Zane Geeting, Off Season Training Update

I’m currently in an off-season training cycle, if you want to call it that. It’s more of an off-season mode, training around my busy schedule when I can, and trying to maximize potential benefits using the 10/20/Life principles. I plan on competing this spring, but don’t have a meet picked out yet. My goal will be to improve upon my raw total of 1720@198. 


Training has obviously been sparse if you’ve been following it (or trying to) so I’m going to take a little different of an approach to my log until I get into a good spot where I can devote real time to a meet prep cycle. I’ll be making a weekly update of what’s going on in my life and training, but to keep things interesting, I’ll be putting things together to show what a training cycle is actually looking like for me. One week may be my current bench cycle, the next squat, and so forth. I think this will be a good way for people to see the bigger picture of how this all flows together to achieve an end result. For instance, here is what my current off season bench cycle looks like while training my bench once every 10 days and still progressing:

Session 1- Flat bench 3 sets of 5 to a top set of 5 at an RPE of 7. I follow this with 5 sets of 5 around 50% of my max, then accessories which I’ll list below.

Session 2- Flat bench 3 sets of 3 to a top set of 3 at an RPE of 7. This is followed by the same 5×5, but 10-20 lbs. heavier than the previous session

Session 3- Flat bench 1 set of 5, 1 set of 3, and a top double at an RPE of 7. Again I do the 5×5 another 10-20 lbs. heavier.

Normally this would be time for a deload when using 10/20/Life guidelines. But because of the decreased frequency of training, I’ve taken 30 days, or a full month to get in these 3 sessions. Because of this I will run the cycle twice through before deloading. So my first cycle looked something like this:

Session 1- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 235×5, 265×5, and 295×5, followed by 5×5 with 195 lbs.

Session 2- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 275×3, 295×3, and 315×3, followed by 5×5 with 215 lbs.

Session 3- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 275×5, 305×3, and 325×2, followed by 5×5 with 235 lbs.

During this cycle I was focusing on bringing up my overall shoulder size and strength as they had started to fall behind. I followed the bench work with side laterals and band pull aparts, then moved on to some direct triceps work in the form of pushdowns or band pushdowns. Everything was done relatively light for higher reps (10-15). So each session consisted of 2 compound movements, and 4 isolation/accessory movements. I saw noticeable gains even with the low training frequency and did the following in the next block:

Session 4- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 245×5, 275×5, and 305×5, followed by 5×5 with 195 lbs.

Session 5- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 285×3, 305×3, and 325×3, followed by 5×5 with 215 lbs.

Session 6- Flat bench: Warmed up, then: 275×5, 315×3, and 345×2, followed by 5×5 with 235 lbs.

Small improvements over time leads to big PR’s in the long run, this is something that we stress with 10/20/Life. This brings us up to current in my bench cycle aside from the total deload I took as session 7, which was push ups, hand stand push ups, band pull aparts, and some light stretching and mobility work. This week will kick off with session 8 and sets of 5 again, the RPE at this point will be in the 8-9 range. So far my accessory movements and their focus have not changed. I’m confident that this style of training and a good meet prep will yield an low 400’s raw bench at 198. I think this is something to consider for the veteran lifter who’s accumulated some wear and tear, or the lifter with very limited time to train. Even after all the injuries, including the loss of most of my right pec, I’m still able to train and make progress over time. No, I’m not as strong as I used to be, but I’m still able to compete at a high level, even when training 2x per week and working crazy hours (70-80 per week on average between my job and the farm)

As I mentioned above, I’m training 2x per week, with each lift getting a dedicated session every 10 days or so. In my next log update we’ll talk about what I’m doing with my squat, and how I plan on squatting at least 710-720 at 198 in my next meet by using these same principles. Hopefully people can find some use of this style of log that I’m experimenting with, feedback is always welcome.



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Zane Geeting

Zane Geeting is a pro multi-ply powerlifter with best lifts of a 935 squat, 625 bench, and 765 deadlift. He is coming back to competitive PL after a year and a half layoff that was a result of several serious injuries including a severe rupture of the right pec that could not be repaired. Zane has an extremely busy schedule that would make most people quit before Friday. He works 55+ hours a week as a finance manager. As a renaissance man, he is also currently restoring a 140 year-old farmhouse and maintaining a hobby farm. Despite all this, Zane still finds time to train 2-3 times per week, as well as coach other lifters.  
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