T Nation

MY JOURNEY: Road to a 405 Raw Bench Press


#1

Hello, fellow T-Nation board members.

I have started this online training journal to chronicle my journey to a 405 raw bench press.

My best (touch&go) bench press ever was 385 when I weighed ~300#s.

I currently weigh 205-210 in the manana and hope to increase my weight via lean muscle gain only on my journey.

I could write more about myself but I'm sure no one really cares and I think I have said enough.

For any inquiring minds, the basis of my username is 2 Timothy 2:3-4:

"You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier."

I hope to learn a lot from all the experienced lifters on here and ask for any constructive advice/criticism anyone has to offer.

God Bless,

Nick


#2

Today:

BENCH PRESS

(warm-up)

  1. decline bench press (middle-finger-on-the-ring grip)
    4520, 9515, 13510
    paused/belt
    155/175/195
    33
    215/235/255/275/285
    51
    245
    6 (+1 spotted rep)
    close-grip (index-on-the-smooth-grip/touch&go): 195x12

Hitting 2851 is a bodyweight PR. I felt good and like I had one more set in me, but I decided to call it. This is the first time I’m benching in the 90%+ range in well over 6 months. The set with 2456 also felt good smooth and I felt I had the 7th rep but, alas, my gas tank ran dry. The close-grip set also felt good/smooth.

  1. DB flyes: 30/40/50310

  2. v-bar pushdowns: 20/30/40/50x4x20

rest-periods: 2-5 min. for decline bench press; 60 sec. for assistance work

All-in-all a great workout and I got to meet a few gym members (I just joined a new gym).


#3

BACK/BICEPS

  1. underhand-grip Hammer Strength pulldowns:
    5020, 9015, 14010, 1808, 2308, 2706

  2. 1-arm DB rows (w/belt, no straps): 40/60/80/100/12058

  3. DB shrugs: 40/60/8038

  4. pinwheel curls: 20/35/5038

Good workout. Felt a bit tired which is not normal for me, but my guess is that maxing on decline yesterday affected my energy levels. In the past, I placed too high a focus on assistance work and was constantly obsessed with hitting PRs on EVERY movement of EVERY workout. My goal now is to practice self-control and let my assistance work be just that: assistance.

1-2 min. rest periods with the workout taking only about 45 min.


#4

CARDIO/STRETCHING

  1. Stairmill: 45 min. @L50

  2. stretching circuit/foam rolling

Well, I have turned a corner: I have eaten egg whites & veggies and done cardio & strecthing all in the same day.

I have avoided stretching all my life but I have reoccurring tightness in my right leg so starting now to alleviate that.

I also tried to use the foam roller and quickly realized I need to watch some instructional videos.

Ready to hit Shoulders tomorrow!


#5

I just remembered I have this video of me deadlifting 605 (in the gym) and thought I’d share.

The date on the video says 2/21/11 so it’s been quite a while since I was this strong!

Maybe one day I’ll be back pulling 600+ but I need to focus on my current goal.


#6

SHOULDERS:

  1. standing BB press:
    45x20, 65x15, 95x10
    (belt)
    115x4x5
    115x15
    3 min. rest periods

  2. seated DB press:
    30x10
    40x4x8
    40x30
    2 min. rest periods

  3. lateral raises ssw/front raises: 15x3x10
    1 min. rest periods

Great Shoulders training today! Inspired by John Meadows videos I tried something new/different.

In my efforts to reserve my full energy for Bench Press on Monday I experimented with a volume/sub-maximal approach and really enjoyed this session.

I will up the weight for the BB and DB presses 5#s next week and go for more reps with the superset.

Time to Grow!


#7

LEGS

  1. plate-loaded calf raises:
    machinex10
    45/90/115x3x8
    140x2x8
    140x12

  2. one-leg vertical leg press:
    30x2x8
    30x15

  3. seated leg curls:
    8p/11px2x8
    14px4x8
    14px15

  4. leg press:
    180x10
    360x5
    540x4x5
    540x30

  5. one-leg ext.:
    30x4x8
    30x20

  6. stretching

1 min. rest periods for all sets.

Good workout. I enjoyed the reverse-order of lifts and it’s nice to try something different for a change.

Time to rest up this weekend and get ready for heavy bench on Monday!


#8

in


#9

BENCH PRESS

(warm-up)

  1. bench press
    45x20, 95x15, 135x10
    paused
    155/175/195x3x3
    215/235/255/275x4x1
    235x6
    (close-grip, touch-n-go)
    195x8

Hitting 275 for a single was my goal today, so I was happy to hit it with a solid pause.

Now having my current max will enable me to map out my training.

  1. incline DB press:
    40/50/60x3x10
    70x2x10
    70x11

  2. DB flyes
    35x10
    35x15

3 min. rest periods

I trained late tonight but I managed to pull off a good workout!


#10

[quote]chobbs wrote:
in[/quote]

Awesome, brother.

Please let me know if you have any advice or constructive criticisms.


#11

BACK/BICEPS

  1. 1-arm HS pulldowns (hook-grip)
    25x20, 45x15, 70x10, 90x6
    115x2x6
    115x20

  2. 1-arm DB rows
    40x10, 60x6, 80x6
    100x2x6
    100x15

  3. alternate hammer curls
    25x3x20

1 min. rest periods for warm-ups on pulldowns & rows and hammer curls, 3 min. rest periods for working sets on pulldowns & rows.

I’m beginning to REALLY like this volume training style and I’m hitting weights for reps I never have before.

I feel like my central nervous system is being primed for my last all-out set.

Training in the past with a 5/3/1-ish template for squat/bench press is what catalyzed my idea of approaching my assistance work this way.

My truck is in the shop so I had to get a ride today from one of my Brothers and this condensed the window of my training time.

I find whenever this happens to me I always try something new to get everything done in time (like high rep, static weight hammer curls today).

Time to rest tomorrow and then KILL Shoulders on Thursday!


#12

[quote]Soldier4Christ wrote:

[quote]chobbs wrote:
in[/quote]

Awesome, brother.

Please let me know if you have any advice or constructive criticisms.[/quote]
You seem to be doing just fine! Thanks for stopping by in my log


#13

[quote]chobbs wrote:

[quote]Soldier4Christ wrote:

[quote]chobbs wrote:
in[/quote]

Awesome, brother.

Please let me know if you have any advice or constructive criticisms.[/quote]
You seem to be doing just fine! Thanks for stopping by in my log[/quote]

Thanks, brother.


#14

Well, I’m back lifting heavy so I thought I should revive this training log.

I benched 275 with an easy pause last week so I’m pretty much back to where I was when I started this training log.

Yesterday: Bench Press

  1. pause bench press (45x20/95x15)
    (belt/3 min. rest periods)
    135x5
    155x5
    175x5
    195x5
    215x4x5, 1x12
    -215x12 felt like bench press cardio!

  2. incline DB press
    (2 min. rest periods)
    40x6
    50x6
    60x4x6, 1x15

  3. alternate curls-for-the-girls
    (1 min. rest periods)
    20x8
    30x8
    40x3x8

There’s a USPA meet in San Diego on December 5th and I’m considering doing the Bench Press division. We shall see . . .


#15

[quote]Soldier4Christ wrote:

  1. pause bench press (45x20/95x15)
    (belt/3 min. rest periods)
    135x5
    155x5
    175x5
    195x5
    215x4x5, 1x12
    -215x12 felt like bench press cardio!

[/quote]

Reps for Jesus, brother.