T Nation

Different Programming on Presses?

What do you guys think? Would i still be able to milk out my newbie gains? I still think that somewhat a beginner/novice lifter because my lifting numbers are ridiculously low for someone that’s at my weight and height.

On sundays

bench 3 sets of 5 (75% of 1rm, top sets) and 2 sets of 10 (60% of 1rm, back off sets)

on tuesdays

ohp 3 sets of 5 (75% of 1rm, top sets) and 2 sets of 10 (60% of 1rm, back off sets)

on thursdays

bench 3 sets of 5 (75% of 1rm) and 2 sets of 10 (60% of 1rm)(back off set)

My main objective is to add 5lb on the bench press a weak not 10lb, I have a back up day on thursday, let’s say if I failed getting my reps in like say 185lb for 5,4,4 reps, then on thursday I will able to get 5,5,5 and this would help me progress more?

would this enable me to progress more? I feel like doing 5x5 ramped up sets are not working for me anymore and i’ve been told a few times that bench and ohp’s are the sort of lifts that respond well to volume, drop-sets, and having high rep sets.

Last question, do i have to let go of madcows 5x5 and jump on 5/3/1? What bench press/ohp programing would be good for a beginner lifter like me?

I still think I’m a beginner/novice lifter for myself, I’m standing at 226lb @ 5’11" with lifting numbers of my one rep maxes are…

Squats: 380lb
Bench: 255lb
Deadlift: 450lb
OHP: 140lb

Helps appreciated :slight_smile:

I only bench once per week, and OHP once per week. Personally I work hard enough on those days that I couldn’t handle anymore days of pressing. I like 5/3/1 because it allows you to work a variety of rep and % 1RM ranges.

No you dont have to let go of 5x5 if you dont want to. You’ll be looking at changing programs for bench probably sooner than OH press. I do OH pressing 3-4 times a week on average for sets of 5 reps, very similar to modified 5x5. Since it lags so far behind bench for most people, it is my experience that it usually responds pretty well to basic fundamental programming longer–IF you have good form and hethy shoulders.

Obviously if your shoulders hurt you can’t do frequent pressing and equally obviously if your form sucks then soon your shoulders will start hurting, so again frequent OH pressing is out :).

For most people bench and press will stall on first on that type of linear progression and once that happens an volume is needed to keep things moving forward. Madcow’s 5x5 is based on a Bill Starr Heavy Light Medium model, if your lower body lifts are still progressing try changing your pressing to:

Monday (heavy)
Press 2 sets x 5 reps 80% of friday’s heavy set
Bench 2x5

Wednesday (light)
Press 3x5 90%
Bench 2x5 80%

Friday (medium)
Press 2x5
Bench 3x5 90%

Add 2.5% per week

This is similar to an example of the Starr method from Practical Programming.

I’m also trying to up my bench press and I’ve decided to go with Hepburns A program which is basically start with 4x1 with around 90% of your 1 rep max, you add an extra 1 set of 1 at each session until you are doing 10x1 then add a little weight and drop back down to 4x1.

I’m training just 3 times a week focusing on 1 powerlift on each training day and for extra volume I’m also doing bench on my squat day so it works out to 2 bench sessions a week as I think once a week benching works better for those who are lifting heavy weights which would require longer to recover from.

Good luck with your program :slight_smile: