T Nation

Nearly Killed Myself Lifting Today

Early today I re-figured my 1RM for Barbell Bench Press and Seated Cable Rows. I just didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of the workout. I’m currently doing ABBH. Well I was right. I underestimated my 1RMs big time. So anyway after work I come home to lift. My seated cable row was perfect after doing the reconfiguration (80% of 1RM). However I had to drop my bench press by 20 lbs. That is 20 lbs less than the configuration of 80% of 1RM! So I’m going along and realize how much I’m struggling with even the 20 lb less configuration. I get to the 98th rep and just about kill myself. So I drop it 5 more lbs for the 9th rep. What happens? I nearly crush myself again. Took a chunk out of the stone on the fireplace having to tilt the barbell off of me. Had to finish out the 10th rep with another 5 lbs taken off. Let this be a lesson to those that don’t use a training partner. Don’t try lifting more then you can handle. Obviously the best advice is to lift with a partner. Again, obviously that isn’t convenient for everyone.

Anyone have a solution to the reason I had to drop my 80% of 1RM so considerably yet was right on for the Seated Cable Row?

when training alone, using 60% intensity speed reps is a much safer way to increase strength and induce high muscle tension in a non fatigued state. or just use dumbells if you can. I never barbell bench at high intensities on my own without a trusted spotter. if i squat heavy it’s in the squat cage no questions asked. laters pk

Regardless of what program you are on, occasionaly you must test your actual 1 rep max.Some check once a month,every 6 weeks,when ever.The point is that you must check the actual max.That is the only way to guage real progress or regress.
If your formula was correct and estimate of max was correct for the back, is it possible that your chest is somehow losing strength? This could be indicative of a flaw in training emphasis.

I’m not sure which one of us is confused, but the way I read it, the program never calls for a 10 rep set at 80% of your 1RM anyway.

I thought it was either having you do 10 sets of 3 (or 4 or 5 depending on the week) at 80% 1RM or 5 sets of 10 at 60% (or 65% or 70% depending on the week).

So the bench press/bent over row days look like (sets x reps @ % of 1RM):
Day 1 - 10x3 @ 80%
Day 9 - 10x4 @ 80%
Day 17 - 10x5 @ 80%
Day 25 - 5x10 @ 60%
Day 33 - 5x10 @ 65%
Day 41 - 5x10 @ 70%

According to the 1RM calculator I use 80% of your 1RM is more weight than you should be able to lift 10 times (i.e. if you test your max by doing reps with 100lbs and you can get 10 done, then your 1RM is 133 lbs and 80% of that is 106lbs), so assuming that’s true, it’s no surprise you crashed on the bench (although it is surprising you didn’t have more trouble with the rows).

Anyway, not sure if that helps at all, but it’s my $0.02. Good luck.

Me too Merc. I was thinking the same thing. As for training without a partner, I have been doing this safely for a LONG time. Sometimes you do have to cut back a little bit in the interest of safety. For some reason though, I just seem to intuitively know if I can squeeze out a rep or not before I get to a point of no return.

There was one time in college though, where I had to roll the barbell down my chest, stomach and onto my lap before sitting up and reverse-clearing it to the floor. When benching, I can tell right off the rack if I can clear the weight. I actually like working alone, but its not for everyone.

DB

It’s better I think to flip the barbell off you. As if the weight is heavy you really don’t want to be rolling it down your body.

[quote]Jay Sherman wrote:
It’s better I think to flip the barbell off you. As if the weight is heavy you really don’t want to be rolling it down your body.[/quote]

If you have to roll it, roll it up!

Just kidding. I remember Al Bundy doing this.

Anyway, I lift alone, but alway bench in a power rack. If I remember correctly, 90% of the weight lifting related deaths are by people benching alone (without a rack).

I don’t see how people manage that. I guess you might eventually suffocate if you don’t figure out how to get it off of you. Someone please tell me people aren’t that dumb.

Killed at home benching without a spot would probably be the bar rolling onto your throat, dosn’t take much from there.

Since I workout at home I have only really been able to push myself having a spot or power rack. The spot I find is more about confidence than actual help. The rack definitely has improved my lifting at home, and I’d recommend getting one, or making one.

Lifting at a gym is really not much fun unless you find a good one, which are too few on the ground these days.

[quote]merc63 wrote:
I’m not sure which one of us is confused, but the way I read it, the program never calls for a 10 rep set at 80% of your 1RM anyway.

I thought it was either having you do 10 sets of 3 (or 4 or 5 depending on the week) at 80% 1RM or 5 sets of 10 at 60% (or 65% or 70% depending on the week).

So the bench press/bent over row days look like (sets x reps @ % of 1RM):
Day 1 - 10x3 @ 80%
Day 9 - 10x4 @ 80%
Day 17 - 10x5 @ 80%
Day 25 - 5x10 @ 60%
Day 33 - 5x10 @ 65%
Day 41 - 5x10 @ 70%

According to the 1RM calculator I use 80% of your 1RM is more weight than you should be able to lift 10 times (i.e. if you test your max by doing reps with 100lbs and you can get 10 done, then your 1RM is 133 lbs and 80% of that is 106lbs), so assuming that’s true, it’s no surprise you crashed on the bench (although it is surprising you didn’t have more trouble with the rows).

Anyway, not sure if that helps at all, but it’s my $0.02. Good luck.[/quote]

Day 1

Sets per Muscle Group: Chest 10, Back 10

Movement Plane: Horizontal

Examples: Flat Barbell Bench, Barbell Rows, Seated Cable Row (both back movements using a pronated grip with the width the exact same as bench press)

Reps: 3

Load: 80% of 1RM <— THIS SAYS 80% of 1RM

Rest: 60 seconds between supersets (i.e. train chest, rest 60 secs, train back, rest 60 secs, train chest, rest 60 seconds, etc)

merc63 has got it correct. After day 23, you switch the rep/set (from abbh 2):
Overview of the Original Program
Let me first address some issues with the original plan. Once you finish the first 23 days of the original program, do the following:

  1. Switch the movement plane with the strength training method. In other words, Day 1 becomes 5 sets of 10 repetitions with horizontal pressing/pulling. Use the same 60 second rest periods as originally prescribed and utilize antagonist training (i.e., switch back and forth between the pressing and pulling exercises).

hth

Provy,

Your earlier post:

[quote]I get to the 98th rep and just about kill myself. So I drop it 5 more lbs for the 9th rep. What happens? I nearly crush myself again. Took a chunk out of the stone on the fireplace having to tilt the barbell off of me. Had to finish out the 10th rep with another 5 lbs taken off.
[/quote]
That makes it sound like you’re trying to do a 10 rep set at 80%.
So either I’m misunderstanding your original post (i.e. maybe by 9th rep you meant the 3rd rep of the 3rd set???) or one of us is misunderstanding the program.

It would be helpful if you could post how your think the sets/reps/load breaks down over the coures of the program.

When I did this program I found it to be tough but manageable - I had to work hard, but managed to complete 95% of the sets w/o failure. Since you’re never supposed to reach failure when doing this program and since (I think) you’re failing while attempting a 10 rep set at 80% 1RM (which seems like a reasonable load for reaching failure), I’d lean towards the problem being in your interpretation of the workout, not your 1RM calculation.

The 10 x 3-5 method is loosely based around 80% of 1RM. This equates to a 6-7RM. But these numbers must be manipulated for many trainees. If you can’t perform 10 x 3 with the load you chose, drop the load 2.5% for the next 10 x 4 session.

As for the 5 x 10 method, you should use a load that puts you near failure on the last rep of the last set. If not, the load is too light or heavy. Adjust accordingly.

This is an extremely difficult subject to address since I can’t make blanket statements for all lifters. Some lifters can only lift 4 reps with 80% of 1RM, whereas others can lift 10 reps. There are too many variables involved for me to prescribe perfect loading parameters, you must use your own instincts. But, remember this: those who had the most success on the ABBH started with an initial load that was lighter than they expected. Even without approaching failure, the 10 x 3 method will induce appreciable fatigue and soreness. Don’t push the load! Start light, then increase the load based on the exercise prescription.