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Poliquin's Cool Tip

According to the tip that was given by Charles Poliquin, you should be able to do 90% of your 1rm in the bench on the semi supinated (palms facing?) grip of the dumbbell bench.

I bench 365. This means I would have to be able to press 160lbs dumbbells. No way in hell I can do that!

does this mean that my stabilizers are weak and that I should only do dumbbell work until they catch up?

No, all it means is that Poliquin places way too much importance on ratios. haha

[quote]Jones wrote:
No, all it means is that Poliquin places way too much importance on ratios. haha[/quote]

LOL! Nice answer.

[quote]MikeShank wrote:
According to the tip that was given by Charles Poliquin, you should be able to do 90% of your 1rm in the bench on the semi supinated (palms facing?) grip of the dumbbell bench.

I bench 365. This means I would have to be able to press 160lbs dumbbells. No way in hell I can do that!

does this mean that my stabilizers are weak and that I should only do dumbbell work until they catch up?[/quote]

I think it means that you should work on doing dumbell work, semi supinated and pronated. After a cycle or two of that, you should be set for a new PR in the straight bar bench.

Is there a dumbbell-barbell bench formula? I can DB Bench two 55 lb pound dumbbells, and I read once that if you can bench press two 50 lb dumbbells for five reps then you can bench 150. Is this usually true? How much should I be able to barbell bench?

I have found that the percentage for DB lifts is usually 37.5%-45% per arm of the barbell lift. Using Poliquins math, this would be 75%-90% of the barbell bench. The guy benching 365 should be able to do 145 lb. dumbbells. This should not be that bad if you really bench 365.

If not, I would do more DB work. One of my athletes, Scott Young just set the record for the 225 bench at the combine with 46. He was barbell benching about 500 for reps and would do DB benches with 180s for reps. I have found that the higher your bench is, the lower the percentage for DB work is. So I would say that 75% for someone who benches over 500 lbs. and 90% for someone who benches around 225.

Corey Anderson, MS, CSCS

[quote]Corey Anderson wrote:
I have found that the percentage for DB lifts is usually 37.5%-45% per arm of the barbell lift. Using Poliquins math, this would be 75%-90% of the barbell bench. The guy benching 365 should be able to do 145 lb. dumbbells. This should not be that bad if you really bench 365.

If not, I would do more DB work. One of my athletes, Scott Young just set the record for the 225 bench at the combine with 46. He was barbell benching about 500 for reps and would do DB benches with 180s for reps. I have found that the higher your bench is, the lower the percentage for DB work is. So I would say that 75% for someone who benches over 500 lbs. and 90% for someone who benches around 225.

Corey Anderson, MS, CSCS[/quote]

how come db benching is still useful in helping the bench if the weight is so much lower? i realize the stabilizers are strengthened but it seems like it wouldnt really work the main pressing muscles very hard.

im not saying it doesnt help, i know it does, its just to me it doesnt make sense how a 500 lb bencher could for example, help the low end of his bench with 180lb dbs.

anyone get what im asking and can explain? thanks! :stuck_out_tongue:

Those percentages are almost spot on for me

Doesn’t Louie Simmon advocate swiss ball db presses for increasing the bench?

I think Westside likes swiss ball DB benching for higher-rep recovery work, like timed sets, where you try to get as many reps as possible over 3 minutes.

[quote]lavi wrote:
Corey Anderson wrote:
I have found that the percentage for DB lifts is usually 37.5%-45% per arm of the barbell lift. Using Poliquins math, this would be 75%-90% of the barbell bench. The guy benching 365 should be able to do 145 lb. dumbbells. This should not be that bad if you really bench 365.

If not, I would do more DB work. One of my athletes, Scott Young just set the record for the 225 bench at the combine with 46. He was barbell benching about 500 for reps and would do DB benches with 180s for reps. I have found that the higher your bench is, the lower the percentage for DB work is. So I would say that 75% for someone who benches over 500 lbs. and 90% for someone who benches around 225.

Corey Anderson, MS, CSCS

how come db benching is still useful in helping the bench if the weight is so much lower? i realize the stabilizers are strengthened but it seems like it wouldnt really work the main pressing muscles very hard.

im not saying it doesnt help, i know it does, its just to me it doesnt make sense how a 500 lb bencher could for example, help the low end of his bench with 180lb dbs.

anyone get what im asking and can explain? thanks! :P[/quote]

I think by doing DB bench, you are able to get a different arch of movement. When people do DB bench, they have the tendency to bring the DBs closer in together when contracting their chest. While when they do BB bench, their hands stay in a singular plane of motion.

I hope I worded that properly and that it makes sense. Any other trains of thought?

yeah thats true, westside does it for timed sets…if you go to the westside-barbell official website and go to the archives, to the articles he talks about how he does db benches for timed sets. I’ve gotta question to this though, is this only for recovery, or do u actually wanna work hard to build strength-endurance???

dl- i wonder

I think the prime purpose is recovery… the way I’ve heard timed sets for strength athletes described is do 20-30 reps… rest a few seconds… do 20-30 more… it’s not about going to failure and not about the resistance. I once used a band around the top of a rack to do 50-100 tricep extensions 2-3x a week, broken up into 3-5 sets. Feels good to get the blood moving and I noticed improvement in the health of my elbows. I also got a nice pump. Don’t tell anyone I said that.

but obvious it works for the westside guys but how does it work, especially in between sets of heavy benching

That’s 180 per hand. Also, this is not a max effort exercise, just a supplemental exercise. I believe the point of this whole thread was disussing the role of these ratios to determine a need for stabilizer training to improve bench. If you cannot do DB lifts within the % ranges, then the logic is that a possible weakness may be your stabilizers. If this logic were correct, then adding some for of DB pressing may help with this issue and then you move on to your next weakness. I have seen many kids training for the combine that couldn’t handle much weight on the DB pressing lifts that also had trouble staying tight during the 225 bench test. In this test, staying tight and moving the bar fast is often more important than muscle endurance for getting big rep numbers. If a kid were having trouble staying tight, and we add heavy DB work in, then it is entirely possible to see an 1-4 rep improvement in the 225 test just by increasing the ability to stay tight during the test as a result of improved stabilizer strength.

Westside usually does the timed lifts for either work capacity (for lifters who are out of shape), recovery (between workouts - light - increased blood flow), or just adding volume to a weakness. They are big believers in simiply adding volume through extra workouts to your weaknesses to increase your special strength qualities in the targeted area.

By the way, with the swiss ball bench, you can usually do more weight than just db bench because your elbows hit the ball almost like a floor press, and you also get a rebound from the ball. A lot of guys like it because it is more comfortable on their upper backs. One word of caution though, I had a 300 lb. lineman working out with dumbbells on a swiss ball and it popped. Luckily he was ok, but it was still a good scare none the less.

Corey Anderson, MS, CSCS