bench press

Falling Behind

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Once again I’m behind on updating this thing. I got all my rep maxes in at the end of the last cycle, deloaded and now I’m back lifting again this week. Here’s how things are going so far:

Monday-
Military Press: 105 x 5 x 8

Tuesday-
Squat: 190 x 5 x 8

Thursday-
Bench: 150 x 5 x 8

Friday-
Deadlifts: 240 x 5 x 8

I really don’t remember what I did as far as accessory work the first three days. Today I’m doing a little double split action. I deadlifted earlier then I’m going to get my accessory work in later this afternoon.

I10- Bench

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Bench Press-
125 x 5
140 x 5
150 x 10, 10, 10

Chins-
BW+30 x 13 total
BW x 37 total

Dips-
BW+30 x 15 total
BW x 35 total

Lots of volume here today. Paused the last rep of every set of bench. I was able to stay tight and hold my form much better throughout the duration of the lift.

A10 Week Wrap Up

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Sorry for not updating very fast, just been a little busy here lately.  I don’t have my log book in front of me so I don’t remember what all I did in each workout but I did hit all my sets and reps of bench and deadlift for that week.  I think on bench day I knocked out 50 reps of dips and chins each and on deadlift day it was some back extensions and other stuff.

Since I haven’t trained with much volume in awhile this is a HUGE switch for me.  So far I’m responding favorably which is a good thing.  I’ve only been insanely sore after my squat day but some extra walking, foam rolling, and stretching helped a ton.

Deloading-ish

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Since I’m 6 weeks away from the July 2nd powerlifting meet here in Salina I decided to bastardize Chad Smith’s Juggernaut Method. His program is supposed to be a 16 week cycle but I’m cutting some corners. I’m supposed to deload this week but I don’t really feel the need. However, since the first “wave” of the Jugg Method calls for 5 sets of 10 on the bench, squat, military press, and deadlift and I’m fairly certain that would destroy me if I packed it all in to one week. I haven’t had much volume in my lifting for the past several months so I’m breaking those up into 2 weeks. This week will be bench and squat. Next week will be military press and deadlift. I’m going to just lift 2 days per week and chill/recover on the other days. If I do anything it will be some sled dragging to aid recovery.

Todays Training-
Bench-
135 x 5 sets x 10

Chins x a bunch

I varied my grip a bit on the bench so that my first 3 sets were all a little different. Set 1 was illegal grip, 2 was index on ring, and the third was ring finger on the ring. The last two sets were index on the ring. I didn’t pause every single rep but I did pause the final rep of ever set.

Movin Iron…

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Mondays Training
High Box Squat-
225 x 5
245 x 5
275 x 5

Chins-
BW x A bunch

Good Mornings-
Bar x 5
95 x 5, 5, 5

This Mornings Training
Paused Bench Press-
185 x 5
195 x 4

Incline Dumbbell Press-
65 x 8
70 x 6

Chins-
BW x A Bunch

Dips-
BW x A Bunch

I’m still getting used to this training early in the morning thing. I need to get some whey or BCAA’s to take preworkout. I’m up at 5, have a client at 6, and then I train at 7. I don’t have any kind of appetite so liquid calories are going to be my friend. I also need to integrate more plyometric/explosive movements into my warm up to get my CNS fired up before I lift. It wasn’t much of an issue when I trained in the evening but in the mornings it’s a big deal. I’ll get over to the other gym tomorrow night for some deadlifting then I’ll be in Lawrence Friday and Saturday for a Sports Performance Conference.

De-De-Deload

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I’ve backed off the training a bit this week. The gym opened last Wednesday so I’ve been spending a ton of time there hustling up clients. My schedule is kinda messed up but I’ll do what I have to do. As of right now I can not deadlift at the gym because there is no platform or bumper plates. I’m thinking I may have to reserve one night per week to lift at my usual gym where I can squat and deadlift in the same night then bench and do all my accessory work at the gym I work at.

The only organized training I’ve done so far this week is a little bench where I hit 185 for 3 sets of 2 and then some dips and chins. Yesterday morning I did a little squatting but I didn’t have a box so I just worked up to 275 for 2 and called it good. It wasn’t exactly heavy but I was training at 7 in the morning on an empty stomach so I didn’t feel real strong to begin with.

C3D6- Bench Training

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Wide Grip Paused Bench Press-
185 x 3
185 x 3
195 x 3
205 x 3

Axle Push Press-
175 x 1
195 x miss
195 x 1

Dead Stop Dumbbell Row-
125 x 10, 10, 10

Incline Dumbbell Press- 5 second negative
65 x 8, 8

Fat Bar Chins-
BW x 26 total reps

I was pretty damn happy last night with how I benched. I hit 225 at the meet so tripling 205 with a 1-2 second pause on my chest is a major improvement. My form is getting better each week too. I’ve had a real problem keeping my upper back tight through the entire movement but last night was much better. I didn’t originally plan on doing the axle push press but it looked like fun and it’s been a couple months since I’ve done it. I think I was hitting 195 for a couple reps when I dropped them so I’m glad I haven’t lost much on that one.

Magic Bullets and the Big Picture

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Ever since we started researching diet, exercise, and health we’ve always tried to find the one thing that will answer most, if not all of our problems. That’s why we every month we end up demonizing one particular nutrient or training method and blame a whole host of problems on them.

Over the years we’ve demonized fat, squats, and all other kinds of stuff. We’ve also tried taking a single nutrient or training method and painted them as the end-all-be-all of fitness and health.

Guess what, it’s all wrong.

We spend so much time breaking everything down and trying to find the one element of each that is either causing all the problems or creating all the benefits that we forget one important aspect:

The Sum is Greater than the Whole of It’s Parts

There is a reason that a man made antioxidant supplement doesn’t work nearly as well as actually eating a large variety of high quality fruits and veggies. It’s not about one single cog, it’s about how it works with the rest of the machine. Even though we’ve been making and researching supplements for the past 20+ years, we’re still rank amateurs compared to mother nature. Weighing and measuring poor quality food will get you far less results than focusing on eating the highest quality, highest nutrient per calorie foods.

That’s why leg pressing is an incredibly poor substitute for squats and the lat pulldown and the pec dec are poor substitutes for chins/pull ups and dips/push ups. They may use the same muscles, but the hormonal response, adaptive response, and calorie expenditure for each exercise are COMPLETELY different. If you want to build a great body with just machines you’re going to need to spend a couple grand and invest hours upon hours in the gym to get there. Conversely you can spend a fraction of that time and money to build an even better body (in my opinion) with some simple tools like barbells, body weight, and sandbags and focusing on big movements like squats, deadlifts, cleans, pull ups/chins, push ups/dips, and loaded carries.

What’s the point of looking good if you are still weak and not able to perform when it counts? Put down the psuedo-foods and step away from the pseudo-fitness machines and opt for more organic fruits, veggies, meats and fats then kick your fitness into overdrive with some squats, dips, pull ups and sled dragging!  There are no magic bullets or shortcuts.  It’s time to do the work!

C3D3- Bench

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Wide Grip Paused Bench Press-
185 x 5
185 x 4
175 x 4

Fat Bar Kroc Row-
90 x 10 each arm
90 x 10 each arm

Kroc Row-
135 x 12 each arm

Flat DB Press- 5 sec negative each rep
65 x 8
55 x 5, 3

DB Front Raise- Thumbs Up
10 x 10
25 x 10
25 x 10

Chins/Pull Ups-
50 total reps done throughout training session

I was pretty pissed that I didn’t press any better than I did but after thinking about it I can’t be to angry. First of all I only bench 225 at the meet. This was primarily because I’ve always benched with a fairly close grip and I have never trained with any type of pause. Last night I not only brought my grip out 4-5 inches, I also held a 2 second pause on my chest so I can’t really expect to be pressing well right now.

For the past couple years I’ve had some issues with my left shoulder whenever I bench press. It doesn’t matter if I’m using dumbbells or a bar either. It doesn’t hurt, but I just hit a point where my shoulder has no power and I end up having to flare my elbow way out to try and finish it with my triceps. This really jacks up my form and limits my progress. What started this all was I lost control of a dumbbell while I was incline pressing and I basically externally rotated my shoulder with a 90# dumbbell in my hand. I saw an ortho who said that I didn’t have any type of damage to the shoulder, I’ve just never really got back to where I was. I really think that I jacked up my front delt as well as the biceps tendon that wraps up over the shoulder. They’re not damaged, they’re just damn weak so I need to build those up before I’m going to get a good press. I may even play around with some reverse grip overhead pressing and some neutral grip overhead pressing to build that area up.

Deload Week Pt 2

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Thursdays Training

Paused Wide Grip Bench-
135 x 5
155 x 5
185 x 5, 5

Pendlay Row-
135 x 8
185 x 8, 8, 8
155 x 8

Defranco Shoulder Tri-Set-
35# plate/25# dumbells x 10 reps per set x 2 rounds

Incline Dumbbell Press-
45 x 10, 10 (5 second negative each rep)

Friday
OFF

Saturday Strongman Training

Log Press-
150 x 1
170 x miss

Farmers Walk-
100 x 100 ft
190 x 100 ft
240 x 15 ft

Stone Loading-
180 x 1
230 x 1, 1, 1

Called it a day after that. I wasn’t really planning on doing any overhead pressing since my bicep is a little jacked up still. I didn’t even get 170 off my chest. I was pretty happy with the farmers walks but my right shoulder is completely jacked up after the 240 attempt. I’m going to go ahead and take this next week completely off from anything upper body. I’ll drag the sled a little and possibly squat with safety squat bar or the cambered bar depending on how I feel but that’s it. It’s going to be a lot of foam rolling, epsom salt baths, and recovering like crazy to gear up for my next training cycle.