BACK TO THE BENCH

Topics that focus on building strength and muscle using old school and modern training techniques. Post questions, share training tips and programs.

Moderator: peter yates

peter yates
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:10 pm

After not bench pressing for almost 25 years i have restarted again this year with very pleasing results. To be honest i always preferred overhead lifting both with barbells and dumbbells though i always did some benching over the years. After a shoulder injury that made it difficult to do either bench press or push ups i dropped them for other exercises that gave me no problem. Interestingly i could still do dips, handstand push ups, overhead pressing and incline DB press.So with that range of possibilities i saw no need to go back to flat benching. Always being a push up fan however i slowly brought myself back to doing them both free and with added resistance,i just love push ups. Anyway in May i was back in England training with my nephew and he had just started a routine he got from a John Grimek article. A few of the biggies Squat, rowing, press, bench press,curl mainly. So i decided to jump in with him and see how the bench press played out. In this routine, after a couple of light sets to get the form, the first set is with a weight that just allows for 20 reps, then weight is added each set until the last set is about 5 or 6 reps. EG. 20, 15, 12, 8, 5. So by the time you get to your heavy set the whole upper body is flushed with blood and really warmed up. First thing i noticed is i had absolutely no pain or even discomfort, in fact there was a very pleasant warmth in the entire shoulder girdle. The day after too i had no discomfort but what i did have was an incredible muscular soreness in my upper chest like no amount of incline pressing had ever given me. I know i should have broken in to it but i had a young gun pushing me and i was not about to let the oldies side down. Besides it just felt so good to feel the affect on my chest.However my whole shoulder area and triceps were also feeling the effects. I must add we had done no other type of press at that session. I continued benching while i was there and it just felt right, so since my return i have stayed with it and have seen much benefit from it, and contrary to what i expected my whole shoulder region has become even stronger and more stable and always being on the slender side happy to notice some new muscle growth. I only do this routine one session a week and on my other days do weighted push ups and dips. Another point is that since i have been doing the higher reps to start i have had no joint aches or pain and my energy has become even better. Anyway i do realize that the bench press can be a problem for many especially with years of heavy low rep work, however for those who have no restrictions or difficulties it can be a great upper body developer.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

User avatar
Harry Hayfield
Posts: 677
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 7:17 am
Location: Llanrhystud, Ceredigion, Wales
Contact:

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by Harry Hayfield » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:57 am

That is extraordinary encouraging to hear, because of my caring commitments (which have increased of late due to various things) plus the gym that I train at has been flooded and been closed for the best part of six weeks, I have not been able to go to a gym for ages, hopefully things now seem to be calming down a little and the gym is scheduled to re-open a week today so this posting means that I should not have too much to do before I am back to what I was doing.
"Great heavens, what is there to adulate in me? Am I particularly intelligent, or remarkably studious, or excruciatingly witty, or unusually accomplished, or exceptionally virtuous?"
(The Duke of Dunstable, Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan)

sticksb
Posts: 1486
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by sticksb » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:08 pm

Harry
Free squats
Heel raises
Push-ups
Crunches
Presses , curls , side raises with your DBs until the waters receed ...
Peter
Elbows leaving you alone ?

peter yates
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:53 pm

Harry Hayfield wrote:That is extraordinary encouraging to hear, because of my caring commitments (which have increased of late due to various things) plus the gym that I train at has been flooded and been closed for the best part of six weeks, I have not been able to go to a gym for ages, hopefully things now seem to be calming down a little and the gym is scheduled to re-open a week today so this posting means that I should not have too much to do before I am back to what I was doing.
Hi Harry, glad to hear you will soon be back in the gym. Will not take you long to catch up but go steady at first and ease back into it over a couple of weeks.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

peter yates
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:58 pm

sticksb wrote:Harry
Free squats
Heel raises
Push-ups
Crunches
Presses , curls , side raises with your DBs until the waters receed ...
Peter
Elbows leaving you alone ?
Hi Chris, since going for higher reps and overall volume all the little dings and dents have mainly gone except on a couple of exercises i am avoiding right now.Chins and regular curls,i can do parallel pull ups and hammer curls with no problem though.All pressing movement are fine on both elbows and shoulders. Thanks for asking.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Jim Duggan
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2018 3:00 am
Location: New York, USA

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by Jim Duggan » Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:59 am

Hi Peter. Are you still using the same rep scheme? I always used to avoid high reps. And warm-ups used to consist of one light set. Now, for the heavier movements at least, I do an extensive warm-up. Just getting the blood flowing, and the area warm allows me to train hard, and not have to worry about getting hurt. A thorough warm-up is one of the few concessions I will make to getting older.
Have you ever tried using Indian clubs as a warm-up for your shoulders? I've heard of people using them with great results. I've only tried them a couple of times, but not before Bench Presses, mainly because I don't have a bench in my house ( I have to Bench at a gym, and there are no Indian clubs at the gym.)

peter yates
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:32 pm

Hi Jim,yes i am still doing the same rep scheme and it is working really well.For years my highest rep range would have been around 8 but mainly 3-5 for most exercises, except for the times when i did 20 rep squat routines. i must point out that the higher reps sets are not really warm ups in themselves but actually working sets as the last 3-4 reps are hard work but of course serve the purpose of warming up the whole area. At 68 i am still making improvements all but slowly. Sometimes it is an extra rep or two or a weight increase but moving along nicely. It is working well for me though.On Saturday i train with DBs and KBs. I use thick handle DBs for snatches so obviously this is not a lift that lends itself to high reps due to speed and technique. So i do warm ups for that and also the KB clean and press.As for Indian clubs, yes i have several pairs though mostly use the 1lb set. Mostly i use them the days between training but sometimes during my free warm up which takes about 10 min overall and is from martial arts so it works all the joints really well.Indian clubs featured a lot in my shoulder rehab, a great training tool.You are right Jim as we age we must adjust but i see no reason not to work as hard as we still can and still look for improvement were we can. We just have to be smart about it.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

28kgKB
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:33 pm

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by 28kgKB » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:47 pm

I, too, did the same thing. I was anxious to get my bench press moving again as it had been stagnate for some time now. Nothing I was doing was working and I all but gave up on it. I decided to do some research. I found a blog involving eastern bloc style powerlifting. After some further research and re-visiting the Smolov Jr. routine, I decided to drop everything from my routine except the bench press.

I started the Smolov Jr. routine three weeks ago. I bench four times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. I do the sets and reps and weight percentages verbatim, however, I decided to use my competition grip on Monday and Friday and a close grip - shoulder width really - on Wednesday and Saturdays. The weights are flying off my chest! And, I'm using pauses on nearly every set where I pause the last rep of every set.

Outside of a few curs'ls and pullups here and there I'm oding absolutely NOTHING else, except riding my recumbent bike.

The routine is essentially:

Monday 6x6 with a comp. grip

Wednesday 7x5 with a close grip

Friday 8x4 with a comp grip

Saturday 10x3 with a close grip

I'm NOT having any problem recovering from this, nor adding weight, no joint stiffness or anything like that. I mentioned it to a few others trainers I know and got nothing but "hate mail" (LOL) saying I was training to hard. But, the results speak for themselves!

The western style of training of annihilating a muscle group once a week compared to the eastern bloc methods of multiple times per week training the same lift....even the squat and deadlift are trained 2-3 times a week each! Now, before anyone goes all "they're all on steroids" hear me out. This is a short term, four week routine. I've got one more workout - tomorrow's - then a week of rest to test the bench press a week after tomorrow. We'll see if this routine added anything to my total.

I've used these routines before with great success when I was younger. I do recall the old school powerlifters training the lifts more times per week than these modern guys are training them. Th eastern bloc folks are some strong dudes hauling massive poundage's. There must be something to it. Nothing to lose I guess.....

sticksb
Posts: 1486
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2015 1:37 pm

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by sticksb » Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:22 am

Super heavy weight powerlifter Jim Williams bench pressed every week day . Some days very heavy
and some light (FORM) days . Marvin Eder when he wasn't pressing or bench pressing a heavy barbell
he was pressing or bench pressing heavy dumbbells on his (OFF) days . These were two of histories
strongest bench pressers . Apparently practice made perfect in these cases .

peter yates
Posts: 2397
Joined: Sun Oct 05, 2014 10:38 pm
Location: NEW YORK, USA

Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:13 pm

Hi Jim,glad to hear you are having success with your experiment and the gains are coming. What i read here is you did your research first and looked back into your previous training to what had given you results and formulated a plan from there. With your past experience you would have soon known if the work was in fact too much and adjusted accordingly, however seems like you got it just right. What i have learned if anything from my time involved with training, and that is past a certain point we have to work it out for ourselves, yes get advise and tips from others, but only we can know what is right for us. Another important thing i am picking up is that this has given your enthusiasm a big kick start too. Good on ya mate.
Regards,Peter.
Peter Yates

Post Reply