Rebecca: Powerlifting while getting better at Olympic Weightlifting

Rebecca and I

A lot of you have already read the article that I wrote about Rebecca’s advanced squat routine. If you haven’t, click on this link to read that:

Rebecca’s Advanced Squat Routine

Rebecca is coming along well with her wrist injury. She is now slowly progressing with the main lifts (snatch and clean & jerk). While she is progressing, we have decided to sign her up for a Powerlifting competition in November. Of course, we have tried to increase leg strength during this injury phase, but now there is another reason.

We are now going to make an effort to catch her upper body up with her lower. We want her to be able to comfortably and safely support massive amounts of weight overhead. We plan on doing this by strengthening the push/pull mechanisms of the upper body both vertically and horizontally. We are using a lot of the same principles as with the lower body workout.

This plan will be great for almost every woman lifter, and any males that need to focus on general strength. Women tend to be very strong in their lower body, but their upper bodies tend to be a little behind. Supporting weight overhead can be a struggle and sometimes dangerous as in Rebecca’s case. Taking a few cycles to increase overall absolute strength can be very advantageous. Adee Zukier was able to set PRs in the Snatch and Clean & Jerk while losing 15 pounds of body weight. She did this by focusing on her general strength and of course watching her nutrition.

Adee 1

As a male if your technique is efficient, but your lifts are struggling, then your strength needs attention. One of the lifters at MDUSA, Trevor Britton has spent the last 4-5 weeks focusing on general strength, and he just PRed his Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and total this past weekend. He mainly did technique work in the am sessions, and killed the strength work in the pm. Here is something similar to what Rebecca will be doing over the next few months.

Here is the way it looks:
Weeks 1-2 Hypertrophy Time
Day 1
Back Squat 10RM, then -5&-10% for 10
Deadlifts 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
GHDs 3 sets x 10 reps
Planks weighted 3 sets of 1-2 minutes

Day 2
Bench Press 10RM, then -5&-10% for 10
Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Presses 10RM, then -5&-10% for 10
BB Bentover Rows 10RM, then -5&-10% for 10

Day 3
Front Squats 5RM with 5 sec pause, then -5&-10% for 5
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats 10 reps ea leg x 3
RDLs 3 x10

Day 4
Behind Neck Military Press 10RM, then -5&-10% for 10
KB Swinging Rows/12 reps ss Plate Lateral Raises/10 x 4 sets

Day 5
Back Squat pause 3 seconds in bottom 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
DLs From Blocks Bar at Knee level 5RM, then -10% for 5
Squats weight starts on Pins from bottom position 5RM, then -10% for 5

Weeks 3-4 More Hypertrophy but a little Heavier
Day 1
Back Squat 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8
Deadlifts Paused 2 sec at Knee 5RM, then -10% for 5
GHDs 10 reps x 3 sets
Day 2
Bench Press 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8
Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Presses 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8
BB Bentover Rows 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8

Day 3
Front Squats 4RM with 3 sec pause, then -5&-10% for 4
Rear Leg Elevated Split Squats 10 reps ea leg x 3
RDLs 3 x10
Day 4
Behind Neck Military Press 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8
KB Swinging Rows/12 reps ss Plate Lateral Raises/10 x 4 sets
Day 5
Back Squat pause 3 seconds in bottom 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3 (drop 1 sec ea week)
DLs from Blocks Bar 2 inches below knee 5RM, then -10% for 5
Squats weight starts on Pins from bottom position 4RM, then -10% for 4

Weeks 5-8 Time to Get Strong
Day 1
a.m.Back Squat up to 80%/2reps x 3 sets
p.m.
Back Squat (first after warming up, work up to 10% more than max set for walkout holds for 15 sec) wait 90 sec then 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Deadlifts Paused 3 seconds at knee 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3(drop 1 sec ea week)
GHDs 10 reps x 3 sets(continue to increase difficulty either with weight or tempo)
Day 2
Bench Press 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Presses 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
BB Bentover Rows 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5

Day 3
a.m.
Front Squats work up to 80%/1 rep x 2 sets
p.m.
Front Squats 3RM with 3 sec pause, then -5&-10% for 3 (Drop 1 sec each week)
Rear leg elevated split squats 8 reps ea leg x 3 sets
RDLs 8 reps x 3 sets
Day 4
Behind Neck Military Press 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
KB Swinging Rows/12 reps ss Plate Lateral Raises/10 x 4 sets
TRX Rows to Reverse Flies/10 reps x 3 sets

Day 5
a.m.
Back Squats 75%/1rep paused 3 seconds x 3 sets
p.m.
Back Squat pause 5 seconds in bottom 1RM, then -15% for 3×3 all paused (Drop a second each week) ss Box Jumps/ 3reps each set
***use a box that is about 80% of your max height, but focus on getting maximal height on jumps, so over jump!
Deadlifts off Blocks elevated 8 inches off ground 3RM, then -10% for 3(drop 2 inch per week)
Squats weight starts on Pins from bottom position 3RM, then -10% for 3
Day 6
Behind Neck Push Presses 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Closegrip Bench Press all Paused 8RM, then -5&-10% for 8
KB Bat Wing Rows 10 reps paused 1 sec ea x 3

Weeks 9-11 Absolute Strength
Day 1
a.m.
Back Squats work up to 85%/1 rep x 3 sets
p.m.
Use Strong Bands if Squat is over 600lbs, Average Bands if Squat is between 400-600lbs, Light Bands if squat is between 200-400lbs

Back Squat (Warm Up using bands)3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Deadlift Paused 3 sec 2 inches off ground 1RM, then -20% for 3×3 no pause (drop 1 sec ea week)
GHDs 10 reps x 3 sets(continue to increase difficulty either with weight or tempo)
***Warm up using the bands should consist of working up to a heavy double with the bands, but stopping at one set away from maximal. Then take bands off and continue.
Day 2
Bench Press all paused 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Snatch Grip Behind the Neck Push Presses 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
BB Bentover Rows 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
Day 3
a.m.
Front Squats 75%/1 rep paused 3 sec x 2 reps
p.m.
Front Squats 1RM with 3 sec pause, then -15% for 3×3 (Drop 1 sec each week)
Rear leg elevated split squats 8 reps ea leg x 3 sets
RDLs 8 reps x 3 sets
Day 4
Behind Neck Military Press 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
KB Swinging Rows/12 reps ss Plate Lateral Raises/10 x 4 sets
Plate Front Raises 10 reps x 3 sets

Day 5
a.m.
Back Squats 80%/1 rep paused 1 sec x 3 reps
p.m.
Back Squat pause 3 seconds in bottom 5RM, then -5 and -10% for 5 all paused (Drop a second each week) ss each set with Maximal Prisoner Squat Jumps/3 reps
***Wait 90 seconds after the squats to perform the jumps! Focus on height!

Deadlifts off Blocks elevated (wk1 4 inches, wk 2 2 inches, wk 3 off floor) off ground 1RM, then -20% for 3x2sets
Squats weight starts on Pins from bottom position 3RM, then -10% for 3
Day 6

Behind Neck Push Presses 3RM, then -5&-10% for 3
Closegrip Bench Press all Paused 5RM, then -5&-10% for 5
KB Bat Wing Rows 8 reps paused 1 sec ea x 3
Weeks 12 Taper Week
Day 1
Back Squat 85%/1 rep x 3 sets
Deadlifts 80%/1 reps x 3 sets
Planks weighted 3 sets of 1-2 minutes
Day 2
Bench Press Paused 85%/1 rep x 3 sets
Bentover Rows 5 reps x 3 sets
Day 3
Front Squats 80%/1 rep x 3 sets
GHDs 3 x 5 reps Bodyweight
Day 4
off
Day 5 Max Out

Use Strong Bands if Squat is over 600lbs, Average Bands if Squat is between 400-600lbs, Light Bands if squat is between 200-400lbs
Squats work up to 1RM with Bands but no misses, then take bands off and work up to 1RM without bands.
Bench Press Warm Up with Boards up to 10% over max, then max out to chest
Deadlift Max

Bro Session for Rebecca:

1. Wrist Curls 10-15 reps x 3 sets
2. Reverse Wrist Curls 10-15 reps x 3 sets
3. Pinch Grip with Plates max weight for 30 seconds x 3 sets
4. Fat Bar Curls 10 reps x 3 sets
5. DB Hammer Curls 8-10 reps x 3 sets
6. Sand or Rice Hand Work (Put hands in a bucket filled with rice or sand, and then open and close) 30-90 sec x 3 sets

***Snatch and Clean & Jerk progressions work will be completed in the a.m. sessions. All deadlifts will be warmed up with clean pull work focused on positions.

Her Bro sessions will be performed 2-3 times per week, and they will be focusing on increasing her wrist/grip strength and upper body work. She will be pushing the Snatch and Clean & Jerk during the am sessions until she feels ready to focus on them again. Meanwhile we are going to get her jacked and ready to be stronger than ever rolling into 2015. We want to move up the podium next year!

Join the Mash Mafia Online Team!!! Let’s get jacked together! I want to be the coach of the biggest weightlifting team in the world. To find out more, click on the link below:

Mash Mafia Online Weightlifting Team

If your goal is to get lean and strong at the same time like my lifter, Adee Zukier, join our “Eat What You Want, Lift What You Want” Team! To find out more, click on the link below:

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For Online Coaching or Consultations, click on this link:

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