T Nation

Attn: Thibaudeau Bench Program

I started this program four weeks ago in preparation for a little friendly bench press competition (nothing official):

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=05-001-training

My goal was to get from a current 285 bench to a 315. I’m currently at week 4.

For those who have done this program, or Thibs if he peeks in here:

  1. How do you know how much to progress your baseline poundage?

  2. How many reps is reasonable in the first session of the High Stress day? I’ve put up anywhere from 7 to 17 reps, and I’m not sure that my 1RM is baselined well enough based on this variation.

  3. Has anyone actually completed a 5x5 at the specified poundage for the second session of High Stress day? I am only capably of around 60% of 1RM for a 5x5 by this time.

  4. What’s a good follow-up program to keep the gains?

Thanks

Dave

122 views and no one has tried the program?

[quote]HOV wrote:
122 views and no one has tried the program?[/quote]

Nope, but good luck, and let us know how it works out for you.

Ok, then I’ll use this thread as my training log. I’ll get down the workouts for the first four weeks right now.

This first week was baselined off a 275 max, a little conservative so I could finish the workouts.

High Stress Bench Day

Session 1

Bench Press - 30 sec. rest between sets
250 * 14

Decline Close-Grip
225 * 5
245 * 4
225 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 4

Rest 90 minutes

Session 2

Bench Press - 10 sec. rest between reps
250 * 1
250 * 1
245 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1

Rest 4 min.

235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1

Rest 4 min.

235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1

Rest 4 min.

235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1

Rest 4 min.

235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1
235 * 1

Dumbell Shoulder Press
55 * 5
60 * 5
60 * 5
60 * 5
60 * 5

Rest 60 minutes

Session 3: 1:20 p.m.

Bench Press - drop sets - all of these needed spots
Warmup
260 * 1
245 * 1
235 * 1
220 * 1

Rest 4 min.

260 * 1
245 * 1
235 * 1
220 * 1

Rest 4 min.

225 * 1
215 * 1
205 * 1
195 * 1

Skullcrushers
85 * 8
85 * 4
85 * 5
85 * 4
85 * 5

4/17

Bench Press - Starting Strength Day

Bench Press starting from 1" above the chest (on pins)
235 * 3
235 * 3
235 * 3
235 * 3
235 * 3
235 * 3

Iso-Relaxation Speed Bench Press
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3

Pullups
BW + 30 * 5
BW + 30 * 5
BW + 30 * 5
BW + 30 * 5

Standing EZ Bar Curls
105 * 8
105 * 8
105 * 8

4/19

Bench Press: Overload Day

Bench Press Eccentrics
275 * 3
275 * 3
275 * 3
275 * 3

Rack Lockouts
305 * 3
305 * 3
305 * 3
305 * 3

Squats
135 * 5
185 * 5
205 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5

4/22

Bench Press - High Stress Day

SESSION 1

Bench Press - 30 seconds rest between reps
255 * 12

Decline Close-Grip Press
225 * 4
235 * 4
235 * 4
235 * 4
235 * 4

60 minutes rest

SESSION 2

Bench Press - 12 seconds rest between reps
225 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5

Dumbbell Shoulder Press
50 * 5
60 * 5
65 * 5
70 * 5

60 minutes rest

SESSION 3

Bench Press - Drop Sets
270 * 1
255 * 1
240 * 1
230 * 1

270 * 1 - spot
255 * 1 - spot
240 * 1 - spot
230 * 1 - spot

270 * 1 - spot
255 * 1 - spot
240 * 1 - spot
230 * 1 - spot

Skullcrushers
85 * 5
85 * 5
85 * 5
85 * 5
85 * 5

This workout went much easier than the last high stress day. I moved up poundage on all exercises, and the drop sets required less spotting. I feel more in the groove too.

4/24

Bench Press: Starting Strength Day

Bench Press from the Bottom Position
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3

DE Bench Press with 3-sec. Pause
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3
125 * 3

Weighted Pullups
BW * 6
BW + 30 * 5
BW + 40 * 5
BW + 50 * 4

EZ Bar Curls
105 * 8
105 * 8
105 * 8

4/26

Bench Press - Overload Day

Bench Press Eccentrics
285 * 3
285 * 3
285 * 3
285 * 3

Partial Pin Press
315 * 3
315 * 3
315 * 3
315 * 3

Squats
135 * 5
185 * 5
225 * 4
205 * 4

Single Leg Stiff Legged Deadlifts
60 * 4
60 * 4
60 * 4
60 * 4
60 * 4

4/29

Bench Press - High Stress Day

SESSION 1

Bench Press - 30 sec. rest between reps
260 * 17

Decline Close-Grip Press
235 * 4
240 * 4
240 * 4
240 * 4
240 * 3

Rest 60 minutes

SESSION 2

Bench Press - 10 sec. between reps
235 * 5
235 * 5
235 * 5
225 * 4
215 * 5

Dumbbell Shoulder Press
60 * 4
70 * 4
80 * 3
70 * 4

Rest 60 minutes

SESSION 3

Bench Press - Drop Sets - 12 sec. between reps
270 * 1
260 * 1
245 * 1
230 * 1

270 * 1
260 * 1
245 * 1 - spot
230 * 1 - spot

270 * 1
260 * 1 - spot
245 * 1 - spot
230 * 1 - spot

EZ Bar Lying Triceps Extensions
90 * 5
90 * 5
90 * 4
90 * 4
90 * 4
90 * 4

BW: 212

This started the third week of my high intensity, high volume bench press workouts. I started taking a few more supplements this week: Biotest Power Drive (neural stimulant), and Biotest Surge (post-workout recovery drink). The Power Drive seems to be giving me a supercharge in the first part of my workouts, but then it leaves me tanked by the end. The Surge is good stuff; it seems to soothe my blood sugar levels post-workout.

Overall, more progress was made this week. For my first set of “as many as possible” singles w. 30 sec. rest, I’m up both in poundage and reps from two weeks ago. I started two weeks ago at 250 * 14, and now I’m at 260 * 17.

I’ve also adapted somewhat to this workout, and I don’t spend much of the week sore at all. This shows me that I am capable of way more than I thought I was. Just the first session of this workout has more volume and total poundage than I did in a week with my previous workouts.

5/1

Bench Press: Starting Strength Day

Bench Press - starting from the bottom position
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3
245 * 3

Bench Press - dynamic effort w. 3 sec. pause
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3

Weighted Pullups
BW * 5
BW + 30 * 4
BW + 40 * 4
BW + 50 * 3

Barbell Curls
110 * 8
110 * 8
110 * 8

5/3

Bench Press - Overload Day

Bench Press: Eccentrics
295 * 3
295 * 3
295 * 3

Pin Press
320 * 3
320 * 3
320 * 3
320 * 3

Squats
135 * 5
185 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5
225 * 5

Single Arm Single Leg Deadlift
60 * 5
60 * 5
60 * 5
60 * 5

5/6

Bench Press: High Stress Day

Bench Press - 30 seconds between reps
265 * 7

Decline Close-Grip Press
245 * 4
245 * 4
245 * 4
245 * 4
245 * 4

60 minutes rest

Bench Press - 10 seconds rest between reps
235 * 5
235 * 5
235 * 5
235 * 5
235 * 4

Dumbbell Military Press
70 * 4
80 * 4
80 * 3
70 * 4

3 hours rest

Bench Press - Drop Sets
280 * 1
265 * 1
250 * 1
235 * 1

280 * 1
265 * 1 - spot
250 * 1 - spot
235 * 1

280 * 1 - spot
265 * 1 - spot
250 * 1 - spot
235 * 1 - spot

Skullcrushers
100 * 4
100 * 4
100 * 3

The brutality continues into week 4. I somehow missed the chemical combination that gets me super powers for the first set, so as opposed to last week’s 260 * 17 for the first set, I only got 265 * 7 today. All other poundages were up.

I’ve been upping the max weight by 5 pounds each week, and for this workout I used a 1RM of 295 for the calculations. I used 295 for eccentrics during my last workout and feel I can do one if I rested a few days beforehand. If this is true, then I have put on 10 pounds on my 1RM in 4 weeks. But I can’t really say so until I do it.

There have definitely been some major changes to my body in the four weeks though. I have definitely put on a little size up top, and my recovery is much faster. Gained a few pounds, but probably some of that is fat.

Thanks for the thread, I’m in virtually the exact same place as you, within five pounds of your max and with the same goal. Doing 5x5 now, have been eyeing the Thibadeau bench program for a while though, may do it down the line.

Thanks for posting this…

[quote]GDollars37 wrote:
Thanks for the thread, I’m in virtually the exact same place as you, within five pounds of your max and with the same goal. Doing 5x5 now, have been eyeing the Thibadeau bench program for a while though, may do it down the line.[/quote]

It’s an asskicker! Coincidentally, I was just eyeing 5x5 as the follow-on program after a few weeks of deloading.

Thanks for posting this, Good luck with your goals

Bench Press: Starting Strength Day

Bench Press - starting from the bottom position
250 * 3
250 * 3
250 * 3
250 * 3
250 * 3
250 * 3

DE Bench Press - 3 sec. pause
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3
135 * 3

Weighted Chins
BW * 5
BW + 30 * 5
BW + 40 * 5
BW + 50 * 5

Barbell Curls
110 * 8
110 * 8
110 * 8

BW: 209