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gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 05:26 PM
So, this is my first time posting on here, mainly because if I have a question I ask somewhere else, and I am not knowledgeable enough to answer anyone's questions. But after today, I have decided to turn to the strongest people.

So 3 weeks ago, I tweaked my right knee and groin doing squats and deadlifts while on a variation of Bill Starr's 5x5. Ever since, I haven't been able to do either exercise and I finally made a doctor's appointment in 3 weeks to see what's wrong. So, this has given me a chance to focus on my upper body, mainly focusing on my bench. While I am not strong enough(only bench 205) to consider myself a powerlifter, I only lift for pure strength right now so I figured this was the place to look. Since I can't really do my program anymore I was going to try and do something else but figured I would max first on bench. After deloading last week, I maxed today and stalled on 205. I was pretty disappointed because I had gotten 185x5 and 190x3 just 2 weeks ago, which would put my max higher. So my question is, what should I do now to increase my bench, until my knee and groin heal up?

I am thinking about doing the "Up your bench 30lbs in 30 days" but I just wanted to see what the pros had to say. Sorry for the long post but I thought I would make my first post, my most informational post. Thanks.

vdizenzo
09-16-2008, 05:33 PM
Bench is not just about bench. It's a lot about assistance work. How is your lat, shoulder, and tricep strength?

Lones Green
09-16-2008, 05:36 PM
Bench is not just about bench. It's a lot about assistance work. How is your lat, shoulder, and tricep strength?

good call Vin! find your weakness and attack it!

Ryano
09-16-2008, 05:46 PM
I really believe that bench is a whole body exercise, if you do it right. Shoulders, chest, back, tri's, core & legs. Shoulders, back & core to stabilize the weight. Chest, tri's, & legs for the press. If you are injured, work on all that you can without aggravating the injury.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 05:57 PM
Bench is not just about bench. It's a lot about assistance work. How is your lat, shoulder, and tricep strength?

I am not sure about how my strength of these 3 areas stack up to my bench but if it helps at all, the most I have done on seated shoulder press is 140x4, I have been doing rows while on my 5x5 but they aren't very noticeable(most I have done doing bent over rows is 135x5 with pretty strict form at about 45 degrees) and locking out the weight is never my problem so I wouldn't think it would be my triceps but if it gives you any idea, I weigh 175 and do 3x10 of bodyweight dips. Hopefully this will give you guys a better idea of my strength. Also if it helps, before I stopped doing them, I got 275x5 on deadlifts.

vdizenzo
09-16-2008, 06:03 PM
Post a vid of your benching so we can check out your form.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 06:10 PM
Well, I will try to post a video, but I don't have a camera, and I lack confidence, so I would feel stupid going into our college's gym and take a video of me only doing 205 or so. I know I shouldn't care what others think, but it is pretty intimidating when you stall on 205 and the next guy you see bench gets 4x4 of 405(which happened today). Worst case, when I go home in early Oct., I can take a vid because I have a camera there and I also have my bench. To describe my form, I have been experimenting with a wider grip lately and pausing on all my lighter sets. However, to push out those extra few pounds, I have noticed that I lift my butt off the bench which really helps, but I am pretty sure it is illegal and it sometimes causes me to slide up the bench and fail on my attempt which happened today on the 205 both times I tried. Hopefully this will give you a better idea of what I look like.

Travis Bell
09-16-2008, 06:20 PM
Vin is right, video is really what we need, otherwise we're shooting in the dark

For now just watch videos of others benching and try to mimick it

Ryan Celli
09-16-2008, 06:41 PM
I would video tape. Can you ask the guys doing 405 x4x4 for help?

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 06:42 PM
Ok, I will try and watch as many vids as possible and as soon as I can post, I will. Training wise, should I leave the 5x5 routine, now that I am focusing on bench until my knee/groin are healed? If so, what type of routine should I do? Like I said, I was thinking about Chris Mason's program minus the leg press, squat, and deadlift. And I dont think I am experienced enough to do a westside style program because I dont have access to bands, chains, or boards. Thanks.

sayagain
09-16-2008, 07:29 PM
You can do Westside without bands, chains, or boards, however, I would highly recommend buying a set of bands to take to the gym with you for DE day. They aren't very expensive.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 07:43 PM
I usually see the guy in the gym, so next time I will ask him for help. He is a former college football player, so hopefully through all his years of experience, he can give me some pointers. Would I be able to do westside without the leg work, and instead of DE work, I noticed that some programs replaced it with RE work, would this be ok? Mainly, I want to be able to bench 240 for my 1RM by new years because I have a bet going with my roommate. So from the responses, I am guessing I should do a westside style routine instead of the "up your bench 30lbs in 30 days" routine. Since I dont have much experience, could someone point me in the right direction for a routine.

Cliff notes- Weight:175 Height 5'11" Bench 1rm:205 Goal:240(by 1/1/09) can't do lower body work until I get the word on my leg/groin on Oct 10th.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 07:45 PM
BTW, thanks for all these quick responses, this is why I decided to post it here instead of the other site. I knew I would get serious answers from experienced lifters and I would get those answers fast. Thanks everyone and keep the help coming.

sayagain
09-16-2008, 07:52 PM
Seeing that you weigh 175 lbs., I would think that RE work instead of DE would work well for you as it would help in the hypertrophy department. Another idea would be to alternate, so you could do 3 weeks of RE and 3 weeks of DE, or something of that nature. That way you would benefit from DE work as well.

Ryano
09-16-2008, 07:57 PM
He is a former college football player, so hopefully through all his years of experience, he can give me some pointers.


Just because he played football doesn't mean he really knows how to bench. He is strong, but may not really be benching with optimal form. I'm not saying to disregard what he says, just remember that he may not being benching the "right" way. Like Vinny said, post a video of your benches, both 1rep max and up to triples. There is a world of knowledge on this board for free. Without the video, your form cannot be critiqued. Once your form is corrected, you just have to get stronger to increase your lifts.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 08:19 PM
I know that I shouldn't just go off of what he says, so I will try and watch a lot of videos, and as soon as I get a hold of a camera, I will post vids but that may take as long as early Oct. Thanks again for all the responses and I am going to read up on westside articles. Should I mainly be looking at the WS4SB? And what should I do about not being able to do leg work? Should I just do light cardio such as the elliptical, as that does not really bother my knee/groin? Sorry for all the questions, but I really want to reach my goal and I don't want to be wasting my time doing a routine that I will just screw up.

Ryano
09-16-2008, 08:53 PM
Cardio? WTF? You need to gain weight. Eat more, lift more. If you feel you have to do cardio, do it on a non-lifting day.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 08:57 PM
Ok, well if I was to try and do a westside style routine, should I just wait until I go to the doctor and find out what is wrong or should I try and follow the routine as best as possible without doing the leg exercises? And, if I should wait until my knee is better, do you have any suggestions as to what I should do for the next month or so? Thanks for all the help.

Ryano
09-16-2008, 09:04 PM
If you are injured, work on all that you can without aggravating the injury.

Ditto

Eric Downey
09-16-2008, 09:24 PM
Firsts of all no matter what weight you push you can be a powerlifter. Weight means nothing. As far as the college football guy. Just stick to asking for spots not training advise. Football players for the most part arent really knowledgeable as to what to do for others. Not there fault but thats just the way it is. Id say start The 30lbs in 30 days routine. Mean while ask any and all questions and read read read. WWB has over 250 articles written by most of us as wells as other experts. Get the video together and just post it. If your still feeling funny about it remember we were all there. As a freshman I only benched 115@142. If you still dont wanna just put it out there for all to see. Pick any of us on here and send it in a
PM.

gatorman2k6
09-16-2008, 09:33 PM
Firsts of all no matter what weight you push you can be a powerlifter. Weight means nothing. As far as the college football guy. Just stick to asking for spots not training advise. Football players for the most part arent really knowledgeable as to what to do for others. Not there fault but thats just the way it is. Id say start The 30lbs in 30 days routine. Mean while ask any and all questions and read read read. WWB has over 250 articles written by most of us as wells as other experts. Get the video together and just post it. If your still feeling funny about it remember we were all there. As a freshman I only benched 115@142. If you still dont wanna just put it out there for all to see. Pick any of us on here and send it in a
PM.

Thanks. I know I shouldn't care about what weight I'm lifting, so I will try to forget about that. I also think that I am going to go with your advice and go with the 30 lbs in 30 days program because it doesn't look like it will hinder the program if I take out leg exercises as much as it would another program. I am also reading as much as possible and all my friends think it is wierd that I watch so many videos. As soon as I get a video, I promise I will post it. I posted my deadlift video on another forum and it got crushed and it didnt bother b/c I knew it would help in the long run. Hopefully some more people will chime in, but I already feel better knowing that I am getting advice from professionals. BTW, glad I wasn't the only one benching 115 freshman year, just wish I had someone around who could have told me to do full-body workouts so that I wouldn't have wasted so much time doing bodybuilding routines and making less gains. Once again, thanks, and keep the help coming because it will be put to good use.

Eric Downey
09-17-2008, 05:23 AM
i was a body builder for years and it wasnt all that bad. it gave me a great foundation that today im glad i have. i have more muscle to get stronger that i would have if not.

gatorman2k6
09-17-2008, 11:01 AM
I know that it wasn't bad that I was lifting like a bodybuilder because I was still getting stronger but I hear about all these people that gained crazy amounts in a short period and I just wonder sometimes if I could have spent my time better in the gym.

gatorman2k6
09-17-2008, 11:57 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I can't wait to start the 30 lbs in 30 days routine next week because it will allow me to focus on bench until my leg heals up. If anybody else has any suggestions, let me know because I am just trying to get as much knowledge as I can to go along with all the posts/articles I read and all the videos I watch. Thanks.

abebesheir
10-09-2008, 10:49 AM
I am not really a great bencher, pretty much a newb myself but I am in the same boat as you regarding conditioning.
I just returned to PL after 7 months of no exercise at all (not even pushups!)... I am doing 3 exercises per session for 3 sessions per week. One day is devoted to legs so you can just ignore that...

Monday
Front SQ 4x8
Lying Leg Curls 4x8
Seated Calves 4x12

Wednesday
Reverse Grip BP 6x5 progressive overload
Nosebreakers 5x12
Hammer Curls 4x8

Saturday
Paused BP 5x3 progressive overload
Incline BP 4x6
Dumbbell Rows 4x8

I am really not in the shape to do much more, especially as I tend to crap out on the last set of the last exercise even with the low volume.
Basically, I am trying to say to realize your limitations and work within them until you have maybe 6 months lifting behind you.
In the bench, pick a weight you can do for no more than 5 reps... do that 5 rep set and stay at that weight for four more sets, get as many reps as you can in good form. Once you get all 25 reps in good form, move up 5-10 pounds and repeat... that is called progressive overload and works wonders for beginners.

Since you are not doing legs (you really should as soon as you are able) maybe you could devote one day to shoulders, one to triceps and one to paused benching. For example:

Monday
Seated Shoulder Press 5x5 progressive overload
Upright Rows 4x12
Rotator Cuff 4x12

Wednesday
Paused BP 5x5 prog. overload
Dumbbell B/O Rows 4x8
Rotator Cuff 4x12

Friday
Reverse Grip BP 5x5 prog. overload
Nosebreakers 5x12
Hammer Curls 4x8

Sorry for the rambling nature of this post... I hope it is of some help to you. BTW, I am benching about 285x1 at 208 right now... my meet best is 315@207 done in 2006 full power.

Hazerboy
10-09-2008, 12:23 PM
the 30 lbs in 30 days would be a good start. I wouldn't recommend full blown westside for someone of your experience either ( I tried it at your level and didn't get much out of it...) but Joe Defranco's westside for skinny bastards would probably be a great alternative. give it a google and maybe a try after you try the 30 lbs in 30 days.

DTF
10-09-2008, 01:13 PM
What is your training program now?
How long have you been using it?

gatorman2k6
10-09-2008, 01:37 PM
Right now, I am doing the 30 lbs in 30 days routine without the squats and deadlifts. I am in my 3rd week now, but I have to redo this week again because I am home to finally see the doctor. Tomorrow I will find out what is up with my knee and find out when I can start doing lower body stuff again. Before this I was using a modified Bill Starr 5x5 using squats, bench, rows, seated presses, and deads. After this program and depending on my knee/groin, I am thinking about WS4SB or Ed Coan's bench routine and then something else for squats and deads. Hopefully, I will have a better idea of what to do next after my doctor's appointment tomorrow. Thanks again for all the help and keep it coming.

gatorman2k6
10-10-2008, 08:08 AM
Well, I just got back from my appointment and I have a pulled adductor and loose cartilage underneath my knee cap. He put me on a anti-inflammatory and told me to let pain be my guidance in my training. He also said the groin could take 3-6 months to fully heal. So, I guess I am just going to take it easy on the lower body until it no longer hurts. After I am done with my 30 lbs in 30 days routine, does anybody have any other suggestions since I can't do squats or deads? Any suggestions are appreciated as it looks like I will be doing another bench specific routine. Thanks for the help.