Update on bench press training

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28kgKB
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Update on bench press training

Post by 28kgKB » Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:19 pm

So far, so good! Knocked the bench press training back to three days a week doing 5 heavy singles at 90% on Monday, then backing down to 3x3 and then finally 3-5-7. Then 65% on Wednesday for 4 sets of 5-7, and 80% for 5-7 sets of 5-7 reps on Friday. After each bench day, I do pullups, some form of overhead press (nothing too crazy, but wanna keep the shoulders healthy), one triceps and one biceps exercise. Typically, if I don't do pullups for some reason, my back work for the day would be kettlebell snatching. The barbell pressing I typically do in my power rack I'd replace with kettlebell overhead pressing, but I'm pretty consistent lately with everything.

As for leg work, since squats and deadlifts are a memory for me due to neck and back injuries, and hernia surgery, I've taken to running, biking or kettlebell swings for lower body work. I'm on the Keto diet and have drop nearly 20 pounds with the combo of training and running (or at least doing more cardio). My plan is to increase my cardio a bit to five days a week; after my 3x workouts on Mon/Wed/Fri and on Tue/Thu by itself for some longer runs. The plan is to get my mileage up.

So far, so good.

Pax
Last edited by 28kgKB on Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sticksb
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by sticksb » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:04 am

John
Have you ever considered getting a weighted vest and doing squats.
The vest distributes the payload (20,40 or 60#) over the entire torso
so no ecessive downward pressure on neck & spine . Also hipbelt squats
are a nice alternative with payload dangling from the belt . You can rig
the hip harness up to a single side of your barbell ... If not you sound like
you've got it covered pretty well .

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David Gentle
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by David Gentle » Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:31 am

John, i admire your courage and tenacity. Just a tip for the bench press, and this is only if you have training buddies or spotters, try to load up in your bench racks a reallly high poundage eg about another 20 or more pounds than your best full lift, then just try to lift the bar,off the racks, dont move it m ore then locking our your arms about an inch, ,the idea is just to get used to the feel of a heavy weight, so when you reduce the weight for training it will feel much lighter. i repeat you must have spotters ready to grab the bar. David
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peter yates
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by peter yates » Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:13 pm

28kgKB wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:19 pm
So far, so good! Knocked the bench press training back to three days a week doing 5 heavy singles at 90% on Monday, then backing down to 3x3 and then finally 3-5-7. Then 65% on Wednesday for 4 sets of 5-7, and 80% for 5-7 sets of 5-7 reps on Friday. After each bench day, I do pullups, some form of overhead press (nothing too crazy, but wanna keep the shoulders healthy), one triceps and one biceps exercise. Typically, if I don't do pullups for some reason, my back work for the day would be kettlebell snatching. The barbell pressing I typically in my power rack I'd replace with kettlebell overhead pressing, but I'm pretty consistent lately with everything.

As for leg work, since squats and deadlifts are a memory for me due to neck and back injuries, and hernia surgery, I've taken to running, biking or kettlebell swings for lower body work. I'm on the Keto diet and have drop nearly 20 pounds with the combo of training and running (or at least doing more cardio). My plan is to increase my cardio a bit to five days a week; after my 3x workouts on Mon/Wed/Fri and on Tue/Thu by itself for some longer runs. The plan is to get my mileage up.

So far, so good.

Pax
Hi John, thanks for the update and glad the program is working well for you.Main thing i am picking up is you are enjoying it. I am assuming when you say you dropped 20lb it is of the unwanted type. When people say to me they want to lose weight i always ask them to re phrase and say they want to lose fat.Who would want to lose hard earned muscle? Certainly not me who has had to sweat blood for even an extra ounce of muscle. Anyway really glad to hear you results mate.
Regards,Peter.
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28kgKB
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by 28kgKB » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:32 pm

sticksb wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:04 am
John
Have you ever considered getting a weighted vest and doing squats.
The vest distributes the payload (20,40 or 60#) over the entire torso
so no ecessive downward pressure on neck & spine . Also hipbelt squats
are a nice alternative with payload dangling from the belt . You can rig
the hip harness up to a single side of your barbell ... If not you sound like
you've got it covered pretty well .
Hey there!

After I hurt my neck and back in a car crash, I bought an Iron Mind Hip Belt and damn near wore it out using it....LOL! I also used to do a lot, and I mean a lot of belt squats! I had a small curling bar and used to "front load" that bar with about 10-20 pounds more weight in the front of the bar than the rear to assist with the balance of the bar when you squatted down. I'd built platforms to stand on too. Worked like champ! Hip Belt Squats rock!!

The problem now is not so much the back and neck injuries as is my left knee - it buckles when squatting and is painful. Also, the hernia repair I have gets a little stressed when squatting. I can feel the scar tissue and patch tugging against one another. Its a little uncomfortable. I've gotten to a point where I simply don't do any squats (or deadlifts) and instead rely on running and biking for my leg work. I recently purchased a leg extension/leg curl machine which I will make use of. I've heard all kinds of nightmare stories about leg extensions causing knee problems, but I don't thing that was the source of my knee problem. I think it was due to years and years of powerlifting, Olympic lifting and Scottish Games training.

Cheers!

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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by 28kgKB » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:35 pm

David Gentle wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:31 am
John, i admire your courage and tenacity. Just a tip for the bench press, and this is only if you have training buddies or spotters, try to load up in your bench racks a reallly high poundage eg about another 20 or more pounds than your best full lift, then just try to lift the bar,off the racks, dont move it m ore then locking our your arms about an inch, ,the idea is just to get used to the feel of a heavy weight, so when you reduce the weight for training it will feel much lighter. i repeat you must have spotters ready to grab the bar. David

David, you're a braver man than I am Sir! LOL!! I don't even come close to that. I have a power rack and set my pins so that if I have to dump a bar that won't be a problem. I cannot remember the last time that happened to me. I don't work over my ego. That movement you speak of really aggravates my joints.

John

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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by 28kgKB » Sun Mar 10, 2019 9:40 pm

sticksb wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:04 am
John
Have you ever considered getting a weighted vest and doing squats.
The vest distributes the payload (20,40 or 60#) over the entire torso
so no ecessive downward pressure on neck & spine . Also hipbelt squats
are a nice alternative with payload dangling from the belt . You can rig
the hip harness up to a single side of your barbell ... If not you sound like
you've got it covered pretty well .
Hi Peter!

Yes, excessive "blubber"....LOL! I went from nearly 200 pounds down to 178 and I feel great. I've been running a few times a week and that definitely helps. As noted above (or possibly below), I've performed hip belt squats throughout the years due to the neck/back injuries with much success, but this time its different - my left knee buckles on the squat! Running doesn't bother it unless my knee's had enough.

sticksb
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by sticksb » Mon Mar 11, 2019 1:37 am

The leg extension / leg curl machine caused no problems for me . I did them as slow deliberate
movements over a 6-8 rep range , pausing at the top of each movement . I never did the high
rep high ballistic rocking back and forth reps I see in practice in a lot of training halls . I think
that's what most of the leg ex. nay sayers get bent out of shape about ...

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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by peter yates » Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:47 pm

Hi John,
i agree with Chris about the leg curl/extension machine. It is not the machine that causes problems but how people use it. In fact it can be a great way to rehab knee injury. The hold at the top can especially be beneficial,anyway slow and steady is the way to go. I read somewhere that when Bruno Sammartino was no longer able to squat he started using the leg extension and got great results with it. We have to go with what works for us no matter what others say. Have you had your knee checked out and know what the actual issue is? Congratulations on loosing the excess by the way.
Regards,Peter.
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28kgKB
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Re: Update on bench press training

Post by 28kgKB » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:07 pm

peter yates wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 3:47 pm
Hi John,
i agree with Chris about the leg curl/extension machine. It is not the machine that causes problems but how people use it. In fact it can be a great way to rehab knee injury. The hold at the top can especially be beneficial,anyway slow and steady is the way to go. I read somewhere that when Bruno Sammartino was no longer able to squat he started using the leg extension and got great results with it. We have to go with what works for us no matter what others say. Have you had your knee checked out and know what the actual issue is? Congratulations on loosing the excess by the way.
Regards,Peter.
Hi Peter,

Actually, no, I've not had the knee checked out, but surprisingly enough its not bothering me anymore. The weather is getting a little better and I suspect it was related to that - dampness and what not. I started wearing knee sleeves that have copper in them and that seems to help. Not sure if its a placebo or if there's actually something to having the copper in the sleeves but my knees don't hurt anymore.

I bought a seated leg extension and leg curl machine which I'm now using after every run - each for a few sets. I'm trying to get my mileage up and have been running as of late for leg work. I'm finding I feel better and sleep better when I'm doing serious cardio work. And, honestly, at this stage of my life I need to keep all the parts working and the old ticker pumping, and since I don't compete anymore, I don't need or want to squat or deadlift anymore. Running has been the cheapest and easiest way to get the cardio and leg work in. I was using my kettlebells for swings and snatches for awhile, but are giving those a break to get the running done. I was never a fan of running, but I'm finding the running is coming along and getting easier with ever running session. I'm finding the leg extension machine is working my thighs adequately enough in conjunction with the running so that I don't need much else to keep my legs in shape and full of "spring"!

I'm still working on my bench press, too. I've now switched over to a Boris Sheiko style routine that Pavel Tsatouline and he collaborated on. Its working great. It does have a bit of volume to it though, but is different than the Smolov routine I was using in that there's lots of "ramping up" to a fixed weight and lots of sets - 10-20 sets of low reps per workout is not unheard of. I'm benching on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday most weeks. Some weeks, in lieu of five days a week of benching, the program, as written, only has three days for benching on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and pressing (either press behind the neck or incline bench press) and dips on Tuesday and Saturday. I modified those weeks due to lack of equipment (no incline bench or dipping bars) to include military pressing with a barbell in lieu of the PBN work and pushups on rings in lieu of the parallel bar dips. Both are plenty for shoulder, upper back and tricep work. I add curls or pullups, not both to the bench workout for a few sets, but nothing else. Its amazingly simplistic and though there is a bit of volume, since there's only a few movements in the routine I never feel like I've done too much. One has to get used to just doing what's written on the paper and not ad lib and add more to the training session than is necessary. That took a bit of getting used to, but the "upside" to this is that after a training session I don't feel "blown out" or tired and I find I'm looking forward to the next session the following day.

The volume and percentages aren't bad at all actually and I'm finding, also with this workout, that the weights are flying off the chest. I'm simply taking advantage of pausing the reps whenever I feel like during the workout (not being too strict other than to get a pause in on every other set or so) and alternating between competition grip and shoulder width grip benching. Monday and today (Friday) were competition grip (outside of hands on the rings), Wednesday was shoulder width grip (forefinger at the edge of the knurling, closest to the center of the bar) and tomorrow is a shoulder width grip workout. The shoulder width grip is a terrific shoulder and tricep workout in addition to working the inner and upper parts of the chest more. Who needs to incline bench??! LOL!!

I never thought that pressing this much would be something I would ever consider, because in the past it was instilled in me (and probably many other trainees) to not press that many times per week, but after reading lots of articles about lifters training the Olympic press back in the day and reading that they often pressed every day (!!) I figured I'd try it to see what would happen. I wanted to see if that amount of pressing would even be feasible seeing as how in recent years everyone is talking about "over training". I'm using the bench press as my major pressing movement, but I think after I run this course - about another six weeks till the program is completed - I'll switch to military pressing in a similar manner and use the bench press as my assistance work and see if with increased volume if I can get my military press up again. I've never really been able to push both the bench press and the military press at the same time. Russell Knipp and Phil Grippaldi both had interesting pressing routines which included lots of volume. I may try something along the lines of what they were doing in the next couple of months after I finish this bench press program.

Well, that's all for now! Stay strong Peter!

Cheers!

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