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Benching 350 lbs...

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Azure, Dec 7, 2007.

  1. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Alright....on top of all my other goals, I've decided to shoot for a 350 lb bench press by June 1, 2008.

    Right now my max is 250 lbs....

    I do a pyramid style workout....start around 200 lbs...work myself up to 250 lbs....and back down again. Usually 3 sets/3 reps.

    What should my progression be like? Am I on the right course?
     
  2. Timbermiko

    Timbermiko Well-Known Member

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    A 5/3/1 will probably get you there bro:tu:

    wk1: sets of 5
    wk 2: sets of 3, repeat, etc...works great for comps and a 1 rep max.
     
  3. IROC-Z

    IROC-Z Raw Bench Daddy

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    At first glance I would say that you are on the right track. What support movements are you doing along with the bench press? Over the years I have found that the behind-the-neck press has helped my bench substantially. Also, when you reach a plateau - try skipping bench presses altogether, and just concentrate on heavy incline presses for a couple weeks. Sometimes it's a slow process, but you will see gains! I am currently training for a couple bench press competitions that will take place this winter, and for the last month I haven't done any benching at all - just heavy inclines!
    Keep at it!
     
  4. digitalnebula

    digitalnebula Plagiarist

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    One huge factor in supporting a big bench is developing the entire shoulder girdle. Military presses, rows, lateral raises, dead lifts, etc...

    These will help your shoulders support such a desired increase.

    Similarly, I hit a wall at 250 and my shoulders started to feel the "wear and tear." After putting some focus on these types of exercises, I was enabling my shoulders to support a 300lb. bench.

    250 to 350 in 7 months is going to be challenging... It took me that long to go from 250 to 305... Keep us posted on your progress!
     
  5. guava

    guava Elite Member
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  6. goonie

    goonie Active Member

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    I would stop working your way back down the pyramid from your maximum effort attempts. Set a new PR, move on to other things.
     
  7. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    I don't know if you can get there fast. I would expect the 300# is reasonable, but you are looking for a big increment and not starting from an untrained weight. So you could have a plateau in there somewhere.

    The other thing with the bench press is that if you just go after it with benching, you could be setting yourself up for shoulder problems. The shoulder is a complex joint held together by muscles. If you get a big strength imbalance in the shoulder, then it can wear the shoulder out. So you want a program that balances out the bench work with other shoulder work.

    And since you are looking for a really big increase, you will probably be more comfortable through the program if you add an overall muscle increase at the beginning of the program. Yeah, yeah, it's a cliche'. But if you want to make that big an increase, then some squats and milk at the start aren't going to hurt.
     
  8. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Agreed -- Once you work your way back down, you effectively kill the rest of your workout. Stop at your heaviest set.

    In order to increase your bench by that much in only 6 months -- you'll have to make sure you've got good assistance exercises (particularly for the triceps) and make sure you are doing lots of horizontal rowing.

    Another factor that is key to increasing strength is to consume lots of calories. I never really appreciated that until I decided to try and cut some fat. When I was eating a ton of calories, my strength ALWAYS went up, and it went up fast. When I wasn't eating as much, strength gains plateaued, and I even lost some strength. So, if you want to go from 250 to 350 in 6 months, you will undoubtedly have to increase your caloric intake.

    :gl:
     
  9. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Lots of good info here guys. :)

    I had no internet access this morning....so I did the pyramid style workout...again....and it did kill my workout.

    I maxed out at 270 though....is such an increase good? Most information I've read regarding the bench press calls for someone to lift at least 85% of their maximum at ALL times. Should I try to max out higher as each workout goes on, or should I progress more slowly?

    As for rowing, we're talking about the rowing machine here, right? I do that on off days from my weights day....rowing, biking and body weight exercises such as pushups, pullups, etc, etc. Monday, Wednesday, Friday are weight days....Tuesday and Thursday are non-weight days....I try to incorporate rowing and biking in on those days....but need to figure out a plan that will allow me to progress properly.

    Another quick question....I currently weigh 220 lbs...how much protein should I be getting each day?

    I'm trying to cut at the same time....so eating a lot might be a problem.
     
  10. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    You put on 20lbs in a week? Yeah, I'd say that is damn good!

    Well, maxing out every workout can be problematic. You can actually overtrain your CNS and begin to lose strength if you do that too often -- so I definitely wouldn't want to max every workout. In fact, Dave Tate suggests that you'll start losing strength if you train at 90% max for more than 3 weeks.

    Actually, things like DB rows, BB rows, T-bar rows, seated cable row, etc....Things like that.

    That won't make it impossible for you to reach your strength goal, but it will make it alot harder....Go for it anyway though. Who knows, maybe you'll be benching 350 and end up leaner at the same time!
     
  11. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    No we are not. The rowing erg is a fine machine. It's not at all what we are talking about though. We are talking about (in order of usefulness in my opinion):

    Bent over barbell rows.

    One or another tripod dumbell rows. Also one arm long bar rows if your dumbells aren't heavy enough.

    T-bar barbell rows.

    Seated cable rows.

    The difference between this and your rowing erg is that the resistance is much much higher. If you want a 350# bench press you need something like a 315# bent over barbell row, maybe even for a double. For sure you need to bent over row 275# for the bench you are aiming for. Go ahead and try one, and you will find there is nothing at all on the ergometer close to that in resistance.

    Now your pullups are not a bad idea either, especially if you have weights.
     
  12. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Thing is...I have no idea what my absolute max is. Could I lift 300 lbs? Maybe. Should I try, and go from there?

    Perhaps the best way forward is the find out what my absolute max bench is....and than work from there.

    I have heard that switching it up every few weeks is the best solution to avoid any serious complications.

    But what exactly does this 'switching' up entail? Say I lift at 90% of my max for the next two weeks....make progressive gains, what then do I do in week 3? Stop completely? Or just drastically lower the amount I'm lifting?

    Absolutely.

    Makes sense now.

    Which would certainly be acceptable to me.
     
  13. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    I must be doing something right.

    Even with a screwed up schedule....Christmas and all, not being able to eat as well as I want, I've still made progress and was able to bench 300 lbs for 1 rep today.

    :claphigh:

    350 by the summer?

    I think so.
     
  14. betastas

    betastas Well-Known Member

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    What criteria are you using for your bench press? Touch and go? Butt on the bench? Do you have someone calling your press?

    I'm just curious. 300 is pretty good, unless you're not touching (but I assume you are).

    You could probably make 350 in 6 months from 300, but it'll be tough if you keep cutting.
     
  15. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Hmmm, I'm a bit lost here. :confused:

    Touching? You mean touching my chest with the bar? I am doing that yes.

    Calling my press? I have a spotter for obvious reasons, unless that is what you mean.

    I still have my sights on the same goal. Obviously I made up a lot of ground from when I started this thread, to now.

    If that was because of the 'initial gains'....I'm not sure. Personally I think I started at what I 'thought' I could lift, and not what I 'knew' I could lift. But I do know for a fact that I maxed out of 290 lbs a little over 15 days ago, so the progression is there.

    I wonder how much better my press would be if I took Creatine. During the Christmas holidays it was almost impossible to get proper food and a good nights rest. But I always made sure I put in my workout each day.
     
  16. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    In competition you don't get to start raising the bar until an official tells you to start. If you are going very heavy, this can be significant if you have a low sticking point. Another thing to consider is whether you are wearing a bench shirt or not.
     
  17. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Oh okay.

    No, I lift according to my own calling. Sort of.

    I wear underarmour during all my workouts. Helps with the excessive sweating. :tu:
     
  18. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
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    A "bench shirt" is a specialized shirt made out of very tough material which is specifically made to detailed measurements of the individual lifter. It can add more than 30% to the lift. Lifting without a bench shirt, even though you are wearing a normal workout type shirt which is what most people do, is called lifting "raw". The heaviest bench press ever without a shirt is something like 715 pounds. The heaviest bench press ever with a shirt is a little over 1000 pounds. Bench shirts are regulated differently from one federation to the next, reflecting different people's views as to whether a bench press with a shirt is credible.

    If you are interested in the bench press for fitness and general strength conditioning, then you can simply stay with raw lifting. Shirts only make sense for powerlifting competition.
     
  19. Nowhereman

    Nowhereman Well-Known Member

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    Waterbury has a program for specifically increasing your bench. He does reccomend this on days off:

    Active recovery sessions on the days following workouts utilize an extremely light load (perhaps 25 percent of 1RM) with high repetitions (25 to 50 per set) in order to flood the muscles with blood. The goal is to get more nutrients into the areas you've worked. You can keep it simple, and you don't even have to go to the gym. Two sets of 25 push-ups and an equivalent number of rows with anything you have sitting around will work just fine. If you're
    going to the gym anyway, you can do it as described for Day 2 in the following workout charts. You can also throw in some ab work on recovery days, if you want.


    Not sure if you've read it but it could be something you could try. Or this article as well 100 Reps to Bigger Muscles
     
  20. Azure

    Azure Active Member

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    Shows how much I know as I've never heard of that.

    Thanks for the detailed description. :tu:

    Eventually I want to work up to 400 lbs bench press, along with at least a 500 lb dead lift.

    But just for fitness.
     

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