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Three Stage Tetra-Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy:

Overview, Outline, and Summaries

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      This article will overview my new Powerlifting Training Strategy and present an Outline and Summaries of my workouts and Sets x Reps Plans.

 

Previous Training Plans

 

      I have gone back and forth between three different training plans this decade (2010s), my Two by Two Training Plan, my Trinity Training Plan, and my Tetra Training Plan. The primary difference between these plans is how often a given exercise is done. With the first, it is every other week, with the second every three weeks, and with the third every four weeks. In other words, they are two-week, three-week, and four-week rotations, respectively.  I use such a pattern, as I like the variety of not doing the exact same exercises every week.

      I also often have had two different training routines for each training plan, in which I change most of the assistance exercises from one training routine to the next. I have also sometimes changed the reps through the course of a training plan, starting with somewhat higher reps then decreasing to lower reps.

      All of this changing of exercises and of reps keeps my training interesting, preventing boredom and stagnation. But it also makes things a bit confusing and complicated. That is why I regularly write up these Overviews and Summaries of my training plans, just to help me keep things straight. And by publishing them, I hope my ideas will be an aid to other lifters in designing their own training plans.

      Note: This is specifically a training plan for powerlifting, but with slight modifications, like not doing singles, it could work for anyone who lifts weights.

 

Flexibility of this Training Strategy

 

      I started with the Two by Two Plan when I began training hard again early this decade, and it worked reasonably well. But I got bored with it as it did not provide enough variety. That is why I switched to a Trinity Plan then a Tetra Plan. I have gone back and forth between these two latter plans as to which is the best.

      The Tetra Plan offers the most variety, but sometimes only doing a given lift once every four weeks does not seem to work very well, though at other times it works great. But most of all, it takes a long time to get in sufficient workouts for each exercise to make progress on it, and that makes for a long training plan and thus long time period between powerlifting contests.

      The Trinity Plan, with doing every lift every three weeks, seems to be more consistent in enabling progress one each lift, and it makes for a shorter training plan. However, the lesser variety makes it a bit less interesting, and I cannot do all the exercises I want to do through the course of a training plan.

      To reconcile these problems, I am designing this new Training Strategy in such a way that I can easily go back and forth between a Tetra and a Trinity Plan. I will do so by doing the actual powerlifts in Week C. Then I will put what I consider to the be less effective look-alike lifts in Week D. In this way, I will start with a Tetra Plan. But if only doing each lift every four weeks proves ineffective, or if once I decide when my next contest will be, and the Tetra Plan does not enable me to get in a sufficient number of workouts to make progress and to meet my goals for that contest, I can easily switch to the Trinity Plan by simply dropping off Week D. No other changes will be needed.

 

Two-A Day Workouts

 

      My basic workout plan for some time has been to do two major lifts for a given powerlift (the actual powerlift and one look-alike lift or two look-alike lifts) on a given workout day, followed by speed work and one or two isolation exercises, plus a form of Rows on Bench Assistance (BA) and Bench days.

      Sometimes that would all be in the same workout, though sometimes I would do the speed work and isolation exercises in the morning, then the major exercises in the late afternoons. But then more recently, I changed to doing one major exercises in the morning, followed by a 20-rep raw set, and maybe one isolation exercise, then the second major exercise in the afternoon, followed by the speed work, rows, and one or two isolation exercises.

      That plan has been working well, as it enables me to put full effort and strength into both major exercises. When I did them both in the same workout, I would need to drop the weights about 5% for the lift done second as compared to if i hat lift was done first. But with this plan, it makes no difference, as I have several hours to rest in-between. That enables me to move a lift back and forth between the morning and afternoon workouts without having to adjust the weights. Specifically, I will do a given exercise in the morning in one rotation then in the afternoon in the next, and vice-averse. This is seen in the design of the Workouts Summary. It lists the two major exercises, then the minor exercises.

      I crated two workout charts: one with the two major exercises and the 20-rep set and speed work and another with the isolation exercises. That will make it easy to flip-flop the locations of the major exercises. That is advantageous, as the 20-rep set and the speed work is always the previous major lift done in that fashion. Consequently, by alternating when a major lift is done, I also alternate if it is followed with a 20-rep set or speed work. That adds yet more variety to the training.

      Moreover, the 20-rep set in the morning and the speed work in the afternoon has proven sufficient for cardiovascular work, without doing any specific cardio work. My blood pressure has stayed around 120/80 and my resting heart rate in the mid-40s bpm, just as they were when I was doing specific cardio work.

      But I should mention, I have found it helps if I eat a small snack immediately after the morning workout, even if I will be eating lunch shortly thereafter. That small snack consist of half a scoop of protein power and about half a cup (100 calories worth) of cold cereal or an equivalent amount of carbs in the form of maltodextrin. After my afternoon workout, I again consume the same, even though I will be eating dinner shortly thereafter.

      Of course, I am only able to use such a two-a day schedule due to having a home office and home gym. I am able to go from working to working out then back to working again with little loss of time. But for those not so fortunate, who have to travel to work and a gym, a two-a-day plan would be impractical. In that case, you can easily combine the morning and afternoon workouts into one workout. But you might need to drop out either the 20-rep set or the speed work and some or all of the isolation exercises to keep the workout from becoming overly long and tiring. You might also have to adjust the weights for the major lift done second, as indicated.

 

Name of Training Strategy and Other Labels

 

      The “Three-Stage” in the name indicates the three different levels of the number of reps to be done, going from “higher” reps, to “middle” reps, to “lower” reps. The exact number of reps for each stage for various kinds of exercises will be presented later. But here, jumping from the lower reps at the end of one training plan to the higher reps at the beginning of the next plan is a significant change and will help to prevent boredom and stagnation.

      Also aiding in those regards is what is indicted by “Strategy.” I use this word in the name, as it is a catch-all word that includes the two Training Plans within the Strategy. The two Training Plans are labeled “Tetra-Trinity #1” and “Tetra-Trinity #2.” Again, all assistance lifts are changed from one plan to the next.

      Within each Training Plan are the three or four training weeks. These are labeled Week A, Week B, Week C, and (for Tetra) Week D. A “Rotation” is a cycle of these three or four training weeks.

      There are four workout days within each training week: Bench Assistance (BA), Squats, Benches, and Deadlifts. I usually lift Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

      As indicated, I lift twice a day. These are labeled as my “Morning” and “Afternoon” workouts or “AM” and “PM” workouts.

 

Length of Training Plan

 

      Each of the three Stages in each Training Plan is done for two or three Rotations, so there can be anywhere from six to nine Rotations in a Training Plan. Thus, the minimum length for a Training Plan would be to use the Trinity Plan and to do each Rotation twice within each Stage. That would be six Rotations times three weeks for each Rotation, equaling 18 weeks. The longest would be to do each stage for three Rotations and to use the Tetra Plan. That would be nine Rotations times four weeks for each Rotation equaling 36 weeks.

      In addition, my Peaking week of workouts will be done after the final regular training week of the Training Plan before a contest. Then I usually take about a week off before a contest then a week off after it. Adding those three weeks to the preceding, and the entire period between contests can last from 21-39 weeks. That is what I like about this plan. It gives me plenty of variability as to its length, enabling me to enter whatever contest I want.

 

Extra Day Off

 

      Confusing things a bit is I usually take an “extra” day off about once a month. When I do, sometimes I will push back my workouts a day. Thus, if I had been doing my BA workout on Sundays and Squats on Mondays, I would skip Sunday’s workout, then I would do that BA workout on Monday, then Squats on Wednesday, then rotate through my workouts from there as usual. But other times, I will simply skip my BA workout. Thus, after taking Sunday off, I would still do my Squat workout on Monday.

      The former method adds about a day per month to the length of a Training Plan, while the latter method does not. But the latter causes the Training Week and Rotation to differ for BA workouts from the other three workout days, which makes things a bit confusing.

      IOW, if I skip Week A’s BA workout, then the next week, I will do that workout, but I will then be doing Week B’s workouts for the rest of my workout days. Over time, I will be in different Rotations and even Stages for my BA workouts versus the rest of the workout days. That will then cause me to not get in the full number of BA workouts in the course of Training Plan, so I will have to adjust the number of Rotations in each Stage for my BA workouts, so as to go through each Stage before the end of the Training Plan. Again, it gets a bit confusing.

      But then, with the first method, it gets confusing counting the number of weeks until the next contest, as the training weeks will differ from calendar weeks due the added day off once a month.

      As for which method works best, they are about the same. Pushing the workouts back causes there to be more than seven days between the same workout days. Sometimes that extra times seems to help recovery, but other times, it seems too long between the same workout day. Meanwhile, skipping my BA workouts gives my upper body more rest, but not my lower body. Sometimes that is what I need, and sometimes it is not. That is why I play it by ear as to which method to use.

 

Squats with Sleeves then Wraps

 

      I use knee sleeves for all Squat look-alike lifts. But for actual Squats, I am going to be using a unique plan. For my regular workouts, I will be using knee sleeves for my final warm-up set and the first two work sets, which will be for 3-7 reps. I will then switch to knee wraps for the final work set, which will be for 1-3 reps.

      For my Peaking workout, I will use sleeves for my final two warmup sets and for the first two work sets. I will then switch to wraps for the final two work sets. Then at the contest, I will use sleeves for my final two warmup sets and for my opener, I will then switch to wraps for my second and third attempts.

      This pattern saves energy by not having to wrap as much and by not doing higher rep sets with wraps. But I am still getting work in with both sleeves and wraps, and that sets me up to use wraps at the contest for the added poundage they give.

      This pattern worked well at my most recent contest, and that was with only doing one workout beforehand where I used sleeves then wraps, and that not in this precise manner that parallels my contest plans. My hope is that by using this pattern throughout, I will be more used to it and will get more out of the wraps as compared to sleeves.

      The main difficulty of switching from sleeves to wraps is I have to take off my squat boots, so that I can take off the sleeves, then putt the boots back on. That takes a couple of minutes and is a bit difficult, as I have to loosen the laces to get the boots off and on, then tighten them again. For contests, I was going to use sleeves for my first two attempts then wraps for only my third attempt. But that would have me doing all of this boots stuff right before my hardest lift of the day. By changing between my first and second attempts, I can get it done before a not full max lift, then rest as normal for the final lift. But in training, just one set with wraps will suffice, as that will be for 1-3 reps, and a triple is the most I want to do with wraps. And doing more than one set with wraps would be too tiring.

 

One-Count Pause Benches

 

      At my recent contest, during the rules meeting, it was said the “Bench” command would be given as soon as the bar was motionless on the chest. It was specifically said there would be no pause, as it should be according to the rules. But in the contest, the “Press” command was very slow coming, so there was indeed a pause for probably a full second. And having to hold the bar at my chest for that long is probably why I missed my third attempt. If had been a quicker command, I probably would have gotten the attempt.

      I had thought a while ago of always using a one-count pause at the chest in training for all Bench exercises, just in case this happened at a contest. But after a quick “Press” command at my prior contest, I didn’t think it would be necessary, so I got away from doing so. But since I never know how quick the “Press” command will be at a contest, it would be best to go back to this idea. I will count the reps while holding the bar at my chest, “1001, 1002”, etc. for all Bench exercises. In this way, my attempts will be based on assuming there will be a slow command. If it ends up being a quick one, then maybe I can bump my planned attempts up a bit.

      To get the weights correct with the pause, I will drop my starting weights for my first training plan with this new Strategy by five pounds from what I would have done otherwise. But I am not indicating in the following Outline and Summary that I am using the One-Count Pause. That will just be assumed, unless otherwise indicated.

 

Abbreviations for Outline and Summaries

 

1-C = One-Count Pause
2-C = Two-Count Pause
3-C = Three-Count Pause

CG = Close Grip
MG = Medium Grip (my regular grip)
WG = Wide Grip

CS – Close Stance Squats
MR = Manta Ray (Close Stance, High Bar) Squats
SR = Sting Ray (Close Stance, Front) Squats
XL = Extra low Squats, done 2 boards (1.5”) lower than legal depth, unless otherwise indicated.

1 Board Deficit = ” Deficit on Deadlifts (plus multiples thereof)
SLDL = Stiff-Leg Deadlifts
SG = Snatch (wide) Grip

BB = Barbell (usually my Heavy Duty Power Bar)
CB = Curl Bar
SCB = Super Curl Bar (different grip angles than a regular curl bar)
Cam Bar = Cambered Bar
DB = Dumbbell

DS = Dead Stop (lower bar to safeties in a power rack and wait until it stops bouncing to lift it)
RB = Reverse Bands

RC = Rotator Cuff
AMRAP = As Many Reps as Possible 

^ = Exercises done in both Stages (not including actual or handicapped powerlifts)
[…] = Not sure if will use variation
{…} = Not sure if will do exercise
Or = Could use either exercise(s)

 

Exercise Pairs Outline

 

      In the following outline, only my major exercises are indicated. But this outline will show how they are paired up. The lift listed first is done in Tetra-Trinity #1, while the lift listed second is done in Tetra-Trinity #2, except for the actual powerlifts. Since I need to do them in both Training Plans, to have some variability to prevent stagnation, along with the change in reps, I do them with a slight “handicap” in Tetra-Trinity #1, when I am doing the higher reps in Stage One. That handicap is indicated second.

      The numbering indicates that a total of eight variations of each powerlift are done in each Training Plan when the Tetra Plan is being used. The seventh and eighth lines are not done if the Trinity Plan is being used. Otherwise, the lifts are presented in no particular order. Exactly how they are arranged will be shown later in the Summaries. Other possible pairings of exercises are also indicated but for which I do not have room for in even the Tetra Plan and which I do believe are as effective as the listed lifts.

 

Bench Assistance:

Variations of Declines, Inclines, Dips, and Presses.

 1. 3-C MG Declines/ MG Declines

2. Cam Bar Declines/ 2-C Cam Bar Declines

3. MG Inclines/ WG Inclines

4. CG Inclines/ 3-C Inclines

5. WG Declines/ CG Declines

6. MG Standing Presses/ MG Seated Presses.

7. CG Standing Presses/ CG Seated Presses.

8. 3-C Cam Bar RB Declines/ [3-C] Cam Bar Chains Declines.

 

Also: Dips (bars) / Dips (rings) DB Declines, DB Inclines, DB Presses (all arms together/ alternate arms)

 

Squats:

1. Squats with Sleeves then Wraps/ 1 Board XL Squats with Sleeves then Wraps

2. Chain Squats / RB Squats

3. XL RB Squats / XL Chain Squats

4. 2-C Pause Squats / 1-C Pause Squats

5. Olympic (XL, CS) Squats / XL MR Squats

6. Extra Low Squats / Dead Stop Squats

7. 3-C Chain Squats / 3-C RB Squats

8. MR Squats/ CS Squats

 

Also: Partial Squats/ Bench Squats, Sting Ray Squats (regular depth/ extra low).

 

Benches:

1. Benches/ Feet Up Benches

2. 3-C Benches / WG Benches.

3. RB Benches / Chain Benches

4. Cam Bar DS Chain Benches / Cam Bar DS RB Benches

5. Cam Bar Benches / DS Cam Bar Benches

6. 3-C CG Benches / CG Benches

7. CG DS Cam Bar Benches / CG Cam Bar Benches

8. 3-C RB Benches / 3-C Chain Benches

 

Also: DB Benches (alternate arms/ arms together), Board Benches/ Floor Presses, Rack Benches (5” from chest)/ Rack Benches (6” from chest).

 

Deadlifts:

1. Sumo Deadlifts /Sumo 1 Board Deficit Deadlifts

2. Conv Deadlifts /Conv 1 Board Deficit Deadlifts

3. Sumo 3 Board Deficit Deadlifts / Sumo 2 Board Deficit Deadlifts

4. Conv 2 Board Deficit Deadlifts / Conv 3 Board Deficit Deadlifts

5. Sumo Chain Deadlifts / Sumo RB Deadlifts

6. Sumo or Conv 4 Board Deficit RB Deadlifts / Sumo or Conv 4 Board Deficit Chain Deadlifts

7. Conv SG Deadlifts / Sumo Block Pulls (2”)

8. Sumo SG Deadlifts/ Conv Block Pulls (2”)

 

Also: Conv Chain Deadlifts / Conv RB Deadlifts, Sumo SLDL/ Conv SLDL, Sumo Block Pulls (4”), Conv Block Pulls (4”).

 

Workouts Summary

 

      All Bench exercises are done with a medium grip and a one-count pause at the chest, unless otherwise indicated. The extra low Squat depth is 1” lower than legal squat depth, unless otherwise indicated.

      The 20-Rep Raw Set and Speed Work are the previous major exercises done in the given manner, unless otherwise indicated. The variation in brackets is the handicap for the actual powerlifts in Stage One.

      The order of the two major exercises is how I will do them in Rotation I, in the AM then PM, respectively. In Rotation II, that placement will be reversed, then back again in Rotation III, etc.

     Actual powerlifts are in bold for easy location.

Basic Design of Morning Workouts:

Bench Assistance: Non-flat Bench Assistance Exercise, 20-Rep Raw Set, Hand Grippers.

Squats Day: Squat Exercise, 20-Rep Raw Set.

Bench Day: Bench Exercise, 20-Rep Raw Set, Rotator Cuff.

Deadlift Day: Deadlift Exercise, 20-Rep Raw Set.

 

Basic Design of Afternoon Workouts:

Bench Assistance: Non-flat Bench Assistance Exercise, Speed Work, Rows (overhand, to the chest), Curls.

Squats Day: Squat Exercise, Speed Work, One or Two of: Adductors/ Abductors, Calves, Upper Abs.

Bench Day: Bench Exercise, Speed Work, Rows (underhand, to the stomach), Reverse Curls.

Deadlift Day: Deadlift Exercise, Speed Work, One or Two of: Hamstrings, Lower Abs.

 

Bench Assistance:

Tetra-Trinity #1:

Week A: Three-Count Pause Decline Benches/ CG Incline Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-C for Declines), ^Hand Grippers (reps).

      PM: Speed Work (2-C for Declines), MG Cambered Bar Rows, CG SCB Curls.

Week B: MG Standing Presses / Cambered Bar Decline Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, ^Grippers (holds).

      PM: Speed Work, WG Cambered Bar Rows, MG SCB Preacher Curls

Week C: Three-Count Pause Incline Benches/ *Three-Count Pause Cam Bar RB Declines

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (1-C for Inclines and Declines), ^Hand Grippers (holds + reps).

      PM: Speed Work (2-C for Inclines, Clap Pushups for Dips), One-Arm DB Rows (overhand), MG SCB Curls.

Week D: *WG Decline Benches/ CG Standing Presses.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, ^Plate Holds.

      PM: Speed Work, CG Cambered Bar Rows, DB Curls.

 

Bench Assistance:

Tetra-Trinity #2:

Week A: MG Decline Benches/ WG Incline Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, ^Hand Grippers (reps).

      PM: Speed Work, MG BB Rows, CG CB Curls.

Week B: MG Seated Presses / Two-Count Pause Cambered Bar Decline Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-C for Declines), ^Grippers (holds).

      PM: Speed Work (2-C for Declines), WG BB Rows, MG CB Preacher Curls.

Week C: MG Incline Benches/ WG Decline Benches

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, ^Hand Grippers (holds + reps).

      PM: Speed Work, Two-Arm DB Rows (overhand grip), MG CB Curls.

Week D: [Three-Count Pause] Cam Bar Chains Declines / CG Seated Presses.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, ^Plate Holds.

      PM: Speed Work [1-Count], CG BB Rows, Hammer Curls.

 

 Squats:

Tetra-Trinity #1:

Week A: Dead Stop Squats/ Two Chain Squats.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Decline Sit-ups.

Week B: Two-Count Pause Squats/ Extra Low Manta Ray Squats (high bar, close stance).

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (One-Count Pause).

      PM: Speed Work (One-Count Pause), Standing BB Calves, Twisting Sit-ups (2 x amrap).

Week C: 3-C Chain Squats/ [1 board (”) Extra Low] Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time).

Week D: Close Stance Squats / Extra Low RB (#3, light bands) Squats.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Standing Rocking DB Calves.

Peaking Workout: Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

Contest: Contest: Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

 

Squats:

Tetra-Trinity #2:

Week A: Extra Low Squats/ RB (#3, light bands) Squats.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Sit-ups.

Week B: One-Count Pause Squats/ Olympic Squats.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set  (One-Count Pause).

      PM: Speed Work (One-Count Pause), Standing Rocking BB Calves, Abs: Bicycle Abs (2 x amrap).

Week C: 3-C RB (#3, light bands) Squats/ [1 board (”) Extra Low] Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs).

Week D: Manta Ray Squats (high bar, close stance) / Extra Low Two Chain Squats.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Standing DB Calves.

Peaking Workout: Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

Contest: Contest: Squats with Sleeves then Wraps.

  

Benches:

Tetra-Trinity #1:

Week A: Cambered Bar Benches (no mats)/ RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-Count Pause), RC: Lying on Side.

      PM: Speed Work (2-Count Pause), CG CB Rows, ^BB Reverse Curls.

Week B: 3-Count Pause CG Benches/ WG Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-Count Pause), RC: Lying, up.

      PM: Speed Work (2-Count Pause), MG CB Rows, MG CB Reverse Curls

Week C: One Chain Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches/ [Feet Up] Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, RC: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms).

      PM: Speed Work, One-Arm DB Rows (parallel grip), Wrist Roller (underhand).

Week D: 3-C RB Benches/ CG DS Cam Bar Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-Count Pause), RC: Lying, down.

      PM: Speed Work (2-Count Pause), WG CB Rows, MG CB Preacher Reverse Curls.

Peaking Workout: Benches, Rows.

Contest: Benches.

 

Benches:

Tetra-Trinity #2:

Week A: Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches (mats)/ / Chain Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-Count Pause), RC: Sitting, front.

      PM: Speed Work (2-Count Pause), CG SCB Rows, ^BB Reverse Curls.

Week B: CG Benches/ ^3-Count Pause Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, RC: RC: Lying, in.

      PM: Speed Work, MG SCB Rows, MG SCB Reverse Curls

Week C: RB (#2, monster-minis) Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches/ [Feet Up] Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set, RC: Shoulder Horn (arms together).

      PM: Speed Work, One-Arm DB Rows (underhand grip), Wrist Roller (overhand).

Week D: 3-C Chain Benches/ CG Cam Bar Benches.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set (2-Count Pause), RC: Lying, out.

      PM: Speed Work (2-Count Pause), WG SCB Rows, MG SCB Preacher Reverse Curls.

Peaking Workout: Benches, Rows.

Contest: Benches.

  

Deadlifts:

Tetra-Trinity #1:

Week A: Sumo 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts/ Sumo Two Chain Deadlifts

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Hyperextensions.

Week B: Sumo RB (#3, light bands) 3” (4 boards) Deficit Deadlifts/ [” (1 board) Deficit] Conv Deadlifts.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Lying Leg Curls (one leg at a time), Lying Twisting Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week C: Conv 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts/ [” (1 board) Deficit] Sumo Deadlifts.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Side Bends (seated).

Week D: Conv SG Deadlifts/ Sump Block Pulls (2-1/4").

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs together).

Peaking Workout(s): Sumo and/ or Conv Deadlifts.

Contest: Sumo or Conv Deadlifts.

 

Deadlifts:

Tetra-Trinity #2:

Week A: Sumo 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts/ Sumo RB (#3, light bands) Deadlifts.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Hyperextensions, Lying Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week B: Sumo Two Chain 3” (4 boards) Deficit Deadlifts/ [” (1 board) Deficit] Conv Deadlifts.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work (no chains), Lying Leg Curls (alternate legs).

Week C: Conv 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts / [” (1 board) Deficit] Sumo Deadlifts.

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Speed Work, Side Bends (standing).

Week D: Sumo SG Deadlifts/ Conv Block Pulls (2-1/4").

      AM: 20-Rep Raw Set.

      PM: Twisting Dip Bar Leg Raises (alternate legs).

Peaking Workout(s): Sumo and/ or Conv Deadlifts.

Contest: Sumo or Conv Deadlifts.

 

Additional Possible Major Exercises:

Bench Assistance (BA):

All already listed. 

Squats:

One-Count Pause Squats, Low Squats, Box Squats, Zercher (front, close stance) Squats. 

Benches:

Dead Stop Benches, Two-Arm DB Rows (parallel grip/ underhand grip). Triceps Pushdowns. 

Deadlifts:

All already listed.

 

Additional Possible Isolation Exercises:

Day 1: Heavy Bag. 

Day 2: Jump Rope, (2 x amrap), Standing Rocking Bodyweight Calves (one leg at a time; 2 x amrap), Abs: Decline Crunches, Abs: Crunch-Side-Bend Combo, Abs: Crunches, Abs: Decline Crunch-Side-Bend Combo. 

Day 3: Heavy Bag, Laterals (all variations), DB Reverse Curls. 

Day 4: Jump Rope, Lying Adductor, Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap), Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap), Standing Leg Curls (alternate legs), Standing Leg Curls (one leg at a time), Lying Leg Curls (legs together).

 

 

Sets x Reps Summary

 

 

      My planned sets x reps are as follows. Warm-ups are in brackets. Parentheses indicate an optional set or the number of sets if the optional set is done. Adjust weights work set to work set by percentage indicated in parentheses.

 

Stage One

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in AM:

[5(7) x 15,(11), 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 7, 5, 3 (+5%), 1 x 25 raw (with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches)

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in PM:

[5(6) x 15, 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 7, 5, 3 (+5%)

 

Speed Work (afternoons only):

[4 x 9, 7, 5, 3] (+5%, start with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches)

 

Rows:

[3(4) x 9, 7, 5, (3)] 3 x 8, 6, 4 (+5%)

 

Most Isolation Exercises:

[1 x 9] 3 x 12, 10, 8 (+5%)

 

Rotator Cuff Work:

[1 x 11] 2 x 18, 16

 

Isolation Exercises using ankle weights:

[1 x 11] 2 x 15-20

 

Some Isolation Exercises:

2 x AMRAP

 

Stage Two

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in AM:

[5(7) x 15,(11), 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 6, 4, 2 (+5%), 1 x 23 raw (with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches) 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in PM:

[5(6) x 15, 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 6, 4, 2 (+5%) 

Speed Work (afternoons only):

[4 x 8, 6, 4, 2] (+5%, start with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches) 

Rows:

[3(4) x 9, 7, 5, (3)] 3 x 7, 5, 3 (+5%) 

Most Isolation Exercises:

[1 x 9] 3 x 11, 9, 7 (+5%) 

Rotator Cuff Work:

[1 x 11] 2 x 16, 14 

Isolation Exercises using ankle weights:

[1 x 11] 2 x 15-20, 10-15 

Some Isolation Exercises:

2 x AMRAP

 

Stage Three

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in AM:

[5(7) x 15,(11), 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 5, 3, 1 (+5%), 1 x 20 raw (with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches) 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts Done in PM:

[5(6) x 15, 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3] 3 x 5, 3, 1 (+5%) 

Speed Work (afternoons only):

[4 x 7, 5, 3, 1 +/-1] (+5%, start with 1/2 of the final work set’s weight of the previous exercise, plus 2-3% for Benches) 

Rows:

[3(4) x 9, 7, 5, (3)] 3 x 6, 4, 2 (+5%)

Most Isolation Exercises:

[1 x 9, 7] 3 x 10, 8, 6 (+5%) 

Rotator Cuff Work:

[1 x 11] 2 x 14, 12 

Isolation Exercises using ankle weights:

[1 x 11] 2 x 10-15 

Some Isolation Exercises:

2 x AMRAP 

 

After Stage Three

 

Peaking Workouts (powerlifts only):

[(6)8 x 15, (11), 9, 7, 5, (4), add gear: 3, 1] 4 x 4, 3, 2, 1 (+2.5%) 

Contest Attempts:

First attempt: four rep set’s weight.

Second attempt: double’s weight.

Third attempt: add 5% to second attempt or 2.5% more than done for single in Peaking workout.

 

Conclusion

 

      Here’s praying this new “Three-Stage Tetra-Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy” works out well as I prepare for future contests. At this writing, I am thinking of a contest in the spring of 2020, then another in the autumn of 2020. I will decide on the exact contests later. But for now, this Training Strategy will give me the flexibility to enter any of a number of different contests that are usually held at those times. For my first workouts using this Training Strategy, see 2019-20 Tetra-Trinity #1  Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations I & II of VI.


Three Stage Tetra-Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy: Overview, Outline, and Summaries. Copyright 2019 by Gary F. Zeolla.

Powerlifting and Strength Training
Powerlifting and Strength Training: Full Workout Logs: 2018 - Present

The above article was posted on this site October 3, 2019.
It was last updated November 26, 2019.

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