The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

Itís no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Wannabebig Member
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    Raw Benchers Routines

    There are many many benchers out there and a majority of them on here are shirted benchers. Part of being a raw lifter is finding a routine that works for you but does not over work you. Geared routines include longer training weeks while raw routines are short and sweet. After evertime I go through a bench routine I barely get 5-10 pounds if anything and am really looking at bringing up my bench for my next meet in April.


    Heres what I've done in the past for bench:
    Week 1: 5x5
    Week 2: 5x3
    Week 3: 3x3
    Week 4: 4x2
    Week 5: New max
    Week 6: Deload

    Now these are all the of themajor sets I would do for the workout. I would usually add 3 board work and incline work as well.

    Any raw rouitines that have worked for you guys in the past?

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  3. #2
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    I may get some slack for this but meh, whatever..

    I'm a raw bencher.. I'm seeing good results with my Smolov Jr routine thus far... it's a 3 week program followed by a week to deload and then you re-test your max midway through the 5th week..

    day1 = 6x6 @ 70%
    day2 = 7x5 @ 75%
    day3 = 8x4 @ 80%
    day4 = 10x3 @ 85%

    add 10lbs per week (for weeks 2 & 3).. then deload for a week and re-test your max..

    I can definately feel I'm getting stronger. I wasn't happy with benching 4x a week but now I'm midway through my 2nd week and have gotten used to it. The first week is pretty hard to to get used to. I feel stronger this week and the weight for this weeks 7x5 was easier than last weeks. The true test will be when I get to the 10x3 @ 85% +10lbs = 340 for me.. that's going to be rough.. but if I'm pressing like I was yesterday, I think it'll be good..

    Just an idea..

    Others will recommend 5/3/1 and westside, they both are good programs. Personally, I love volume and I find that my body responds very well to it so this program is doing me well so far..

    Good luck.
    Jake Sullivan
    6' - 280lbs - 29yrs old - Professional Highland Games Athlete
    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
    youtube channel = www.youtube.com/xtra0t

  4. #3
    Wannabebig Member
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    I can tell the difference myself. I started the old Nebraska schedule of 8-5-2 back in high school, but years later started looking for a better regimen in order to increase strength and stamina. When going to the higher rep/lower weight routine I enjoy the volume of reps more than an exhausting set of 8-5-2 or 5-3-1. It keeps me strong and able to take on 300lb lineman and in my line of work goes a long way. Keep up the helpful tips couldnt be happier.

  5. #4
    Juggernaut
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    I've had great success using Bill Gillespie's bench routine. I have the spreadsheet on my other computer. I'll try to get it off there. It's a 7-week program that typically gives me a 25-30 pound increase. It's a percentage-based program.

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyDeadliftr View Post
    There are many many benchers out there and a majority of them on here are shirted benchers. Part of being a raw lifter is finding a routine that works for you but does not over work you. Geared routines include longer training weeks while raw routines are short and sweet. After evertime I go through a bench routine I barely get 5-10 pounds if anything and am really looking at bringing up my bench for my next meet in April.


    Heres what I've done in the past for bench:
    Week 1: 5x5
    Week 2: 5x3
    Week 3: 3x3
    Week 4: 4x2
    Week 5: New max
    Week 6: Deload

    Now these are all the of themajor sets I would do for the workout. I would usually add 3 board work and incline work as well.

    Any raw rouitines that have worked for you guys in the past?
    You've just listed sets and reps. This doesn't mean much without some sort of % or reference point. The routine JSully listed at least has a set % and a logical progression through the program. Also, what loading parameters are you using for the incline BP and 3-board? I'm not saying you shouldn't do them, but don't go overboard if you are already working hard on your regular bench sets. I've had some luck just doing 5's or 3's with weights that are heavy, but don't require a max effort to complete. I've just started 5/3/1 because I wanted something that had a logical progression and provided a long-term framework.

  7. #6
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Vincent's "600 pounds of raw bench" article seems to bring success for many...not to mention its how he trained to attain a 600 pound raw bench

    I think Matt Rhodes wrote that one

    Westside can be done for a big raw bench as well. Travis Bell does the majority of his training raw
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  8. #7
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lones Green View Post
    Vincent's "600 pounds of raw bench" article seems to bring success for many...not to mention its how he trained to attain a 600 pound raw bench

    I think Matt Rhodes wrote that one

    Westside can be done for a big raw bench as well. Travis Bell does the majority of his training raw
    I second this. I pretty much follow that article for benching. When I need to use the shirt I just put it on for a max effort day. DE day stays the same.

    Westside all the way for me.
    750/500/690 APF Elite @ 242

    Bench Only - Multi Ply SPF - 600 @ 275 (251)

    Bench Only - Single Ply USAPL - 501 @ 275 (255)

    Bench Only - Single Ply SPF - 550 @ 259 (257)

  9. #8
    Wannabebig Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    You've just listed sets and reps. This doesn't mean much without some sort of % or reference point. The routine JSully listed at least has a set % and a logical progression through the program. Also, what loading parameters are you using for the incline BP and 3-board? I'm not saying you shouldn't do them, but don't go overboard if you are already working hard on your regular bench sets. I've had some luck just doing 5's or 3's with weights that are heavy, but don't require a max effort to complete. I've just started 5/3/1 because I wanted something that had a logical progression and provided a long-term framework.
    What I was doing for the sets was picking a weight and sticking with it for those targeted reps...and then bumping up each week by 20-30lbs. As for the 3 board work it would be 30-40lbs heavier than my max for 3-5 reps. As for incline work I would do sets of 3 sets of 10 going as heavy as I could but making sure I get all the reps.

    I read the article and seems like a good thing, I'm kind of sketchy though of speed work. I tried WSBB before in the past and followed it to the most specific detail but could never recover that well from following that template

  10. #9
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    Chris Masons article for benching was pretty good too.. I forgot about that.
    Jake Sullivan
    6' - 280lbs - 29yrs old - Professional Highland Games Athlete
    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
    youtube channel = www.youtube.com/xtra0t

  11. #10
    LittleJake JSully's Avatar
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    http://www.elitefts.com/documents/600lb_raw_bench.htm

    This is a really good write up and I may consider it after my smolov squat cycle..
    Jake Sullivan
    6' - 280lbs - 29yrs old - Professional Highland Games Athlete
    curently off-season
    HG training log = road to pro
    youtube channel = www.youtube.com/xtra0t

  12. #11
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    I use a Westside program similar to the one in the article by Rhodes and Vincent and I've had a lot of success. The key for raw work is to make sure that you are getting your volume in as well. I do my max effort exercise and then either drop the weight down to about 80% and hit a couple sets of reps, or move on to another supplemental exercise and get some reps in (usually in the 3-5 rep range).

  13. #12
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Westside works very well for raw lifters.

    I've competed raw at a couple meets, most recent being the RUM last year. I scheduled my program around full range movements cycling band and chain weights, usually lower tensions than I've used for my equipped meets.

    Wk 1 - close grip against 3 sets of chain
    Wk 2 - mod close grip against minis
    Wk 3 - mod close grip straight weight - 2brd
    Wk 4 - close grip 3 sets of chain - 5lb PR
    Wk 5 - mod close grip against minis - 5lb PR
    Wk 6 - straight weight 2brd - 10lb PR
    Wk 7 - deload
    Wk 8 - meet

    Works like a charm every time. You have to choose your accessory movements properly as well. I started doing two down sets with heavy weight on my ME day and the last 3 weeks I used straight weight on my DE day

    There is no special program that works specifically for raw lifters though. You can make BIG training, Metal Militia or Kung Fu training work for you right if you work smart and work hard.


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  14. #13
    Wannabebig Member bigjeff87's Avatar
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    just started doing weside this week after a five year layoff from powerlifting....I'm liking it so far...we will see how it fares....I will be doing the beau moore classic april 1st at 275lbs so we will see!

  15. #14
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    Travis, whats the difference in grip for the close grip and the mod close grip? Is the mod close grip your comp style grip?

  16. #15
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BloodyDeadliftr View Post
    Travis, whats the difference in grip for the close grip and the mod close grip? Is the mod close grip your comp style grip?
    Close grip is index on the smooth

    Then thumbs from the smooth is another one

    Mod close grip is pinkies on the ring


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  17. #16
    Nelson Snyder
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    I agree with travis i change grips all the time and with my incline i switch reps each week i do
    3x12
    3x8
    3x5
    3x3 then start over works for me but what works for one may not work for another.

  18. #17
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    Besides trying on my new F6 I've only benched raw and have had great success with westside conjugate method for the past year and a half or so. A couple times I tried to make little changes (such as replacing Dynamic work with rep work) but I found the best results sticking to the core system. I know people say crap like its only for advanced multiply lifters on gear but I am none of those things and its the only method that I feel really worked for me.

  19. #18
    Bad Attitude Gym AdamBAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonLift View Post
    Besides trying on my new F6 I've only benched raw and have had great success with westside conjugate method for the past year and a half or so. A couple times I tried to make little changes (such as replacing Dynamic work with rep work) but I found the best results sticking to the core system. I know people say crap like its only for advanced multiply lifters on gear but I am none of those things and its the only method that I feel really worked for me.
    I agree, I've had the same experience. My raw numbers have gone up too. We've had multiple guys train conjugate method that are non-supplemented and make elite totals, myself included.
    750/500/690 APF Elite @ 242

    Bench Only - Multi Ply SPF - 600 @ 275 (251)

    Bench Only - Single Ply USAPL - 501 @ 275 (255)

    Bench Only - Single Ply SPF - 550 @ 259 (257)

  20. #19
    Senior Member Stronghold's Avatar
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    I'm not a great raw bencher by any means, but 5/3/1 has been consistently adding weight to my raw bench to the tune of about 60 lbs since May 2009. It may not be the fastest way going in terms of what you get out of 8 or 12 weeks or whatever of the program, but the gains are consistent and the programming requires very little thinking to make it work.
    "I eat quitters for breakfast and I spit out their bones" - Mike Ditka

  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stronghold View Post
    I'm not a great raw bencher by any means, but 5/3/1 has been consistently adding weight to my raw bench to the tune of about 60 lbs since May 2009. It may not be the fastest way going in terms of what you get out of 8 or 12 weeks or whatever of the program, but the gains are consistent and the programming requires very little thinking to make it work.
    This is basically what I have experienced. Slow going, but sustainable and consistent gains, minimal thinking.....sign me up

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