Let’s Talk Details
1. The Plan
2. Your Job
Barbell Back Squat (Key)
Barbell incline Bench (Key)
Barbell Bicep Curl (Key)
Barbell Skullcrushers (Key)
Barbell Banded Back Squat (Key)
Barbell Banded Romanian Deadlifts (Key)
Barbell Flat Bench (Key)
Barbell Row (Key)
Barbell Back Squat – I would only recommend doing down sets on your last sets. After you do one, it is unlikely that you will be able to lift the same weights with the same quality of form. Save intensity techniques for use as a finisher.
Goodmorning – Drop sets are very effective on these, they allow you to lower the weight and focus even more on the muscles and range of motion. These are great for getting your body to supercompensate.
Barbell incline Bench – Use drop sets to accumulate more volume. They are ideal for putting on more size especially on movements like the incline press. This will carry over to your main compound, the flat bench press, and help you lift more on the top half of the lift.
Barbell Bicep Curl – You can be more free with using drop sets on this exercise. It is lower fatigue and it gives a great pump.
Barbell Skullcrushers – You can be more free with using drop sets on this exercise. It is lower fatigue and it gives a great pump.
Barbell Banded Back Squat – An interesting way to do the drop set on this exercise is to simply take off the bands. The weights fly. Use it to get a huge pump.
Barbell Banded Romanian Deadlifts – I prefer to use straps on these, especially with drop sets, because they allow me to do a lot more weight for a lot more reps.
Barbell Flat Bench – Save the drop set for your last working set and go all out.
Barbell Row – Do a warm up set with a few pause reps to really contract your back. Once you do a drop set, you can use a lighter weight for more range of motion in each rep and a bigger pump. Your back will already be activated, so you may feel your back more than ever before.
Stay in a Good Spot this Block
You want to add just enough sets and weight to feel like you worked out, but it is not quite a challenge yet. You want a solid workout where you leave feeling accomplished.
Plan your workout and write down the weight, sets, and rep range in the Workout Plan PDF to get you ready for Week 2.
The rep range will be the same. The only difference is that you may not be at the top of the rep range this week. This means you should still strive to hit 8 reps on key lifts and 12 reps on accessory lifts.
For your key lifts, consider doing an intensity technique on the last set. Keep in mind that the more you use these intensity techniques, the more you are training BEYOND failure. This means that they are extra fatiguing even if you lift with RIR.
Remember, for the first two weeks, DO NOT REST BETWEEN REPS. The goal of this block is to get gnarly pumps on your accessory lifts.
I encourage you to pick a single weight for your working sets for each exercise. As you add more sets, you will notice that on the last set, your reps are most likely to be the lowest.
As long as your last set is still in the rep range, this performance drop is okay and expected as your muscles get depleted. Make sure you choose a weight that allows you to be at the top of the rep range for most (if not all) of your working sets. RIR 3 is the goal for each of your sets, however, it is possible that your last set may get closer to RIR 2.
Stay away from RIR 1! You do not want to build fatigue too fast. It is better to have the reps drop and stay in the rep range. Achieving RIR 3 takes priority over staying at the top of the rep range.
Try to do the fewest amount of sets you need to get a good pump in the muscle. However, if you need more to feel a pump then this is the week to do a little more.
Do enough sets where you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your last set of each key lift. This is a great way to measure your effort to make sure that you are not going too hard too early but also that you are not taking it too easy.
Week 2 is the Goldilocks week. We want just enough but not too much volume.
It is important to rest a little longer when the weights are heavier. If you struggle to maintain RIR 3 on your sets, you may need to rest a little longer between sets.
However, whenever your rest is shorter it does have the advantage of giving you a better pump and it prevents you from lifting too heavy, so you can do more sets in the same time span without giving excessive fatigue.
Above all else: Make sure your rest periods are not too short where it compromises your form!
Fill out the table with your expected weights and sets before you go workout, so you have a clear mission. Then adjust based on actual performance.
Here’s how I would fill it out for a workout: