I have Crohn's disease and I've been sick non stop for the last few years and stopped training completely for 2-3 years because of this. But I've been fortunate, I finally caught a break and started working out again about a year and a half ago. And when I did, the thing I wanted the most was to gain back some of my former strength, but most importantly, to get back to at least a 500lbs bench. It's been really hard but now I'm finally getting close to it. I'll be posting my progress along with pics and videos as I hopefully get it back in the following weeks.
I was really tired today but I still decided to try 5 plates. I missed it but I got a real good feel for it, I'll do better in the following weeks! I'm happy, hadn't tried this heavy in years! I put in some incline bench too, I also hadn't done this heavy on this in a real long time.
congratulations on overcoming such a horrible disease. i wish you the best.
you have a ton of natural strength. Have you thought about using a powerlifting setup for bench? i was a bodybuilder for many years and benched just like you do and couldn't bench more than 315lbs. once i changed my technigue to a powerlifting setup my bench increased greatly and i eventually got it up into the 500's. with some form work i bet you could be a high 500 bencher if not higher.
For sure I have lots of room to improve, my best ever is a 545 raw bench. I was youger, healthier and around 330lbs at that time though. However, I'm no powerlifter and I'm not really considering doing any meets either. After all I've been through, I'm just happy to be able to workout and push decent weights. My body has taken quite a beating over the years of sickness and 7 surgeries. My shoulders in particular are pretty messed up. I tried benching more like a powerlifter, looked at many westside videos and others. But for now, I just can't. For example, if I try to tuck my elbows in and bring the bar lower, the bar will just come crashing down on me, I simply cannot hold it in that position. Maybe I'll find a better technique who suits me better in the future and hopefully some nagging injuries will heal. We'll see, but for now I'm happy with what I'm doing....
I have some other videos on my channel on youtube where I show more my regular workouts. You can see some of the exercises I do for each bodyparts. I have no fixed system, reps or set, I go by feel alot. I feel good and strong I do more, I feel tired and weaker, I do less, simple as that. I train each bodyparts only once a week, but I blast the shit out of it! I always pyramid the weight up so I get a good warm up and almost never hurt myself. In this video for example here's what I did: 1 plate 8 reps, 2 plates 8 reps, 3 plates 8 reps, 4 plates 4 reps, 4 and a half plates one rep and that last one at 5 plates. I like finishers alot too, for example, on the flat bench after my heavy sets I'll drop the weight down to only 3 plates a side and do as many reps I can and as fast as I can. I do this on alot of things, leg press, squats, military press, close grip etc etc. Gives a massive pump!
Felt good finally going back to the gym today. I had to take a week off because I caught a stomach flu bug yet again! A couple of kids where I work had it so of course I had to catch it. Lost 7lbs because of it, I'm 267lbs today. Pisses me off because I was coming along really good and now this sets me back two weeks, one week of training lost and one week to get it all back. But shit happens, thats life! At least I did a really good leg workout, nothing better to get the blood flowing!
I was doing freakin good until that damn stomach flu messed me up. Had a real crazy and busy week and I only got to work out today. At least I gained most of the weight back, 272lbs today. Did arms, was the first time since I did my close grip double video wich was almost 3 weeks ago! Did ok considering all this, a close grip 4 plate double went up really good. So strenght was ok, but the stamina wasn't there at all, did 5 less reps then last time when I dropped down to 3 plates for reps as a finisher.
But have no fear I will get that 500 eventually! I'll kick myself in the ass and work on a better technique, I want it bad!
Still no 500lbs bench but I'm sure I would've gotten my 5 plates by myself (495lbs+/-) if I had my regular training partner with me. The guy spotting me followed the bar even though I told him to only touch it It I get stuck. He said he just followed and didn't help at all, but it still pisses me off! I count it as a miss! Second try I went to slow and got stuck, but can't complain since it's my first chest workout since I got sick and it's been over 2 weeks since the last one...Next week! Did some high reps stamina sets after, went ok, did a decent amount of reps, gave a great pump!
Yes those are 20kg plates but they also have a 3/4 inch rubber lining around them, so they're pretty much 45lbs each... I know because we put some on the scale! But don't worry, when I do the 500lbs it'll be a real 500lbs. Those grey plates like I have on the incline in the video are all between 46-48lbs each! Makes a big difference when you got 10 of those on!
This video has nothing to do with benching but my training partner is also one of the best paintbrush artist in the world and he started selling t-shirts with some of his work. He gave me a new one so I made this video yesterday at the end of my back workout for him. His website is worth visiting, absolutely kick ass work!