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Max-Mex
03-02-2004, 12:09 PM
I post earlier about my wife getting interested in Pl'ing and she has decided to enter this local YMCA bench contest. It's very informal so no strict rules. Well there are rules but fairly simple. No grip width limits. No lifting aids (that I know of). Feet can move. Bar has to come down and touch chest, but not bounce. The contest is March 27th. That's about it. If I get more info I'll post it later.

My wife can currently do 95lbs for 2 sets of at least 6 reps each. She has attempted 115 twice now and failed (can't get the bar off when she brings it down). I kinda find this suprising, but I feel she should be able to do 115 at least once. I'm thinking most of her problem is psychological, and some of it form.

I have a routine I'm thinking I could have her try but any other tips to get her to 115 by the 27th would be of great help.

Anthony
03-02-2004, 12:18 PM
Can she do 105?

Max-Mex
03-02-2004, 12:21 PM
Haven't gotten around to trying yet. I'm hoping on Thursday we can try. I thought about trying that but couldn't workout with her on chest day.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 12:29 PM
Get her to arch. Or at least to pull her shoulder blades back. Tell her to walk her feet back once she is laying flat on the bench, which will tighten things up for her. I find if I'm loose on the bench, causing me to shift a bit during any part of the ROM I'll suffer a reduction in power.

Other than that, my recommendation is to get her doing some heavy triceps exercises. Skulls would be good.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 12:29 PM
Oh and tell her good luck, there's a whole website of meatheads sending her good vibes. :)

Max-Mex
03-02-2004, 12:34 PM
I'll try to get some vids or pics of that fine day.

I tried to get her to pinch her shoulders back but it felt really awkward for her. The arch as well. Walking the feet back is a good idea. She already does skulls as well (barbell and DB). Think adding narrow grip BP would be a good idea?

One problem she does have, is she gets a cramp in the hip area. I've had it happen to me as well when I do max effort lifts and haven't found a solution for this (mainly happens when I bring my feet back for stabilzation) . Any ideas on how to keep this from happening?

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 12:50 PM
Yeah close grip would probably be a good idea. As for the bench form, yeah it will always be uncomfortable for a while. You can't just learn form overnight, especially good plifting form. My guess is it can take months to learn to squat properly, and probably at least half of that for bench. But when you really feel your back get under the lift, the difference is night and day. I know I can't get it right every single time, but practice makes perfect.

I guess the least you can do to help her form is make sure she is pressing in a straight line, and further down her chest. Most lifters will drift towards their face, especially when struggling with max lifts.

As for the hips, they can be a problem in a lot of lifts. Best thing would be to do some light stretching before each session so they aren't totally cold going into any attempt.

Usually what I do before benching, is straddle the bench and lean forward trying to touch the bench with my chest, or lower if possible. This will give a good stretch to the lower back and hips as well. Also, I'll just get into a really deep squat stance, usually holding onto something and just hold it for a bit. It can make a difference, especially when you are arching a bit, which is like a minor back hyper-extension, which will also stretch out the hip flexors. I guess she could also do some bodyweight lunges or the stretch where you lay on your stomach and push your upper body up with your hands. That'll give the abs and hip flexors a decent stretch.

Max-Mex
03-02-2004, 01:05 PM
Good tips for stretching and warming up.

Form will be tough but I hope she can pick some of it up. Her pathway seems good. She moves the bar over her chest and not over her head. Seems straight from my point of view.

Think some speed work will help getting the bar off? When she has failed, it's always a few inches off her chest. I think the other thing is she's trying to much her her chest and not enough with the rest of her body. I don't get the sense that her whole body is into the press.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 01:42 PM
Well, maybe speed work, or just having her focus on exploding off the bottom even. This is more a form thing as well rather than actually doing speed sets.

Get her to do some of her reps with an exaggerated pause, and then try to blast it up from dead stop. This could help her get into the habit a bit more. I know speed at the bottom of the ROM is my problem in all three of the big lifts.

geoffgarcia
03-02-2004, 01:57 PM
tell her to do an HST regiment.
My lifts soar when I am on that type of routine
mostly due to the prolonged periods of rest/light work

Max-Mex
03-02-2004, 02:01 PM
Not familiar with HST but keep in mind she has about 25 days to make any improvements.

ElP: The exaggerated pause sounds like a good idea.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 02:01 PM
Yeah, but the contest is in less than a month, so she wouldn't even be at the 5s yet, so not enough time for that. Especially if she goes through deconditioning first.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 02:02 PM
Ah, you beat me to it.

geoffgarcia
03-02-2004, 02:08 PM
ElP.
Thats true.
Have you noticed the same thing when doing HST? that your max days exceed your normal workout weights? for me its a significant gain, in the 8-20% more range

BTW, I haven't read through all the posts....but I hope someone has mentioned creatine.

ElPietro
03-02-2004, 02:12 PM
Yeah, I most dramatically noticed strength gains on that routine. However, this would be a 5 rep max, versus a single. So for that you'd still have to train up to your max. I'm thinking this is largely in part to the rest you get on this routine, of having a week or two off, and then a couple weeks of 15s, and even the first week of 10s. It's amazing what a break from heavy lifting can do.

geoffgarcia
03-02-2004, 02:13 PM
I'm thinking this is largely in part to the rest you get on this routine, of having a week or two off, and then a couple weeks of 15s, and even the first week of 10s. It's amazing what a break from heavy lifting can do.
x2

Max-Mex
03-03-2004, 08:32 AM
One last question: Are there be any specific shoulder lifts she should do to help her some? I can only think of the incline bench.

ElPietro
03-03-2004, 08:39 AM
Well, she could do DB militaries. Or front and lateral raises (superset is always fun, in a sick way). It's probably easiest just to get her started on some dumbells.

We'll have her benching two plates in no time! Muhahaha! :evillaugh

Max-Mex
03-03-2004, 08:45 AM
She already does a front press (seated, barbell) as well as front/side raises (db).

She had a session with a trainer at the gym and he suggested some stuff that might be a good chest workout, but IMO just not good for the bench contest (I had a 2 sessions with him as well and he gave me the same workout). I gave her a different routine to try and I think she was a little upset about that.

The trainer's workout conisisted of bench, HS incline press, HS Wide chest, and DB fly's (that last one got me laughing a little). I told her if she wanted to try that routine out after the contest great, but it's not going to help her bench more for the contest. The routine I set up for her concentrates on benching(emphasis and exploding the bar up) and assistance work.

geoffgarcia
03-03-2004, 10:01 AM
she should probably take 6-10 days off prior to the comp to let the muscles all heal...maybe one very light day somewhere in the middle...

prof
03-05-2004, 04:10 AM
there is a good article on t-mag about increasing your bench, do a search, more of a technique thing than a training regime

Nights
03-09-2004, 01:13 PM
Are you sure you aren't into this more then she is? I'm just saying that you might wanna help her out with question she asks, but don't just take over as her coach and tell her exactly what to do.

Let her have fun doing this in other words. Don't think she wants to become a true competitor right yet, so just lay back.. unless there's a huge cash prize, in which case, don't concentrate on training her, practice putting on makeup and making yourself look feminine so you can enter it.

Max-Mex
03-09-2004, 06:00 PM
If I wanted her to win then I would've had her doing westside, bench shirt, and the like. I think she should have a goal. Both the PT and myself feel she should be able to do 115 at least once. That's the goal. Also, she has no idea what PL'ing entails so giving her at least a little taste of the training regime will help her decided if it's for her or not. I think she was more bummed that she couldn't use the routine her PT gave her. I just didn't think it was necessary and really not a Pling routine. It's a standard routine he gives to all his clients (including myself when I had some sessions with him).

She's doing a lot better now. She's on a day 3 of a 7 day routine I setup for her. If all goes well, the goal is to be very close to 115 by contest time. So far she's on track but it's only the ligther weights. From now on it's starts getting heavier and we'll see how she adapts. Either way, she still excited about it from what I can tell. I'm sure come contest time she'll be a mess but that's just her. It's my job to keep her calm.

Max-Mex
03-21-2004, 07:58 PM
Well, the training has been going really well. The goal for my wife is 115 and today she benched 110 (she felt she could have done another rep). Her form is much improved and she is overall much more confindent. Next week is the final session and wll try a 1 RM of 115. I've read normally this isn't a good idea, but I figured that it would be good to know if she can do it or not. Gives us a better idea of what to shoot for on Sat (3/27).

She'll have 2 full days or rest (no lifting, some cardio) before the meet. I found out you get 3 attempts which is good. I have a few questions that hopefully some of you guys can answer.

1. If she nails 115 before the meet, should she try that as her first lift or should she try 110 to play it safe?

2. Weigh in is at 8:45am and was wondering what she should eat before and/or during the meet? Or the night before for that matter.

3. Warmups? I read an article on how to get a good warmup but I don't know what a good weight/rep scheme would be for her before her first lift.


Thanks in advance!

Saint Patrick
03-21-2004, 09:03 PM
1. If she nails 115 before the meet, should she try that as her first lift or should she try 110 to play it safe?

I'd say have her put up 110 just to make sure she gets a lift on the board.


2. Weigh in is at 8:45am and was wondering what she should eat before and/or during the meet? Or the night before for that matter.

As long as she's not close to the weight class cut-off (if there is one), then I'd say eat some carbs, like pasta for energy.


3. Warmups? I read an article on how to get a good warmup but I don't know what a good weight/rep scheme would be for her before her first lift.

If her max is 110 or 115, I'd say have her do some speed triples w/ just the bar for warm-up.

Scott S
03-21-2004, 11:25 PM
Next time, I'd increment the weights more slowly. *I* have to add 5 lbs at a time to make any progress on flat bench!

ElPietro
03-22-2004, 06:54 AM
If she fails a lift, can she drop the weight down? In regular powerlifting comps you can't ever drop the weight lower than your previous attempt, so was just wondering if it's setup this way.

I don't think she should go for her max on her first attempt though. Maybe open with 95 to get on the board, and then go for 110 or 115. If you think she can hit 115, then I'd make it her second lift, and give her a chance for a bigger PR at maybe 120. She may have all that adrenalin and competitive edge that could give her even more drive.

Max-Mex
03-22-2004, 09:39 AM
Don't know about dropping weight on next attempts, but I'll find out. I doubt they won't let this happen since this a pretty informal contest. Either way, good thing to find out.

I was leaning towards 115 as second. 95 sounds like a good place to start for her. She can do that w/o any problems and it will settle her nerves if she gets one good lift in before the heavier stuff.

Patty: Not exactly sure about the weight classes for women because only 3 women have pre-regged. Hopefully there will be more but we won't know until D-Day. There's really no point in worrying about weight this time around because it's really just for her to get her feet wet. If she decides to do it again next year, we'll concentrate more on weight.

Max-Mex
03-22-2004, 09:42 AM
Next time, I'd increment the weights more slowly. *I* have to add 5 lbs at a time to make any progress on flat bench!

Well she has been. 5 lbs per month is the max she does. Usually it's 5lbs every 2 months. Again, if she decideds to do this next year, I'll come up with something better for her.

Most of the training really was about technique and form. It's amazing what a few small tweaks can do. I have a feeling 115 won't be a problem for her.

Max-Mex
03-23-2004, 04:21 PM
My wife found out that since lots of women don't enter the contest, they don't split them up into weight classes. What they do is apply a formula based on bodyweight and bench weight. This could be a disadvantage for her but I guess we'll find out contest day.

My only guess for the formula is they divide bench weight/body weight.

geoffgarcia
03-25-2004, 08:45 AM
I could be wrong but 2 days doesn't seem like enough rest leading up to a competition...
granted I've never done any lifting competitions
from my experience as a runner I found that a bit of pepto before a big event always helped quell the butterfly's...granted if there is no crowd, and no pressure she might not have this problem at all anyway.

I hope she's been on creatine for some time by this point?

Max-Mex
03-25-2004, 09:17 AM
She'll be fine. Light triceps after last bench workout. She nailed 115 btw. Not as easy as she hoped it would be but she got that sucker up. No lifting at all today and tomorrow. Taking it easy.

Paul Stagg
03-25-2004, 10:15 AM
Have her open light. Pick something she can triple with no problem.

Second attempt go for a single near or a little over her PR. (Probably 115, if she struggled with it in the gym)

Third - go for broke.

Max-Mex
03-26-2004, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the help and tips everyone. Tomorrow is the big day. She's getting to bed now and hopefully will get a good nights rest. I'll make sure she gets a decent breakfast and something to eat while she is waiting for her first lift.

1st lift will be 95, 2nd will be 115. If she nails 115, she wants to try 125 for the 3rd attempt. I'm taking my vid cam so I hope to get some good stuff. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to post some clips on Sunday.

Only one concern and that is her hip cramps. When she tried 115 last Weds she did ok but her hip cramped up on her. Hopefully some stretching and making sure she is hydrated will help. I'd hate for that to cause her to fail on her attempts. I guess we'll see tomorrow.

Max-Mex
03-28-2004, 08:19 PM
Well she hit 115 on her last attempt. Good enough to get her a 3rd place trophy. She was very happy and wants to do another. Apparently the guy that sets up the meet does these at various Y's. She's gonna call him and see if there are others in the near future that are nearby.

Her first attemp went fine at 95. Second was 115 and she just didn't prepare mentally and physically for it. Also, her hams cramped up. She got 115 up on the last try but it wasn't great. They still counted it so I guess that's all that matters.

Here are some clips of some various lifters fromt he meet:

Womans First Place Winner (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_f_1st.wmv) Benching 165
Woman's 2nd Place Winner (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_f_2nd.wmv) Benching 135
Woman's 3rd Place Winner (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_f_3rd.wmv) Benching 115
Mens SHW Winner (475lb bpress) (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_500.wmv)
80 year old Bencher (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_88.wmv)
All the women winners (http://www.bu.edu/recording/Excerpts/benchpress_winners.wmv)

JTyrell710
03-28-2004, 08:21 PM
congrats to her

Beast
03-28-2004, 08:56 PM
Nice!

That 1st place women's winner doesn't even look like a woman when she's laying on the bench, lol.

Saint Patrick
03-28-2004, 09:55 PM
Congrats to your wife, man. 3rd place is definitely nothing to be ashamed of.

Anthony
03-29-2004, 04:08 AM
Great job! And thanks for the vids!

ElPietro
03-29-2004, 07:12 AM
Congrats to her! Glad she hit her goal lift. Even better is she's now caught the bug and will probably enjoy lifting a lot more now that it has some more meaning to it.

:thumbup:

Max-Mex
03-29-2004, 09:15 AM
She didn't think she placed. There was this other woman who did a heavier lift of the same weight, but she was lighter. Lucky for my wife, the woman didn't touch her chest so it didn't count. Wife never saw this so she assumed she was out.

She's really excited about the whole thing and she wants to continue. I'm trying to set up a slightly more advanced routine for her. Sorta westside but not so intense. Baby steps. She says thanks for the help and hopefully next year she can land first!

Scott S
03-29-2004, 11:19 AM
Awesome! :thumbup:

KrAzY
03-29-2004, 11:31 PM
Did she get a trophy or anything?

Max-Mex
03-30-2004, 04:20 AM
Yup, that last video clip shows all the female winners and their trophies.

fen2zla
03-30-2004, 04:33 AM
Congrats to your wife. Great job!

Max-Mex
03-30-2004, 08:15 AM
Nice!

That 1st place women's winner doesn't even look like a woman when she's laying on the bench, lol.

Yup. She didn't look too big or strong from far away, but once you got up close you could tell she has some muscle. Kinda hidden by the baggy shirt and sweats.

KrAzY
04-03-2004, 12:50 PM
Yup, that last video clip shows all the female winners and their trophies.

D'oh!