Skipped Monday’s DE Squat/Deadlift workout due to personal reasons (yes, there are such things). I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do next as far as a bench program goes. Started a thread over at Westsidebar.net presenting my current situation, sticking point and all, and inquiring about Blakley’s program as he presents it on the XTM video (the thread for those of you who read Finnish). Below is a rough outline of the program:
JM Blakley’s 4x6 Bench routine
I. BENCH DAY
Pattern warm-up (mental and physical readiness)
* for example: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 2 (nothing too heavy)
Skill and neuromuscular work
* 2-3 sets of singles with near max weight, but light enough to be a sure thing with perfect form (around 85% of raw max)
* For a shirt trainer the same pattern with the shirt (2-3 x 1 @ c. 90% of shirt max); should be done at least every other week
Actual training sets
* bench with pause 4 sets of six starting at the raw 6RM. Stay at this weight until you get six reps on all sets and then raise 5 lbs and start over …and so on ad infinitum
II. ACCESSORY DAY (usually triceps)
4 sets of six in the same manner as on the Bench day for two exercises (for example, board press 4x6, JM Press 4x6). Exercises are changed when they start to go stale, roughly every 8 to 12 weeks.
Speed work can be added last on both training days as long as it is light enough not to raise a recovery demand. Closer to a meet or peaking event, the weight can be raised to 4x3 for four to eight weeks. Depending on the weaknesses of the lifter, the Bench day or the Accessory day can be exchanged for a shoulder cycle, an A/C repair cycle or a chest drive cycle. For details on these and examples of a lot of exercises get the video. You won’t regret it!!
Nobody had tried the routine, but it turned into a very helpful thread as far as my bench is concerned. Below are some of the main comments in random order:
Great thread that is still alive. Thanks to Tenu, Force, admin, OP, Tepes and Mane for all the helpful thoughts and suggestions!
After great mental agony I have concluded the following about my bench program. I won’t start to play around with my elbows just yet as I’m still in the process of honing my form in other areas and flaring the elbows would probably just serve to break a functioning package. Instead I will forget about the sticking point (damn right I will) and do the suggested bench program based on Prilepin’s table that the board swears by. Basically, there will always be a sticking point somewhere and I will simply aim at getting 110 kg/243 lbs to stick there in style. My main target is to get my bench within the range defined by the bench guessing competition I arranged by early June. No frills, basic training will hopefully take me there.
I am going to take a break off the fancy board work, pin presses & Co, instead focusing on full-range motion that many raw benchers say are the foundation (shirt benchers get great assistance from the shirt at the bottom, therefore board work etc. targeting more of the lockout phase is most helpful). In another thread at nazbar, Jim Wendler, Mike Miller and others suggested, besides wisening up and buying a shirt, the following assistance exercises for raw benchers:
- Flyes to strengthen the pec delt tie in
- Neutral grip dumbell presses/incline presses
- Bradford Presses
- Chains suspended pushups with feet elevated and an average band around back
- Illegal wide grip bench presses
- Low pin rack lockouts
- Exercises with a close-grip
Next Monday I will test my close grip bench max as I need to input that into the calculations for the Prilepin Bench program. I can then start the program the following week. Will present the program later, perhaps even create a script for it. And Blakley’s program? Still interested, but not now. Naturally, I am interested in hearing about any reader experiences with this program.
Today I did a standard DE Bench day based on my current routine. Not one of my better training sessions.
This was another loooong postaaah, so I am going to lighten up the tune with some great quotations from Blakley’s video:
“I don’t believe in plateaus”
“If you think there are plateaus you’re wrong!”
“The program never fails”
“There is no such thing as waiting too long between sets”
“There is no substitute for progress, folks”
Towards the end of the video there was a close call…
“…he was stuck at a plateau… well, not a plateau… well, he was inching along”
Great video!! Get it now.
DE Bench, 25 February 2004
Speed bench; narrow, medium, wide: 9x3 @ 60 kg/133 lbs
Lying dumbell triceps extension: 5,2 @ 20 kg/44 lbs; 6 @ 18 kg/40 lbs
Pulldown, parallel grip: 4x6 @ 95 kg/210 lbs
One-handed rear cable raise: 11 @ 15 kg/33 lbs
One-handed side cable raise: 11 @ 8 kg/33 lbs
One-handed front cable raise: 5 (right) / 3 (left) @ 15 kg/33 lbs
Total training time: 33 min