T Nation

I Apologize In Advance, But 10 x 3

I’m pretty sick of my bench going nowhere, so I think next week I’m going to start a 10 X 3 program for it. I’m sure it’s been talked about to great length around here, but I have a few questions.

First, how are people’s experiences with it? Did you see a good increase in strength? Second, I assume there wouldn’t be any supplemental exercises for a high-intensity program like this, but does anyone ever do anything after the initial 10 sets?

Also, would it be a good idea to juggle in incline or decline every once in a while? My flat is definitlely a weak link, but for overall balance I figure it couldn’t hurt.

You could probably do full body 10X3 3 times a week, doing a press, a pull and a squat or DL, or have an alternating between 10X3 and 3X10 or something. Anyways youll have to think about it more than me.

I have seen gains with 8x3. the only reason I use 8 sets is because I do burnouts, negatives, or board presses afterwards and i only have so much time to be in the gym (2 hours).

The way I progress is when I am able to do the entire 8x3 sets with no help for 3 consecutive workouts, I increase the weight. You will be up and down in your weight at first until you find your 8x3 you can do all 8 sets with.

I’ve found that when I change up my routine and replace flat bench with decline that I can get better results as far as boosting strength. I rarely train flat bench/decline in the same exercise, but often pick one and train with a form of incline I.E. Decline then Dumbbell Incline, etc…

If your bench isn’t going anywhere, I’d be more worried about your diet than about what rep/set scheme you’re using.

[quote]tonyc wrote:
If your bench isn’t going anywhere, I’d be more worried about your diet than about what rep/set scheme you’re using. [/quote]

Well, I did lose like 110 lbs. last year so it’s been an uphill battle since then to reclaim some of my strength.

How’s your technique? Do you take the time to get setup or are you like most gym-goers who just jump under the bar and try and crank out some heavy weight?

10x3 is a good workout, but if your technique sucks, so will your gains.

10 X 3 is a fine method, but make sure your weight goes up 2% each week. Granted that figure is a tough protocol as not since most gyms don’t have incremental plates ,but just add 2 to 5 lbs per week. For however long you are doing this.
Are you training bench more than once a week? If not, that would help greatly as well.

My technique isn’t too bad, I’ve been working out for a while now so I’m pretty sure I have that down.

I’m actually not training chest more than once a week because I think I use to overtrain the shit out of it with hypertrophy in mind too much, but if it’ll help out my strength, I’m willing to try just about anything.

Train it at least twice a week, and make sure your mainly doing close grip. This is what the powerlifters do, because the triceps are usually the weak link in the bench, and they are the prime mover at the top half. Also, im sure you wouldn’t mind bigger triceps.

[quote]dankid wrote:
Train it at least twice a week, and make sure your mainly doing close grip. This is what the powerlifters do, because the triceps are usually the weak link in the bench, and they are the prime mover at the top half. Also, im sure you wouldn’t mind bigger triceps.[/quote]

Yeah, I suppose I wouldn’t mind bigger triceps. :-/

Anyway, train 10 X 3 twice a week, or once and have a lighter day?

I used the 10x3 method a little while ago and found it to be a little too excessive in terms of the amount of sets - I found I was getting burned out around set 6/7 and the last few were real grinders that I required some help on, especially after adding weight.

I got better strength results switching to 8x3 (now I do 6 x 3, with another supplementary exercise and am doing even better) than I did with 10x3 alone.

That being said, a lot of people enjoy it.

[quote]SSC wrote:
dankid wrote:
Train it at least twice a week, and make sure your mainly doing close grip. This is what the powerlifters do, because the triceps are usually the weak link in the bench, and they are the prime mover at the top half. Also, im sure you wouldn’t mind bigger triceps.

Yeah, I suppose I wouldn’t mind bigger triceps. :-/

Anyway, train 10 X 3 twice a week, or once and have a lighter day?
[/quote]

Depends on how much you want a bigger bench. If it’s just to push more weight for fun then do it 1-2 times per week and keep everything else in the same line. But if you need to bench more and bench is a priority then I would suggest doing that lift 3x per week. I have used 10x3 before for bench and it worked like a left handed hooker (well) for me.

But in hind sight I would only do two days of 10 or 8 x3 and then a day of max effort and a day of plyo movments for that ROM. So that is 3 session per week with 4 workouts. I find that way you get ample time between the intensity of the 10x3 sessions. The ME and plyo day (DE i suppose) tend to be much less volume for me and are easier to recover from. That being said a ME day for me is mostly sets of 1 after some sets of 4-2. Some people put more volume into their ME days than I do.

So I’d say it’s likely going to be good for you and work well but it needs some filling out if bench is REALLY important for whatever reason.

Also, if your bench is stagnant I would also recommend quitting it for a bit and focusing on your ability to pull both vertically and horizontally. this really is what allows me to press hard i feel.

Good luck and be sure to check the form on camera if possible.

-chris

[quote]SSC wrote:
dankid wrote:

Anyway, train 8 X 3 twice a week, or once and have a lighter day?
[/quote]

Go twice a week. Do it the westside way. One day do 8x3 with around 85% 1rm, and use longer rest breaks of 2-3 mins.

The other day, do 8x3 with 65% 1rm, and focus on speed. Use 1 minute rest breaks.

This will work, especially if you havent been doing “heavy” weihts and haven’t been doing speed work. The weight isn’t so important as long as your always doing your concentric as fast as possible. So basically one heavy day and one light day. All done 8x3 and vary the rest breaks to be able to complete each workout.

[quote]dankid wrote:
Go twice a week. Do it the westside way. One day do 8x3 with around 85% 1rm, and use longer rest breaks of 2-3 mins.

The other day, do 8x3 with 65% 1rm, and focus on speed. Use 1 minute rest breaks.
[/quote]

Cool, cool, thanks for the input everybody. I’m thinking about doing this from now until June, and then switching to WS4SB.

Again, I suppose I have a decent base, (nothing spectacular by any means,) but hopefully this will help out a lot.

Just a note, my split is

Sunday - Chest
Monday - Legs
Tuesday - Arms
Wednesday - (Nothing, but possibly light chest now)
Thursday - Back
Friday - Off
Saturday - Off

I think it’s still a decent split, but does anyone else have any thoughts about it and the 10 X 3 program?

Before considering hopping from plan zu plan,think if you aren´t overtrained regarding the bench.

When my bench stalled,I switched rep schemes,programms, all-but it didn´t went up.

First when I deloaded for 4 weeks(not only one),I afterwards saw progress again even not changing the reps or sets at all.

Deload is a very very very efficient tool and it can save weeks or even months of frustrations.

So my 2 cents:

If strength and hypertrophy is the goal I will shoot for:

First your test session:
Test out your 5x5 RPM (the max load you can press 5reps for 5 sets )

Take 80% of it,reduce the volume a bit from the beginning, and work yourself up for 4-5 weeks weeks:

fex bench max is 100 kg for 5x5

First week: 3x5 80kg
2 week: 3x5 with 85kg
3.week: 5x5 with 90
4 week; 5x5 with 95
5.week 5x5 100
6.week: try new record and go on

It will NOT help if you are overtrained to switch from programm to programm it will NOT help you at all.

Think about it.