T Nation

Break Between Routines?


Hey guys, I've been doing Dave Tate's 6-week bench cure for the last 5 weeks with 1 week left. It hasn't gone so well which I think is partly due to putting too much on each day (I could only workout twice per week during this period) and partly due to lack of sleep near the end.

Anyway I plan on trying a high frequency bench routine by kelly baggett

Originally I was planning on doing a normal split routine for 4 weeks with no emphasis before trying it, but would it be fine/optimal to just jump right into the high frequency benching? With Dave Tate's routine there actually wasn't that high volume of benching, just ME one day with a tricep exercise afterwards and DE the other day with an assistance lift following it.



Are you even built for benching? Or let me put it this way, do you have very long arms? Does benching bother your bis/shoulders or so if you do it for a lot of volume/very often?

I don't really remember off the bat, but wasn't some of that a problem for you? (or am I thinking of someone else here?)


(fwiw. I'm asking that because that should probably influence your exercise routine choice)


I do have long arms and legs. I'm about 6'1 and wing span I think about 6'3-4. I don't get pain when benching except when I was doing the DE work with a close grip, that kind of hurts my right shoulder which is the one you're probably thinking about that got injured last February (doing this routine's floor press actually...overextended my arms when bringing the bar out).

So I would say I'm probably not built too well for benching. Some of the numbers I've seen you mention even for beginner benchers has amazed me so I'd love to hear any input you have. I think my form is decent, I've heard all the tips multiple times and try to implement them but I'm sure it could be much improved if I actually had an experienced bencher training with me.


By the way the link I posted was removed, here is that high frequency routine I mentioned:

Bench Press

Mon: 4 sets of 3 at 85%

Tues: 3 sets of 2 at 90%

Wed: 1 x 1 at 100% (max out) followed by 3-4 x 1 at 95%

Fri: 4-5 sets of 1 at 80% (should be very light)

That's it! Let percentages be your guide but don't take them as gospel. Use a weight that allows you to get all the reps without going to complete failure.


How were your progress ? Did you add 5lbs++ to your bench ? As long as you progress I don't see any issues.

The key is to select exercises that does the job for you and progress steadily. If you say you didn't eat much and didn't sleep much either then your routine isn't the problem.

Also, post a video of your bench many can help you improve your form.


i probably wouldnt go from 2 days to high frequency, why not take 2-3 weeks to work condiioning and make a moderate jump in volume and then go HF


Depends on the routine. Some like Sgt Rock's deadlift program or Wendler's 5/3/1 are designed with the intention of constant repetition, factoring in deload weeks or complete weeks off. Others like Smolov or Sheiko aren't really built to be done over and over and over again.


Yea like I said I'm not saying the routine was the problem. My diet was good though, just lack of sleep during 2 weeks of it or so. My RDL, front squat and t-bar rows went up well during this time actually but not so much with bench, which basically remained the same. Before starting I did 315x3 and today I did 350x1 on a ~3in towel press, so essentially the same level of strength.


I'm not sure why you recommend a jump in volume first. So basically though you think it would be better to go back to what I was doing before for a few weeks (which to be honest had pretty much an equal amount of pressing....2x/week with a few pressing exercises).


No i would go from 2 days a week to 4 days week, then 5-6 or whatever, but i would increase your total volume by a moderate amount before jumping to the high volume routine, but you can if you want it may yeild great results if the swich is that radical.


CC, any thoughts?


Im confused... you wan't to have MORE than 2 days of benching a week?


That's something for guys who can do the exercise pain-free no matter what and are built for it, imo.

Your leverages suck, so do something about them rather than beat your head against the wall with constant relative strength work... Or that's what I'd do, anyway... Do that kind of routine (or something with less frequency with your build maybe) afterwards.


And if you already have a shoulder injury, forget it. That's just imo.


Well I "had" an injury, it's not really a problem anymore though and when I do normal benching I feel no pain.

Having said that though you obviously don't think it's best for me at the moment so I'll steer clear for now. But as far as your recommendation to improve leverages first, do you just mean I should be gaining weight before specifically trying to increase my bench? Even if I was just trying to gain weight first I'd think it would be best to improve my strength as fast as possible, no?