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

GEARing up for my second multi-ply meet (first weekend back in full gear since April).

Saturday September 29th Max Effort Lower


  • *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. 


My warm ups also include rolling planks, bird dogs, McGill curl ups, and dead bugs (all for my back) and aggressive RPR scratching.


  • *Squats - no box 
  • Warm up - many sets working technique. Work up to a weight that is 75% of your best squat. If Raw then base on raw, if full gear than base on full gear. If you use gear than use it all. Set straps up so you will be squatting 3-4 inches high. Have someone call you up before bar hits the straps. Work up to 2 sets of 3 reps. After last set toss a reverse band on so you take 100-150 off at the bottom. Go up to 80% for 1 and 85% for 1.


Before meets, we spend a few weeks squatting from high to progressively lower straps (from about 4” high the first week ending in parallel straps the last week) to get used to the gear and peak for the meet. For those at the gym getting ready for November meets, this will be the beginning of their peaking cycle. For me, it was more to see where I was at, get in the suit for the first time since April, and build up strength (hence the triples instead of the singles we usually get into). This was not a test of my strength but an indicator of how I am coming along based on my back issue.

You will see that in our training, it may indicate a percentage based off a competition max, training max, or perceived max. This week it was left open to interpretation (with the assumption that most of us would pick the heaviest squat possible). I based it off my best geared squat (465) because I would rather do more than less.  3 reps is on the low side of what you should be able to do for 75% (5 would be more common).

So if 75% for triples was easy, then good, I am not totally fucked. It should be expected that it would be a breeze but considering my strength has been way down, I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen. As you can see in the video (at the end of the page), my legs are not looking super solid. After discussing this with a few people including Dave and Tyrel, I just need to 1) get used to the gear again and 2) work on my adductor and hip strength during the eccentric portion of the squat and ability to open them up.

squat picture

  • *Speed Pulls 
  • 65% for 5 sets of 1 with 60 sec rest. 50% for 5 sets 1 with 60 sec rest


I also based these percentages off of my best pull (420). 275 for 5x1 then 210 for 5x1. This training cycle, I started my speed pulls based off feel, then based off a percentage of where I thought my deadlift would be at the time, then off my actual best deadlift percentage. After my back debacle, my deadlift was the last thing to stop hurting so it was the last exercise I added back in. It hurt less to ease back into squatting high than it did pulling off pins or off the floor. As a result, I had to play it by feel until I knew my back would tolerate it. And boy did it take a hit.

My last meet cycle I did not do a lot of speed pulls. I pulled heavy a few times during the cycle but overall my deadlifting was pretty minimal. Which was fine since I don’t feel it is necessary and I hit a pretty big PR. We have a lot more and heavier speed pulls programmed in this time around which is good for my current situation in order to build up my back and deadlift again. I have also been using this time to mess around with my technique a little to take some load off my low back and try and pay more attention to working on screwing my feet into the floor like I do with my squats to get a little more out of my legs.


  • *Reverse Hypers (HEAVY) 2 sets of 8 reps


5 plates on each side swinging like I was at the Princeton Club (it is a swingers club in Columbus so actually that joke is very funny). (No I have never been there). (But I know what it is).

But seriously folks. On heavy reverse hyper days I swing the weight. On light days I restrict the range of motion, keeping tension throughout the movement, and actively using my glutes to squeeze the weight back up.


  • *Banded Good Mornings  2 sets of 20 reps
  • *Light Bench Press with tsunami bar 3 sets of 10 using either 95 or 135 pounds 


Here is one of my sets of triples Leave me a comment below! I welcome feedback and questions!