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8 Weeks to Record Bench Diary

Well, I have decided to try out CT’s 8 Weeks to a record bench routine. Since the majority of questions asked on here are about increasing the bench press, I figured I’d post my progress each workout… If anyone has any other experience with this program, please join in…

Here it goes:
Before the routine:
Body weight: 193 lbs
Bench press: 295 lbs.

Week 1

Day 1
Mini session #1
Cluster bench: 265 x 10 reps
Decline 5x5: 235, 245 (4)

Mini session #2
Extended cluster 5x5: 265x4 reps, 260x 4 reps, 255 x 4 reps, 250 x 4 reps, 250 x 3 reps

Shoulder db press 5x5: 40 (5)

Mini session #3
Drop set x3: 280,265,250,235 x 3
Skullcrushers 5x5: 80+ curl bar (5)

Day 2
Bottom bench press 6x3: 235 (6)
Dynamic bench 10x3: 145 (10)
Pull-ups 5x5: BW +15 lbs (5)
Standing curls 5x5: 85 + curl bar (5)
Row to neck 3x8: 125(3)

Day 3
Eccentric only bench: 4x3 at 8 seconds: 295 (3)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 295, 305 (3)
Hang cleans 3x3: 205 (3)
No squats due to b-ball games

So there was my week 1… As you can tell, I kind of wore out on mini session number 2 on day 1. I’m not used to benching this often. The only rest and recuperation techniques I use are icepacks on the triceps/elbows after sessions, short walks each day, and massages from my girlfriend each day… I’m going o try and follow this program exactly as prescribed by CT. I may have toadd an extra day of rest or something in if I’m not fully recuperated… I’m on week two day 1 right now…

By the way, I’ve pretty much wrote everything out in shorthand so if you need a better description of exercises, go to CT’s article 8 Weeks to a Record bench

Keep the feedback coming!

I wore out at mini session #2 on the first week also. The second week it fell right in line though and I was able to complete the whole day. It is a tough program with the short rest periods. Went through elbow soreness the first couple of weeks, then forearm/wrist pain the next couple of weeks. My observations were:

  1. If you absolutely cannot do more, don’t quit, just finish what you can and aim for more next time. When unable to continue increasing poundages, I held at the same weight until I could get all of the volume, then had no problem increasing the weight at the next workout.

  2. Soreness can be worked through but injuries can’t with the short rest periods. I strained a shoulder 5 weeks into it doing some stupid stuff and had to call it quits.

  3. At some point during every workout, I audibly groaned.

That being said, even though I only did 5 weeks, at the Sunday night drop set (workout #3) of the fifth week I was using a starting weight 10 lbs heavier than my previous max. And it felt fairly comfortable, I definitely had more in me.

Good luck and keep us updated on how it goes. I think it’s worth it.

week 2

Day 1
Mini session 1
Cluster bench: 270x9 singles
Decline 5x5: 245(3), 250(2)

Mini session 2
Extended cluster: 265x4,260x4, 255x4, 250x4, 250x3
DB shoulder press 5x5: 40x8(5)

Mini session 3
Drop set 3x4: 285,270,255,240(3)
Skullcrushers 5x5: 80(5)

I still have some right elbow pain… just not used to benching heavy this much…

I did the workout with someone a few months ago. We both gained roughly 40 pounds. I had just gotten over mono though…so a lot of mine was getting back to where I was before.

Problems…I think that around week 5 I started to get a good bit of pain in one of my pectoral tendons (I’m guessing that is what it is called) and my partner had shoulder issues around the same time. It was a pain in the butt…definitely works though…I had almost all of the gains though (lifting partner too) after about those five weeks though. I’d suggest you guys just do it for a month at a time and follow it up with some active rest for at least a week. I kept lifting with the pain and it ended up taking much longer than it should have to heal…around 2 months to totally go away.

ONE VERY IMPORTANT ADDITION TO MY STORY…neither of us did any of the recommended supplements or recovery in the article…would that have prevented the strain? I doubt it. But I cannot say that obviously as fact.

Week 2
Day 2
Bottom’s up bench 6x3: 240x3 (6)
Speed bench 10x3: 145x3(10)
Pull-ups 5x5: bw+25 lbs (5)
Curls 5x5: curl bar+85 lbs (5)
Rows to neck 3x8: 130x8(3)

I stil have some slight right elbow pain. It really only hurts during benching… I’m gonna start taking some ibuprofen before my workouts so all should be well

I remember reading somewhere on the forum that ibuprofin was bad for protein synthesis. Probably in one of the protein articles so you might want to check that out.

Bump… I wanna be able to find this easier when he updates it!:stuck_out_tongue:

Week 2

Day 3
Eccentric only bench 4x3: 295x4 at 5 seconds (4)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 305, 310(3)
Hang cleans 3x3: 190 (3)
Squat 5x5: 245,250,255,260,265

There’s still soreness in the elbow, but I’m working through it… nothing to worry about yet…

[quote]tallan_30 wrote:
Week 2

Day 3
Eccentric only bench 4x3: 295x4 at 5 seconds (4)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 305, 310(3)
Hang cleans 3x3: 190 (3)
Squat 5x5: 245,250,255,260,265

There’s still soreness in the elbow, but I’m working through it… nothing to worry about yet…

[/quote]

Tallan_30, try some elbow sleeves. They work wonders. I can usually get rid of tendonitits in a few weeks as long as I wear them and don’t do any direct tircep work.

week 3

Day 1
Mini session 1
Cluster bench: 275x8 singles
Decline 5x5: 245, 250(4)

Mini session 2
Extended cluster: 265x4,260x4, 255x4, 250x4, 250x4
DB shoulder press 5x5: 40x10(5)

Mini session 3
Drop set 3x4: 285,270,255,240(2), 290,275,260,245 (1)
Skullcrushers 5x5: 80(5)

Elbow felt much better this week… It hurt slightly during warm-ups, but once the weight was added, the pain went away… I’m feeling much stronger this week. If I had to guess, I’d say I’m at 305 now. It’s killing me not to try and max out and see, but I want to see the whole eight weeks through

[quote]tallan_30 wrote:
Week 2

Day 3
Eccentric only bench 4x3: 295x4 at 5 seconds (4)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 305, 310(3)
Hang cleans 3x3: 190 (3)
Squat 5x5: 245,250,255,260,265

There’s still soreness in the elbow, but I’m working through it… nothing to worry about yet…

[/quote]

As per the sorenes in the elbow, if you have time/energy at the end of your workout, you may want to add some tricep extensions using the 2/1 technique. Extend the elbows with both arms, then reverse the motion with one arm. You may want to use a rope for it. Strive for 2-4 sets of 12-15 reps of lighter weight.

Hope that helps,

Cheers.

Hey I have a questions. In terms of progession, how would you go about it? Would you keeping adding weight every week? Or volume or density? I read somewhere that you are suppose to keep adding weight, which seems a little skeptical, as to adding weight for 8 weeks. Thanks

[quote]Tags wrote:
tallan_30 wrote:
Week 2

Day 3
Eccentric only bench 4x3: 295x4 at 5 seconds (4)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 305, 310(3)
Hang cleans 3x3: 190 (3)
Squat 5x5: 245,250,255,260,265

There’s still soreness in the elbow, but I’m working through it… nothing to worry about yet…

As per the sorenes in the elbow, if you have time/energy at the end of your workout, you may want to add some tricep extensions using the 2/1 technique. Extend the elbows with both arms, then reverse the motion with one arm. You may want to use a rope for it. Strive for 2-4 sets of 12-15 reps of lighter weight.

Hope that helps,

Cheers.[/quote]

tallan,
over at elitefts.com they sell this shit called “blue heat” it is a veterinary level muscle liniment and it helps to get your elbows warmed up. get some, and while your there get a pair of elbow sleeves.

and of course, i would drop the extensions out.

Week 3
Day 2
Bottom’s up bench 6x3: 245x3 (6)
Speed bench 10x3: 145x3(10)
Pull-ups 5x5: bw+25 lbs (5)
Curls 5x5: curl bar+90 lbs (5)
Rows to neck 3x8: 135x8(3)

I took an additional day off, so a total of two days off from day 1… My elbow felt really good today, I probably could of bumped up the bottom’s up press to 250, but I didn’t want to push because negatives(next workout) are a pain…

Week 3

Day 3
Eccentric only bench 4x3: 295x5 at 5 seconds (4)
Rack lockouts 4x3: 310(3), 315
Hang cleans 3x3: 190 (3)
Squat 5x5: 245,250,255,260,270

Tallan are you still following the program how are the results coming along?