Friday, January 30, 2015

Thurs 1/29/15 - 9 Weeks out - Bench to 77%, 2 board

This was the 2nd week wave of my 10 week meet prep.. next week we deload, then head back into the gear a bit heavier. I found it a little hard to get my position the way I wanted to on the bench. My feet weren't fully planted for all the reps, and I could do a better job arching into the bar. The video below is two sets, of two reps w/455. I actually feel the 2nd rep on both sets were better than the 1st reps. I try to realize what I did wrong, or could do better on my 2nd reps..

1st set/ 1st rep - too much foot movement, didn't plant my heels
2nd set/ 1st rep - didn't arch into the bar enough and transition smoothly

Fred is also in this video, working on his Single ply bench. We have both been working on arching better in our setups, and staying tight thru the reps. He is working on maintaining tightness all the way down to the chest/boards without collapsing or "Crashing" the boards.. when you lose tightness, the bar falls quickly, and you fall out of the support of the shirt.


Bar x 5
95 x 5
135 x5
185 x 3
225 x 3
275 x 1
315 x 1 (3bd)
405 x 1 (Shirt, 3bd)
455 x 2 (Shirt, 2bd)
455 x 2 (Shirt, 2bd)

Raw Close Grip Reverse Light Band bench:
315 x 3
365 x 3
365 x 3

Chain Flyes w/40lbs Chains - 100 Reps

Band Tricep Extensions w/Micro minis - 100 Reps

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Great article from Elite FTS on bench setup

This article by Scott Yard of EliteFTS is dead-on accurate..Over the years, I've seen a lot of good articles, but what I like best about this is it clearly spells out the entire bench - from setup to lockout. This can apply to both raw lifters and equipped lifters.

Go through these simple steps to remember the ten rules of benching:

  1. Feet up and belt down.
  2. Shoulder blades back.
  3. Set grip.
  4. Set feet.
  5. Unrack the back and start leg drive.
  6. Place bar over touch spot.
  7. Touch at high point of sternum.
  8. Press back first, then arc.
  9. Drift bar towards face for lockout.

1. Put your feet up and set your back.

By placing your feet on the bench and getting your back set where it belongs, you get your position on the bench in the exact spot you want it to be.

2. With your feet still on the bench, squeeze your shoulder blades together and get your weight on your traps.

A strong bench is a short bench, and by getting your shoulders together and down, you will shorten your stroke and put your shoulders in a position to tuck your elbows safely. This isn’t only the most efficient way to bench, but also the safest.

3. Get your belt out of the way.

Your belt needs to be on for support, but pushed low to maximize your arch. Either push your belt down yourself or having a training partner do it for you once you’re set up. This will shorten your stroke and give your stomach room for air.

4. Take your time with grip.

Your connection to the bar is the most vital part of this lift. Get the bar in the meat of your hands so that it is directly over your forearms. If the bar is too high in your hand, your wrist will bend back and add an unneeded lever system to your bench.

5. Set your feet.

Your feet need to be perfect or you’ll risk losing leg drove or worse, getting red lighted for your butt coming off the bend. You need to pull your feet back and underneath you to maximize your arch while keeping your butt on the bench. Test your feet and arch several times to get the feet the furthest back and the arch as high as possible. Don’t rush this. Tweak as much as you need to, and wiggle your feet until you feel like you’re about to pop. Once you feel that pressure, you’re ready to bench.

6. Start the unrack with leg drive.

Once the bar is in your hands, it needs to be moved toward your lower chest and sternum area without bending your arms. This will take some work, but you are able to sink the bar closer while keeping your arms straight. By pushing through your legs on the unrack and getting the bar as close to your body as possible before starting the lift, you’ll be in a strong position to hold the weight until you get a start command.

7. Bring the bar over your chest and lower to your touch spot.

Move the bar to the spot on your lower chest that allows you to utilizes your lats and upper back. This will help make your descent shorter and let you use your pecs, delts, and triceps together.

8. Take a big breath and fill your stomach with air before you bend your arms.

The bar needs to go down in an arc toward your touch spot. The elbows should be around 45 degrees. Focus on bringing your body up to meet the bar.

9. Touch, pause, and initiate with forward movement.

I recommend a press that starts with a backward phase before moving into an arc over the face. Most people don’t have strong enough triceps to push the bar in a straight line. Don’t fight it. Go with it and let your delts, pecs, and lats move the bar.

10. Lockout!

As the bar is moving back to lockout, now is the time to let it drift over your face. The triceps will kick in here, where they are strongest. Letting the bar drift away from your torso lets the pecs and delts take a break while the triceps finish the movement.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

10 wks out - Deadlifts to 70%

Pulls:   (Pulled against bands to build speed and make it interesting....)
135x3 + monster mini bands
225x3 + bands
315x2 + bands
405x3 + bands
405x3 + bands

Rack pulls at knee


Barbell Rows:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

10 Weeks out Bench 70%

Overall real happy with tonight. Speed was real good, 425lbs felt super light, and I was able to maintain pretty good tightness throughout the sets.

Bar x 5
95 x 5
135 x 5
185 x 3
225 x 3
275 x 2
315 x 1 (3bd)
425 x 3 x 2.5bd  (Shirt) (70% of 600lb est Training max)
425 x 3 x 2.5bd  (Shirt)

Reverse band close-grip Raw 3bd presses:
315 x 3
335 x 3
365 x 3

Dumbbell Military Presses seated:
3 x 10 reps

Band Tricep Push Downs - 100 Reps
Band Chest flyes - 100 reps

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to increase your bench and decrease ROM

Here's a real good video I found helpful from Joey Smith, top Metal Jack bencher from Nebo Barbell of North Carolina.

He talks about utilizing a 4" PVC pipe and a foam roller to train your body to arch properly, and decrease your range of motion when benching .. leading to a stronger bench!

10 Wks out - Squats 500x3

Today starts my 10-week out meet prep training cycle. Basing this cycles training off a 700lb training max.

This is my 3rd session in the metal jack squat suit. I feel like I am getting closer to depth. Its all going to change a bit when we go straps-up in a couple of weeks, but I'm taking it one session at a time. The key for me is to sit back and open those knees up when the suit locks up.

With the straps down, the suit seems to be sliding down a bit on me after a few sets, but once the straps go up, it should keep things in place. I'm going to try notching my belt one hole tighter next week as well.

Bar x 5
135 x 5
225 x 3
315 x 3 (Bottoms on)
405 x 3
500 x 3
500 x 3

The accessory work could also be called "Leg Hell" lol..

Pause Squats Raw:
225 x 6 x 3 sets

Walking Lunges
20lb Dumbbells 3 sets of 10 each side

Romanian Deadlifts:
225 x 10 x 3 sets

Reverse Sled Drag:
2 plates, 100 yards

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Last day of Deload before meet prep

Yesterday was the last day of my deload before starting the "official" meet prep cycle.. I've done two weeks of break-in work in my new Metal gear bench shirt/squat suit.. but the next 10 weeks its about to get serious.

Did some speed pulls against bands.. 10 sets of 1, 315 + monster mini bands.. I have no idea how much weight is added at the top .. probably 50-60 lbs.. but I really just focused on dialing in my form, staying tight, and building speed against the bands.

Kind of a boring video..  :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Week 2 of Metal Jack Squat Suit/Bench shirt break-in

I'm combining this weeks Squat and Bench training days into one post here...

This is the 2nd week of break-in for my new gear, then I'll deload next week, and begin my 10 week pre-meet run the week after.

Squat Day: (1/5/15)
I increased my rep volume, still working reps with straps down to get used to the suit, and break it in.

315x3 (bottoms)

Reverse Sled Drags (5 trips)
What a difference here.. dragging it backwards really hits your quads and legs differently...

Rolling Planks 4 x 10

Leg extensions w/Bands

Bench: (1/7/15)
I was feeling a bit under the weather today.. I have a head cold, sinus congestion, cough.. not a great way to hit a PR.. and I'll tell you.. there's nothing quite like the feeling of a stuffed up head while benching in a bench shirt! The pressure really makes you feel like your head is going to pop lol!

bar x 5
95 x 5
315x1  (3bd)
405x3  (Shirt on)

Nosebreakers w/Swiss Bar
95x15 x 4

Tricep Band push-downs

Band Flyes

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Metal Jack Bench Shirt break in

New Year's Eve bench session!

First time in my new Metal Jack bench shirt.. moving up from a single ply Titan Super Katana. Working reps to a 3bd to break the shirt in.. I found it hard to arch in this shirt, I really need to work on improving my setup. Everything today was basically flat. Best meet PR in the single-ply SK was 485.. I hope to improve on that with the Jack.

I also need to bolt my power rack down to the floor lol.. cant have that thing falling over when re-racking 500lbs! (Watch video closely haha)

Bar x 10
95 x 10
135 x 5
185 x 5
225 x 3
275 x 1
315 x 1
365 x 3 (Shirt)
405 x 3 (Shirt)
455 x 3 (Shirt)
455 x 3 (Shirt)
500 x 2 (Shirt)

Nosebreakers w/Swiss Bar:
100x15 x 4

Had to spend time with the family at 7pm for New Years Eve.. so I'll hit the rest of my accessories tomorrow.. dumbbell rows and band flyes!