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pocoloco blanka
08-19-2008, 10:06 PM
what do you do to increase your raw bench? and what would you recomend to others?

Travis Bell
08-19-2008, 10:39 PM
Last year I took some time to completly focus on my raw bench. About from August til March of this year actually. What I did really was rotate band tensions and grip width each week. I always worked full range. I did tons of tricep work still because I naturally tuck my elbows even when going raw so it really helped me. I also kept focused on my lat strength as well.

So for instance one week might be thumb length from the smooth with doubled mini bands. Week 2 might be pinkie on the ring with doubled monster minis and so on.

I religiously deloaded every 4 weeks (on the 4th week) normally with reverse bands. I look at reverse bands mostly for raw deload because its so much easier than straight weight or normal band set up. I actually worked up to 655 once full range LOL. Good ego boost I guess. I also never used any band tension higher than the doubled purples. Much more than that and I just felt like the risk for injury was too great. Oh I also did floor press as well

I did nothing but that for about the first 4 months. After that I could definatly tell I had a weakness at my 2brd. So I started working on my 2brd and before long I had gone from a 455 raw bench (September of 07) to a 515lb raw bench in February of 08.

On my DE days, it was all about speed (still is) nothing heavy. Actually I'd do non stop super sets on two different tricep exercises to help increase my endurance. I found this very helpful when grinding out lifts.

What I'd recommend to others is if you have chain's throw those in there as well. I wasn't able to go to Westside during that period of time so I had no access to chains. I'd also recommend sticking strictly to your plan. If you don't feel like you need a deload, but its still on the schedule, DELOAD. I see this over and over and over. Guys just don't realize that even though they feel strong, they won't get any weaker if they deload a week. What often happens is that deload week gets pushed farther and farther back until they are burnt.

Stay away from pin presses. Too much stress on the pecs and shoulders and don't be afraid to pick up some DB's after your heavy benching and do some reps with them as well

Thats about all I did. It was really simple but I stuck to it very religiously and it worked like a charm.

I'd actually look to Vincent Dizenzo as he'd have some excellent tips on raw benching given that the guy has a 600lb raw competition bench so hopefully he'll chime in here.

Thanks for the question!

vdizenzo
08-20-2008, 06:01 AM
Excellent post Trav. I definitely see how tht worked. Pocoloco, pick a tested plan and stick with it for a while. Make adjustments if necessary. Most importantly train intensely and have a goal. Remember you alone are the reason for success or failure. Here is an article written by Matt Rhodes on the training cycle for my 600 raw http://www.elitefts.com/documents/600lb_raw_bench.htm

JayM181
08-20-2008, 05:43 PM
Travis... What is Deloading? What are you suppose to do when you Deload.

jbrin0tk
08-20-2008, 06:11 PM
Travis, thanks for that. That was really neat to hear how you made your progress.

vdizenzo
08-20-2008, 06:27 PM
Travis... What is Deloading? What are you suppose to do when you Deload.

Deloading is a word you don't have to worry about until you lift heavily for five or so years. You will deload when you have to go to a wedding or some other obligation adn miss a workout. Guys got super strong for years without scheduling deloading into their programs.

JayM181
08-20-2008, 06:58 PM
Thanks for the response Vince.. I wasn't really sure what that word meant. Now I know!!

Travis Bell
08-20-2008, 07:31 PM
LOL HAHAHA! Vin is very right. Many guys have gotten strong over years without deloading. Deloading is when you take a light week where you let your body recuperate from the heavy weights. I've found when I go too many weeks going really heavy I get burnt and by the time I notice I'm burnt, I've already gone too far and my progress is hindered.

Now when I'm training in a shirt, deload for me becomes just a raw week. But when I was going raw all the time I needed to do something to lighten it even further. Now some would argue that my reverse band workouts weren't deload at all because the actual weight on the bar was 100+lbs more than I was actually benching with straight weight. I really think that the speed and upwards force that the bands provide makes it a deload week. Other deload options are just heavy DB benching, heavy doubles and triples on flat bench or working on your incline bench for a week. You just have to use your imagination.

Now I am inclined to agree with Vin, most people don't need to deload because they haven't been training long enough or hard enough to justify it. When I hit a ME workout, I go balls out. I leave the gym with nothing left. So just use your judgement if you're new at this. You guys are training with Wolf though right? Listen to what he says. I'm pretty sure Wolf has a 600lb raw competition bench as well (NERB if I'm not mistaken) and has done exceptionally well in shirted benching. What he says to you should do, do it so please disregard anything I might say that would be in contradiction to what he's said. Wolf knows alot more than I do

JayM181
08-20-2008, 09:03 PM
LOL HAHAHA! Vin is very right. Many guys have gotten strong over years without deloading. Deloading is when you take a light week where you let your body recuperate from the heavy weights. I've found when I go too many weeks going really heavy I get burnt and by the time I notice I'm burnt, I've already gone too far and my progress is hindered.

Now when I'm training in a shirt, deload for me becomes just a raw week. But when I was going raw all the time I needed to do something to lighten it even further. Now some would argue that my reverse band workouts weren't deload at all because the actual weight on the bar was 100+lbs more than I was actually benching with straight weight. I really think that the speed and upwards force that the bands provide makes it a deload week. Other deload options are just heavy DB benching, heavy doubles and triples on flat bench or working on your incline bench for a week. You just have to use your imagination.

Now I am inclined to agree with Vin, most people don't need to deload because they haven't been training long enough or hard enough to justify it. When I hit a ME workout, I go balls out. I leave the gym with nothing left. So just use your judgement if you're new at this. You guys are training with Wolf though right? Listen to what he says. I'm pretty sure Wolf has a 600lb raw competition bench as well (NERB if I'm not mistaken) and has done exceptionally well in shirted benching. What he says to you should do, do it so please disregard anything I might say that would be in contradiction to what he's said. Wolf knows alot more than I do

Yeah.. We've been training with Mike. I guess I probably could've asked Mike about the "Deload" thing, but I like hearing it from other bench experts.
I have a meet four weeks from Saturday. I have been training pretty heavy the last eight weeks. Both shirted and raw. Should I deload this week or should I just keep going heavy until a week from my meet.
Thanks for the response Travis. Good luck Saturday!!!

JayM181
08-20-2008, 09:10 PM
Sorry for hijacking your Thread Jason.... I just realized it.:)

Travis Bell
08-20-2008, 09:20 PM
Yeah.. We've been training with Mike. I guess I probably could've asked Mike about the "Deload" thing, but I like hearing it from other bench experts.
I have a meet four weeks from Saturday. I have been training pretty heavy the last eight weeks. Both shirted and raw. Should I deload this week or should I just keep going heavy until a week from my meet.
Thanks for the response Travis. Good luck Saturday!!!

Nah, I don't mind answering the question at all. I was just saying that if Wolf has suggested you do one thing in your training, and I suggest another by accident, go with what Wolf says. He sees you bench and has much more experience than I do.

As for the meet cycle. What I do is take my last heavy shirt workout 3 weeks out. 2 weeks out I do a raw ME workout and the week before I don't do anything but some rehab stuff and GPP stuff to keep the blood moving. I'm pretty sure Mike does something similar.

During normal training I'll go two weeks in the shirt, two weeks out

Good luck at your meet man! What meet are you doing?

AJ_H
08-21-2008, 02:56 AM
I normally deload if I miss a weight the week before (not something I aim to do). Would you recommend that Travis?

By the way, I've bookmarked this page...awesome thread.

Travis Bell
08-21-2008, 06:46 AM
If you hit a PR after deloading that way then absolutly do it that way.

I deloaded the way I did so that I never missed a weight. I literally hit PRs for 5 months straight without missing weight

smokinHawk
08-21-2008, 06:49 AM
i thought with true westside template you dont need to deload, because on your ME day you rotate the slightly different exercises each session, while the metal militia is an advocate for deloading because of the volume.

I just try to deload slightly if i feel an injury coming on to avoid it, or something just isnt feeling right on my body. Last saturday i wasnt feeling quite right so i didnt do well and this tuesday i took it slightly easy because my left shoulder wasnt feeling quite right (as it wasnt saturday), I need to get moving again so I am going to try and ramp up my intensity and try and hit a heavy raw single again in 2 weeks, with next tuesday some heavy doubles or triples.

Travis Bell
08-21-2008, 06:56 AM
Thats why when I'm doing my shirt training, I really don't deload. My body feels the big enough change from the shirt to raw work.

AdamBAG
08-21-2008, 06:59 AM
Deloading is a word you don't have to worry about until you lift heavily for five or so years. You will deload when you have to go to a wedding or some other obligation adn miss a workout. Guys got super strong for years without scheduling deloading into their programs.

This is so true! And it works out that way too.

Isaac Wilkins
08-21-2008, 07:03 AM
i thought with true westside template you dont need to deload, because on your ME day you rotate the slightly different exercises each session, while the metal militia is an advocate for deloading because of the volume.

I just try to deload slightly if i feel an injury coming on to avoid it, or something just isnt feeling right on my body. Last saturday i wasnt feeling quite right so i didnt do well and this tuesday i took it slightly easy because my left shoulder wasnt feeling quite right (as it wasnt saturday), I need to get moving again so I am going to try and ramp up my intensity and try and hit a heavy raw single again in 2 weeks, with next tuesday some heavy doubles or triples.

In the old Westside vids Louie talks about doing illegal wides to a heavy 6 reps or so every six weeks, this would be a deload from the straight-up max effort work.

I've always found that a deload every 4-6 weeks where I went to a heavy 5-6 worked out well, and then every 12-14 weeks I'd take a much bigger deload (just some light rep work, prehab stuff, an extra day off, etc).

I always feel really good and strong at the 12-14 week mark and am tempted to skip the deload, but if I do I always seem to have some injury or feel like **** by week 17.

Travis Bell
08-21-2008, 07:27 AM
Exactly! Borris has got it

Darracq
08-21-2008, 09:23 AM
The bands have worked real well for me also. what kind of sets and reps did you do with the bands? i use a 3 band rotation and work up to a single or triple.

pocoloco blanka
08-21-2008, 02:58 PM
travis thanks for your detailed response. it was very helpful.wasnt trying to put wolfe on the back burner, its just that everybody has there little ways of doing things to find out what works best for them. i have trained westside for the last five years and love it..what works for wolfe hasnt always worked for me, but he is on a different level than myself. i feel i have the intensity, but i learn new things all the time.i have recently went from 199.8 to 181.6 as of this morning. and i have brought my raw strength up to 320.(not bad for having a overactive thyroid and my back muscles all tore out.) im thinking of dropping to 165 for wolfes meet. looking to make a run at 425 or so at that point. thanks for your help travis and all who replied. nothing was highjacked jay. we are all in this together.. be strong my friends..

Travis Bell
08-21-2008, 03:05 PM
The bands have worked real well for me also. what kind of sets and reps did you do with the bands? i use a 3 band rotation and work up to a single or triple.

I always worked up to a single. Number of sets, including warmup was probably around 6-7? Hard to remember. Depended on the amount of band tension

Travis Bell
08-21-2008, 03:05 PM
travis thanks for your detailed response. it was very helpful.wasnt trying to put wolfe on the back burner, its just that everybody has there little ways of doing things to find out what works best for them. i have trained westside for the last five years and love it..what works for wolfe hasnt always worked for me, but he is on a different level than myself. i feel i have the intensity, but i learn new things all the time.i have recently went from 199.8 to 181.6 as of this morning. and i have brought my raw strength up to 320.(not bad for having a overactive thyroid and my back muscles all tore out.) im thinking of dropping to 165 for wolfes meet. looking to make a run at 425 or so at that point. thanks for your help travis and all who replied. nothing was highjacked jay. we are all in this together.. be strong my friends..

Glad I could help! I always enjoy passing along what Lou passed to me

JayM181
08-21-2008, 06:56 PM
Nah, I don't mind answering the question at all. I was just saying that if Wolf has suggested you do one thing in your training, and I suggest another by accident, go with what Wolf says. He sees you bench and has much more experience than I do.

As for the meet cycle. What I do is take my last heavy shirt workout 3 weeks out. 2 weeks out I do a raw ME workout and the week before I don't do anything but some rehab stuff and GPP stuff to keep the blood moving. I'm pretty sure Mike does something similar.

During normal training I'll go two weeks in the shirt, two weeks out

Good luck at your meet man! What meet are you doing?

I'm doing the NASA Ohio State Regional in Lancaster. Should be a lot of fun.

pocoloco blanka
08-22-2008, 08:16 AM
Glad I could help! I always enjoy passing along what Lou passed to me
travis, i know everything i need to do i think, but what i think my biggest problem is that i dont know how to put the package together to best help me. i know i need strong shoulders , lats,triceps,and back. maybe i need to focus more on my secondarys to make things go smoother.:confused: