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.

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colinkbell
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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by colinkbell » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:05 am

Hi Peter, do you still do martial arts? And do you still do martial arts derived stretching? Thanks,Colin.
" Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees" Isaiah 35 v3

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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:48 pm

Hi Colin, yes to both questions.
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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by dhartnet » Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:49 pm

Good news Peter. Im ready to get back to benching slowly. I've switched to the EliteFTS multi-grip bar over the last few months, really a shoulder saver. I feel pretty much healed, and Ive gone close to 300 lbs for reps on it, when I had pain w/ 135 on normal bench press bar. I have no issues sticking w/ muliti-grip if needed, but ready to try some light benches again this week w/ normal bar.

Multi-grip is a great bar BTW... The one Im using looks just like this Rogue bar:
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~Dave

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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:45 pm

Hi Dave,
that is really great to hear. I have heard the same from a few people in how they were able to carry on with both bench and overhead pressing using the parallel grip. Let us know how it goes when you try the regular bar again.At least you know you always have this alternative.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by 28kgKB » Fri Dec 14, 2018 9:41 pm

Now that I'm back full swing into bench pressing, shoulders are feeling great and I was doing little else, except bench pressing. There is definitely something to these Eastern Bloc style routines. I was on the Smolov Jr. routine for my bench for the few weeks, bench pressing four days a week, Monday competition grip, Wednesday a shoulder width grip at the edge of the knurling, Friday same as Monday and Saturday morning's a shoulder width grip again as detailed earlier in this thread. I was amazed at how the bar was flying off my chest as that was always my problem with the bench press. While on this program, I used pauses on my reps when I felt like it. They definitely helped me power thru the bottom sticking position! I generally did them on the last 1-2 reps of the last 1-2 sets. nothing crazy, but after awhile of doing them, I started to crave the use of them all the time instead of using a touch and go method. They are bad ass!

I was doing little else other than some pullups and riding my recumbent bike for leg and cardio work. I recently went on the Keto diet as well to shed some of last year's "winter coat". I don't know how long the strength gains will hold, but my bench press went up 40 pounds on this routine! I'm pleased with the results! The routine was only supposed to be for a month, but I decided to take it to the limit to see what I could get out of it. So, after the month was up, I added five pounds to all my percentages for each workout and forged ahead. It worked like a champ for a second time, although I can feel that this routine is "coming to its end", but no worries because it served its purpose. Time to shift gears a bit.

I'm now onto a Sheiko style routine. Clearly, more benching, even at nearly 60 hasn't hurt me as long as the volume is controlled. I have to admit I feel stronger now in the past few weeks now that I'm bench pressing four days a week. And, though I thought I'd be tearing up my shoulders by now, I've had no ill effects whatsoever from this form or training.

We've always been told to cut down the training volume as we age, but in the Eastern Bloc countries, they increase it (!!) and do it over a period of a few days, rather than blow out your muscle groups once a week. I did that when I was younger and frankly never understood why it was better to do something once per week as opposed to slow and steady progress multiple times a week over a period of weeks. I think us trainees here in the states are sabotaging ourselves in the thinking that less training is always better. I get the whole resting routine, but I will say that doing what I've been doing, I haven't had any ill effects in recovering from this style of training. If one looks at the Olympic routines of the Eastern Bloc guys we'd see that they are very sport specific in that the "lifts" are first and foremost in what they perform with squats and little else. I've been looking at those routines that gyms here in the states are doing and they are following the Europeans in their training styles and rightly so, I think. I seems to be working. Its really nothing new, right? Trainees did this type of training decades ago. Somewhere along the way, we lost our way. But, its great to see trainees going back old school because it works!

I threw caution to the wind because my "old school" routines weren't working anymore, so why not try something completely different. The Eastern Bloc routines intrigued me. I'm embarking on a little different approach now on a four day a week routine with Monday being a heavy bench press day (up to 90%) for 4 sets of 2, Wednesday being military press day at 6 sets of 5, Friday being a close grip BP day working up to 90% for four singles and then backing down and Saturday performing competition grip BP, working up to 4 sets of 3 at 70%. So, really only two days of competition grip benching with one day each for CGBP and military pressing to keep the shoulders healthy.

There's little else in the routine except some leg work on Monday and Friday, and I'll try some deadlifts (as I'm feeling pretty good on those), nothing too, too heavy, but a mix of DL off a box and sumo style on Wednesday and Conventional style, plus rack deadlifts on Saturday.

I'll see how it goes from there. The plan is to maintain the bench press numbers as best as possible, but also start focusing on more leg and posterior chain work. Since I'm not back squatting anymore due to a myriad of neck, back and knee issues, I can perform kettlebell swings without pain, so those can be my main leg/pull/hip hinge movement and with enough weight they hit the back and legs hard.

I've gotten back into pullups and ring pushups again and am making use of those for assistance as they just feel good to do. I guess I'll see how it goes.

Cheers!

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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by sticksb » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:35 pm

More training volume as you age for function . More movement , as you have discovered , has prompted
gains long dorment . When you recoil into less training in later years it simply leads to more infrequent training , less
movement . I'll cut back to twice a week . Then maybe once every 7-10 days and so on . Pretty soon clothes
are hanging on the power rack to dry . When your equipment is only there to remind you of what you used to
use it for you know the slope has gotten way too slippery .


Re visit the ankle weight thread (and pictures) and the supplemental exercises for legs / core & back .
With the ability to micro load (a#at a time) you can rebuild and strengthen the damage and maybe get
back to more modest squat/deadlift training inclusions .

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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Sat Dec 15, 2018 3:09 pm

Hey John, thanks for the update on your experiment and glad to hear it has worked out so well for you. I know we have said this in the past but this whole training thing past a certain point is experimentation, trial and error that overtime leads us to understand our needs and training responses more clearly. No matter how something works for another it is always how it works for you that counts. While responses do differ from person to person i have found for myself and speaking with other older trainers that an increase in overall activity is beneficial as we age. Use it or Lose it. There are some sources who will tell us to cut down our training frequency and volume as you mention and this may be needed for those who do have poor recovery ability. For me anyway this would be a mistake and i know from my own experimentation and response to various methods. I have found that if i only Squat for example once a week that the soreness last several days, whereas if i do some type of squat almost daily i have very little soreness. Now i must say that i only go all out on the back squat once a week but i employ other squat methods at different loads and intensities other days. Also do daily hill walking. As you so rightly mention, frequent training is nothing new and although popularized by the Eastern bloc countries was being used way before that, just not in such organized ways. I mentioned activity before and this apart from training i feel should also kept up or if a person is retired even increased. Anyway mate keep us informed of your next training phase and the response.
Regards,Peter.
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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by 28kgKB » Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:56 pm

The soreness I always felt after once a week training each powerllift was due to training it just once a week, right? I tended to, as do lots of trainees, to overtrain: the theory being "well, I'm only hitting this lift once a week. I might as well do it justice"! Where, training multiple times a week on a lift is now giving me a better response as I'm controlling the volume and lifting within my ability as opposed to trying to move weights I know I probably cannot do. I think the practice of doing a lift multiple times a week really helps you get better at that movement. Further reading about how the Finns deadlift multiple times a week has convinced me that with controlled volume, it is possible to deadlift more than once a week, or in my case, when I was competing I was deadlifting once in 8-10 days in the off season and once in 10-14 days when training for a meet. I now believe this is wrong and that I should've deadlifted more than once a week - twice a week at least and I should've followed what the Finns were doing because some phenomenal deadlifters have come out of that country in the past few decades.

I mean, if training a movement, lift or bodypart three times a week worked back in the day why do we have any reason to believe it doesn't work now? One of the things I really took away from the Eastern Bloc training philosophy was their take on western lifters. they can't and don't understand why western lifters don't train as often as they do. Clearly what they're doing is working, though the western style of training is not without merit as I used it and did well in competition but I always wonder, now, if there may have been a better "method" so to speak to boost my lifts.

One of the things I noticed about doing the Smolov Jr. routine for my bench was that the bar speed off the chest was really fast with weights I was previously struggling with to move fast. Each workout built on the previous one and the bar speed and path got better and better with each workout. I actually looked forward to my training and was always fresh, even on Saturday mornings, after having done bench presses the previous night on Friday evening after work.

I'll know on this next four week "go-around" with it whether I'll be able to keep the gains I've made.

Cheers!

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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by peter yates » Fri Dec 21, 2018 2:12 pm

Hi John, thanks for the update on your progress. Well mate we can always look back and think what if? The thing is we will never know. Best just to look at it as you have found what is working for you now, you are getting results and most of all you really sound like you are enjoying it. When i started out a training week was usually 4 days and the big lifts would be done at least 3 of those. This was a carry over from the Pullum days so you can see it was being done in the west long before the Eastern bloc programs became famous. Another method was 'not the same but similar' where say bench was done on Monday, dips or pushups on Wednesday and low incline on Friday. Then of course the 'heavy, medium, light was a popular 3 day program at one time especially among Olympic lifters. Of course i have only lifted for myself and not as a competitor like yourself, Sticks, Jim, Ray and Dave.Anyway keep us up to date and all the best with your progress.
Regards,Peter.
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colinkbell
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Re: BACK TO THE BENCH

Post by colinkbell » Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:00 am

Fascinating reading John!
Colin
" Strengthen ye the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees" Isaiah 35 v3

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