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  1. #1
    Registered User TeeENGEE's Avatar
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    Post TeeENGee Beginner Powerbuilding Routine (GrouchyUSMC linear progression)

    Hi everyone,

    New to bodybuilding.com. Really appreciate the free programs and exchange of ideas on this forum.

    I have been doing squat, bench, OHP, deadlift casually on-and-off for the past decade but never really fully committed due to personal and professional demands, and just - let's just face it - a weak will to put in the regular work.

    I am hoping this online journal will hold me somewhat more accountable.

    Age: 38
    Height: 175 cm (5' 9")
    Weight: 175 lb

    Not reflective of my current abilities as I haven't trained in over 6 months, and these attempts have been over different periods of time:

    Max deadlift I've ever hit: 285 lb
    Max squat I've ever hit: 265 lb
    Max bench I've ever hit: 185

    So here it is, I decided to start on a minimalistic work out with a simple linear progression scheme that requires 3 times a week. I like that it has good balance of push and pull while still including what I consider the big 4 movements (incl. OHP)

    I'm starting low and slow so that I can ramp up.

    Diet: Aiming around 2300-2400 cal per day as that is supposedly my TDEE if I did 3 full body workouts per week
    Recovery: Aiming to get 8 hrs of sleep at night, but not always easy for me to stay asleep continuously. Trying to get naps in on the weekend where I can. Trying to walk on a self-propelled treadmill with weighted vest on some off days. Doing limber 11 and other foam rolling / mobility exercises to get over the soreness.

    Here we go:

    Week 1, Workout A
    Bench press:
    135 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 6

    Pendlay Row:
    115 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 7

    Squat:
    155 lb x 9
    165 x 4, 175 x 3, 185 x 2, 195 x 1

    Chin-Ups (3 sets x AMRAP):
    7, 5, 4

    Week 1, Workout B
    OHP:
    85 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 6

    Lat Pulldown:
    100 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 11

    Conventional Deadlift
    185 lb x 8
    195 x 4; 205 x 3; 215 x 2; 225 x 1

    One arm DB row ('Kroc style')
    50 lb x 18-19 (R/L)
    50 lb x R15 / L12

    Week 1, Workout A
    Bench press:
    135 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 10

    Pendlay Row:
    135 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 7

    Squat:
    165 lb x 8
    175 x 4, 185 x 3, 195 x 2, 205 x 1

    Chin-Ups (3 sets x AMRAP):
    9, 4, 5
    Last edited by TeeENGEE; 08-09-2022 at 06:14 AM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User TeeENGEE's Avatar
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    Week 2, Workout B

    OHP:
    85 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 8

    Lat Pulldown:
    110 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 10

    Conventional Deadlift
    195 lb x 9
    205 x 4; 215 x 3; 225 x 2; 235 x 1

    One arm DB row ('Kroc style')
    50 lb x 20 (R/L)
    50 lb x 15/15 (R/L)

    Week 2, Workout A

    Bench press:
    145 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 7 (RIR 1.5)

    Pendlay Row:
    140 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 9 (RIR 2)

    Squat:
    175 lb x 9
    185 x 4, 195 x 3, 205 x 2, 215 x 1

    Chin-Ups (3 sets x AMRAP):
    9, 6, 3


    Week 2, Workout B2

    OHP:
    90 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 8

    Lat Pulldown:
    120 lb x 3 x 6; 1 x 10

    Conventional Deadlift
    205 lb x 10
    215 x 4; 225 x 3; 235 x 2; 245 x 1 (3 RIR on 245 lb x 1)

    One arm DB row ('Kroc style')
    50 lb x 20/20 (R/L)
    50 lb x 24/24 (R/L)
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  3. #3
    Old Man Lifting PhDPepper1111's Avatar
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    Welcome!!! Keep at it and you'll do great!
    It's never too late!

    5'6", 215
    Age: 51

    Results:
    2/26/22 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 501/325/540/1366 @ 209lb
    11/7/21 IPL drug tested world championships: 463/319/529/1311 @ 205lb
    6/20/21 USPA Western drug tested regionals: DQ (bombed squats) @ 192lb
    2/27/21 USPA PNW drug tested championships: 468/308/501/1278 @ 202lb
    10/10/2020 USPA FS meet: 407/303/474/1185 @ 212lb

    Gym PRs:
    513/335/555
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  4. #4
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    thank you!



    Week 3, Workout A1 - Aug 9, 2022

    I am super setting pendlay row with bench press during working sets

    Bench press
    155 lb: 3 x 6; 1 x 8

    Pendlay row
    145 lb: 6, 8, 6, 10 (start to use body english after reps 4-5)

    Squat
    185 lb x 10
    195 lb x 4
    205 lb x 3
    215 lb x 2
    225 lb x 1 (1-2 RIR)

    Ring Chin ups
    BW: 7-8 (rep 8 partial ROM), 7, 7
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  5. #5
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Subscribed. It looks like you are progressing well so far. Glad you have access to rings, definitely get some more complete arm development from your chins that way.
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    Week 3, Workout B - Aug 11, 2022
    OHP
    95 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (RIR 0.5)

    Lat Pulldown:

    130 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (felt harder today)

    Conventional deadlift (grip was an issue today, even on warm up sets. calluses in hands were more uncomfortable than usual for some reason. was not in the zone. I trained fasted at 6 am because I was short on time and overnight sleep quality mediocre)
    215 lb: 7
    225 lb: 4
    235 lb: 3
    245 lb: 2
    255 lb: 1

    One arm kroc ros
    55 lb: 20 reps each side x 2 sets. Left arm fatigued sooner
    Felt very doable however

    Thinking of doing week 3 workout A2 tomorrow (Aug 13, 2022)

    I'll be out of country for next 1.5 weeks, but should have access to commercial gym (lucky). However, I think I will deload next week to give my body some time to catch up to recent weeks of training. Hopefully will come back stronger. Thoughts?
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  7. #7
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    What kind of grip are you using for your deadlifts? A mixed grip or double overhand?
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    Double overhand with hook grip (fingers wrapped around thumb)

    Aug 13, 2022
    - wasn't able to get my Week 3, A2 workout in before leaving for the airport that morning. Instead, after landing and settling in, went to a commercial gym with family member and worked out with them. Here's what I did:

    Squats
    12 x 155 lb
    10 x 165 lb
    10 x 165 lb
    8 x 175 lb

    Bulgarian split squats:
    35 lb x 8 reps per leg x 3 sets

    Hip thrusts using smith machine
    155 lb x 12
    165 lb x 10, 10
    175 lb x 8

    Prone leg curl machine
    40 lb x 8 reps per leg x 3 sets (i needed assistance with other leg after 4th rep; had hard time activating hamstrings, felt like calves were contracting more, but I know I worked hamstrings because I feel really sore in hamstrings today!)

    Standing bilateral Calf raises
    7.5 lb DB each hand x 125 reps

    Core workout: Crunches x 15, leg raises x 15, V-sit hold x 30 sec, russian twist x 15 ea side, plank where you drop hip to one side and repeat on the other side x 15, plank x 1 min

    Definitely different stimulus. I definitely need more work on hamstrings and glutes and core!
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  9. #9
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Hook grip can be tough at first, especially when you're breaking your hands into it.
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  10. #10
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    Just back from holiday in California. I was there from Aug 13 to Aug 23rd. During that time, I did a push-pull-leg work out with a workout partner because that's what they were doing. This included some squats, deadlift, and bench, but I stuck to really light weights, but 8-12 reps for compound and accessory exercises. I also ate a lot while there so I did gain some weight and it actually helped with some muscle growth. I went from 176 lb to 179 lb so hard to say if it's all fat! lol
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  11. #11
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    Thursday Aug 25, 2022 - Week 3, Workout A

    Bench Press
    165 lb: 3 x 6, then 1 x 7

    Pendlay Row:
    155 lb: 3 x 6, then 1 x 7

    Squat:
    195 lb x 8
    205 lb x 4
    215 lb x 3
    225 lb x 2
    235 lb x 1

    Chin Ups
    BW: 7, 8, 5-6
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  12. #12
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    Tuesday Aug 30, 2022 - Week 4, Workout B1

    Woke up at 7 AM, felt sluggish, but told myself I needed to get it done, and I'm glad I pushed through. Ate a banana and some almond milk to replenish some electrolytes and fluids and sugar pre-workout

    OHP
    100 lb: 3 x 6 (felt solid), 1 x 6 (should've been able to get 7 if I rested more and didn't hold my breath for 6 reps, leaving me gassed)

    Lat Pulldown
    135 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (2 RIR)

    Deadlift (feeling good after warm up. 315 lb here I come!)
    225 lb x 7
    235 lb x 4
    245 lb x 3
    255 lb x 2
    265 lb x 1

    One arm rows
    55 lb: 20 / 20 (Set 1), 20/20 (Set 2 - more body English in reps 15-20)
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  13. #13
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    Breathing correctly with the lift is one of the secrets to strength.

    https://www.catalystathletics.com/ar...Weightlifting/
    Last edited by GrouchyUSMC; 08-30-2022 at 11:50 PM.
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  14. #14
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    Thanks Grouchy for the quick video. It is a useful reminder to make sure the belly expands due to diaphragmatic breathing.

    Thursday Sept 1, 2022: Week 4, Workout A
    Bench press
    170 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 6 (AMRAP set, lost focus, insufficient rest, mental fatigue)

    Pendlay Row
    160 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (last 2 reps used body english)

    Squats:
    205 lb x 8
    215 lb x 4
    225 lb x 3
    235 lb x 2
    245 lb x 1

    Ring chin up
    BW: 8.5, 7.5, 5
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    Saturday, Sept 3, 2022 - Week 4, Workout B2

    OHP
    100 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 4 (I did not time my rest, maybe I rushed into this last set too quickly. I continued to superset with lat pulldowns before working set of OHP, but usually there is at least 60 sec rest in between)
    - just felt the first rep was not tight, body was not dialled in, and everything else kind of fell apart

    Lat pull down
    140 lb: 2 x 6
    135 lb: 1 x 6
    135 lb: 1 x 8

    I reduced the weight because I was having a hard time getting bar to touch my sternum for a few reps, so thought I'd dial back to make sure I got full ROM

    Conventional deadlift
    235 lb x 7
    245 lb x 4
    255 lb x 3
    265 lb x 2
    275 lb x 1

    DB Kroc rows
    60 lb: 20/20 (R/L) and 20/16+4 (R/L). Left side grip tired out on second set

    There has always been this invisible ceiling for me. The most I've bench pressed was 185 lb and OHP 115 lb. Hoping to do another 1-2 sessions at the same weight (BP 170 and OHP 100 lb) before cosidering a deload for those lifts

    Squat seems to have been going well. I feel like I'm able to push more weight since I really started to use my glutes and sitting back more into my squat

    Deadlifts have been going well and I have a lot more to give. The main limiting factor will be grip strength, which is hopefully improving with more deadlifting and DB rows
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  16. #16
    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    If you fail to make the minimum, always reduce it for the next session. It just means your body is telling you something. The forced autoregulation (adjusting your next session to how your body performed this session, to keep it simple) is an important part of it.
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    Tuesday Sept 6, 2022 - Week 5, Workout A1

    Bench press:
    170 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (1 RIR, this AMRAP set and all sets leading up to that felt really good. Can't say for sure why? I had good quality sleep last night and also carb loaded in the morning leading up to the workout after lunch time)

    Pendlay row:
    165 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (1RIR, but I did notice this set required more effort and more body english, so I will either only increase by 5 lb or keep at 165 lb)

    Squat:
    215 lb x 6 (1 RIR) - This was a relatively hard set and I didn't feel confident enough to push for a few more reps
    225 lb x 4
    235 lb x 3
    245 lb x 2
    255 lb x 1 (with these heavier weights, I am learning to how to push through these heavier weights whereas I used to give up too easily under the pressure and load. Examining video footage of myself, I am quite happy with depth and bar path - not perfect but getting better)

    Ring Chin-ups
    SEt 1: 9 reps (The first 8 reps were really really strong and feeling easier than before. Rep 9 was near complete ROM. 3 min rest after)
    Set 2: 7 reps
    Set 3: 5 reps, then 1 min rest --> 2 reps --> 1 min rest --> 2 reps --> 1 min rest --> 2 reps (I decided to push for more total reps in this last "set" because I feel like I'm not making much progress on the last two sets in terms of volume, and wanted to complete 10+ reps on my last set. My goal here is to accumulate a bit more chin up volume, and hopefully reduce the duration of these 1 min rests until I can complete a set of 10 on my last set without break.

    Alternatively, I could start adding weight sooner, but I don't want to cheat myself out of full ROM chin ups. Each rep is done from dead hang.
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    Thursday Sept 8, 2022 - Week 5, Workout B

    Overhead press
    95 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 9 (last set 1RIR, but felt like only 8RPE)
    -I felt like focusing on distending my abdomen when taking deep breath in before bracing really helped
    -This suggests that I shouldn't have a problem beating 6 reps at 100 lb

    Lat pulldown (superset with OHP, done before each OHP working set)
    135 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8
    I decided to go back down to 135 lb (instead of repeating 140 lb) to give me more reserve for OHP

    Conventional deadlift:
    245 lb x 6 (grip was an issue. I almost lost grip on last rep; i blame the humidity today!)
    255 lb x 4
    265 lb x 3
    275 lb x 2
    285 lb x 1 (personal record! last time I DL'd this weight was 4 years ago and my form wash ****ty in comparison back then) - I definitely feel my legs, glutes, back can lift way more, but my grip is limiting factor
    --> Advice for heavier weights? Alternate grip? Keep working on hook grip? Straps?

    One-arm rows
    Didn't really rest after deadlifts
    Set 1: 20/20 (felt pretty easy until last 3-4 reps where I had to use a bit of body english)
    Set 2: 20/20 (grip did give out on left side. dropped the DB for few secs, then completed last 6 reps)
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    Saturday, Sept 10, 2022 - Week 5, Workout A2

    This session went well. Took extra 1-2 min rest for top sets

    Bench press
    175 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8

    Pendlay Row
    170 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8

    Squat
    225 lb x 8
    235 lb x 4
    245 lb x 3
    255 lb x 2
    265 lb x 1 (my lifetime PR!!!)

    Ring chin up
    Set 1: 10 (well rested beforehand)
    Set 2: 7 (~2 min rest)
    Set 3: 7 (2-3 min rest)
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    Congrats on the squat PR! Keep putting in the work and you will see more.
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    Sept 12, 2022: Week 6, Workout B1

    OHP
    100 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (rep 8 was a bit of a grinder with huge pause at midrange before i could pull my head through and finish off), but I did it!

    Lat pulldown
    140 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (did these with pauses at full stretch and trying to retract scapula before following with rest of pull, last few reps bar not quite touching sternum)

    Conventional deadlift:
    250 lb: 7 reps (grip about to give out on last rep so couldn't continue)
    260 lb: 4 reps
    270 lb: 3 reps
    280 lb: 2 reps
    290 lb: 1 rep (personal PR!!! My max ever attempted and completed deadlift was 285 lb per my recollection and this went really smoothly!)

    One arm DB row / Kroc row:
    65 lb (R/L):
    Set 1: 17+3 / 15+5
    Set 2: 20 / 15+5
    Had to drop DB during set for 1-2 sec before finishing set. Second set I rested for 4-5 min before hand

    Overall I feel like Squats and deadlifts are really moving along, and I feel that my Upper body presses are coming along slowly but steadily so really happy and motivated with progress!

    ONE QUESTION: elbow and shoulder joints started feeling more achy during deadlift session, right after OHP and pulls. Wondering if you guys have any suggestions on how to prevent injury as I assume tendon / ligament need time to catch up -- More warm up sets? Deload in a few weeks? Other methods?

    thanks
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    Sept 15, 2022 - Week 6, workout A

    I just turned 39 today! Woke up feeling kind of low in energy however, most likely due to poor sleep pattern the past few nights. Nonetheless, proud of myself for getting today's workout in!

    Bench press
    180 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (last set RPE 8.5-9) -- my previous PR was 1 RM of 185 lb!!

    Pendlay row
    175: 3 x 6, 1 x 7

    Squat:
    235 lb x 7
    245 lb x 4
    255 lb x 3
    265 lb x 2
    275 lb x 1 (Another PR! RPE 9)

    Chin ups
    BW: 9, 8, 7
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    Sept 18, 2022 - Week 6, Workout B2

    OHP
    105 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (RPE 9.5)

    Lat pulldown
    145 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (RPE 7)

    Conventional deadlift
    255lb: 1 x 6
    265 lb: 1 x 4
    275 lb: 1 x 3
    285 lb: 1 x 2
    295 lb: 1 x 1
    Grip giving out on last rep of all sets except single rep at 295 lb

    DB row:
    65 lb
    Set 1: 15+5 / 14+6 (R/L)
    Set 2: 15+5 / 15+5
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    Sept 20, 2022 - Week 7, Workout A1

    Bench press
    185 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 6 (this was my old PR when I could hit 1-2 reps max)
    -- Rep 7 failed after 3 inches off the chest

    Pendlay row:
    175 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (rep 7 I felt like I moved my chest closer to the bar to shorten ROM)

    Squat:
    Did not go for working weight because felt mentally and physically out of shape, partly due to missing AMRAP target on bench press
    Instead, did:
    185 lb 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (RPE 7, RIR 2-3 on last set)

    Chin ups:
    BW: 9, 7, 7
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    Sept 22, 2022 - Week 7, Workout B

    OHP
    110 lb: 1 x 4 (failed on rep 5), then dropped down to
    --> 105 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8

    Lat pull down (wide grip)
    145 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (won't increase weight until I can comfortably hit 10 reps on AMRAP with full ROM)

    Conventional deadlift
    265 lb x 6 (no straps, grip starting to fail in last rep)
    275 lb x 4 (with straps, messed up the feel of the lift maybe because it affected grip position)
    285 lb x 3 (with straps, form a bit better)
    295 lb x 2 (without straps and felt good, hook grip)
    305 lb x 1 (without straps, hook grip)

    One-arm DB rows / Kroc rows:
    65 lb: Set 1 - 20/20; Set 2 - 20/20 (grip and ROM reduced on set 2 last 5-6 reps)
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    Sept 24, 2022 - Week 7, Workout A2

    Bench press
    185 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 7 (RPE 9 on rep 7 - felt a bit of strain in left leg and low back from trying to maximize leg drive to get bar up)

    Pendlay row
    175 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 8 (form and mind-muscle connection improving)

    Squat:
    245 lb x 7 (felt like back angle being pushed down a bit coming out of hole, but not that obvious on camera)
    255 lb x 4
    265 lb x 3
    275 lb x 1 (failed second rep at 275 lb. video footage shows knees pushed back early and hip / butt rising before back could catch up; felt like bar rolling towards neck so I bailed part way out of the hole)
    -- Based on Juggernaut training video on relative leg vs back strength in the squat, I think my back is relatively weak compared to legs, and it is showing at my near max weights. First rep looked very clean on video to me though
    Did not attempt 285 lb afterwards

    Chin ups
    BW:
    Set 1: 10
    Set 2: 8
    Set 3: 2+2+3+2+2 (broke it down into 2 reps with 30-60 sec rest in between)

    In 7 weeks I think that I've made more progress than I have in the last decade of lifting because of consistency and really putting in an effort into dialing in diet and sleep!

    I'm really hoping that hitting 135 lb OHP, 225 lb bench, 315 lb squat, 405 lb deadlift won't be some fantasy!
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    Formerly grouchyjarhead GrouchyUSMC's Avatar
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    With the effort you're putting in, I don't think it will be a fantasy much longer.
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    Sept 27, 2022 - Week 8, Workout B1

    OHP
    110 lb: 2 x 5, 1 x 4 (Obviously didn't make 6 reps but initial reps were smooth. It almost seems like a mental block)
    100 lb: 1 x 9 (Decided to lower intensity and focus on adding a bit more volume on last set rather than trying to grind)

    Lat pulldown
    145 lb: 3 x 6, 1 x 10

    Conventional Deadlift:
    275 lb x 6
    285 lb x 4
    295 lb x 3
    305 lb x 2
    315 lb x 1 (Clean rep, definitely notice that i'm a back dominant deadlifter due to short torso relative to femur length. My back angle is maybe 10-20 deg when pulling heavy DL, shoulder still higher than hips)
    --Super happy that I hit 3 plates!!

    One arm DB row:
    70 lb: 20/20, 20/15+5 (R/L)
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    Sept 29, 2022 - Week 8, Workout A

    Decided to do somewhat of a deload for the rest of the week. Chose some self-limiting variations of the original main lifts to work on what I think are weak points at light loads to hopefully help with recovery from systemic stress and fatigue.

    Close grip bench press (instead of competition BP)
    105 lb: 12, 12, 13, 12 reps
    (RPE 6-7)

    Seated cable row v-handle (instead of pendlay barbell row)
    145 lb: 11, 12, 12, 12
    -- This was a good working weight. Got a nice pump in the lats

    Good morning (instead of squat)
    105 lb: 4 x 8

    Chin ups:
    BW: 10, 8, 3+3+3+2
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    Oct 1, 2022 - Week 8, Workout B2

    Again, a deload day. Trying out some self-limiting variations to allow increase in total reps while reducing overall intensity, stress, and fatigue to body

    Behind the neck OHP
    65 lb: 4 x 12 (no shoulder mobility issues, basically worked until 1 RIR per set)

    V-bar (neutral close grip) lat pull down
    120 lb: 12, 10, 10, 10
    -- this one taxed the grip more; felt more lat engagement

    Romanian barbell deadlift
    135 lb: 4 x 12
    -- This one mainly helped with hamstring engagement (went down to 2-3" off the floor on eccentric) and helped with grip endurance. Grip would start loosening by rep 8

    Ring chin up
    BW: 10 x 3 (started this 28 day pull up / chin up challenge sparked by Brian Alsruhe on youtube. 10 x 3 x 1 week, then 10 x 4 x 1 week, then 10 x 5 x 1 week, then 10 x 6 x 1 week)
    -- definitely allowed me to focus on quality of movement (ROM, muscle engagement, form). I broke it down throughout the day rather than in a single session
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