what do you do to increase your raw bench? and what would you recomend to others?
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!
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
Travis... What is Deloading? What are you suppose to do when you Deload.
Travis, thanks for that. That was really neat to hear how you made your progress.
Thanks for the response Vince.. I wasn't really sure what that word meant. Now I know!!
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
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!!!
Sorry for hijacking your Thread Jason.... I just realized it.
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 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.
Last edited by AJ_H; 08-21-2008 at 02:59 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
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.
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.
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.
Be a man. Be awesome at it. Be proud of it. Beyond the Barbell
"Borris is correct. That sounds logical if you ask me."
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.
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..