Hey everyone! I’ve been trying to get my bench press up. So far I weigh 161 lb and my bench went up from 265x3 to 280X5 reps. I’ve never tested my max. I ran program from Pavel Tsatsouline that gave me awesome results and now I want to try something else. Just wondering what Bench program has worked best for you.
Here’s the program that I ran for Bench Press.
Pick a weight you can bench approximately 10 times. Do a couple of lighter low rep sets to groove your technique, then do 5 reps with that weight. Rest for 3-5min (once you are benching in mid to high 200s, definitely take all 5min) and do 3 reps. Rest for the same amount of time and put up 2 reps. This will be very easy. It is supposed to.
Now take 20% off the bar, bring your hands in until your thumbs touch the smooth section of the bar, and start banging out sets of 5 close grip benches with only 1min of rest in between. When you can no longer make five perfect reps, you are done for the day. There is no way of estimating how many sets you will be able to do. One trainee might be able to get 20, another only 3. You might start with 10 back-off sets and be down to 1 by the end of the cycle. Don’t worry about what this means and don’t compare this number to anyone else’s. The only thing that matters is the 1RM test at the end of the cycle.
Bench twice a week. If you find that you are not recovering fast enough, then press three times in two weeks: Monday and Friday in week one, Wednesday in week two.
In every workout, add 10 pounds to the first three sets. Not 5, not 2.5, and definitely not one of those mini-plates. If you must know the reason why, ping me on the www.DragonDoor.com forum, otherwise just remember that the Party is always right.
When it will take all you have got to press the weight five times, next workout still add another 10 pounds, but skip the first set. In other words, instead of 5, 3, 2, do only 3, 2 reps. Next time add another 10 and get rid of the set of 3 reps.
After you have stopped doing sets of 5, replace the close grip bench press with either the pause press or the board press (alternate between cycles and don’t be afraid to vary the thickness of the “board” once your sticking point shifts). Do only 3 sets of 3 reps and rest for 3-5min between these sets. In your first set use 80% of the bench press work sets (the same procedure you used for your close grips). Add or subtract the weight for the next two sets, as you deem necessary. The second and third sets should be hard but not impossible.
Let’s take a look at a sample cycle for a guy with a 200-pound 1RM and a 145- pound 10RM.
Start each workout the same way: 95x5, 115x3, 135x2. Then come your work sets:
- 145x5, 3, 2 (rest 3-5min). Close grip 115x5/ max sets (rest 1min).
- 155x5, 3, 2 (rest 3-5min). Close grip 125x5/max sets (rest 1min).
- 165x5, 3, 2 (rest 3-5min). Close grip 130x5/max sets (rest 1min).
- 175x5RM, 3, 2 (rest 3-5min). Close grip 140x5/max sets (rest 1min).
- 185x3, 2 (rest 3-5min). Board press 150x3, 165x3, 155x3 (rest 3-5min).
- 195x2 (rest 3-5min). Board press 155x3, 165x3, 170x3 (rest 3-5min).
- Test your max: 95x5, 115x3, 135x2, 165x1, 185x1, 205x1, 210x1. After 185 rest for 5min between attempts.
Start the next cycle with 10 more pounds: 155x5, 3, 1