OK, bench press gurus .... - KickRunners.com
 
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#1 of 15 Old 01-08-2009, 08:04 PM - Thead Starter
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Hubby signed us up for The Arnold Pump and Run in March ... what are some good ways to structure a workout to improve the number of times I can bench press consecutively ... I have to do 90# and with 2 months to go that is nearly my MAX ... and I'd like to be able to do at least 10-15 in a row by March ...



Doable?


How?


Hubby has me doing a pyramid like this:

10 x 60% max
8 x 70% max
6 x 80% max
and then try max as many as possible ... I did 1 1/2, haha ... of course it was my first time ever doing a bench press routine and it's been about a year since I visited the weight room roll_eyes.gif


I hope my MAX gets higher in the next few weeks, but we'll see ...

SHould I concentrate on max reps at 90# (my goal lift ) or work on increasing strength to my MAX possible?


what complimentary exercises will help?

How often do you recommend?


At this point my plan is to do 3x week ... 2 times mainly bench press with some bicep and tricep work, some lunges and ab work ... and one time on the weight machine full body circuit ....


I am also training to improve my 5K skills with hopefully 5+ days running/week including one basic speed workout and one interval workout and at least one of my base runs on a hilly course ...


anyways ...


structure and complimentary exercises are most requested ... thanks!

the PRT is not somewhere to drop my morals and ethics and roll in the mud and muck and pretend those I am talking to aren't really people at all and it's alright to treat them like dirt.
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#2 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 11:44 AM
 
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Well your best to do probably is probably build as much strength as you can if your max bench press is nearly 90# now.

A complementary exercise that will help a lot is the push up. It's the same sort of pushing motion as the bench press.
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#3 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 01:05 PM
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I'll second what Scratch says, Push-ups are a great compliment. According to my trainer (I have wandered into the powerlifting realm) Shoulders are what to work for a good bench. I normally start my routine with a warm up bench, then move up towards my max. I also will do "Holds" where I bench 70% of my max and hold in in the "down" position in order to gain the confidence and strength to get it back up. Then I move onto perfect pushups, should presses, planks, etc. Then I normally can't pick my arms up the next day, but i have gotten a lot of gains on my bench doing this program so far.

Now combos, different story, they are both pretzels and cheese. If you get one without cheese, that means the bag is haunted. Shawn Spencer
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#4 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 04:55 PM - Thead Starter
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I was thinking of doing push-ups at home on my off days ... if my arms aren't too tired from the previous weight workout ... so I will stick with that idea! smile.gif


That 'hold' technique sounds good ... I'll have to try that after a few more sessions ...


When you do your complimentary exercises, like shoulder presses, do you max out on those as well or do more of an 80-85% MAX type repeat workout?


thanks!

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#5 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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I suppose in some ways it ends up being a matter of personal preference.

Personally, I like lifting heavy, I like to do sets with 3 to 5 reps and I aim to do about a total of 15 to 20 reps of the working weight. So I might end up doing a 5x3 or 3x5, depending on how I'm feeling. I'd do the shoulder presses with the same idea as the bench press, just try to build max strength. The good thing, perhaps the important thing about doing plenty of overhead pressing with good form is it helps to balance out the effects of bench pressing which can wreak havoc on the shoulders if done almost exclusively.

It's also a good idea to include some pulling exercises, chin ups and pull ups if you can do them, or barbell rows or bent over dumbbell rows. Developing a good strong back is sometimes overlooked.
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#6 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 06:47 PM
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I follow Scratch in that I got pretty heavy with my shoulder presses and my dumbbell rows. We also have added in incline press and some pullups along with abs at the end of every session. Strong core=good weightlifting overall.

Now combos, different story, they are both pretzels and cheese. If you get one without cheese, that means the bag is haunted. Shawn Spencer
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#7 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 09:52 PM - Thead Starter
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I've been doing bent over rows, french press, and a combo move including a dbl curl into a shoulder press while stepping up on a triple step ... curl while stepping up, press at top, lower press and the step down, repeat ... but I only used 15# weights and did 3 sets of 15 in a continuous circuit format without rest between ... then some plyo jumps and lateral lunges with the triple step and then finished off with abs on the stability ball with a 12# med ball lever ... I did straight sit-ups and russian twists, 3 sets of 16 each ...



I'll try to increase the weight nearer to my max on the arms and keep the step work for non-weight aided stuff afterward ... and will be increasing the intensity and duration of my ab work over time ...



I'm hoping to make it in for a workout tomorrow ... but it'll depend some on how much snow we get tonight and what the roads are like ... if not I can do push-ups, tricep dips, and lots of ab work here ... and maybe I can hunt up my dumbbells out in the mess we used to know as the garage *yikes*

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#8 of 15 Old 01-09-2009, 09:54 PM - Thead Starter
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How often do you do your weight workouts?


In the past I'd read that once every 3 days for each muscle group was good and allowed recovery time ... but I'm not sure if that applies to a strength based goal as compared to a fitness based one ... what do you think?

I know lots of folks who hit the weights 5-7 days a week ... but not sure where they started ... that's a whole other matter ... and where I am ...


Have a great weekend!

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#9 of 15 Old 01-17-2009, 10:59 PM
 
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Here's a tip. Stay away from the sraight bar bench presses and do heavy dumbell benches instead mixed with parallel bar dips. Having your hands go below your chest enable a deeper, fuller eccentric movement that will engage more muscle fibers deeper into the belly of your pectorals.
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#10 of 15 Old 01-18-2009, 03:07 PM - Thead Starter
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I did add dumbbell presses this week ... and I worked out with weights all 4 weekdays ... just focused on heavy M-W-F and did the machine circuit on T-Th ...

I don't want to completely leave out straight bar bench since that's exactly what the competition requires ... You have to practice what you are going to do ...


I found a training program for better bench press in one of our old Men's Health mags ... I'll probably throw that into the mix this week ... hubby seemed interested too biggrin.gif

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#11 of 15 Old 01-18-2009, 04:47 PM
 
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I understand you not wanting to completely get away from using the straight bar, but if you do for a week or two, you'll be surprised at how easy the straight bar stuff will feel. That's how I made my first breakthrough into that magic 315 lbs. area.

Alex
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#12 of 15 Old 01-19-2009, 07:36 PM - Thead Starter
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says to engage triceps more by keeping elbows in, pressing feet into floor, pressing shoulder blades together, lift fast and lower slowly ...


it had us only doing 3 reps at 60% Max for 8 sets and then moving on to dumbbell presses, nose busters (triceps), barbell rows, and incline lateral raises all at the max weight we could complete the sets using ...


there are four different weekly workouts ...

tomorrow's concentrates on legs and abs/back work ...

Thursday is back to shoulder and arms with minimal bench specific stuff ...

Saturday is legs and abs/back again ...


anywho ... we're going to give this at least a couple weeks and see how it goes ...


I didn't think it felt tough enough today ... we'll see how I feel in a day or two and if DOMS strikes again biggrin.gif


We only have till March 8 for the competition ... but I think I'll stick with this for awhile and see where I get with it ...

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#13 of 15 Old 03-09-2009, 11:34 PM - Thead Starter
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Okay ... we followed that program we found ... and I did increase my maximum by nearly 30%, which was what the program was supposed to be able to do ... my max was up to 115# one day ... but mostly it was 110# ... so pretty close in < 2 months ...


we are doing another bench competition/race in May ... thinking we'll do a different workout this time ... shake it up a little .. but there are things I want to definitely keep ...



definitely going to insure opposing muscle groups get their attention ... and going to keep up with the upper and lower body focus, but with so much running will only do lower body weight probably 2x week and upper 3-4 ...


I'm going to incorporate all your ideas this time ... and keep some of the best moves from the workout we did getting this far ...



thanks for your ideas ...

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#14 of 15 Old 05-06-2009, 01:32 PM
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I agree to a certain extent. When you are working on weights the level of you are that is a great plan. Unfotunately going that deap when just starting - or working early in chest development - going that deap exposes the rotator cuff to injury.

I used to have people make sure they hit the chest from all three angles...incline, decline and flat bench - every workout. We always finished with the cable cross machine all 3 angles as well. We trained a lot of women and this really helped.


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#15 of 15 Old 11-23-2010, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DEturtle View Post

I'll second what Scratch says, Push-ups are a great compliment. According to my trainer (I have wandered into the powerlifting realm) Shoulders are what to work for a good bench. I normally start my routine with a warm up bench, then move up towards my max. I also will do "Holds" where I bench 70% of my max and hold in in the "down" position in order to gain the confidence and strength to get it back up. Then I move onto perfect pushups, should presses, planks, etc. Then I normally can't pick my arms up the next day, but i have gotten a lot of gains on my bench doing this program so far.



Thanks you for the post.

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