T Nation

Max Effort or Heavy Triples


#1

I am currently focusing on my bench press and aiming for 405 raw in the middle of June. My basic starting plan was to build up my weight for heavy triples (4 x 3 done in a 10 minue time frame) trying to add 5 pounds a week. I lift raw and have found that I have to use primarily raw weight much of the time or I lose strength off the chest.

Today, I decided to use choked #5 bands (large?) because even though I feel I need the starting power, I still get stuck in the tricep zone. I am doing lots of tricep work-including some closegrip lockouts on a different day than my main bench day.

I got 2 triples at 275 with the choked large bands, and the 275 was just flying off the chest so I got the urge to go for a max. I did 295, 305 and 315 at which point I was right at the edge of having my butt come off the bench. This was with a maximum width grip. I am not sure how this translates to a current max, but I did 400 trying on a single ply shirt a couple of months ago, and I would guess it was about 400-405 at the top, maybe 320-325 at the bottom.

Anyway, my question is, how do you all feel that a real max effort single like this compares to doing 4 x 3 at maybe 80-85% I am starting to feel that I can make up the extra volume on my big assistance exercises-I actually have 4 real special assistance exercises and if I do hit close to 400 I will probably post them with pictures.

I don't do lighter speed work as my assistance exercises separately hit the shoulders and triceps plyometrically. I don't want to sound like a know-it-all, I just want to know how you all feel that going to a max single on a bench variation compares to progressing slowing with multiple triples. Thanks!

Mertdawg


#2

I use both heavy triples and the max effirt singles. On monday i alternate between heavy triples and speed work each week. Here is what i do
Week 1
Monday
Pick on exercise and work up to a max 3
-floor press
-decline bench
-pause bench press
-incline press

Thursday
shirted bench off board- heavy triples

Week 2
Monday
speed bench- 6x3
strict over head presses- 3x5

Thursday
regular max effort exercises to a heavy single
-reverse band press, 2 or 3 board, or fat bar bench

I really feel the paused benches and floor press help me off my chest. And then thursday is geared towards top end and shirt benching. Even if you are not using a shirt i think this would still work great for raw bench. One day for low end strength and speed, and one day for top end strength.


#3

Thanks for the explanation. That's pretty similar to how my training has evolved over time. Have you tried using bands and doubled bands?


#4

I always use doubled mini's for speed work but i haven't done it for max effort.


#5

What's ur max? Cause I'm trying to break 400lbs raw by December and my current max is 335lbs. Want to gauge my progress through you.


#6

I'm not positive. I did 355 with a real long pause (maybe 3 sec.) last time I maxed and when I did that, I had just broken through a rep-set barrier of 295 x 5 x 3 in 10 minutes.

It took me 3-4 workouts with 295 to get all 5 sets of 3 so I think the 5 x 3 is a pretty good gauge. I got 295 x 4 x 3 2 weeks ago very easily (I have cut down to 4 sets because I think that's all I need at my current strength level). I had a very slight twinge in the bicep using doubled bands and so I dropped to 275 for higher reps last week and got 275 x 3 x 8, but I am sure I am at 310-320 for 4 x 3 now and considering I probably had 10 pounds more for the 355, I'd estimate about 380.

I will probably go for a max triple next week and then drop down to 4 x 2 for 3-4 weeks. I know that estimating like this is a little lame, but I feel sure I could take out 335 for a triple or 315 for 5 right now.


#7

I like doing max singles. But after a lot of soul-searching, I have come to the conlusion that my bench training progresses more with reps(3-6 reps for the most part). The same with squats and deads, although I mostly use triples on these except for the occasional down set of 5 or 6. Kind of a shame, 'cos I 'd rather go heavy all the time.