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View Full Version : New Member, here is my life story...



bionicman
11-26-2004, 10:57 AM
Hello all!

So, I am 35 years old and after about a 15-year break from lifting, I finally just got started again 4 months ago. I am proud to say that I just hit my first goal of 305lbs on bench, up from 185, 4 months back. Absurd you say?, well not really. Back in the day, when I was in the Coast Guard, I weighed in with a 165lb 6ft frame, and put up 185. After a year and a half of hard core lifting with a good partner I weighed it at 195, and was putting up 325. Then I went to Penn State, and it was all down hill. Got a Job, got married, had kids, etc. etc. etc. Not to mention a nasty accident that landed me with a 6-inch titanium screw through my elbow and into the outer bone of my left arm when I was still in school. Still I am blessed with a ridiculously fast metabolism, and after all that beer and fast food, I still managed to maintain a sturdy 195lb frame (though I have kept up with my pushups for the most part, and have a decent set of dumbbells that I have used off and on over the years.) I’ve upped my body weight to 205 by the way in the past few months. So my point is, while the muscles have obviously atrophied a bit over the years; much of it was still there just waiting to be revived. Also, don't let the frame full you, I am a "seagull" as someone once put it, all torso and shoulders, born for the bench press. Even my arms are skinny (though not from a lack of trying). Decent tri's, but those bi's just aren't coming around.

I've had a self-destructive addiction to speed (fast cars and motorcycles), which brought about a turning point for me a few years back. I wrecked my Ninja ZX12 at a very high rate of speed, and while I was lucky to be alive,
I looked down to see my left foot completely twisted around backwards, and my radius and ulna staring me in the face through the skin of my right forearm (this is in addition to the above mentioned accident which occurred several years earlier). Well after a long and difficult surgery that cost my insurance company 6 figures they sent me on my way without so much as a cast (all that titanium hardware in the arm was supposed to be enough to keep things in line). This was when I decided that I should start getting back into shape, and I did start off with light dumbbells right away, but it was another bad move. I didn't give the arm sufficient time to heal, and ended back under the knife for surgery # 2. This time I gave it 3 years, and while I suffer from the occasional ache, I am back to 100% (if you can call one arm looking like sh!t, and being 2 inches shorter than the other 100%). Needless to say, my bench form will never be pretty.

Sorry for the book, but I just had to say all that because I am damn proud of my accomplishments over the last four months, but I can't take all the credit. I have been frequenting this site among dozens of others including
one of my other favorites Metal Militia, and the posts by benchmonster have been of particular help.

Here is my chest routine, critique at will:

Week1

Raw only (I don’t own a shirt)

Flat Bench:
X x 10 – Warm-up
X x 5 – Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 3
85% x 3
95% x 1
X x 1 till fail
Last set back down to 5 rep max

Incline Smith Machine
5 x 5 till fail

Close Grip Bench: same progression as raw bench, but without warmup.

Dumbbell Flyes
4 sets of 10 or till fail with increasing weight.
Also every week I rotate dumbbell flyes/cable crossovers/machine flyes


Week 2

Incline Bench:
X x 10 – Warm-up
X x 5 – Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 3
85% x 3
95% x 1
X x 1 till fail
Last set 5 rep max

Flat Bench Smith Machine
5 x 5 till fail

(And by the way, I’m sure everyone here already knows this, but I am always reading that “you can do more weight on the smith machine than standard bench”. That is just plain not true, the smith is an isolation exercise, and unless you are counting the weight of the bar, which you don’t on the smith, you should always be able put up more weight on the raw bench, not the smith.)

Close grip bench same as week 1

Flyes

I just rotate weeks 1 and 2 mixing up my fly routine as stated. Also I incorporate other tri work in between bench sets like cable pull downs, skull crushers, etc.

Obviously this is a pure strength workout, and I have slowly tailored my routine based on my readings since I started. Unfortunately since I work a lot of hours I only have time to work out 3 days a week. I do chest and tri's, then back and bi's, then shoulders with some legwork thrown in. I just started doing deadlifts and squats for the first time ever over the past couple of months, so both are pretty pathetic. I am not sure what I can do with deads because whenever I try the heavy weighs I am sore for weeks. I usually do 4 sets of 4 on deads, and have done 385 4 times, but recently dropped back down to 3 plates at most, and will work back up slowly. (Actually just last week I tried out deads from the rack at about shin level, and it felt much better) As far as squats I am at 350, which honestly I don't think is half bad considering my chicken legs. Though I did set a few records in HS in the 200 and 400 (track) so while they are toothpicks, they are still pretty solid, and I have always had a bit of a bubblebutt, which I am sure helps with the squats. Besides bench, my other favorite is shrugs. I love'm and am currently working up to 405 for 5 reps, holding for 5 - 10 seconds per rep. Here come those monster traps!

When I started to see some real gains a couple of months back, my goal was to bench 300 by New Years, and I am already there (pats himself on the back). Now for the next goal. 400lbs by 2006.

There is really nothing more pleasing in the gym than looking at the astonished looks on people’s faces as they see my scrawny a$$ working out with 4 plates on shrugs, and benching 300lbs. I love it.

Thanks for listening, and thanks for such an awesome and informative site. Any comments or tips on my bench routine would be appreciated!

biggimp
11-28-2004, 12:14 AM
holy crap, its pretty crazy having your bench go up 120 lbs in 4 months.. good job man! its also pretty sweet you do that all with a messed up arm. keep it up :)

bionicman
11-29-2004, 06:43 AM
Thanks for the props! You, don't have to tell me. I am very intense in the gym (moreso with my bench routine) , but I still didn't expect to see gains like that. I am still waiting for all the naysayers to chime in. Maybe not yet because even though my progress has been insane, 300lbs still isn't too incredible for a 200lb guy when compared to some of the monsters on this forum.