 150kg 0.41ms
Sumo x1@7 180kg 0.23ms
Everything looking fine. No massive drops post-pivot. Though the variations are really different, so it’s hard to tell even versus my pre-comp block.
Now let’s compare them to the peak week of the block, week 7.
Reverse Grip Bench 1@10 140kg 0.13ms
Front Squat x5@8 125kg 0.38ms
Trap Bar Deadlift x5@8 230kg 0.38ms
SSB x1@7 170kg 0.41ms
Sumo x1@7 210kg 0.27ms
Overall a very good block for increases.
+30kg on the trap bar deadlift is the most notable.
+30kg on the sumo deadlift
+10kg on reverse grip bench
+15kg on front squat
Going forward I’m going to pivot out and hopefully decrease fatigue a bunch.
My rough plan to get towards my next competition looks a bit like this.
Given that I don’t know when in November the competition is yet, I think my next development block will be another more exploratory block, aimed at progressing some less specific work.
Hopefully, you found some of this information useful, and if you’re keen to see how things go and how I develop things, stay tuned, and I’ll post the new dev block construction and implementation.