So five years into my training and eighty pounds later i'm finally facing two road blocks that although i likely don't need to address because what i've been doing has been working, i feel i do need to address because they are core elements to lifting and i bypass them too often.
i primarily use db's for chest and my staple movement is incline pressing at between 30-40 degrees. when i began 5 yrs ago i couldn't press the 35lb dbs. i was genetically very weak to start with. well, my incline press has increased as i've grown and i now can handle the 100-110's for reps. yahoo, my ego likes how much i've increased, my chest has grown.
i never flat bench. i never try to flat bench. i've done it two to three times prior to this last two week experiment. i had never attempted to flat bench more than 185!!!!!! crazy. the movement never felt right. not practicing something often makes something feel not right, go figure.
anyways. i've been training w/ a big fucker, ex marine recon, crazy genetic freak who has me doing full body training everyday. i know this will not work for me long term, not sure how he grows considering he trains full body 36+ sets 7 days a week, barely eats and is natural. he's bigger than me @ 510" 230lb very very lean to my 215lb @ 5'11 not as lean as him.
my goal is to train w/ him for a few weeks really drilling the movements and feeling of benching in particular. we are also squatting everyday. nuts i know but really i just want to develop **comfort under the bar. he has a theory that this volume and constant attack on the legs creates a huge Testosterone boost.
i get it, but his thoughts are that it's a magic boost and if you keep at it your strength goes up and the bar begins to feel like someone is lifting it for you. we'll see, the no rest you go i go shit does seem to be hyping me up and the squatting isn't super heavy, it's high rep. my legs were sore for the first few days but now seem to be handling it.
i've already told him that instead of 7 on i'm going two on one off because i know i cannot recover and will get hurt. i'm willing to try new shit but at nearly 37 i knwo what i can recover from.
anyway the squat stuff is fine. i usually front squat in the rack not going over 225-275 for a few reps then drop and do volume and/or "GASP" the dreaded smith machine squat! usually working up to four plates a side. i'm not a very strong dude genetically and have to work hard to keep improving. as said, i'm doing all this volume just to get my legs use to the movement of back squatting free, i'll reduce the volume and increase weight soon enough.
The point of this seemingly forever rant....MY BENCH.
well, as said never tried to go over 185, so i did 135 for like a million reps focusing on bringing the bar down to bottom of the chest, gripping hard, set feet, slight arch, dig in, slam traps and upper back into bench, retract scapula, big chest, angle arms at 45 angle, elbows in a bit. * all methods for keeping the shoulder healthy. * yes i know benching evreyday will not create healthy shoulders. this is an experiment to develop a better comfort/technique/mind muscle connection. to get better at anything you must drill it.
several friends have said the form was great. it felt good. i did 185. 225 for 5. 250 for three. i know these are shitty numbers but again i'm really concerned with getting this right form wise, health of the shoulder wise, and to grow, not necessarily be a power lifter.
tonite. on 225 after warming up w/ 135, i brought the bar down to my chest, i had been going about an inch above prior to this; as i pressed i felt bad things in my left shoulder, the one i already have rotator cuff issues with. it only felt worse after, pain is modrate but i have full range of motion, front raise position hurts a bit.
ice, heat. FUCK YOU. this is why i've avoided flat bench. i seem to know all the proper ways to do it, i'm a bright mother fucker, apparently not bright enough to avoid fucking my shit up. i just wanted to practice it, i still do. yes there are other ways to a huge chest but flat bench works, it worked for all those 70's cats...no one had a weak looking chest.
the pec is fine, i think the internal shoulder is fine, overstretched touching the chest i suppose, the pain is in the anterior deltoid. it should be good in a day or two w/ rest. i'm just fucking angry. i seem to be hitting a grow time right now, refining a bit, weight coming up but looking leaner and leaner. not wanting a set back but wanting to work on this flat bench stuff.
i know the methods for keeping it out of my shoulder, but in theory they work, when i get under the bar it seems my shoulders want in on the movement. i'll likely re-read this book i've just written and then answer it myself after i pick it apart. any others w/ input on benching thoughts experiences, insights, please chime in.
i've seen Dave Tate's shit. i get it. that big arch floor drive shit seems to mess w/ my back. i want to bench for chest hypertrophy not to win any PL trophies. that said, w/out eventually getting my #'s up my chest will only grow so much. i should drill light weights, i should limit my ROM to an inch + off the chest. there has to be more secrets than these.
i'm just fucking pissed tonite. sorry this rant isn't more concise. fix my fucking shoulder please.