T Nation

Thoughts on My Training?

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

  1. Floor Press/Inclines/Close Grip/Flat Bench rotated every week up to a 1RM
  2. Some kind of heavy pressing – close grips, board presses, heavy DBs, etc…
  3. Another pressing movement for higher reps or heavy extensions
  4. Upper Back/Rear Delt work

Sun-Off

Monday: Legs

Not really set in stone

  1. Squats - 1-3x6-10
  2. GHR or Back Extensions
  3. Weighted ab work

Tue - Speed Bench

  1. Speed Bench somewhere around 52.5% bands, 55% chains, 60% straight weight, 9x3 w/ 3 grips
  2. Heavy shoulder work, overheads or some shit for like 2-3 sets of 6 reps
  3. JM presses 3-4 sets of 8-10
  4. DB or Rope Extensions
  5. Upper Back/Rear Delts

Wed - Off
Thu- Heavy DL

  1. Rack Pulls/SLDL/Conv. DL and variations of these – 3x5, 3x3, 1x5, 1x3, 1x2, etc, backing off when necessary)
  2. 1 or 2 sets of SLDL or GMs or heavy back extensions 3x10 depending on where I am
  3. 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.

Any ideas/thoughts?

on your ME bench day, why not go

  1. ME movment
  2. heavy/RE movement
  3. Shoulders RE (laterals/plateraises good here)
    tricpes
    back

DE day:
DE bench
ME shoulders (stanidng, push press, seated militaires)
RE pressing if you see a need
ropes
back

ive had more success using DE day as a RE close grip day, its working very well right now this is my setup

ME bench up to single
reverse grip presses 3x6
shoulder presses 5x6
triceps 4x10

RE DAy
close grip press 5x10
rows 5x10
laterlas/plate raise supersets usually
triceps 4x10
biceps 4x10

[quote]INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
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

  1. Floor Press/Inclines/Close Grip/Flat Bench rotated every week up to a 1RM
  2. Some kind of heavy pressing – close grips, board presses, heavy DBs, etc…
  3. Another pressing movement for higher reps or heavy extensions
  4. Upper Back/Rear Delt work

Any ideas/thoughts?[/quote]

Looking pretty good. I have one thought. You want to build your Raw bench based on what you wrote above,but I couldn’t help notice that you are doing a lot of movements that would favor a shirted bencher like the close grip benches, board presses. Not to say these won’t help your raw bench but I think you would be better served by doing illegally wide benches, long paused benches and even benches with chains and lastly reverse band benches. All of these may be better choices for you to build strength off the chest. Maybe rotate these into what your already doing and I think you’ll see some good improvements.
Another thing is I see you’ve listed a shit load of “pushing” movements. Put that same effort into you’re pulling movements eg. rows, upper bach stuff. Good luck on your goals.

Exercise selection should be dictated by weaknesses imo, where do you fail lifts?

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
INTERNETWARLORD wrote:
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

  1. Floor Press/Inclines/Close Grip/Flat Bench rotated every week up to a 1RM
  2. Some kind of heavy pressing – close grips, board presses, heavy DBs, etc…
  3. Another pressing movement for higher reps or heavy extensions
  4. Upper Back/Rear Delt work

Any ideas/thoughts?

Looking pretty good. I have one thought. You want to build your Raw bench based on what you wrote above,but I couldn’t help notice that you are doing a lot of movements that would favor a shirted bencher like the close grip benches, board presses. Not to say these won’t help your raw bench but I think you would be better served by doing illegally wide benches, long paused benches and even benches with chains and lastly reverse band benches. All of these may be better choices for you to build strength off the chest. Maybe rotate these into what your already doing and I think you’ll see some good improvements.
Another thing is I see you’ve listed a shit load of “pushing” movements. Put that same effort into you’re pulling movements eg. rows, upper bach stuff. Good luck on your goals.
[/quote]

Yo thanks. I’m doing upper back and rear delts three times a week, and with more volume on the DL day, so I’m hoping that’s enough…

I’m not sure why you think close grip bench press is for shirted benching? With the board presses I am using mostly 1 or 2 brds just to get some help with the mid-range… Illegals are a good idea, I usually do them as an accessory though…I actually managed to get my hands on an 3 week illegal wide mini cycle so I might do that to strengthen my wide grip benches.

You mentioned reverse bands – have these helped with your raw bench?

I don’t ever really do pause benches… Do they help you? So far it seems like mostly my speed work and my lat work is what helps the bar get started off my chest.

One thing I was thinking was I could include overhead presses into my max effort cycle to raise my raw bench… Does anyone have any experience with that?

[quote]INTERNETWARLORD wrote:

I’m not sure why you think close grip bench press is for shirted benching?[/quote]

Not “for” shirted benchers. I said they “favor” shirted benchers because a shirt helps in the bottom position so you have to have rally strong tri’s in order to effctively use a shirt.

yes. You’ll be able to handle weights you normally wouldn’t be able to get off your chest. it’s similar to doing speed benches but with a shit load more weight. These heavy negatives will get you used to handling heavy weight so when you go back to straight weights it will be lighter.

it’s like a box squat for the chest. If you can stop a weight and then push it up you’ll be stronger than just doing touch and go’s.

yes, but speed work will only get you so far.

close grip full ROM benches for higher reps (8-10) have helped my raw bench alot. I only do raw and they have taken my bench up about 20 pounds in the past two months. YOur benching with a longer range of motion than your regular bench so think about its harder. Also easier on shoulders

[quote]bignate wrote:
close grip full ROM benches for higher reps (8-10) have helped my raw bench alot. I only do raw and they have taken my bench up about 20 pounds in the past two months. YOur benching with a longer range of motion than your regular bench so think about its harder. Also easier on shoulders[/quote]

Nate,

How do you implement them in your program ? As a auxiliary or main exercise ?

Frank

[quote]frankf79 wrote:
bignate wrote:
close grip full ROM benches for higher reps (8-10) have helped my raw bench alot. I only do raw and they have taken my bench up about 20 pounds in the past two months. YOur benching with a longer range of motion than your regular bench so think about its harder. Also easier on shoulders

Nate,

How do you implement them in your program ? As a auxiliary or main exercise ?

Never mind…just read one of your previous posts.
Frank
[/quote]

5/3/1