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Thread: Need help on heavy bench day.

  1. #1
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    Need help on heavy bench day.

    Im hoping someone can give me advice, as Ive been stuck on bench for a while.

    My training max is around 255 and for heavy bench day, Ive been trying to stay in the 225-245 range.

    My stalling point is about 2-3" off my chest and I bench close grip (pointer finger right next to the smooth part of the bar)

    Also, Im weak at the VERY top. There is no way I could unrack my training weights or even up to 225 without a spotter. But assuming I get through the mid point of the lift I never have trouble locking out.

    Ive been mainly just working bench on the heavy days and cycling the weights/volume, but stalled recently and started to add in floor press and board press

    My accessory work hits the upper back/lats and triceps and shoulders with everything like Rows, pullups, DB incline bench, and DB JM presses.

    I am starting to add holds in the lockout position for a few seconds after completing each set. And Im also focusing on grip stength by really squeezing the bar hard.

    My main question is, what am I doing wrong with my main lifts?
    -Should I have planned out variations in load/volume or just go for a "max" each day.
    -Should I rotate certain lifts, or just use the board presses when I feel my shoulders need a deload?
    -Any other advice?

    Thanks in advance, I really appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    Paused bench. Long pauses (3 secs). Explode off the chest with all the leg drive you can muster, each and every rep.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    Something to think about is, incorporate dynamic effort bench into your programming. You'll be able to push through that sticking point more easily.

    Before I can answer your questions I need to know what type of program you are following. Sounds kind of "like" conjugate.


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  4. #4
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    Start working with some bands and chains, that will overload the top of the movement and help increase your strength at lockout.
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  5. #5
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    When you bench bring the bar down as close to chest as possible without touching, do a few sets of 3-5, youll have to use less weight but i bet it would help you out. nothing is going to work in a week or 2 though. Bands would also build your speed and lockout power.

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    What are you currently doing?? It honestly sounds like your lockout is fine at moment if you have no issue when actually pressing. Nothing wrong with needing a handoff with maximal weight.

    As far as sticking a couple inches off the chest, Rock and Vinny are right about pausing off the chest and adding speed work. I have also found that heavy back training and delt work are good for improving strength in that range. You might also try pause work with a 1 board. Sometimes I've seen peeps stronger off the chest than to a 1 board.
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    Follow 5/3/1 and give it a year. I guaratee a solid, simple program will garner real results.

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    i love rack presses for explosive power.

    Set pins a few inches above chest and do sets of 3. I like to work these with different pin heights

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    @ Vincent - I started adding DE work and was planning on doing it every other week or every 3 weeks. Would it make sense to to DE work on board press or floor press if Im weaker in those areas? Or is DE always done full ROM?

    My routine is hard to explain, but it is "like" conjugate.

    Here is my log: http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...ally!!!!/page9 (disregard the title)

    Looking over my log, the past weeks on heavy day went like this:

    Weight / total reps
    235 / 3
    225(paused) / 3
    225-255 / 10
    225-255 / 7
    235/5, 225/8
    235 / 8
    245/5, 225/6
    235 / 16
    185+red bands / 16
    235 / 3 - mixed in speed on this day
    225-245 / 9

    I do everything in those ranges for singles or doubles, and most of it is just regular bench, but a few of those workouts were floor press or board press. Floor press is awkward for me and seems to hurt my chest a little. For board press, I just put a 25lb plate on my chest and im definately weaker at these, but the groove of the rep feels good.

    Looking at all the weights listed out, I guess I might be on the right track, and just need to be more patient.

    Yesterday's workout I did board press, 225x1, 235x1, 245x1, 235x6x1. So next week if Im feeling up to it, i'd probably aim for 225x1, 235x1, 245x_x1 (basically multiple sets at 245x1)

    OR should I actually be going for maxes and trying to hit PRs in weight and not volume?

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    @ Justin, I think you might be right. 1-board press seems SO much harder to me than full ROM. I can pause off the chest no problem, but I haven't tried pausing longer off the 1-board. I'll give that a try.

  11. #11
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I think Vincent would like to see let's say a two week example of your exact entire training routine. That would help.


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  12. #12
    Moderator Matthew Bryduck's Avatar
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    I use to bench narrow grip and the best thing I did from my bench was slowly widen my grip out.

  13. #13
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    Chris, I replied to Vincent with comments on my training and a link to my training log. I dont know if it went through though. It said awaiting moderator approval.

  14. #14
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danki View Post
    Chris, I replied to Vincent with comments on my training and a link to my training log. I dont know if it went through though. It said awaiting moderator approval.
    I took care of it. It got flagged by the anti-SPAM for some reason.


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  15. #15
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    I just looked at your log and you do very little triceps work. I believe a bit more would help. I also think you are doing a lot of fairly high intensity volume pressing. I think you would benefit from less.
    Last edited by chris mason; 01-24-2013 at 10:16 PM.


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    Pyramid

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    Quote Originally Posted by slip85 View Post
    Pyramid
    Da fuck does Egypt have to do here?

    Anyway, other thing to consider is how much back work you are doing and how strong your back is.


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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    I just looked at your log and you do very little triceps work. I believe a bit more would help. I also think you are doing a lot of fairly high intensity volume pressing. I think you would benefit from less.

    Thanks Chris. So what if I add a 3rd bench day into the rotation, but still stick with 2x per week. That way I would only be benching heavy 2x/3 weeks. If I did this, I'd have a "heavy day", "moderate day" and a "light day".

    Maybe something like this:?

    Heavy day -

    1)Bench or Board press cycled weekly or even few weeks - up to a heavy single or "max" with ~5-10 total reps (90-100+%)
    2)DB inc or DB Flat bench, or Floor press - something like 3x5-7

    Light Day -
    1)Bench or FP - moderate load sets of 1-3 (75-85%) for about 10-15 total reps (low fatigue, just practice work)
    2)RE DB bench or Inc bench - Pick a load (40-60%) and do 2-3 sets of max reps

    Moderate Day -
    1)DB bench variation or Bench variation - Done HCT-12 protocol
    2)DB bench variation 3x8-12


    Obviously I would have back work and accessory work added to all of that. For back work, I liked doing pullups spread throughout the workout in between other sets and I think i'll try this for DB rows as well. I'll also work pulldowns for higher rep sets of 10-15.

    What more should I be doing for triceps?

  19. #19
    Administrator chris mason's Avatar
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    Training volume is highly correlated to intensity. A heavy, medium, light day can be tricky to program correctly. Again, you seem to feel like if you just press and press your bench is going to increase. If that were so you would be benching more than you are. The truth is you could increase your bench if all you did was a few heavy sets per week. You are overtraining in my book. Just cut your volume in half and see what happens.

    I would recommend some form of triceps extension with a barbell as well as some lockout work with boards.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris mason View Post
    Training volume is highly correlated to intensity. A heavy, medium, light day can be tricky to program correctly. Again, you seem to feel like if you just press and press your bench is going to increase. If that were so you would be benching more than you are. The truth is you could increase your bench if all you did was a few heavy sets per week. You are overtraining in my book. Just cut your volume in half and see what happens.

    I would recommend some form of triceps extension with a barbell as well as some lockout work with boards.
    Ok Chris, thanks for that advice. I still want to add the third day into the rotation, but i'll cut back on the volume of heavy pressing.

    Heavy day -

    1)Bench or Board press cycled weekly or every few weeks - up to a heavy single or "max" with ~3-5 total reps (90-100+%)
    2)DB inc or DB Flat bench, or Floor press - something like 3x5-7

    Light Day -
    1)Board press or Inc Bench w/pause - 5-8x3 (60-75%)
    2)RE DB bench or Inc bench - Pick a load (40-60%) and do 2-3 sets of max reps

    Moderate Day -
    1)DB bench variation or Bench variation - Done HCT-12 protocol
    2)DB bench variation 3x8-12

    *Ive been doing rolling tricep extensions, DB JM presses and tricep pressdowns, but i'll see how BB tricep extensions are.

    Does this look better?

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    Gain 10 lbs. Works for my bench everytime lol
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  22. #22
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    I think ws for skinny bastards would be good for ya, or just bench once every 5 days. I love to bench also but you just cant do it as much as you want to.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by danki View Post
    Ok Chris, thanks for that advice. I still want to add the third day into the rotation, but i'll cut back on the volume of heavy pressing.

    Heavy day -

    1)Bench or Board press cycled weekly or every few weeks - up to a heavy single or "max" with ~3-5 total reps (90-100+%)
    2)DB inc or DB Flat bench, or Floor press - something like 3x5-7

    Light Day -
    1)Board press or Inc Bench w/pause - 5-8x3 (60-75%)
    2)RE DB bench or Inc bench - Pick a load (40-60%) and do 2-3 sets of max reps

    Moderate Day -
    1)DB bench variation or Bench variation - Done HCT-12 protocol
    2)DB bench variation 3x8-12

    *Ive been doing rolling tricep extensions, DB JM presses and tricep pressdowns, but i'll see how BB tricep extensions are.

    Does this look better?
    Follow a program that works.

    -5/3/1
    -Juggernaut
    -Westside
    -Cube

    You clearly don't want to hear the answer because you just keep saying the same thing in a different way. Chris is right, you need to do extensions. You need to hammer your back. Follow a program that works. Simple.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by RhodeHouse View Post
    Follow a program that works.

    -5/3/1
    -Juggernaut
    -Westside
    -Cube

    You clearly don't want to hear the answer because you just keep saying the same thing in a different way. Chris is right, you need to do extensions. You need to hammer your back. Follow a program that works. Simple.
    Point taken. Im going to do WS4SB

    I'll cycle the ME lift every two weeks between, regular w/pause, 1-board, bands.

    As for the tricep extensions, are barbell extensions that much better than DB extensions?

  25. #25
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    sounds like a plan, i think they are better with a bar unless the bar kills your elbows,i like to use a curl bar for them.

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