Powerlifting with Payton - Week 2

Hello again everyone! I hope that everyone reading this is doing well, and their training is going absolutely amazing! In terms of my training, it’s been quite a hectic week. Since I missed my blog post from 2 weeks ago, this post will be making up for that one briefly - along with an in-depth look at my training from this week. 

My training week from 2 weeks ago started off with a bang with a bench PR at 250x4, which moved at sub 10 RPE, which is incredible for me considering my old PR was 10 pounds under that and moved at RPE 11. One more thing to consider with the bench PR set is that it was hit on a secondary day… while the old bench PR was hit on a primary bench day. Moving on into Tuesday I was feeling a little bit of fatigue from the strenuous workout, however, I was still able to make it out with a crisp 505 squat which moved at ~6.5 RPE which is certainly an ability PR. From there, I hit 465x4 for my first back down and crushed the rest of the workout. Wednesday was easily the most fatiguing day of the week but, ironically enough, ended up being my best training day without competition. I managed a 530lb pull, and a 465x5 paused set. The last lift worth noting this week was my primary bench day, which I was able to press 270 at roughly 7.5 RPE, 270 matches my all-time single PR so I was incredibly happy about this lift!

My lifts from last week began with a 265x4 bench set (5lbs under my all-time single PR) @8 RPE, this set was probably the best bench set I’ve ever hit in my life, even considering the primary bench day later this week - form was there and everything was perfect in this set… which rarely happens. Tuesday held a 515 squat at 8 RPE and an extremely fatigued accessory load! Wednesday is the real day to note from this week, though, going into the gym I was incredibly fatigued from my squat single and backdowns and did not expect any session that would blow me out of the water. However, after my first programmed single my coach allowed me to take a stab at 585 and it moved! I nearly lost grip at the top of it, which could be attributed to the zero knurling my bar has, but it still moved very smooth for a PR and I would argue I could have gotten 5 more lbs out of it. 

Overall Wednesday was the most notable day this week because of the 25lb PR. Moving on to Friday, I found myself in Texas to help handle a friend at his meet and was working out at Gameday Barbell! It was an absolutely gorgeous facility, and it was so cool to get to train there. The gym session, however, did not go as amazing as my experience at the gym was. I was supposed to hit a bench PR with a range of 275-295, with how my bench had been going 295 was definitely there - and I was hoping for that exact lift to happen when I finally made my way up to it. However, 295 was not there, but 286 @RPE 10 was there. Interestingly, I was still incredibly happy with my gym session regardless of the disappointing max out on the bench! Mainly, because I got to work out with some of my best friends in a gorgeous facility - there is not much that can beat that!

In terms of diet, everything was very consistent throughout the week. I’m currently trying to eat around 3800-4000 calories a day with a protein content of 220-230g. This week, however, I had been a little lazy with getting those last 18g of protein and have been getting ~208g protein per day. Admittedly, 208g of protein is not bad, but if I want to take myself to the next level I can’t cut corners and ignore the minutiae as those over time cumulate into mass changes in training. My bodyweight is currently cruising at around 230lb body weight in the morning, and it’s the leanest I’ve ever been - hands down. Considering my current body weight I’m considering within the next year or two going up to a lean 242 as I currently am not filling out my frame at 230lb bodyweight. External factors in this week of training were school, as last week was the week I was finishing my midterms, and while those are incredibly stressful - I’ve learned how to keep my head during this time so it does not affect training as severely as it used to.

The last outside factor that affected my training, and really only my Friday session, was my trip to Texas to help my friend Asher Taylor at his meet! With the typical road trip diet (chips, taquitos, random gas station food) and little to no sleep, I think that was a big factor in the result of my training day Friday. Overall, though, I did the best I could considering the external factors and I am proud of myself for it - but it will be used as information on how to perform this better the next time a situation like this arises.

Furthermore, as this training block comes to a close I want to review a few changed Steve made to my programming which worked amazingly. The main changes that were made in this block were a day switch, so my primary deadlift day became Wednesday and my secondary deadlift day became Saturday, my primary bench is now Friday, my secondary bench is now Monday. The changes aforementioned absolutely changed the direction of my training to a positive one. I think this concept of switching around something as simple as which days I train is important to many new coaches out there. I much too often see people trying to overcomplicate training for the sake of proving the validity of the method they are trying to play out and completely ignoring the basics from which those “advanced strategies” came from.

In my opinion, ignoring the basics does more of a disservice to the coaching service than focusing too much on them. Now, I’m not trying to say that ignoring the advanced biomechanisms in training is necessary to provide a good service - I’m saying that one should master those basic principles of training such as fatigue management and understanding how external factors affect training before the minutiae are changed in training. Never get comfortable with the original layout that worked for so long, sometimes changing something that you originally accepted as foundational creates a massive shift in training which was necessary to facilitate progress. 

Now, I want to try a new format for this blog and see how it works out, I will begin with a sort introduction as I have above along with one to two paragraphs of a very matter-of-fact description of my training week along with a description of my diet and external factors that may have lead to the results of this training week - following that description, however, I want to try and write one more paragraph about some variable in training that is important to control and why it is important to control. If there is a certain variable you would like me to discuss, DM me @thejackedmclovin with the recommendation and I will most likely get to it in the next few weeks depending on the request load! For this week, however, I will choose training mentality as the topic. 

In my opinion, training mentality is the single most important thing that a lifter needs to understand before they ever become a top-level lifter (or attain their genetic potential). Many lifters, particularly in the younger generation, are so neurotic about their training to the point that they have emotional breakdowns at the slightest dip in performance when that should not have happened. There are two ways to look at the emotional attachment of teen lifters to this sport: A) They are just emotionally involved, and that means they are dedicating their everything to this sport - and therefore it’s a good thing B) Yes, they are emotionally attached to this sport but they don’t understand the factors which are making them dip in performance and furthermore do not understand the negative consequences of allowing one session to overtake their mind. Typically these extreme emotional responses in training deal with the denial to accept that external factors are reaching into the gym, and not understanding how to control them. Furthermore, a lack of understanding on something leads to a victim complex, and once a lifter victimized themselves it becomes easy to see a large dip in training because “it’s everything else screwing training over”.

Now, I am not saying that there aren’t factors in life that affect training that you cannot control, because there most certainly are. What I am saying, is that not everything that effects training is out of your control, and if it was out of your control, accepting that and moving forward is the most optimal response that does not lead to long term detriment in training. Because if everything else is going to mess up training and it’s all out of your control, what’s the point of training? That question is the inevitable end terminal of the hyper-emotional response in training - and no one wants to watch someone quit the sport… so something I incline the readers to try is looking at everything that happened in the week leading up to the dip in performance and ask yourself “is there anything I could have done to balance this, or is there anything I can do to change this moving forward?”. 

Thank you all so much for tuning in to another week of my training blog, I hope everyone is enjoying it and is wanting more! I am extremely excited to work on the format and my writing skills every week to provide the best reading for the people kind enough to support me. I have a massive training block in the works, so expect some exciting blogs coming in this next month - and don’t forget to shoot me your requests for a training variable I can discuss in my blog! See you all next time!


Hi! I’m Payton Cowan, I am a sponsored athlete of First Step Apparel and I’ve been powerlifting for many years now! I am a full time college student and a huge anime fan! My favorite anime of all time is either Violet Evergarden or Naruto.

For coaching requests, shoot an email to prometheuspowerlifting@gmail.com, or DM me on Instagram @thejackedmclovin!

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