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Thread: Training for Powerlifting at Planet Fitness (Iím not joking!)

  1. #91
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    Oct 2008
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    Default New Fed, New Focus

    • starting strength seminar october 2021
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    Since my last log entry, training took a serious turn downhill. Thanks to ever increasing hours at work (you may have seen some news about trouble in the US Postal Service, especially if you live in these parts), I just havenít had as much available time or drive to get in the gym. But starting with a weekend getaway with my wife last month, a visit to the gym while away seemed to kickstart me back to some regular training. 8 sessions in the last 3 weeks - not too bad. Iím hoping to average 3 sessions per week for the foreseeable future, with some possible exceptions for travel.

    But I wonít allow myself to slack to much - I have entered what will be my only meet for 2021, and I have every intention of seeing this through. All year, I had been thinking that I would enter the same meet that I did in Virginia last November and try to beat my total, while still spending most of my time at PF. This weekend, I checked to see when registration for the meet would open. I learned that, unfortunately for me, the meet was already sold out with 20+ lifters on the waitlist.

    I searched other USAPL meets in my state and neighboring states - nothing was on the calendar that worked for me. On a whim, I decided to check the USPA calendar. Lo and behold, they have a drug tested meet in Westminster, Maryland one week after the one I planned to do in Virginia. For 13 years, I have competed exclusively in USAPL. I have no beef with them, but decided to take the plunge and entered the USPA meet.

    I was going to go to Goldís on Sunday to get a feel for where I am on the competition lifts as I start thinking about a plan for the next 18-19 weeks. But as things unfolded, my wife and I went to a Planet Fitness. I did the Smith machine versions of the lifts, which still yielded useful information. These were my first heavy singles of any kind (at least on purpose ) in almost 3 months.

    Sun. 7/4/21
    ​- bodyweight 204.4 lbs

    Weights listed on Smith machine exercises are plates only. The + represents whatever the bar weighs (probably 20 lbs).

    Smith Machine Squat

    bar/5, 6
    90+/6
    180+/5
    230+/4
    280+/3
    325+/2 - started using wrist wraps
    365+/2 - started using belt
    395+/1 - started using mouth guard
    425+/1
    450+/1 @9.5 RPE

    I went too deep on most of those reps, especially the last one. My lower back flared up immediately on that one, which wasnít exactly a surprise. Low back pain has become a thing over the last few months.

    Smith Machine Bench Press


    bar/6, 10
    50+/8
    100+/6
    150+/6
    200+/4
    235+/2 - started using wrist wraps
    255+/1 - started using mouth guard
    270+/1 @10 RPE - slight pause on the chest, long enough for a press command from most refs
    backoff set: 210+/7 @9.5 RPE

    Smith Machine Deadlift
    - standing on pairs of stacked 25ís

    180+/1, 5
    270+/5
    320+/2 - started using over/under grip
    370+/1 - grip failed on right hand, and barely survived the rep. I badly sprained my middle and ring fingers bowling the day before.
    410+/1 @9 RPE - started using Versa Gripps, double overhand; this rep was harder than I expected
    430+/1 - started using belt, felt easier than the 410+
    450+/1 @9 RPE

    Done in 1 hour, 40 minutes

    God willing, back to the upper/lower split tomorrow, with bench being ďupperĒ, squat being ďlowerĒ, and deadlift split between the two.

  2. #92
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    Default Thu. 7/8/21 - Bench/Upper #1

    The plan is to have 2 basic templates for bench/upper and 2 basic templates for squat/lower at Planet Fitness, with deadlift split between the two. I’ll do something else on my visits to Gold’s, but I’m sure it will consist of competition squat, plus bench press and/or deadlift. The goal is to train 3 times per week.

    Even with being off on Monday for the July 4 observance, I have worked 34 hours already since Tuesday. Fortunately, the overtime assignments I’ve been doing this week have been mostly apartment buildings, so my mileage is down a bit. I’ve hiked 22.1 miles Tuesday-Thursday. I haven’t weighed myself since Sunday (204.4 lbs then), but my appetite has been good, and I’m going through milk pretty fast.


    Weights listed on Smith machine exercises are plates only. The + represents whatever the bar weighs (probably 20 lbs).

    Smith Machine Bench Press

    bar/6, 8
    50+/10
    100+/8
    150+/6 - remembered to add elbow sleeves; should have had them on from the beginning
    200+/4
    Rest-pause set, 220+ lbs: 4, 2, 2, 2 @10 RPE on the last round - wore mouth guard

    My idea was to get at least 10 reps with a weight that I thought I could get 5 reps with, but not go to absolute failure until the last round. From the start of the first rep to the end of the 10th, it took 2:50. The first 2 rest periods were 20–30 seconds. The last one was about 45 seconds.

    Smith Machine High Incline Press - 1st notch down from vertical, grip just outside shoulder width

    bar/8
    70+/8
    100+/8
    Rest-pause-drop set: 140+/5, 120+/4, 90+/4 - wore mouth guard

    I wasn’t sure what I had in mind with these. I was experimenting a bit. I think these are worth doing again, at least for a few more weeks.

    Smith Machine Barbell Row


    bar/8, 8
    90+/10 - thumbless grip, and my strained right middle finger (bowling injury!?!) didn’t like it
    140+/10 - full grip, and that finger thought this was worse
    180+/6 - started using Versa Gripps
    205+/6 - started wearing mouth guard; stopped the set when I thought I’d have to get too sloppy to keep getting reps
    180+/10 same standard as the previous set

    Smith Machine Rack Pull - set the stoppers so the bar rested just below my kneecap

    180+/8 - still wearing Versa Gripps
    270+/8
    320+/8 - wore mouth guard; not sure about RPE… probably @9

    After seeing John Meadows do these about a month ago with an actual barbell in a real rack, and explain how to get the lats involved, I started trying these. I really like them. The entire back gets hammered the way he demonstrated the lift. Plus, since I’m in PF and can’t drop the weights, I have to do a controlled negative on each rep. I’m sure the rep target will drop to 6 soon enough.

    Done in 50 minutes

  3. #93
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    Default Sat. 7/10/21 - Squat/Lower #1

    Weighed 207.6 lbs on Saturday morning. Gaining 3 lbs in a week seems like a lot. Maybe something quirky. I’ll check again tomorrow morning.

    Instead of getting talked into working overtime this weekend, I hung out with my wife before she went out of town for work, went to brunch at my mother’s for one of my brother’s birthday, and went to a Ring of Honor wrestling pay per view show. I also went to the gym.

    Weights listed on Smith machine exercises are plates only. The + represents whatever the bar weighs (probably 20 lbs).

    Hammer Strength Abdominal Crunch Machine

    20/10, 10
    30/10, 10, 10

    Seated Leg Curl


    40/15
    40/10 left, 10 right
    55/10 left, 10 right
    130/12 @9 RPE

    left leg struggled noticeably more than the right on the unilateral sets

    Smith Machine Squat

    bar/6
    90+/6
    180+/6
    230+/5
    280+/5
    325+/5
    360+/5 - added belt and wrist wraps
    380+/5 - added mouth guard; felt like @9 RPE, watched it later and it looked like @8

    Smith Machine RDL
    - took advantage of the machine and started each rep from the top with a negative

    90+/8
    180+/8 - added Versa Gripps
    270+/8 + extra negative at the end - added belt; after the 2nd rep, I decided this was the last set, so I did the extra negative to finish

    Leg Extension

    60/10
    60/12 left, 12 right
    75/10 left, 10 right
    155/11 @10 RPE - couldn’t do full ROM anymore

    Done in 1 hour 16 minutes. Considering that I made 2 locker room trips, put knee sleeves on and changed shoes, that’s not bad.
    Last edited by K.Diesel; 07-14-2021 at 12:31 AM.

  4. #94
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    Default Tue. 7/13 - Bench/Upper #2

    Quote Originally Posted by K.Diesel View Post
    Weighed 207.6 lbs on Saturday morning. Gaining 3 lbs in a week seems like a lot. Maybe something quirky. I’ll check again tomorrow morning.
    I weighed 209.2 lbs this morning. As my comments in the last log entry should indicate, that’s not what I was expecting. I’ll wait until Thursday morning to weigh myself again.

    Today, it was humid with an air temperature that peaked around 93-95 Fahrenheit. I worked 10 hours. That included 8.4 miles of hiking between my route, and overtime on part of another one. Then I went home and cut my grass, plus weeded a rose bush. I went to the gym after that. Fortunately for me, this was my bench/upper #2 day, which means mostly Hammer Strength machines. They take less time and don’t require loading and unloading, which is exactly what I needed after what I’d done before I got there.

    Hammer Strength Chest Press
    - weights listed are per side

    20/20 - first 5 reps were getting seat position right
    50/10
    80/8
    rest-pause-drop: 105/9 + 90/5 + 70/7 all @10 RPE - used mouth guard

    Last time I did this machine (6/29), I topped out at 100/8 + 80/5 + 65/7. I’ll take it.

    Hammer Strength Row - weights listed are per side

    20/15
    50/12
    80/8
    Did the work sets unilaterally: 100/15 left @10 RPE; 100/15 right @9 RPE - used Versa Gripps, mouth guard


    Hammer Strength Shoulder Press - weights listed are per side

    30/10
    70/10
    rest-pause: 100/11 + 3 1/2, both @10 RPE - used mouth guard

    Cable Pulldown - medium/wide overhand grip

    55/15
    120/10
    rest-pause-drop: 200/9 + 160/10, both @10 RPE

    Cable Pressdown - used V handle

    This was like a reverse rest-pause-drop, so rest-pause-add? Rest periods were 30 seconds or less.

    40/10 + 50/10 + 60/11 @9.5 RPE on last round

    Rear Delt Machine

    70/12
    100/10
    100/10 @10 RPE - could barely get 3/4 ROM on the last 3 reps, especially on my left side

    Done in 50 minutes.

  5. #95
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    Default 7/21/21 - Back From The BeachÖ Squat/Lower #2

    Last week, I had a family trip to Ocean City, Maryland from Thursday through Sunday. After training on Tuesday (last entry), I hoped to train again on Wednesday before we left town. That didnít happen. Side note: I think I have reached a point where I donít want to train on consecutive days. Thatís not the main reason I didnít train before leaving town, but itís a reality.

    Anyway, I got back to work on Monday. On Tuesday morning, I weighed 207.0 lbs. I finally got back in the gym tonight. I have about 16 weeks to go until the meet.

    Weights listed on the Smith Machine and Hammer Leg Press are just the plates. The weight of the bar (estimated 20 lbs) and sled (estimated 118 lbs) are represented by the +

    Smith Machine Romanian Deadlift
    - standing on 1 25 lbs plate (each foot)

    Rather than deadlifting the bar up to a standing position at the start of each set, I unracked the bar from a standing position, and started each set with a negative.

    bar/10
    90+/8
    180+/8 - added Versa Gripps here, earlier than normal. Two fingers on my right hand have been injured for almost 3 weeks.
    230+/6
    280+/1 + 6 - added belt here. Did a rep, felt like I was too far behind the bar, so I racked it and moved up an inch or two
    320+/6 @9 RPE - added mouth guard here
    270+/8 @8 RPE

    Went to locker room, put on knee sleeves and Oly shoes.

    Hammer Strength Leg Press - I wish every Planet Fitness had this brand of leg press. Fortunately, my normal one does. These are fairly narrow stance, with feet very low on the sled to maximize quads.

    180+/10
    360+/8
    540+/8 - added mouth guard here
    630+/8 @9 RPE
    500+/15 @9 RPE - didnít re-rack until all reps were done, but paused at lockout for an extra breath or two after reps 9 and 12.

    Seated Leg Curl

    85/12
    rest-pause: 135/15 + 7 both @10 RPE - rested maybe 30-40 seconds at the pause. Stopped each portion once I did 2 reps that I could not push through the full ROM.

    Decline Sit Up

    2 sets of 10, 30 seconds rest between sets

    Done in 58 minutes. Iím planning to get my hand checked out after work tomorrow.

  6. #96
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    Default Fri. 7/23/21, Bench/Upper #1

    Bodyweight update: I weighed 208.6 lbs on Saturday morning (7/24). I have to keep reminding myself that USPA has the old/traditional powerlifting weight classes, so in November Iím competing in the 220 lbs class, not 231.

    Since settling in to this bench/upper - squat/lower rotation (2 sessions each), this is the start of my 2nd round with it.

    Weights listed on Smith machine exercises are plates only. The + represents whatever the bar weighs (probably 20 lbs).

    Smith Machine Bench Press

    bar/16
    50+/10
    100+/8
    150+/6
    180+/4
    210+/2
    rest-pause set: 225+/5 + 3 + 2 - added mouth guard here. 30 seconds after first pause, 40 seconds after 2nd pause

    Last time, I did 220+/4 + 2 +2 + 2

    Decline Close Grip Bench Press - propped the foot of the bench up on a pair of 10 lbs plates

    rest-pause set: 180+/7 + 3 - done with mouth guard. 30 seconds pause

    High Incline Bench Press

    bar/10
    70+/8
    110+/11 @10 RPE - used mouth guard

    Barbell Row

    bar/12
    90+/12
    140+/10
    190+/6 - added Versa Gripps here
    215+/9 @10 RPE - added mouth guard. Stopped set once I could not hit my stomach with the bar, so I guess thatís technical failure.
    200+/11 @10 RPE - same standard as previous set

    Hammer Strength Abdominal Crunch


    20/15
    35/15
    50/10

    Done in 50 minutes, and 1 minute before the gym closed.

  7. #97
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    Default Tue. 7/27/21 - Squat/Lower #1

    starting strength coach development program
    This session was preceded by an 11 hour work day in which I covered 9.8 miles, and followed by a 10 hour day today in which I covered 10.4 miles.

    Weights listed on Smith machine exercises are plates only. The + represents whatever the bar weighs (probably 20 lbs).

    Smith Machine Squat


    bar/5, 5
    90+/5
    180+/5
    270+/5
    320+/5 - started using wrist wraps
    365+/5 - started using belt
    390+/5 @9 RPE - started using mouth guard
    300+/10 - hard to rate RPE. Stopped for 2-3 deep breaths after reps 5 and 7. Had I continued doing that, I could have done more.

    Last time I did these, I topped out with 380+/5, with no backoff set.

    Leg Extension

    90/10
    125/10
    150/15 @10 RPE - used mouth guard; stopped once I couldnít extend through full ROM

    Seated Leg Curl


    40/10
    85/10
    125/10
    145/15 @10 RPE - started using mouth guard; ROM was short on the last rep or two
    145/10 @10 RPE - rest was short, but not short enough to consider it a rest-pause set; same deal as last set with ROM

    Standing Cable Crunch

    20/15
    35/20
    50/25

    I havenít done these in ages. I did these with my back to the stack. I may try these facing the stack next time.

    I havenít done full Smith machine deadlifts in a while. Next bench session is on Hammer machines, so I may add them. I hope to visit Goldís either this weekend or next weekend to see where I am with actual barbells right now. Iím not concerned with how much I move them yet. I need to see how well I move them. If I follow that plan for tomorrow and get to Goldís this weekend, then Iíll squat and bench at Goldís. Weíll see what happens.

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