When you did the program and increased your bench by 15-20 lbs did you follow the program completely, meaning the prep and the competition phases, or did you do your own peaking program? The reason I ask is when I look around I see a lot of people just doing the prep and then moving on to heavy singles for a few weeks.[/quote]
I actually followed even the competition phase through, but altered it just a little; On week 4-5 I cut pretty much all other work except for some light stuff like reverse hypers to keep my back less stiff (arching :/). On week 6, only took the monday and wednesday workouts and then hit the PR on saturday (one week earlier than in the prog, but due to concentrating only on bench, I was feeling ridiculously hungry).
I have to warn you though, some of my gains were still “beginner gains” resulting from the improved technique and shortened stroke throughout the program; my raw bench compared to yours is a lot weaker, thus taking more QUALITY reps was a good idea for me. The less volume helluva lot more intensity approach might well work better for you.
Oh and the Finnish PL/weightlifting scene? Im afraid it’s not that exotic; no wrestling with polar bears for GPP or anything. World is so boringly homogenous place. Westside is taking over here also, strong man training, metal militia, some old linear stuff a la Coan, east block progs are actually pretty rare, same as with all the western world I guess. You wouldn’t get a cultural shock stepping into a gym here.
PL:ing is just as marginal here as it is elsewhere. There isn’t that many gyms anymore where you could actually witness a squat or a dl sigh (though we have a traditional respect for strength in general; thus all the strongmen, javelin throwers, etc.)
Good luck with the Sheiko experiment.