New training plan

After some time off training because of moving, work, injuries and laziness, let’s start anew. Some preconditions:

  • Squats, deadlifts, bench and overhead press are the focus
  • Both presses should occur more often, because I also jog and ride my bike every morning, and I intend to add pull-ups and rows.
  • Some hamstring exercise, because I sometimes have muscle soreness after squats respectively deadlifts. Also have to check / learn proper hip hinging.

After taking some inspiration from popular programs like 5/3/1 or Greyskull LP my own plan looks something like this at the moment:

First day

  • 4×4 Overhead Press
  • 4×8 Squat

Second day

  • 4×4 Deadlifts
  • 4×8 Bench press

Third day

  • 4×4 Bench press
  • 4×8 Overhead press

Additional movements, alternating after the main exercises:

Addition 1

  • Rows 3×10
  • Curls 3×10
  • Skullcrusher 3×10

Addition 2

  • Hamstring exercise
  • Ab exercise (wheel, leg raises)

Addition 3

Pull-ups after every training day, more than before.

Linear progression

  • add x weight after successful attempt.
  • back-off x weight after some failed attempts

Considerations

  • Maybe too much back exercises in contrast to abs?
  • Why 4×4 / 4×8? I saw it somewhere and tried it before; I liked the variety.
  • Why so much pull-ups? I want to be able to get 10 in a set. If it is too much, I remove something for better recovery.

Building my powerlifting platform

I always liked the look of the power- or weightlifting platforms with their finished surface, protective sides and cool logos. Especially homemade ones having an inspiring quote, motive or picture that represent the mindset and goals of the maker just ooze of personality and inspiration.

After recently moving to a place with enough place for a plattform I couldn’t resist and had to attempt one for myself… Well, maybe I searched only for places with enough place 🙂

Prior art

Commonly they are build with two layers of plywood as base, on top of which comes another plywood sheet in the middle and tractor or horse stall mats for the sides. For example like in this post: How to Build a Weightlifting Platform.

I did it differently. Having no garage to train in, my plattform stands in the kitchen — and I didn’t trust plywood and a moderately thin rubber mat to prevent cracking the floor in case I do something stupid.

The materials

– 50 x 50 x 4 cm³ rubber mats, 8 pieces for the surrounding

– 100 x 100 x 2 cm³ rubber mats, 2 pieces for the base

– 200 x 100 x 1,8 cm³ plywood(?)

– 3 litres epoxide resin and 0,75 litres solidifier

– an awesome poster

Assembly

The assembly is pretty much a no-brainer, except for applying and sanding the resin. You can leave the plywood as is, or make it personal by spraying/painting a quote or picture on the plywood or glue a poster on it. Or even something more creative I cannot think of! I choose the poster route 🙂

(1. Optional: Cut parts off of the poster you don’t want.)

(2. Optional: Glue it to the plywood. Easy as that.)

3. Place 4 pieces of the small rubber mats to the left, 4 pieces to the right, and the two bigger mats in the middle.

4. Make a temporary wall for the resin around the plywood so that it resembles a very flat tub. Some type of tape should do it. It should be sealed tight, unless the resin flows / drops through it.

5. Mix the resin and solidifier according to the manual and fill the tub.

6. Spread the mixture evenly. Small bubbles will probably form; try to burst as many as possible.

7. Wait a week. Then remove the temporary walls around the wood.

8. Sand and grate the edges with different types of abrasive paper.

9. Place the finished board in the middle and add your equipment.

(10. Optional: Decorate the rest of the room.)

Result

It is just awesome! I’m really in love with how it looks and performs. It’s radiating in light, but not too much, the natural pattern of the wood is great and the motive really shines and stands out.

There are some very small beauty mistakes like an edge of the poster was not glued and got lifted up, and some really small bubbles here and there. I don’t know if you can really prevent every single bubble, but double checking the correct adhesion of the poster should at least eliminate the first problem.

Looks are subjective, but performance not. The resin is very anti-sliding — there is no way i could move my feet without lifting them off the ground first. And the whole plattform is rock-solid and even. It feels pretty much like on an indoor basketball court or football field.

Idea behind the chosen picture

The picture got chosen not only because of the kick-ass Bowser illustration itself. If you don’t know, Bowser is the main villain in most Mario games. You have to literally rescue the princess and defeat the final boss Bowser. But it’s deceiving. There will always be a new game, where you have to defeat Bowser again. Or another game with another “final” boss. Or you just play the same game over and over ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The conquering of a goal usually never means the end. There will be new goals, new bosses. In a way, the final task in achieving a goal isn’t even the real goal. The way to reach the goal is the real struggle, the real villain. Like in a game, like in training. Once you reached your final boss, you’re already grown so much that the fight isn’t even that important anymore.

That’s the idea, and what I never want to forget.

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to my friends Sebastian and Robin for their manpower in grating and final placement of the equipment! And to my brother Benjamin for the technical guidance and general help — you can find other interesting articles on his blog (in german), for example how he build the squat rack (parts 1, 2, and 3) seen in the pictures 🙂

Thanks for reading!