I am training for powerlifting, mostly as a bencher. I train at a PL gym on the weekends and most of the guys there are bench only so I have the best help there as well. I also have a good deadlift and I regularly pull heavy so I may be able to put up some big numbers there as well. I don’t really have any interest in competing in the squat in 2ply gear and all that shit but I use it as more of a lower body accessory movement for the deadlift and bench.
My main goal right now is a 315 raw bench and a 500 DL. I recently hit 285 for a close grip and my best DL was 460 so it should happen soon. I have had good results with my bench on a pseudo-Westside template.
Here is what my training looks like
Sat - Heavy Bench
- Floor Press/Inclines/Close Grip/Flat Bench rotated every week up to a 1RM
- Some kind of heavy pressing – close grips, board presses, heavy DBs, etc…
- Another pressing movement for higher reps or heavy extensions
- Upper Back/Rear Delt work
Not really set in stone
- Squats - 1-3x6-10
- GHR or Back Extensions
- Weighted ab work
Tue - Speed Bench
- Speed Bench somewhere around 52.5% bands, 55% chains, 60% straight weight, 9x3 w/ 3 grips
- Heavy shoulder work, overheads or some shit for like 2-3 sets of 6 reps
- JM presses 3-4 sets of 8-10
- DB or Rope Extensions
- Upper Back/Rear Delts
Wed - Off
Thu- Heavy DL
- Rack Pulls/SLDL/Conv. DL and variations of these – 3x5, 3x3, 1x5, 1x3, 1x2, etc, backing off when necessary)
- 1 or 2 sets of SLDL or GMs or heavy back extensions 3x10 depending on where I am
- Heavy Upper Back – Rows
Fri - Off
Some extra bicep/forearm work thrown in whenever
Some thoughts – this sort of training is working well for me – I added about 40lbs to my bench in a month or two and am able to break PRs every week of the rotation. For a recent example, I got 275 on a flat bench with a wide grip one week, and then two weeks later I get 285 with a close grip, which means my wide grip bench has gone up 15 or 20lbs.
For a while I was doing two dedicated upper back workouts twice a week based on suggestions from some of the bigger bench only lifters but since I am not competing in a shirt at this point (although I plan to in the future) I thought that was a little bit of a waste of time as I am not rowing the bar down and it wasn’t the best use of my time. I think the 3 mini upper back sessions I have now will be more than enough.
The deadlift stuff is relatively new and I will have to work out a cycle that will allow me to progress without being overtrained. I am kind of on the fence with how heavy I want to be going on speed/accessory bench day with shoulders. I need more heavy delt work, like overheads, but I don’t want to interfere with my heavy bench session. I’m not sure whether to use speed day as basically another accessory day or as a volume session.