View Full Version : Fixing my (Westside) Upper Workouts

11-29-2006, 04:41 PM
I'm getting annoyed with my upper workouts and I think I need to fix them. Here's the deal:

I'm trying to bodybuild, powerlift and train for fighting all at the same time (basically). Yeah, it sounds ******ed, but I think it should be working. I mainly just try to improve my GPP, go on bulks/cuts instead of maintenance, focus on progressive overload for supplemental/accessory work (which means I really don't like changing stuff up a lot) and casually train for fighting a couple times a week. The problem I'm having on my upper days is that I'm overtraining my shoulders (boxing and circuits add to this), but I think at the same time they're a weak point.

As far as bodybuilding, I feel like the muscles that get hit doing incline (teres minor I think) are lacking, and I'd like to build them if it's reasonable.

Ok, sticking to powerlifting:
I'm pretty tall and I have long arms compared to my torso (this is great for fighting, bad for powerlifting I guess). My max bench is 275 (raw) right now. When I maxed out last week, my sticky point was like 2 inches or so off my chest. I can always move the weight a little bit (and no, I'm not bouncing or anything). But, for some reason, when I maxed out on 2 board yesterday, I got it moving about the same 2 inches, and then I missed. I thought this was really weird. I figured I since it's a bit above my sticky point I would either hit it or miss it completely and not get anywhere. WTF? Also, the weight felt pretty light, so that wasn't an issue on any of the sets.

I've been doing speed work on DE days, but I really don't think they help all that much. I feel like my speed has only improved slightly on the lighter weights, but when I get up to my max there's hardly any carry over it feels like.

So, how should I change up my routine? Here's what I know I need:
Max Bench*
High Volume Chins (switch from palms facing to palms away every ~6-8 weeks)
Rotator Cuff Work (2 sets)

Straight Weight Speed Work (3 weeks), 3 speed sets, 1 set repetition method (3 weeks), band work (3 weeks), 3 speed sets, 1 set repetition method (3 weeks), repeat
High Volume T-Bar Rows/Bent Rows (Switch every ~6-8 weeks)
Rotators 2 sets

*I've been doing this rotation: Close grip, 3 board, 2 board, 1 board, normal, (switching every week)

..so, any ideas what I should be doing for those sets? Thanks a bunch.

11-30-2006, 05:44 AM
I have a fever and my reading skills aren' the best right now, but I don't really understand your question. Are you asking how to modify your WS split so that you can blast through your sticking point, or was there something else?

Why are you doing repetition method on your DE day? Besides the straight bench and board work, are you doing any tricep work?

Paul Stagg
11-30-2006, 05:51 AM
I'm a little confused as well... and I think you are trying to get better at too many things. IMO, unless you are going to compete as a bodybuilder, I see no reason to structure your training to bring up a specific muscle - your strength training (which includes plenty of hypertrophy work) and diet will keep you looking good while you focus on strength.

Likewise, If you are trying to compete at both PLing and MMA, you probably should pick the one you are most interested in and really focus on that. I think they can probably coexist, but you are probably going to overreach or overtrain.

If you don't think you are getting much out of dynamic benching, switch to using RE training on that day, and see how that goes... IMO you still just need to worry about getting stronger, period, not on work on a sticking point.

What do your lower body days look like?

11-30-2006, 07:01 AM
My goal is really to get through my sticking point (and to get stronger in general) without overtraining my shoulders. If possible I also wanted to bring up my "upper chest" (clevicular head of pectoralis major) to proportion out a little bit, but if not, whatever.

Lower body looks like this (Which I'm pretty happy with):
DE Day:
8 speed sets of low box squats x 2 reps wave-loaded
8 speed sets of deadlift x 1 rep
Hack Squats
RDLs/Hypers/Good mornings (I really wish we had a glute-ham raise, but we don't)
Abs/Obliques (sometimes I train these on my "off days" instead)

ME Day:
ME Lift (deadlift, low rack pull, squat, high box squat, low box squat)
RDLS/Hypers/Good Mornings

Joe DeFranco/Jim Wendler's Explanation of what I meant by repetition work (I altered it slightly, though):

I think dynamic work is more effective than not doing any benching at all because if I don't bench for a week I simply lose the movement pattern and my ability to do the movement goes down. I also don't want to do too much benching or I just overtrain. But, I feel like I might be able to actually get something more out of it. Maybe not.

Sensei, the past few weeks my supplemental/accessory work has consisted mainly of:
Pin presses (I liked these a lot, not sure if they're ****ing with my shoulders, though)
Incline DB, Incline BB (definitely messed up my shoulders a bit)
Tricep pushdowns
A little close grip bench

Paul, I hear you on the overreaching/overtraining deal. I thought about that for awhile, but I don't think it is that much of an issue. I'm mostly just trying to get stronger in powerlifting while allowing as much hypertrophy as possible, and then cutting off fat every couple months. I'm not planning on competing in MMA for a couple years, so I'm not doing too much of the training for it, aside from just picking up technique during classes. I think that the classes are just adding to my workload capacity. The only problem I am having at all is the boxing putting extra strain on my already strained shoulders.

11-30-2006, 05:36 PM
If you're stalling, then change your exercises. Do ME Dumbells, do floor presses, do inclines, change it up. ME Bench shouldn't be just regular benchpress, you need to do variations. It's worked for me in the past when I stalled out, and I've stalled out again now so it's time to switch it up for a few weeks