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Assistance Exercises for the RAW Bencher?


Hey everyone,

I'm just starting a Westside template workout, and I understand that the recommended assistance exercises are primarily for geared lifters. However, I'm not planning on squishing myself into a bench shirt anytime soon, so I'm looking for some assistance exercises that can help me get off the chest. My last 1RM on the bench is 335, and my sticking point is about 3-4" off the chest. If I can get it past there, I can lock it out.

Any suggestions are definitely welcome. Thanks in advance!


More important is your main excercises. Good basic ME lifts for raw benchers are close grip bench, bottom paused bench(some call it different), 1 and 2 board press, and floor presses. For where it sounds like you are sticking, 1 board presses would help you blast through your sticking point. As far as assistance, focus 1 or 2 excercises a week on shoulders(one high intensity and one high volume), and 1 or 2 a week on chest. Make sure you work your upper back as well.


Barbell floor press, and lots of it.

Dumbbell floor press, if youre crazy, which you should be.



I have found that military presses have helped me a lot off the bottom in my RAW bench training. So much to the point that my weakness is now lockout strength. I've been using the 5/3/1 for Powerlifting template. Good luck.


I'm currently alternating dips and military presses on my DE bench days -- my last (strict) military press 1RM was 205, so that's not lagging by much if at all.


This guy has some suggestions...I guess he knows what he's talking about:


Do people still type raw in all caps?


Everytime I watch this interview with Coan, which I love, I think of Chris Farley from the old SNL days.

I keep expecting the guy interviewing to spaz out and call himself stupid.

Maybe it's just me.....

I also love how he discusses the difference b/t compensatory acceleration (which is what was focused on in his hey day) as opposed to "speed work."


I will probably get completely flamed for this one, but most of the top RAWWWW benchers, or least a good number, seem to have a very bodybuilder-esque set up to their routine. Hoonstra is the first one coming to mind. So think of a bench day as bench, inclines, d-bell bench, etc. A whole day dedicated to lat work. Another one to shoulders and tris. Not the way I train, but what do I know... just an observation.


Or you can just stick to a Westside template. Seems to work for people like Vinnie, Ben Brand, etc.


I think your right, the guy in the 600lb bench thread here was basically doing a bodybuilding routine for pressing. More basic than that I think the key is putting on size, most people who bench 400+ look like they could do it. For squat/DL you can find a lot of videos of people who aren't "huge" putting up decent numbers.


Not from me.

I totally agree and most freaky RAWWW benchers I know (myself NOT included) do alot of periodization and make progress on bench with a lot of volume.

I think it is Cierri (sp) who I was told by a friend who was following his routine, actually does a lot of high rep work (15's etc.) and over the course of a cycle keeps progressing in weight and his reps drop. I think he adds like 5-10#'s a week or something.

Also, for RAWW benchers I think there is a real good carry-over on palms facing dumbbell press.

Lots of volume on full range pressing motions.


Yeah, all the big raw benchers I have seen definitely have their jack on, big time. Whereas I have been at meets and have seen some skinny 181 walk up and pull 700.


700 ... really?


Remember when Fiedler was lifting? That guy was ridiculous looking and his training was nothing fancy. Same with Siegler.

Both guys look like they can move weight.

The other thing is I think to be a big RAW bencher you have to be built right to take all the abuse on your joints. I am amazed at some of these older lifters that are still able to post huge numbers both in training and at meets and most are relatively injury free (with the exception of Fiedler who had his pec reattached basically with piano wire).

Your average guy would demolish their upper body's doing the pressing volume these guys do.


Yeah, I was actually thinking of both those guys in regards to this topic. I remember some skinny starry eyed kid came up to Siegler asking him for tips on how to get his bench up, and his response was something along the lines of 'Fucking bench'.


Yeah, the old Capt'n Kirkism.

How do I get my squat up? Squat.

What about leg press? Squat.

What about........? Squat, squat, squat.