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2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy:
Modified Overview and Workouts Summaries
 

By Gary F. Zeolla

 

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

 

Training Strategy Overview

  

      After much consideration, I am modifying the training ideas presented in my two-part article Two-Stage Trinity Powerlifting Training Plan into a “2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy.” This article will explain these modifications.

 

Name Explanation:

      The second “2” in the name refers to there being two Training Plans within the Training Strategy. Each Plan will be used for the entire training period between contests. All major assistance exercises will be changed Training Plan to Training Plan. The two Training Plans will be labeled Trinity #1 and Trinity #2.

      The first “2” in the name means within each Training Plan are two Stages. But instead of changing major exercises from Stage One to Stage Two as mentioned in the two-part article, I will change the placement and sets x reps for each major exercise. Specifically, exercises (like the actual power flits) that are done second in Stage One will move to first in Stage Two, and vice-versa.

      The final “2” in the name means each major exercise will be done for two different sets x reps schemes, for 3 sets x 5, 3, 1 reps when being done first and for 3 x 4, 2, 8 reps when being done second. These are the two sets x reps schemes I have found to be most productive, so I am incorporating both of them into this Training Strategy. The 8-rep set in the latter is done without any gear. The rest of the sets are done with a belt and wrist wraps, plus knee sleeves or knee wraps as applicable.

      Unlike previous contests, I was not sore the next day after my most recent one. I think that was because I had been doing singles regularly throughout my training plan, so I will continue doing so for this Training Strategy. But I also wanted to include a higher rep, raw set, for two reasons. First, it will help with conditioning, as I will no longer be doing Speed Work. Second, my logs show that including such a set helps progress. That is probably because the raw work strengthens the joints, but with being for high reps, it is not dangerous, as doing a heavy low-rep set without gear would be.

 

Method of Doing the Powerlifts:

      With the change of position and of reps from Stage One to Stage Two, I won’t bother with “handicapping” the actual powerlifts as mentioned in the two-part article, as those two changes will suffice for the needed difference between stages to prevent stagnation.

      And note, by “actual powerlifts” I mean both Squats with Wraps and Squats with Sleeves and both Sumo Deadlifts and Conv Deadlifts. Though I am sure I will compete with Wraps and a Sumo stance, Squats with Sleeves and Conv Deadlifts are great assistance lifts for Squats with Wraps and Sumo Deadlifts, respectively.

      As for Benches, I believe 3-Counht Pause Benches to be the best assistance lift for Raw Benches, so I will also be doing them in both Plans, second in Stage One and first in Stage Two.

      I might also train Overhead Presses as a powerlift. That is why I will do MG Presses (standing or seated) first in Stage Two, while other Presses variations will be done second. I might also do a peaking workout for MG Presses, as I do for the powerlifts. Maybe peaking on a second pressing move will help with Benches at the contest. I thought of doing so with Declines, but I fear they are too much like Benches, while Presses are quite different, but still work the pressing muscles.

 

Additional Details:

      I will still backoff at the start of each Stage. For Stage One, I will do so following the plan laid out in the two-part article of dropping the weights 10% from the last time I did the given exercise. But for Stage Two, for exercises moving from second to first, I will use the 4-rep set weight from the final workout for Stage One for the 3-rep set weight for the first workout of Stage Two. With the differing placement ad one less rep, that should give me sufficient backing off. For exercises moving from first to second, I will use a bit less than the 5-rep set weight for the 2-rep set weight.

      I will no longer do Speed Work in the mornings, so again, the 8-rep set will help to maintain conditioning. I will not do Speed Work, as I want to focus on isolation exercises in the mornings to focus on fully rehabbing weak points and to work on grip strength.

      I will be hitting a heavy bag twice a week, in the mornings before my afternoon Bench Assistance and Bench workouts, followed by two upper body isolation exercises. I will then do two lower body isolation exercises in the mornings before my afternoon Squat and Deadlifts workouts. That will be after I do some necessary household stuff that should warm me up sufficiently for those exercises.

      The plan for Rows and these isolation exercises will be a bit different than for major exercises. For them, I cannot change the order, as Rows are always done last and the two isolation exercises are generally so different that an order change would not make a difference. I also cannot change the reps significantly. Instead, I will follow the original plan of changing the exercises from Stage One to Stage Two. That will mean that the same Row and isolation exercises will be done in both Stage Ones and in both Stage Twos.

      I will four rotations in each Stage. That will make each Stage last twelve weeks or about three months. The total Training Plan between contests will then last 24 weeks or about six months.

      Below are summaries for all of my workouts and for my sets x reps plans for all exercises for this 2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy.

 

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

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

DB = Dumbbell

RB = Reverse Bands

RC = Rotator Cuff

^ = Major exercises done in both Plans. Isolation exercises done in both Stages.

[…] = Not sure if will use variation

Or = Could use either exercise

 

 

Afternoon Workouts Summary

 

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

 

Basic Design of Afternoon Workouts:

Bench Assistance: Decline Benches, Presses, Rows (overhand, to the chest).

Squats Day: Two Major Squat Exercises.

Bench Day: Two Major Bench Exercises, Rows (underhand, to the stomach).

Deadlift Day: Two Major Deadlifts Exercises.

 

First exercises are done for 5,3,1 reps. Second exercises are done for 4,2,8 reps.

 

Bench Assistance (BA):

Trinity #1:

Stage One:

Week A: CG Standing Presses, 3-Count Pause MG Decline Benches, One-Arm DB Rows (overhand).

Week B: DB Standing Presses (arms together), Cambered Bar Decline Benches, MG Cambered Bar Rows.

Week C: One Chain Decline Benches, MG Standing Presses, WG Cambered Bar Rows.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: 2-Count Pause MG Decline Benches, CG Standing Presses, WG BB Rows.

Week B: Cambered Bar Decline Benches, DB Standing Presses (arms together), MG BB Rows.

Week C: MG Standing Presses, One Chain Decline Benches, CG BB Rows.

?Peaking Workout: MG Standing Presses, Rows.

 

Trinity #2:

Stage One:

Week A: DB Seated Presses (arms together), CG Decline Benches, MG Cambered Bar Rows.

Week B: CG Seated Presses, MG Decline Benches, One-Arm DB Rows (overhand).

Week C: WG Decline Benches, MG Seated Presses, WG Cambered Bar Rows.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: CG Decline Benches, DB Seated Presses (arms together), WG BB Rows.

Week B: MG Decline Benches, CG Seated Presses, MG BB Rows.

Week C: MG Seated Presses, WG or Cambered Bar Decline Benches, CG BB Rows.

?Peaking Workout: MG Seated Presses, Rows.

 

Squats (Wraps and Sleeves):

Trinity #1:

Stage One:

Week A: Extra Low Mantra Ray Squats or Extra Low Squats, RB (#3, light bands) Squats,

Week B: Extra Low (2 boards) Two Chain Squats, Squats with Sleeves.

Week C: ^Two-Count Pause Squats, ^Squats with Wraps.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: RB (#3, light bands) Squats, Extra Low Mantra Ray Squats or Extra Low Squats.

Week B: Squats with Sleeves, 1” Extra Low (2 boards) Two Chain Squats.

Week C: ^Squats with Wraps, ^Two-Count Pause Squats.

Peaking Workout: Squats with Wraps or Sleeves.

Contest: Squats with Wraps or Sleeves.

 

Trinity #2:

Stage One:

Week A: Olympic Squats or Dead Stop Squats or Low Squats, Two Chain Squats.

Week B: Extra Low (2 boards) RB (#3, light bands) Squats, Squats with Sleeves.

Week C: ^Two-Count Pause Squats, ^Squats with Wraps (4,2, raw: 8).

 

Stage Two:

Week A: Two Chain Squats, Olympic Squats or Dead Stop Squats or Low Squats.

Week B: Squats with Sleeves, 1” Extra Low (2 boards) RB (#3, light bands) Squats.

Week C: ^Squats with Wraps, ^Two-Count Pause Squats.

Peaking Workout: Squats with Wraps or Sleeves.

Contest: Squats with Wraps or Sleeves.

 

Benches:

Trinity #1:

Stage One:

Week A: WG Benches or Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, CG Benches, MG CB Rows.

Week B: One Chain Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, ^3-Count Pause Benches, CG CB Rows.

Week C: RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, ^Benches, WG CB Rows.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: CG Benches, WG Benches or Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, MG SCB Rows.

Week B: ^3-Count Pause Benches, One Chain Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, CG SCB Rows.

Week C: ^Benches, RB (#2, monster-minis) Benches, WG SCB Rows.

Peaking Workout: Benches, [Rows].

Contest: Benches.

 

Trinity #2:

Stage One:

Week A: 3-Count Pause CG Benches, Feet Up Dead Stop Benches or Cambered Bar Benches, MG CB Rows.

Week B: RB (#2, monster-minis) Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, ^3-Count Pause Benches, CG CB Rows.

Week C: One Chain Benches, ^Benches, WG CB Rows.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: Feet Up Dead Stop Benches or Cambered Bar Benches, 3-Count Pause CG Benches, MG SCB Rows.

Week B: ^3-Count Pause Benches, RB (#2, monster-minis) Dead Stop Cambered Bar Benches, CG SCB Rows.

Week C: ^Benches, One Chain Benches, WG SCB Rows.

Peaking Workout: Benches, [Rows].

Contest: Benches.

 

Deadlifts (Sumo emphasis):

Trinity #1:

Stage One:

Week A: Sumo Two Chain 3” (4 boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Conv Deadlifts,

Week B: Sumo or Conv RB (#3, light bands) Deadlifts, Sumo 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts.

Week C: Conv 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts, ^Sumo Deadlifts.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: Conv Deadlifts, Sumo Two Chain 3” (4 boards) Deficit Deadlifts.

Week B: Sumo 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Sumo or Conv RB (#3, light bands) Deadlifts.

Week C: ^Sumo Deadlifts, Conv 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts.

Peaking Workout: Sumo Deadlifts.

Contest: Sumo Deadlifts.

 

Trinity #2:

Stage One:

Week A: 3” (4 boards) Deficit RB (#4, average bands), Conv Deadlifts.

Week B: Sumo or Conv Two Chain Deadlifts, Sumo 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts.

Week C: Conv 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Sumo Deadlifts.

 

Stage Two:

Week A: Conv Deadlifts, 3” (4 boards) Deficit RB (#4, average bands).

Week B: Sumo 1” (2 boards) Deficit Deadlifts, Sumo or Conv Two Chain Deadlifts.

Week C: Sumo Deadlifts, Conv 2” (3 boards) Deficit Deadlifts.

Peaking Workout: Sumo Deadlifts.

Contest: Sumo Deadlifts.

 

Additional Possible Major Exercises:

Bench Assistance (BA):

DB Decline Benches (alternate arms), DB Decline Benches (arms together), DB Standing Presses (alternate arms), DB Seated Presses (alternate arms), Seated and Standing WG Presses, all variations of Incline Benches, Dips (with bars and with rings), Push-ups, CG Cambered Bar Rows, Two-Arm DB Rows (overhand grip).

 

Squats:

Close Stance Squats, Manta Ray Squats (high bar, close stance), Three-Count Pause RB (#3, light bands) Squats, Three-Count Pause Two Chain Squats, RB (#3, light bands) Squats, Low Squats, Box Squats, Partial Squats, Bench Squats, [1” Extra Low] Sting Ray Squats (front, close stance) Squats, Zercher (front, close stance) Squats.

 

Benches:

3-Count Pause RB (#3, average bands), 3-Count Pause One Chain Benches, CG [DS] 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, One-Arm Dumbbell Rows (underhand grip), One-Arm DB Rows (parallel grip), Two-Arm DB Rows (overhand).

 

Deadlifts:

Sumo and Conv Snatch Grip Deadlifts, Sumo and Conv SLDL, Conv 3” (4 boards) Two Chain Deadlifts, Conv 3” (4 boards) RB #4, average bands) Deadlifts, Conv Two Chain Deadlifts, Conv RB Deadlifts, Sumo and Conv 2” and 4” Block Pulls, Sumo and Conv Rack Pulls.

 

 

Morning Workouts Summary

 

 

Basic Design of Morning Workouts:

Bench Assistance: Heavy Bag, Curls, Reverse Curls.

Squats Day: Two of: Adductors/ Abductors, Calves, Upper Abs.

Bench Day: Heavy Bag, Rotator Cuff, Gripper.

Deadlift Day: Two of: Hyperextensions/ Side Bends, Leg Curls, Lower Abs.

 

Bench Assistance (BA):

Stage Ones:

Week A: Heavy Bag (higher), MG SCB Preacher Curls, ^Hand Gripper (reps).

Week B: Heavy Bag (higher), CG SCB Curls, ^Hand Gripper (holds).

Week C: Heavy Bag (higher), MG SCB Curls, ^Gripper (holds + reps).

 

Stage Twos:

Week A: Heavy Bag (higher), MG CB Preacher Curls, ^Hand Gripper (reps).

Week B: Heavy Bag (higher), CG CB Curls, ^Hand Gripper (holds).

Week C: Heavy Bag (higher), MG CB Curls, ^Gripper (holds + reps).

 

Squats (Wraps and Sleeves/ Sleeves only):

Stage Ones:

Week A: ^Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs), Decline Sit-ups.

Week B: Standing Rocking DB Calves, ^Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time).

Week C: Standing BB Calves, Abs: Crunch-Side-Bend Combo.

 

Stage Twos:

Week A: ^Adductors/ Abductors (one leg at a time), Sit-ups.

Week B: Standing DB Calves, ^Adductors/ Abductors (alternate legs).

Week C: Standing Rocking BB Calves, Abs: Decline Crunch-Side-Bend Combo.

 

Benches:

Stage Ones:

Week A: Heavy Bag (lower), BB Reverse Curls, RC: Lying on Side.

Week B: Heavy Bag (lower), MG CB Preacher Reverse Curls, RC: Shoulder Horn (alternate arms).

Week C: Heavy Bag (lower), MG CB Reverse Curls, RC: Lying, up and down.

 

Stage Twos:

Week A: Heavy Bag (lower), CG SCB Reverse Curls, RC: Sitting, front.

Week B: Heavy Bag (lower), MG SCB Preacher Reverse Curls, RC: Shoulder Horn (arms together).

Week C: Heavy Bag (lower), MG SCB Reverse Curls, RC: Lying, in and out.

 

Deadlifts (Sumo emphasis):

Stage Ones:

Week A: Side Bends (seated), Standing Leg Curls (alternate legs).

Week B: ^Hyperextensions, Twisting Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs together).

Week C: Lying Leg Curls (one leg at a time), Dip Bar Leg Raises (alternate legs).

 

Stage Twos:

Week A: Side Bends (standing), Standing Leg Curls (one leg at a time).

Week B: ^Hyperextensions, Twisting Dip Bar Leg Raises (alternate legs).

Week C: Lying Leg Curls (alternate legs), Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs together).

 

Additional Possible Isolation Exercises:

Day 1: Hammer Curls, DB Reverse Curls.

 

Day 2: Crunches, Decline Crunches, Twisting Sit-ups (2 x amrap), Bicycle Abs (2 x amrap), Standing Bodyweight Calves (one leg at a time; 2 x amrap), (2 x amrap), Standing Rocking Bodyweight Calves (one leg at a time; 2 x amrap).

 

Day 3: Laterals (all variations), Wrist Roller (overhand), Wrist Roller (underhand), Plate Holds.

 

Day 4: Lying Leg Curls (legs together), Lying Adductor, Lying Leg Raises (2 x amrap), Lying Twisting Leg Raises (2 x amrap), Dip Bar Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap), Dip Bar Twisting Leg Raises (legs straight and together; 2 x amrap).

 

 

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 as indicated.

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts done first:

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

 

Powerlifts and Look-alike Lifts done second:

[4(5) x (11), 9, 7, 5, add gear: 2] 3 x 4, 2 (+5%), no gear: 8 (-20% or 5-rep warmup set weight)

 

Peaking Workouts (powerlifts only):

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

 

Rows:

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

 

Most Isolation Exercises:

[1(2) x (11), 9] 3 x 11-12, 9-10, 7-8 (+5%)

 

Rotator Cuff Work:

2 x 15-16, 13-14

 

Hand Gripper:

Reps and holds:

[1 x 9] 3 x 12, 10, 8 (reps or secs)

Holds + reps:

4 secs + [1 x 9] 3 x 6, 4, 2

 

Isolation Exercises using ankle weights:

[1 x 11] 2 x 15-20, 10-15

 

Some Isolation Exercises:

2 x AMRAP

 

Conclusion

 

      This Training Strategy is only a slight modification of what I laid out in my two-part article Two-Stage Trinity Plan. But I think these changes will make the strategy more effective and interesting, as it will give me more variety in my training. That should enable me to use it long term. Here’s praying this new “2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy” does in fact work out well as I prepare for future contests.

 

For my first workouts using this modified plan, see 2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy: 2019 Trinity #1, Stage One.


2in2x2 Trinity Powerlifting Training Strategy: Modified Overview and Workouts 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 April 9, 2019.
It was last updated April 6, 2019.

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