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4 Week Prep Program

5 min read

This article is a followup to my last blog, “Choosing the Right Program”.

It is my four-week, modified Sheiko prep program that I have been using for the last three years and am still getting great gains from.  When I am planning my training cycle for a meet I start with this four-week program and then jump into my five-week competition program, which will follow as the next blog article.

This modified program is a percentage based, progressive overload training program.  It is based heavily on the three core lifts (squat, bench and deadlift) and provides a lot of volume.  You need to be honest about the max weight you use when figuring out your percentages, because this program is designed to have you fully complete the number of sets and reps.  If you’re missing reps it will lead to overtraining and you will quickly need to reevaluate your max.

Training with this program can be done raw or equipped (powerlifting gear… read more about this in my blog “Introduction to Powerlifting”).  Both have provided great results for me.  If you decide to try this and are not getting ready for a meet, you can do this program back to back (four-weeks, then another 4-weeks for a total of 8 weeks) but I wouldn’t do three in a row.  If you want to stay on it after doing it twice, take a week to deload before starting a third.  People also think they need different programs so their body doesn’t get used to it, but variation of your program also comes from different rep and set schemes, which this program offers.

If you’re a powerlifter and decide to use powerlifting gear with this program, here is how and when it can be used:
• Monday is the heavy squat and bench day.  Any percentage over 75% is done in your squat suit and bench shirt.
• I only train my deadlift raw on Wednesdays.  If you lift in your deadlift suit, the above will apply as to when you put it on.  These are the only two days you should wear gear if you are doing so.
• Friday’s percentages will be over 75% but you’re adding board presses and squatting with chains so no gear is needed.

The last thing I should talk about is the use of boards and chains on Friday’s workouts. When you look at the percentages for the board presses, use your regular bench max but add 15 pounds with each board.  So if you bench 400 pounds and you have 70% on a 2 board you would take 280 +15 +15 totaling 310 pounds for your set.  When you use chains to squat just add them to the actual bar weight for your sets.

I have tried to outline this program to keep it easy to follow.  Please remember the choice in program matters to an extent but what you actually put into it determines your success.  Please look for my five-week competition program in the near future, which serves as the follow up to this four-week program.   Good luck!

Week 1
Day 1 (Monday)

Squat: 50% x4, 60% x3, 70% 5×5
Bench: 50% x5, 60% x4, warm up to 3×3 85% shirted, then 70% 5×5 Raw
Good Mornings: 5×5  (feel free to substitute reverse hypers if your gym has it)
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Deadlift: 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 42×3, 80% 5×3
Incline Press: 5×8 (heavy)
Tricep Pushdowns: 3×10 (light to warm up elbows and tris only)
Deadlift: (to knees) 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 5×4

Day 5 (Friday)
Squat: 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% 6×3 (percentage is based on raw max and actual bar weight; however add 80 pounds of chains and do not use a belt on any sets)
Bench: 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% 2×3, 80% 5×3 (all performed with 1 board)  85% 2×3 (performed with 3 board)
Tricep Pushdowns: 3×10 (heavy)
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 6 (Saturday)
Reverse Band Deadlift: warm up until 3 sets of 2 at 90%
T-Bar Rows: 4×6 (heavy)
Military Press: 4×6
Good Mornings: 5×5 (Heavy)

Week 2
Day 1 (Monday)
Squat: 50% x5, 60% x4, 75% 5×5
Bench: 50% x5, 60% x4, Shirted 85% 3×2, Raw 75% 5×5
Good Mornings: 5×5
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Deadlift: (stand on mats) 50% x3, 60% 2×3, 65% 4×2
Incline Press: 5×8
Tricep Pushdowns: (light) 3×10
Deadlift: 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 3×2, 80% 2×2, 85% 2×2, 90% x2

Day 5 (Friday)
Squat: 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% 6×3 (80 pounds and no belt)
Bench: 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% x3, 80% 4×3 (all 2 board) 85% 2×3 (4 board)
Tricep Pushdown: (heavy) 3×6
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 6 (Saturday)
Military Press: 4×6
Front Raises & Lateral Raises 3×15
Sumo Deadlift: warm up to 8 sets of 3 reps at 60% done with 1 minute rest

Week 3
Day 1 (Monday)
Squat: 50% x5, warmed up to 80% 5×3 (suited)
Bench: 50% x 5, warmed up to 90% for two singles (shirted) 80% 5×3 (shirted)
Dumbbell Press warm up to 3×6 heavy
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Deadlift: 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 2×3, 80% 5×3
Incline DB Press 5×8
Tricep Pushdown 3×10 (light)
Deadlift (to knees) 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 5×4
Good Mornings 5×5

Day 5 (Friday)
Squat: 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% 5×3 (no belt)
Bench 50% x 5, 60% x 4, 70% 2×3, 80% 5 x 3 (all 1 board) 85% 2 x 3 (3 board)
Tricep Pushdown 5×6 (heavy)
Abs: rope crunches, plans or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 6 (Saturday)
Rack Pulls (lowest pin) 50% x4, 65% x4, 80% x3, 95% x2, 110% x1 (based on regular deadlift max)
Lat Pulldowns 5×6
Military Press 5×10

Week 4
Day 1 (Monday)
Squat: 50% x5, warmed up to 85% 2×2, 87% 2×2, 90% x2 (suited)
Bench: 50% x 5, warmed up to 85% 2×2, 87% 2×2, 90% x2 (shirted)
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 3 (Wednesday)
Deadlift (on mats): 50% x3, 60% 2×3, 70% 4×2,
Incline Press 5×8
Tricep Pushdown 3×10 (light)
Deadlift 50% x4, 60% x4, 70% 2×3, 80% 2×3, 85% 2×2
Good Mornings 5×5

Day 5 (Friday)
Squat 50% x5, 55% x2, 68% x2, 75% x2, 80% x2, 71% x5 (all with 80 lbs chain)
Bench 50% x5, 60% x4, 70% x3, 80% 4×3 (all off 2 board) 85% 2×3 (4 board)
Tricep Pushdown (heavy) 5×8
Abs : rope crunches, planks or hanging knee/leg raises

Day 6 (Saturday)
T-Bar Rows 5×6
Military Press 3×6
Good Mornings 5×5

The post 4 Week Prep Program appeared first on 1st Phorm.

1st Phorm Athlete Nick Weite
1st Phorm Athlete Nick Weite



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