T Nation

Bench Only Weekly Template


#1

Hello all. I was just hoping someone might be able to advise me on preparing a training template for bench only powerlifting. I have a minor enough lower body disability that prevents me doing correct form squats and deads. I’m looking to start competing in bench only meets. My bench numbers are okay, but not yet powerlifting standard. I currently can bench roughly 1.25 x bw, I would need to get this up around 1.5 x bw to be somewhat competitive.

I have been working out three times a week. I do a heavy bench day on day one, day two is legs, and day three is a medium intensity bench day, usually speed work or pin presses or something else that I feel might be lacking in me. On both bench days I do upper back, shoulders and arms assistance work.

I’m wondering would I benefit from adding a third upper body day, focusing on shoulders, traps, arms, forearms, that sort of stuff? I would be making it a lighter intensity, almost bodybuilder type day, higher reps, aiming for a pump. The training week would be sat - heavy bench, Sun - legs, Tue - speed bench/ pin press etc, Thurs - light shoulders, other assistance.

What do ye think? Or am I best off sticking with the current three days? I eat at maintainence as I am in a lighter weight category, and I fit in usually about two low intensity steady state cardio sessions of about 20 - 30 minutes a week also. Thanks for any advice ye can give!


#2

Personally, I’d do this:

then add back and leg work as required.


#3

This training is for 3 days/week. A heavy upper, light upper and a lower day.

Heavy day
option 1 - work up to a heavy single, double or triple - but do not struggle with the weight. Don’t grind. Rep or reps should be smooth.
option 2 - pick a weight and knock out one all out set for reps. Keep track of PR’s.
option 3 - work up to a 1RM for that day, the heaviest you can go.

Light day
option 1 - partial reps from chest to half way up (if you are a raw bencher). Sets of 5@50% or sets of 3@60%. Unlimited sets. Go til you feel like quitting. Use a slightly wider grip than your normal grip. This will give you crazy pop off your chest.
option 2 - sets of 10@30-40% using a slightly narrower grip than your normal grip using a full range of motion (chest to lockout).
option 3 - flat db press or incline db press for 3 sets of max reps. Weight does not matter.

You can also use a slingshot to make things a little more interesting. Rotate thru these options. You can do any option for as long as you are making progress or you can switch every week. It doesn’t matter. You should also utilize pausing on your chest also - this too gives you power off the chest.

Lower body days should just consist of squats and pulls and whatever variations you want to do. Go heavy, go light, mix it up. Whatever happens. Just make sure to challenge yourself and not just waste time.

I’m not a big advocate of accessory work. I will hit the hammer curls pretty religiously and lots of band work for the upper body. If the accessory work is not allowing you to heal fast enough, cut it in half or cut it altogether. A good bench is built by benching and constantly honing your form.