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Two Stage/ Two-a-Day, Tetra-Trinity x 2 Powerlifting Training Strategy Overview and Summaries

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

      This article overviews and presents summaries of my workouts and sets x reps for my Two Stage/ Two-a-Day, Tetra-Trinity x 2 Powerlifting Training Strategy.

 

Overview

 

      See my article Three Stage Tetra-Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy: Overview, Outline, and Summaries for most of the details on this Training Strategy. Here I will just indicate changes from that Strategy to this new one.

      The biggest change is the change in my four workout days. Rather than Bench Assistance (BA)/ Squats/ Benches/ Deadlifts, I will now have two Bench/ BA days and two Squat/ Deadlift days. I number the workouts, so the first day of each of these two sets is 1,3,5,7 (Odds) and the second day is 2,4,6,8 (Evens).

    For the BA portion of the Bench/ BA days, I generally do “non-flat Bench assistance exercises” (Declines, Inclines, Presses, and Dips). For this Plan, I will do Inclines for the first (Odds) day and Declines for the second (Evens) day. There is also a difference between the Bench portion of these two days. I will do top end work on the Odds day and bottom end work on the Evens day.

      Since the Odds day, when I do top end Bench work and Inclines, is the least important of these two days and of my four basic training days in general, I might skip it when I take my monthly extra day off. If I do so, I will use my Trinity Plan for it (three-week rotations), while I will use my Tetra Plan for the other three basic training days (four-week rotations). In that way, I will get in about the same number of workouts for each workout day. That is also the reason for the “Tetra-Trinity” part of the name, as I will use the Trinity Plan for one training day and the Tetra Plan for the other three days.

      But if I push back my workouts for my extra off day, I will use my Tetra Plan for the Odds Bench day. I could even use the Tetra Plan even if I skip my Bench odds day. In that case, I will get one less workout for it than for the others. But that is not as big deal with doing lower reps throughout (see next section) as it would be if I needed the full number of workouts to get to those lower reps.

      I will do Squat work in the mornings and Deadlift work in the afternoons. But there is again a difference between the days for each lift. For Squats, I will do top end work on the Odds day and bottom end work on the Evens day. To put it another way, I will train Squats with Wraps on the first day and Squats with Sleeves on the second day. In that way, I could compete either way. Similarly, for Deadlifts, I will train Conv Deadlifts on the Odds day and Sumo Deadlifts on the Evens day. Again, in that way, I could compete either way.

      The “x 2” in the title means I have two Training Plans, changing most of my exercises from Plan #1 to Plan #2. However, the “Two Stage” is because I will do the actual powerlifts and a few select look-alike lifts in both Plans. To keep from stagnating on these lifts, I will do them with a “handicap” in the first half of the Training Plan, then remove the handicap for the second half. This is because, I of course need to do the actual powerlifts in both Training Plans. The few select look-alikes are the best assistance work for the given lift, so I want to always do them.

 

Reps Change

 

      For reps, using a modified periodization plan of starting with somewhat higher reps then moving to moderate reps to lower reps did not work so well. Doing up to seven reps in the higher reps gave me a slow start, as it was just too much for powerlifting, especially on Deadlifts. In addition, I was very sore after my most recent contest, probably due to pushing a full max Bench and pulling a full max Deadlift on my third attempts.

      Therefore, I am going to only do what I called my “lower reps” in my previous Training Plan throughout for this Plan. That means, for the powerlifts and look-alike lifts, I will do: Gear: 3 x 5, 3, 1, Raw 1 x 10. I will still increase by 5% set to set for the geared sets, then use 70-75% of the top geared set for the raw set.

      My hope is, by doing heavy singles throughout my Training Plan, I will be more used to them and not get so sore and exhausted from them at a contest. I tried this once before, and it worked well. But my fear was, if I used the same reps for every training plan I would stagnate. But I am hoping the changing of exercises as described above will be sufficient to prevent stagnation.

      Also, those two third attempts being so hard and missing my third Squat attempt might have been due to having been burned out by my Peaking workouts. As such, I will not bother with them anymore. Moreover, with doing 5, 3, 1 reps, there really is no reason for them. For my contest, I will use 2.5% more for each of my attempts than I used for my three sets in my final workout for 5, 3, 1 reps each lift. That will be the equivalent of what I did with my Peaking workouts of 4 x 4, 3, 2, 1, of opening with what I did for the set of four reps, my second attempt being the double’s weight, and my third attempts being 2.5% more than the triple.

 

Other Changes

 

      For Squats with Wraps, I am going to try doing them after Partial Squats in Week D. I will do my first two sets of Partials of 5, 3 reps. That will give me my reps work. Then I will do tow singles of full squats with Wraps instead of the final single and raw set of Partial Squats. I will view the two Sets of Squats with Wraps as I would my second and third attempts at a contest. The weights should be similar to the weights used for Partial Squats, so there will not be lot of changing of weights and little changing of my home gym setup, just moving the safety bars down. But the two sets of Partials will give me my reps work, while the two sets with wraps will keep me used to using wraps. As with Sleeves, I will do the wraps sets with a “handicap” of going 3/4” (1 board) extra low in the first half of the routine, then to regular depth in the second half. Except this time, I forgot about that handicap for my first workout, but I will use it for the next couple of workouts.

      For ab work, I am going to try something different. Rather than doing them with weights for three sets, I will just do 2 x amrap. That say, they should only take a couple of minutes, so I should be able to do them after Squats in the morning, except in the above Partial Squats/ Wraps workout, so as to keep that workout form getting too long. But doing abs after my other seven Squats workouts will enable me to do other isolation exercises in the afternoons after Deadlifts.

 

Abbreviations:

AMRAP = As Many Reps as Possible

CG = Close Grip

MG = Medium Grip (my regular grip)

WG = Wide Grip

BB = Barbell (usually my Heavy Duty Power Bar)

CB = Curl Bar

Cam Bar = Cambered Bar

SCB = Super Curl Bar (different grip angles than a regular curl bar)

DB = Dumbbell

RB = Reverse Bands

DS: Dead Stop

RC = Rotator Cuff

^ = Exercises done in both Stages

 […] = The “handicap” variation for Stage One or a slash ( / ) indicates the two variations, before the slash for Stage One and after the slash for Stage Two.

{…} = Not sure if will do exercise

Or = Could use either exercise(s)

Be-1 = Bench workout number one, etc.

Sq-1 = Squat workout number one, etc.

DL-1 = Deadlift workout number one, etc.

 

 

Workouts Summary

 

      All Bench exercises are done with a barbell, medium grip, and a slight pause at the chest, unless otherwise indicated. The extra low Squat depth is 1” lower than legal squat depth, unless otherwise indicated. I number each type of workout 1-8. Hence, “odd” and “even” refer to which set of numbered weeks that basic workout is done, either 1, 3, 5, 7 or 2, 4, 6, 8, respectively. Since I did Tetra-Trinity #2 for my last Training Plan, I will use Tetra-Trinity #1 for my current Training Plan, then alternate the two plans from there.

 

Basic Design of Workouts:

Bench/ BA Day (Odds):

AM: Top End Bench Exercise, Curls.

PM: Inclines, Rows (overhand, to the chest), {Hand Gripper}.

 

Squat/ Deadlift Day (Odds):

AM: Top End Squat Exercise, Upper Abs.

PM: Conv Deadlift Exercise, Adductors/ Abductors or Calves.

 

Bench/ BA Day (Evens):

AM: Bottom End Bench Exercise, Reverse Curls.

PM: Declines or Dips, Rows (underhand, to the stomach), {Rotator Cuff}.

 

Squat/ Deadlift Day (Evens):

AM: Bottom End Squat Exercise, Lower Abs.

PM: Sumo Deadlift Exercise, Hamstrings or obliques.

 

 

Benches/ BA (Odds)/ Trinity #1:

Morning: Top End (Chains/ RB) Benches:

Week A (Be-1): RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, DB Curls (arms together).

Week B (Be-3): 4-Count Pause One Chain Benches, MG SCB Curls.

Week C (Be-5): RB (#2, monster-minis) Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, CG SCB Curls.

 

Afternoon: Incline Benches:

Week A (Be-1): 3-Count Pause Incline Benches, MG Cambered Bar Rows, ^Grippers (holds).

Week B (Be-3): DB Incline Benches (arms together), One-Arm DB Rows (overhand), ^Hand Grippers (reps).

Week C (Be-5): CG Incline Benches, WG Cambered Bar Rows, ^Hand Grippers (holds + reps).

 

Benches/ BA (Odds)/ Trinity #2:

Morning: Top End (Chains/ RB) Benches:

Week A (Be-1): One Chain Benches, DB Curls (alternate arms).

Week B (Be-3): 4-Count Pause RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, MG CB Curls.

Week C (Be-5): One Chain Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, CG CB Curls.

 

Afternoon: Incline Benches:

Week A (Be-1): MG Incline Benches, WG BB Rows, ^Grippers (holds).

Week B (Be-3): DB Incline Benches (alternate arms), MG BB Rows, ^Hand Grippers (reps).

Week C (Be-5): WG Incline Benches, CG BB Rows, ^Hand Grippers (holds + reps).

 

Benches/ BA (Odds)/ Tetra #1:

Morning: Top End (Chains/ RB) Benches:

Week A (Be-1): RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, DB Curls (arms together).

Week B (Be-3): RB (#2, monster-minis) Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, MG SCB Curls.

Week C (Be-5): 4-Count Pause One Chain Benches, CG SCB Curls.

Week D (Be-6): One Chain Cambered Bar Benches (not dead Stop), MG SCB Preacher Curls.

 

Afternoon: Incline Benches:

Week A (Be-1): 3-Count Pause Incline Benches, MG Cambered Bar Rows,.

Week B (Be-3): MG Seated Presses, CG Cambered Bar Rows, Hand Grippers (holds + reps).

Week C (Be-5): CG Incline Benches, WG Cambered Bar Rows.

Week D (Be-6): WG Seated Presses, One-Arm DB Rows (overhand), ^Hand Grippers (holds, 2 x 20).

 

Benches/ BA (Odds)/ Tetra #2:

Morning: Top End (Chains/ RB) Benches:

Week A (Be-1): One Chain Benches, DB Curls (alternate arms).

Week B (Be-3): One Chain Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches,MG CB Curls.

Week C (Be-5):  4-Count Pause RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, CG CB Curls.

Week D (Be-7): RB Cambered Bar Benches (not dead Stop), MG CB Preacher Curls.

 

Afternoon: Incline Benches:

Week A (Be-1): MG Incline Benches, WG BB Rows.

Week B (Be-3): MG Standing Presses, MG BB Rows, Hand Grippers (holds).

Week C (Be-5): WG Incline Benches, CG BB Rows.

Week D (Be-7): CG Standing Presses (alternate arms), Two-Arm DB Rows (overhand), ^Hand Grippers (reps).

 

 

Squats/ Deadlifts (Odds)/ Tetra-Trinity #1:

Morning: Top End Squats:

Week A (Sq-1): 3-Count Pause Two Chain Squats, Abs: Crunch-Side-Bend Combo (2 x amrap).

Week B (Sq-3): Extra Low RB (#3, light bands, yellow) Squats, Sit-ups (2 x amrap).

Week C (Sq-5): Two Chain Squats, Decline Crunches (2 x amrap).

Week D (Sq-7): Partial Squats (full DS): 2 x 5, 3/ ^[3/4” (1 board) Extra Low] Squats with Wraps: 2 x 1, 1.

 

Afternoon: Conv Deadlifts:

Week A (DL-1): Conv Snatch Grip Deadlifts, ^Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs).

Week B (DL-3): ^[3/4” (1 board) Deficit] Conv Deadlifts, Standing Rocking DB Calves.

Week C (DL-5): Conv RB (#3, light bands, purple) Deadlifts, ^Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time)

Week D (DL-7): ^Conv 2-1/4” (3 Boards)/ 1-1/2” (2 Boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Standing BB Calves.

 

Squats/ Deadlifts (Odds)/ Tetra-Trinity #2:

Morning: Top End Squats:

Week A (Sq-1): Three-Count Pause RB (#3, light bands, yellow) Squats, Abs: Bicycle abs (2 x amrap).

Week B (Sq-3): Extra Low Two Chains Squats, Abs: Crunches (2 x amrap).

Week C (Sq-5): RB (#3, light bands, yellow) Squats, Abs: Decline Sit-ups (2 x amrap).

Week D (Sq-7): Partial Squats (partial DS): 2 x 5, 3,/ ^[3/4” (1 board) Extra Low] Squats with Wraps 2 x 1, 1.

 

Afternoon: Conv Deadlifts:

Week A (DL-1): Conv Two Chain Deadlifts, ^Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs).

Week B (DL-3): ^ [3/4” (1 board) Deficit] Conv Deadlifts, Standing DB Calves,

Week C (DL-5): Conv SLDLs, ^Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time).

Week D (DL-7): ^Conv 2-1/4” (3 Boards) / 1-1/2” (2 Boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Standing Rocking BB Calves

 

 

Benches/ BA (Evens)/ Tetra-Trinity #1:

Morning: Bottom End Benches:

Week A (Be-2): Wide Grip Benches, MG CB Preacher Reverse Curls.

Week B (Be-4): ^[Feet Up] Four / Three-Count Pause Benches, BB Reverse Curls.

Week C (Be-6): Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, MG CB Reverse Curls.

Week D (Be-8): [Feet Up, 1-Count Pause] Benches, Wrist Roller (underhand).

 

Afternoon: Declines or Dips:

Week A (Be-2): Close Grip Decline Benches, WG CB Rows, RC: Lying, up.

Week B (Be-4): Cambered Bar Decline Benches (not dead stop), One-Arm Dumbbell Rows (parallel grip), RC: Lying on Side.

Week C (Be-6): Medium Grip Decline Benches, CG CB Rows, RC: Lying, down.

Week D (Be-8): Dips on Bars, MG CB Rows, RC: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms).

 

Benches/ BA (Evens)/ Tetra-Trinity #2:

Morning: Bottom End Benches:

Week A (Be-2): Close Grip Benches, MG SCB Preacher Reverse Curls.

Week B (Be-4): ^[Feet Up] Four / Three-Count Pause Benches, SCB Reverse Curls.

Week C (Be-6): Cambered Bar Benches (not dead stop), MG SCB Reverse Curls.

Week D (Be-8): ^[Feet Up, 1-Count Pause] Benches, Wrist Roller (overhand).

 

Afternoon: Declines or Dips:

Week A (Be-2): 3-Count Pause Decline Benches, WG SCB Rows, RC: Lying, in.

Week B (Be-4): Dead Stop Cambered Bar Decline Benches, Two-Arm DB Rows (underhand), CG RC: Sitting, front.

Week C (Be-6): Wide Grip Decline Benches, CG SCB Rows, RC: Lying, out.

Week D (Be-8): Dips on Bars or Rings, MG SCB Rows, RC: Shoulder Horn (arms together).

 

 

Squats/ Deadlifts (Evens)/ Tetra-Trinity #1:

Morning: Bottom End Squats:

Week A (Sq-2): Dead Stop Squats, ^Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap).

Week B (Sq-4): Three / Two-Count Pause Squats, ^Lying Twisting Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week C (Sq-6): ^[3/4” (1 board) Extra Low] Squats with Sleeves, ^Lying Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week D (Sq-8): Olympic Squats (with Manta Ray), ^Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap).

 

Afternoon: Sumo Deadlifts:

Week A (DL-2): Sumo Two Chains Deadlifts, Standing Leg Curls (alternate legs).

Week B (DL-4): ^Sumo 2-1/4” (3 boards) / 1-1/2” (2 Boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Side Bends (seated).

Week C (DL-6): Sumo SLDLs, Lying Leg Curls (one leg at a time).

Week D (DL-8): ^ [3/4” (1 board) Deficit] Sumo Deadlifts, Hyperextensions.

 

Squats/ Deadlifts (Evens)/ Tetra-Trinity #2:

Morning: Bottom End Squats:

Week A (Sq-2): Extra Low Squats, ^Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap).

Week B (Sq-4): ^Three / Two-Count Pause Squats, ^Lying Twisting Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week C (Sq-6): ^[3/4” (1 board) Extra Low] Squats with Sleeves, ^Lying Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

Week D (Sq-8): Olympic Squats (without Manta Ray), ^Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap) Lying Leg Raises (2 x amrap).

 

Afternoon: Sumo Deadlifts:

Week A (DL-2): Sumo RB (#3, average bands, purple) Deadlifts, Standing Leg Curls (one leg at a time).

Week B (DL-4): Sumo 2-1/4” (3 boards) / 1-1/2” (2 Boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Side Bends (seated).

Week C (DL-6): Sumo Snatch Grip Deadlifts, Lying Leg Curls (alternate legs).

Week D (DL-8): [3/4” (1 board) Deficit] Sumo Deadlifts, Two-Count Pause Hyperextensions.

 

 

Additional Possible Major Exercises:

Declines:

One Chain Cambered Bar Decline Benches, RB Cambered Bar Decline Benches, DB Declines (arms together and alternate arms),

 

Inclines:

DB inclines (arms together and alternate arms),

 

Presses:

CG Seated Presses, WG Standing Presses, DB Presses (Seated and Standing, arms together and alternate arms)

 

Rows:

CG Cambered Bar Rows, Two-Arm Dumbbell Rows (overhand), Dumbbell or Barbell Upright Rows.

 

Squats:

Extra Low Manta Ray Squats (high bar, close stance), One-Count Pause Squats, Extra Low Squats with 2.0-meter Wraps, Squats with 2.5-meter Wraps, Close Stance Squats, Manta Ray Squats (high bar, close stance), Low Squats, Box Squats, Bench Squats, [1” Extra Low] Sting Ray Squats (front, close stance) Squats, Zercher (front, close stance) Squats.

 

Benches:

One Chain Cambered Bar Benches, RB (#2, monster-minis) Cambered Bar Benches, DB Benches (alternate arms), DB Benches (alternate arms), Two-Count Pause DB Benches (arms together).

 

3-Count Pause Close Grip Benches, Close Grip Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, Close Grip Cambered Bar Benches (not DS), Close Grip Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, 2-Count Pause Close Grip Cambered Bar Benches (not DS).

 

Feet Up Dead Stop Benches, WG Cambered Bar Benches (not dead stop), Two-Count Pause WG Benches, Dead Stop WG Cambered Bar Benches.

 

Rack Benches (without mats, 5” from chest), Rack Benches (with mats, 6” from chest), DB Benches (alternate arms and arms together), Board Benches, Floor Presses, Triceps Pushdowns.

 

Deadlifts:

Conv and Sumo 3” (4 boards) RB (#3 light bands) Deadlifts, Conv and Sumo 3” (4 boards) Two Chain Deadlifts, Conv and Sumo ” (1 board) Deficit Deadlifts, Conv and Sumo 2” and 4” Block Pulls, Conv and Sumo Rack Pulls.

 

Additional Possible Isolation Exercises:

Curls: MG CB Preacher Curls, MG SCB Preacher Curls, Hammer Curls.

 

Reverse Curls: DB Reverse Curls, Plate Holds.

 

Upper Abs: Abs: Decline Crunch-Side-Bend Combo, Abs: Twisting Sit-ups.

 

Lower Abs: Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs together and twisting, alternate legs).

 

Other:

Jump Rope, Lying Adductor.

 

Calves: Standing Rocking Bodyweight Calves (one leg at a time; 2 x amrap),

 

Hamstrings: Lying Leg Curls (legs together).

 

Cardio: Step-ups, Heavy Bag, Jump Rope,

 

Other: Grippers (hold 2 x 20 secs), Laterals (all variations), Pushups.

 

Sets x Reps Summary

 

 

      My planned sets x reps are as follows. Warmups 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 as indicated.

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts:

[6 x 15, 9, 7, 5, 4, add gear: 3] 3 x 5, 3, 1 (+5%), Raw 1 x 10 (75% of top set’s weight for Bench exercises, 70% for Squat and Deadlift exercises)

Partial Squats: 2 x 5, 3/ [3/4” (1 board) Extra Low] Squats with Wraps: 2 x 1, 1

SLDLs and Dips: 3 x 6, 4, 2

 

Rows:

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

 

Most Isolation Exercises:

[1(2) x 11, (9)] 3 x 11, 9, 7 (+5%)

 

Abs and Some Isolation Exercises:

2 x AMRAP

 

Isolation Exercises using ankle weights:

[1 x 11] 2 x AMRAP (with 6 pounds ankles weights)

 

Rotator Cuff Work:

[1 x 11] 2 x 16, 14

 

Current Plans

 

      My plan is to start with the Tetra Plan and do Stage One for three rotations (twelve weeks), then do Stage Two for three Rotations (twelve weeks) for a total of 24 weeks. Add in a week off before and after a contest, and a total plan will take 26 weeks. With starting this training plan on September 20, 2020, that will take me to March/ April 2021. I know of several contests usually held at that time I could enter, depending of course on the Coronavirus. I can add weeks by adding a rotation or eliminate weeks by switching to my Trinity Plan (another reason for the “Tetra-Trinity” part of the name). The point is, I can easily make whatever adjustments are needed so that the end of the Training Plan coincides with a contest.

 

Conclusion

 

      Here’s praying this new “Two Stage/ Two-a-Day Tetra-Trinity x 2 Powerlifting Training Strategy” works out well as I prepare for my next and future contests. For my first workouts using this Training Strategy, see 2020-21 Tetra-Trinity #1 Powerlifting Training Plan: Rotations I & II of VI.


Two Stage/ Two-a-Day, Tetra-Trinity x 2 Powerlifting Training Strategy Overview and Summaries. Copyright 2020 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 September 17, 2020.
It was last updated October 17, 2020.

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