Derek Charlebois Training Journal Week of 8-7-17

Posted by Derek Charlebois on


On 7/15, I competed in the USAPL Rochester Hills meet. Going into the meet I was dealing with a knee injury (and a slight elbow issue) so I wasn’t at 100%. Despite the injuries, I hit the following lifts: 

Squat (3/3) = 225kg (496 lbs)
Bench Press (3/3) = 160kg (352.7 lbs)
Deadlift (1/3) = 287.5kg (633.8 lbs)
TOTAL = 672.5kg (1482.5 lbs)

I ended up receiving 1st place in the 93kg Open Class with this total.

After the meet, I took a full week off training and then the following two weeks I did some light rep work (12-rep and 10-rep weeks). My knee feels like it is improving, so hopefully I will be able to train without any issues moving forward. Today I will begin a linear periodization setup where I undulate between 8-rep, 6-rep, and 4-rep training sessions for squats and bench press. I will explain this more at the end of the week so you can see my workouts first. 

Weekly Schedule

Monday = Squats + Bench Press

Tuesday = Deadlifts + Back/Biceps

Wednesday = OFF

Thursday = Squats + Bench Press

Friday = Deadlifts (Posterior Chain Focus)

Saturday = Back + Biceps (Optional)

Sunday = OFF


Monday 8-7-17: Squat + Bench Press Focus

Squats 3 X 8 @ 70%

345 X 8, 8, 8 (cue the heavy breathing)

First thing to report, no knee pain! Squats felt very smooth today. Looking back at the video (footage from entire workout is posted on my Instagram page HERE), my form was on-point (specifically watching to make sure my knees didn’t shoot in).


Bench Press 3 X 8 @ 70%

245 X 8, 8, 8

I had no problem with bench press. The weight was flying up. No elbow pain at all.

Now that things (my knee and elbow) are starting to feel good again I need to work to make sure they stay feeling this way by keeping up with my mobility work.


DB Goblet Squat (with Hip Circle) 3 X 12

120 X 12, 12, 12

Wearing the hip circle makes me focus on keeping my knees out during the entire movement. I wear the hip circle for my light warm-up sets on squats, but I don’t like wearing it during my heavier sets as I feel I can’t brace my core as well.


Flat DB Bench Press (Feet on Bench) 3 X 12

90 X 12, 12, 12

I put my feet on the bench to remove leg drive. I can’t say for sure if there is benefit to doing this vs. putting your feet down normally, but I figure it can’t hurt and may carryover to improving my pec strength on bench press.

Today’s workout went very well and I didn’t experience any knee or elbow pain.


Tuesday 8-8-17: Deadlift + Back/Biceps

Sumo Deadlift 12 Singles @ 70%

495 X 12 Singles

I am a big fan of utilizing submaximal singles for deadlift training. I was introduced to this training philosophy from Dr. Mike Zourdos/Matt Gary. There are a few key reasons behind only doing singles on deadlifts (for powerlifters), but the two that stands out to me the most are:

  1. Increased force production (increased starting and accelerating strength).
    1. When performing multiple reps on deadlifts, after the first rep you build up elastic energy/stretch reflex, which often makes the following reps faster than the first rep. With deadlifts, there is a saying that if you can do one rep with a weight you can probably do two; this is due to elastic energy/stretch reflex. By only doing singles you remove elastic energy/stretch reflex and learn to generate greater amounts of force.
  2. Decreased risk of injury.
    1. When doing singles, form and technique are maintained better than when doing multiple reps due to controlling fatigue.

This is not to say that doing reps on deadlifts is bad or ineffective (that is hardly the case), but this is simply how I prefer to train the deadlift.


Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 X 12

315 X 12, 12, 12


Hip Thrusts 3 X 12

185 X 12, 12, 12

I have never done hip thrusts regularly; I would do them occasionally but have never focused on them. When I did them two weeks ago, 135 lbs was hard! Because I am so weak on this movement in comparison to my other lifts, I figure getting stronger on it should only help increase my overall strength.


Bent Over DB Row 3 X 12

75’s X 12, 12, 12

I just recently started doing this row variation and like it a lot. This is performed the same way as a bent over barbell row but with dumbbells.


Barbell Curl 3 X 12

55 X 12

65 X 12

75 X 12

While big biceps don’t really do anything for increasing strength on the Big 3, I still think you should train every muscle… plus big biceps look cool duh!

Check out clips from today's workout HERE


Wednesday 8-9-17: Rest Day

Rest day! Rest is good for you!


Thursday 8-10-17: Squats + Bench Press

Squats 3 X 6 @ 75%

365 X 6, 6, 6

Squats continue to move well. I will slowly add weight back to the bar and re-build my strength.


Bench Press 3 X 6 @ 75%

265 X 6, 6, 6

I felt surprisingly fatigued on sets 2 and 3; my tris felt gassed. I haven’t hit bench (or squats) 2X a week in about a month, so it looks like my body is in the “what are you trying to do to me” stage.


Close Grip Bench Press 3 X 5-8

225 X 8, 7, 6

My triceps were feeling it today! No issues, triceps are just a bit fatigued right now.


Military Press 3 X 5-8

95 X 8, 8, 8

With military press I am more focused on maintaining perfect form that the weight I lift. I find that when I lift heavier I tend to lean back too much, so I am trying to maintain a more upright posture and SLOWLY increase the weight I lift throughout the upcoming training blocks.

Check out clips from today's workout HERE


Friday 8-11-17: Deadlift + Back/Biceps

Sumo Deadlift 8 Singles @ 85%

585 X 1…

After the first single with 585 my knee felt crappy… the single itself went fine, no issues at all, but afterwards my knee did not feel great. I decided not to do any more sumo deadlifts and continued with the rest of my workouts (minus the DB Lunges I had planned on doing)


“Block” Conventional Pulls 3 X 5-8

365 X 8, 8, 8

These are conventional deadlifts done with the Big Rogue Fitness Plates that mimic pulling from blocks or from the rack. My goal with this exercise is strengthen my lower back more so than lift a max amount of weight.


Bent Over Row 3 X 5-8

185 X 8, 8, 8


Lat-Pulldown 3 X 8-12

120 X 12, 12, 12


DB Curls on Standing Preacher Curl Bench

25 X 12, 12, 12


Minus the knee issue, this workout felt good. I’m hoping this is just a minor knee irritation and will be able to resume squatting next week.


Saturday 8/11/17 & Sunday 8/12/17

Since yesterday’s workout became more of a back + biceps workouts, I took the weekend off training (plus I wanted to give my knee some down time). I did some mobility and myofascial work, which included using the Mobility Wod Voodoo Floss Bands.




Voodoo Floss Band Therapy


Post all questions on this week's journal HERE

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