Archive for category Road to a 500 pound bench press

Max effort- incline barbell with chains week 1


First week of a new max effort cycle on incline barbell with chains. Week 1 was 160 plus 40 kg of chains. In 3 weeks the goal is 180 kg plus the chains. I backed off with sets of 140 for 10 on incline. Feeling strong after my deload.

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Max effort- Narrow grip 190 kg plus 40 kg chains


Max effort- Narrow grip 190 kg plus 40 kg chains. Couldn’t quite lock it out. But still pleased about where I am at. Switch to incline barbell with chains next week.

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Floor press


As seen on Kiwi FM this morning.

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Eastside Bench Session


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Decline bench


Decline is a great way to vary your chest training. I haven’t done it for a while but pleased with an easy 180 kg for 5. I will cycle up to 200 kg during one of my mini cycles. That’s good money.

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Road to a 500 pound bench- week 2


A very productive week. Still building up in a measured way as I continue to heal my pec.
Some of the highlights of the week:

Monday- Chest and triceps
– I did my crazy 10 sets of 10 on incline. I haven’t been that sore for a long time. Starting on 140 kg and dropping down to finish on 105 kg. Crazy pump.
– It wasn’t possible to do a lot else for chest so I finished with 5 sets of cable flys and 5 sets of cable crossovers.
– Triceps were also fried so I just finished with 15 sets of 10 reps on rope pushdowns. These were reasonably light.

Tuesday- Upper back and biceps
– 25 sets for lats and upper back, 10 sets for biceps.
– Volume and technique remain the focus
– Core movement was bent over barbell rows.

Wednesday- Posterior chain
– Went a little bit heavier on giant cambered bar box squats with 280 kg plus 40 kg of chains for 5 reps. Likely to have a week off this next week.
– 4 sets of glute ham raises and 4 sets of reverse hypers.

Thursday- Shoulders
– Focus in on increasing shoulder pressing power and achieving greater balance in my shoulders
– Hit the log and did 2 top sets of 105kg x6.
– Behind neck on the smith machine 120×10 for 2 sets
– Lots of volume on side and rear laterals including face pulls.

Friday- Arms
– Focus was on a core movement and then some lighter volume.
– Floor press 160 x 5 for 2 sets. Pleasing as I haven’t done a lot of this recently and it felt light
– Barbell curls 10 sets with a pyramid (2×10, 2×8, 2×6, 2×8, 2×10)

Saturday- Quads
– Focus in on developing my front squat and improving the quality of my quads.
– Front squat 180 for a single and then 140 x5 x3.
– Hack squats 3 plates x15 for 3 sets.

Extra workouts
Tuesday- Tricep pushdown- cable 100 poundx10x10
Wednesday- Rope tricep pushdown 54kgx10x10
Saturday- Tricep pushdowns with redband- 10×15

Week 2 of 3 before I hit my first mini cycle. Strength is good and my muscular endurance is improving. Pec is pain free.

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Chest shock


Tried something a bit different…

10 sets of 10 on incline. Decrease the weight each set if required to get desired reps. What a pump.

140×10
135×10
130×10
125×10
120×10
115×10
110×10
110×10
105×10
100×10

Felt pretty sick. Couldn’t do a lot else to be fair. Some incline flys and cable crossover and I was cooked.

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Crazy chest idea


Chest tonight. Going to start with 10 sets of 10 on incline bench. First weight will be 140 kg and then drop the weight as required until I get to the 100 reps. I suspect this will be painful.

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My road to a 500 pound bench- getting nutrition on track


After a holiday it’s never really easy to get your eating back on track. Holidays and festive times are usually a combination of lots of simple carbs, too much alcohol, loads of fat and irregular meal times. It is usually a time of training lay offs. I’m not saying that this is a bad thing at all. In fact I think that a time of eating what you want and a planned lay off is essential. And Christmas is a great time to do this.

I would like to recognise my many bodybuilding friends at this time of the year. Many will have started dieting in early January in preparation for their first show in 2011. Bodybuilders are a particular breed and the dedicated ones have to endure many weeks without cheating.

Powerbuilders and powerlifters get off relatively lightly. The elite eat a balanced diet and understand the importance of this. The opportunity to cheat is always there and the reality is that it probably doesn’t make a huge difference if you remain largely on track.

The more time I spend in the gym and thinking about it, the more I realise that this is an area where powerlifters and powerbuilders could do better. While we don’t need to worry about the strict regime that goes with pre-contest bodybuilding, we can learn a lot about the discipline and planning which top bodybuilders are so good at.

Some of the benefits of good nutrition are obvious:
– Lean muscle gain;
– Greater strength;
– Improved training endurance;
– Improved recovery.

The next 15 weeks for me is about getting my nutrition right. That means establishing some basic principles and then working within these. This will be an interesting personal exercise as I am very interested in the results. I also want it to be a reference for other powerbuilders and powerlifters who haven’t always been diligent with their nutrition.

Basic principles
I have established some basic principles. These are by no means revolutionary. But simple works best:
– Eat every 2-3 hours;
– Eat a serve of protein and carbs with every meal;
– Protein intake of approximately 400 grams per day. (based on 9 meals of about 40 grams)
– Eat 6-8 serves of fruit and veges every day;
– Drink 2 litres of water every day;
– Minimise processed foods;
– Every Saturday is a cheat day.

This approach to nutrition is one which you can apply to a family environment. Basic nutrition guidelines which we should be adopting regardless. As I said, these are very simple and well established guidelines that I do not own. The key is consistency, planning and organisation.

In my next post I will talk about some strategies that I am employing to help me stay on track. And also talk about supplements.

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My road to a 500 pound bench- week 1 training


A good week. I am very much in 80/90/100 mode as I continue to heal. Progress is good and I am a lot closer to 100% than I expected. Even so, I want to be measured and will continue to work back over the next 3 weeks and avoid the temptation of jumping back into big sets of 5.

Some of the highlights of the week:

Monday- Chest and triceps
-25 sets for chest and 15 sets for triceps.
– I worked up to a comfortable 140 for 10 reps on incline barbell and did two sets. It has been really hot and this was tough. 10 reps for me is always tough.
– 5 sets of 10 reps on 50 kg dumbbells for incline dumbbells.
– High volume tricep work using cables. I kept the reps at 15.

Tuesday- Upper back and biceps
– 25 sets for lats and upper back, 10 sets for biceps.
– Volume and technique were the focus rather than weight at this stage.
– Core movement for upper back was T-Bar rows. Worked up to 5 plates and 2 sets of 10 reps.
– My back feels big and full at the moment which is pleasing.

Wednesday- Posterior chain
– Lightish box squat with giant cambered bar and chains. 240 kg plus 40 kg of chains for 5 reps.
– 4 sets of glute ham raises and 4 sets of reverse hypers.
– Again, focus was on volume and form. I am really focussed on getting my hamstring up this year.

Thursday- Shoulders
– Focus in on increasing shoulder pressing power and improving shoulder development.
– Hit the log and did 2 top sets of 100kgx6.
– Behind neck on the smith machine 120×10.
– Lots of volume on side and rear laterals.

Friday- Arms
– Focus was on a core movement and then some lighter volume.
– Close grip 140×10 for 2 sets. Pleasing as I haven’t done a lot of this recently.
– Barbell curls 50x10x10. Simple 10 sets to get the blood flowing.

Saturday- Quads
– Focus in on developing my front squat and improving the quality of my quads.
– Front squat top set 140x8x2. Starting to get some traction here.
– Finished with some crazy volume. Leg press 10 plates x 20 reps supersetted with leg extension (light) for 20 reps. Repeat 3 times without any rest period. That was it!

Extra workouts
Tuesday- Tricep pushdown- cable 100 poundx10x10, face pulls with reb band- 10×10
Wednesday- Rope tricep pushdown 48kgx10x10
Saturday- Tricep pushdowns with redband- 10×15

2 more weeks of working back towards 100%. The key is steadily increasing the volume, the intensity and the weight.

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