T Nation

Close to Competition & Not Where I Want to Be

Hey CT long time since I’ve been in the forums.

I’m 5 weeks out from my first powerlifting meet, a King of the Bench contest so, it’s only one event. My training has been good up until now and I’m getting stuck in the 275 to 285 range for my 1RM, and am looking for suggestions. I’d like to press in the 305-315 area at meet and could use any tip you’ve got. I’ve been doing BP 3x/week, 2 heavy days with Floor press, 1 light day with OHP and Bent rows on alternating days. Other lifting days at Deadlifts and a Back/Biceps day on Saturday.


Sup Brian I know you were looking for a response from CT but from my experience there is not A LOT that you can do, but there is a few things…

Can you lay out you exact upper body pressing days, sets, reps, exact exercises used ect.

Okay so I do a Bench Press/Deadlift/Bench/Dead/Bench/Dead/Back&Biceps training schedule, so 3 bench press days setup like this

DAYS 1 & 3:
Bench Press … ramp up to the weight of the week based on plan and preform the associated reps so for week 9 it was 285 lbs. for 3 x 2.
Floor Press … same deal
Incline Bench Press … deal

DAY 2:
Bench Press … lighter weights for 10 x 2
OHP … ramp up to a 2RM and do 3 x 2
Additional tricep work: DB extensions, pushdowns.

For the weights on heavy days I started wayyy down at 195 lbs and worked my way back up but now I’m stuck at 285 again. On the diet front I’ve been doing a pretty good job eating enough, Plazma and MicroPA help out a lot too.

Give this a shot man, it’ll be a little different but in my personal experience I find CTs work and methods better for offseason for building strength than this stuff better for peaking, just my opinion…

deload week 5

Day 1 - Bench
A. Pause Bench (competition style pauses)
4 weeks out hit 245 x 1, 275 x 1, 295 x 1
3 weeks out hit 250-255 x 1, 280-285 x 1, 300-305 x 1
2 weeks out hit 255-265 x 1, 285-295 x 1, 305-315 x 1
1 week out deload again

B. Bench hold Overloads
4 weeks out - 305 x 10 sec, 335 x 10 sec
3 weeks out - 315 x 10 sec, 355 x 10 sec
2 weeks out - 325 x 10 sec, 365 x 10 sec

B. Speed Bench (these are meant to be move a heavy weight as fast as possible)
4 weeks out - 6 sets of 3 w. 225-255
3 weeks out - 8 sets of 3 w. 225-255
2 weeks out 10 sets of 3 w. 225-255

C. Wide-Grip Pause Bench (2 inches wider than your bench grip)
4 weeks out - 2 x 6 w. 220
3 weeks out - 2 x 6 w. 225
2 weeks out - 2 x 6 w. 230

D. Dead Bench
4 weeks out - 4 x 1 w. 255
3 weeks out - 4 x 1 w. (add 5-10 lbs based on how easily it went)
2 weeks out - 4 x 1 w. (add another 5-10 lbs based on how easy it went)

E. Chins - 3 x bodyweight to failure
F. DB Flies - 4 weeks out, 3 x 8 w. a weight, 3 weeks out 3 x 10 w. that same weight, 2 weeks out - 3 x 12 w. same weight
G. Smith Machine Kaz Press - 5 x 5
H. Chest-Supported Rows - 4 weeks out 4 x 8, 3 weeks out 4 x 10, 2 weeks out, 4 x 12

I’ll post day 2 in a second… But essentially you deload this week, reboot your nervous system, push yourself to the brink of over training, deload and your stronger.

Day 2 - Bench Accessories

A*. Speed Bench (only start with this if your slow)
4 weeks out - 6 x 3 w. 195
3 weeks out - 8 x 3 w. 195
2 weeks out - 10 x 3 w. 195

B. Close-Grip Chain Bench - 3 x 3 w. 210 and 30 lbs of chains (last set go for as many reps as possible) (add 5 lbs to the bar each week)
C. Military Press -3 x 3 w. 135 (add 5-10 lbs to the bar each week, last set go for max reps)

D. Face Pulls - 4 x 15 w. 80 (just getting extra work in, don’t really need to push these)
E. DB Front raises - 4 weeks out - 4 x 10, 3 weeks out - 4 x 12, 2 weeks out - 4 x 15 all with same weight
F. Rolling DB Extensions - 4 weeks out - 4 x 10, 3 weeks out - 4 x 12, 2 weeks out - 4 x 15 all with same weight

This type of plan took me from 275 touch and go to 310 easy paused, but got hurt squatting before I could peak 100%

Since your doing a bench only meet, tapering the intensity and volume on the squat and deadlift days to allow you to recover more and hit the upper body days harder. I’d also recommend either 5 double pulses the day BEFORE your bench workout or another bloat protocol you use.

On Squat Days keep it to:
A. Squats - top set of 5-10 reps
B. Speed Squats. - 6-10 sets
C. Pause Squats - 2 x 6-8
D. Hamstrings - 2 sets

Deadlift Days keep it to:
A. Speed Pulls - 6-10 sets
B. Rows - 2 sets of a weight you can do 6-8 times and go to failure both sets. Add 10 lbs to the bar each week
C. Shrugs or High Pulls - do sets of 10-20 until you can’t get 10. OR if using high pulls - 2 sets with a weight you can do 6 times and add 10 lbs to the bar each week.

D. Deficit Stiff Leg - 3 x 8 (add 10 lbs to the bar each week)

Sweet man thanks a lot for the details! I’ll give this a shot and see where I end up!

No problem man, good luck!

Check out smolov for bench,

It’s a 4 week peaking program, 4x benching a week, and then maybe take a week off and go in for the competition?

kj this is awesome! I did the day 2 workout today and it felt great. I think I needed a new program and this fits for sure!

That’s awesome to hear man! Keep me posted on how your doing and how you end up at the meet, I am definitely down to hear about it lol btw I am not going to lie, day 1 will be rough. Back when I was doing this program, when I first started it I wasn’t used to the volume and boy was I smoked by the end of the workout so don’t be surprised if next bench day you feel like your going through hell haha.

And as long as you keep pushing I am confident you will hit your goals at this meet…