T Nation

Bench Accessory Day


#1

Hey guys. Looking to come up with a bench accessory day where I want to train all the muscles that assist with the bench. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I just started powerlifting and stopped doing volume, bodybuilding workouts.

Can anyone give me a good list with 4-6 lifts that are involved in improving the bench press?

Thanks in advance.


#2

dips


#3

for bench press assistance you want to be doing supplementary pressing, lots of triceps work and lots of upper back work.

a sample workout could be:
BB bench press: work up to heavy triple
BB floor press: 3x5-8
DB rows: 4 x 12
A1)Skull crushers 3 x 8
A2)face pulls 3 x 12
band pushdowns 3 x failure


#4

A good idea would be to figure out where weaknesses might be, or at least what may have been neglected for a while.

When I switched from elbows flared out to tucked, I was dismayed by the drop in my numbers, and still haven't quite recovered. Looking at my training history, I realize that I've hated, and thus avoided, doing any significant front shoulder work, which is where I'm directing my focus at the moment. One exercise I've come to like is a close grip military press with an EZ Curl bar, as it's a more natural feeling/angle for my wrists. I make sure to keep elbows under the wrists (i.e. not flaring out) to keep emphasis on the front delt.

What is also fun is setting up on a Roman chair and doing plate front raises while keeping your torso parallel to the ground. It hits the front delts and works the mid-upper spinal erectors, which will carry over to your arch in your lifts. With this one, you may find your upper back/erectors will need to catch up to your shoulders.

When it comes to back work, I prefer BB and cable rows, as I feel I can better squeeze my shoulder blades together at the top.

As WRPL wrote with the last three exercises, make sure to keep accessory work reps in the range of 8-12, as the goal is not to fry your muscles and nervous system.


#5

Do you train with other experienced powerlifters? They can also help you point out what you may need. Most guys that I've met (yeah, all three of them) are eager to give advice, share tips and help out.


#6

I actually just started training with an experienced powerlifter. I have asked him for a few pointers as well as had a squat session with him. He knows what hes doing for sure, but I like getting ideas from a bunch of different people.


#7

Dips, chins, CGBench, Kroc rows, and more dips.


#8

For me, my second bench day may work any number of ways:

-speed work- close-grip bench or floor press for 4 to 8 sets of 3 to 5 with 60-75% of my raw max
-bench rep work- coming from a BB background, I reckon you already know about sets of 8 to 12
-heavy overhead work- I get nothign out of it, but hurt- it's still fun though
-DB Pressing- lighter weight for reps- makes for good rehab/injury prevention

Then it's heavy upper back work- since this is usually coming the day after a heavy squat/DL session, for the sake of spinal health, I end up splitting it into doing some heavy back work this day and soem more later in the week. I'll do:

-barbell rows up to a max triple
-DB rows for higher reps like 8 to 12
-shrugs up to a max 5
-pull up with various grips
-various machines (pulldown, hi-row, low-row)
-I also like to do circuits on my back work- like 5 pull-ups, 5 barbell rows with a set weight, followed by a lat pulldown repout with light weight


#9

floor press


#10

db work
a lot of rows
overhead presses
close grip presses


#11

So pretty much common sense basics, throw in some floor presses, and keep it all moderate weight, right?


#12

i like low rps hevy weight db rows.. it really helps your bench and deadlift....
like kast week i hit
175lbx7


#13

Are you training for a raw or geared competition? It makes a huge difference in exercise selection.


#14

tate press, kaz press, overhead extensions for triceps

db rows, pull downs, seated rows, pullups, fat man pullups for back


#15

I like close grip bench pressing on second bench day to keep the weight lighter and retain the groove while still putting in an effort.


#16

Truthfully I'm not sure what I'm training for- yet. I'm still just getting my feet wet and want to get my strength up a bit more before making more concrete plans.

When I do compete it will probably be raw. Just seems more honest.


#17

Well, if you're competing raw or want to build raw strength, floor press is not your go to bench accessory IMO. Floor press is more for geared lifters, unless you have a really big arch or the rare mid-to high level sticking point.

Essentially, most raw benchers fail within an inch or 2 off the chest, so movements loading the top half of the bench aren't nearly as useful. Geared lifters often fail near the top, which is way they write a lot about floor presses.

A good portion of your work should be done on the flat bench itself. Other pressing related movements that will actually help your raw bench will be close grip bench, incline bench, dips, db variations, and even some overhead pressing. You'll also make good hitting the back and triceps hard, along with some isolation for the scap retractors, external rotators, and rear delts.