Lab Rat – Developing an Offseason Plan and the First Week of Attack

I’m currently in an offseason training cycle after competing at RPS Redemption in Ft. Myers May 30th.  I ended up lifting in the 275’s vs. the planned 242.  I achieved a 1610lb total via 580 squat, 440 bench and 590 deadlift.  Best numbers at 242 were 550, 425, 575 for 1550.  I don’t have a meet on the horizon yet but there are several goals in mind. 

Several weak points were exposed during my last pre contest training cycle and unfortunately at the meet.  Brian and I discussed the best way to address and eliminate these.  Since the 1020Life template is customizable to each lifters unique needs we decided to veer away from competition form on the main movements to hit weak points hard.

Most of the squats I’ve  missed recently (including my 3rd attempt at Redemption) came out of the hole strong and stalled several inches above parallel.  To address this weak point high box squats were chosen as a primary movement.  Squatting from a high box places me at my weakest point from the start, ultimately forcing that point to become stronger.  Sometimes you have to leave your comfort zone!   Four inch sumo block pulls were selected as a main movement again to place me at my weakest point for the start of the lift.  This starting position will help the mid range of the lift, typically where I have missed.  Years ago the lockout on my bench press was lagging and responsible for stealing many PR’s.  Several offseason training cycles have fixed that issue but exposed another.  The bar comes off my chest with ease, stalls in the transition period then picks up speed for lockout.  Just like the squat and deadlift we decided to start the lift at my weakest point, a 2.5board will be used for the main movement.

After all main movements I will revert back to my competition form to ensure that stay’s ingrained into memory.  Lighter working sets will be used to keep my form in check.  I elected to continue using a combo day.  To me the combo day better allows me to target accessory work since I’m fresh.

 

Saturday 6/20 – Squat/Deadlift

Warm up – McGill Big 3, KB swings

Squats (all performed w/high box, cambered bar)

  • 2 x 6 w/ bar
  • 2 x 5 w/ 155
  • 2 x 5 / 245
  • 335 x 5
  • 355 x 5

Sumo Deadlift (4″ blocks)

  • 225 x 5
  • 2 x 5 w/ 275
  • 315 x 5
  • 365 x 5

Competition Stance Squat – 5 x 2 w/ 245

Conventional Deadlift (comp stance) – 5 x 2 w/ 225

 

Monday 6/22 – Bench

Warm up – Rotator work, few sets with an empty bar

Bench (all using a 2.5board)

  • 2 x 5 w/ 135
  • 2 x 5 w/ 225
  • 2 x 5 w/ 275
  • 295 x 5

Competition Bench – 5 x 2 w/ 225

Band fly – 60 reps

Band press down – 60 reps

Bench dips – 4 x 10

 

Wednesday 6/24 (Squat/Deadlift assistance day)

McGill Big 3

McGill chins (alternating grip) – 20 reps

Barbell row – 135 x 10, 185 x 8, 3 x 8 w/ 225

Barbell shrug – 3 x 8 w/ 365

Piston squats (cambered bar) – 2 sets bar

  • 155 x 6
  • 205 x 6
  • 245 x 6
  • 295 x 6

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Jason Kowalewski

Jason Kowalewski is an up and coming raw powerlifter residing in Jacksonville, Florida where he trains with Team Samson. In his younger years he was a “gear head” who built his first drag car before obtaining a driver’s license. Within the last 6 years his primary focus has shifted from motorsports to powerlifting. Jason began training under Brian’s tutelage in February 2013. He was actually one of the initial test subjects, hence the name Lab Rat. Since then he has seen significant improvements on all lifts with his commitment to Brian and the 10/20/Life methodology. To date his best total is 1653.4lbs via 633.8lb squat, 435.4lb bench and 584.9lb deadlift at 242lbs.
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