Training for the IPA Buckeye Brawl on December 1st. Programming by Dave Tate in italics.

We are in the final stretch here. This will be the week with my heaviest squat and maybe one of my heaviest benches (spoiler alert bench was fucked up).

A few weeks ago, Dave mentioned that in order to squat 500 at the meet, I should be able to squat about 550 in training. So I looked at our training this week which said we were hitting 95-100% of our best squat (which would be a measly 465). And I figured ok well we have a few more weeks which I’m sure will be in the 100+ range.

I was emailing with Dave about the training when he dropped the bombshell that this was our last heavy squat. My response was along the lines of “WHAT THE FUCK WHEN AM I SUPPOSED TO HIT 550?????”.

He then talked me down off the ledge I created for myself that I was dangling off of by a thread by explaining that he was referring to my ABSOLUTE STRENGTH not my training or competition strength.

AND that it was a 100%+ day meaning I could hit pretty much whatever I wanted.

The next day in the gym he drew me a beautiful diagram of the relationship between absolute and relative strength; the strength deficit, how much of a strength boost people get on meet day, and where my numbers fall in there. It looked like a spider took some meth and made a web.


photo credit:

photo credit:


Wednesday Nov 7

  • Warm Ups  
  • 2 sets each of hanging leg raise, glute ham raises and bent knee reverse hypers. Reps will be 4-5 under failure. 
  • This is just warming up.
  • *Add in band pull aparts and band face pulls. 


  •  Pulls against Bands. 
  • The same band tension you used before. Work up to single but do not miss!  


 I worked up to 3 plates with the same band tension as the last time we did this (2 light bands and 1 mini band per side). The bar was pretty much ripped out of my hands at the top and I obvi didn’t lock it out all the way.

I spent the rest of the training session worrying that my grip is fucked up since that happened two training sessions in a row. Also it was a kinda fucked up pull so I figured I was just kind of all around a dummy.  I was quite flustered.

A few days later we measured the band tension. And it was about 300 lbs at the top. So now I feel less fucked up about having the bar come out of my hands. But that means I should pull about 600 at the meet, RIGHT??!!!! Just kidding that is obviously a J O K E.

Also this was my fault because I was supposed to be in charge of knowing how many bands were enough tension and I said two oranges and one red was fine so I am not very in tune with my body.


  • Reverse Hypers (Heavy) 
  • 3 sets 6-8 reps

5 plates on each side just flailing it around.


  • Inverse Curls 
  • 3 sets 8-10 reps

Using one George Washington. (a quarter). (that is what people call it colloquially). (Right?)


  • Pull Down Abs 
  • 3 sets 8-10

120 lbs. Moving on up.


  • Free Time
  • 15 minutes - do whatever you want. Nothing under 10 reps and nothing over a level 4

Back attack, innie outtie machine, shrugs on calf raise, leg extensions, seated hamstring curl.


  • Warm Ups
  • 2 sets each various shoulder raise and push downs. Again this is just warming up. I would also put it 1-2 sets of hanging leg raise and GHR’s Also include shoulder circuit for 1 rotation.
  • *Add in band pull aparts and band face pulls. 


  • Speed Bench with Chains 
  • 65% of CM for 6 total sets of 3 reps using 3 different grips.
  • Use your normal chain weight.


135 with 1.5 chains per side. This was some of the shittiest speed work I’ve ever done but that is just how these things go a few weeks out with 65% for speed work.

  • Low Rows - Use two different handles 
  • 3 sets of 6-8 reps (heavy) - handle 1
  • 3 sets of 6-8 reps (heavy) - handle 2

Wide n narrow grips for maximum backage

  • Bnd Pull Aparts super set with 
  • Prone Rear Delt Raises (heavy)
  • 3 sets 8 reps

30 lbs and 35 lbs depending on which looked less fucked up


  •  Free Time
  • 15 minutes - do whatever you want. Nothing under 10 reps and nothing over a level 4

Front and side raises, grip work, tricep extensions, lay pulls, rolling DB triceps