Bench press high intensity workout

These workouts will generally revolve around lifting heavy weights on several movements. The goal is to train the CNS to handle and vanquish big loads. On this day you have one main exercise, one auxiliary exercise, one assistance exercise and one remedial exercise.

During the 8 weeks course you will have two training blocks lasting 4 weeks each. Both blocks have a similar structure, but the exercises will change.

Block 1: Week 1-4

Main exercise: 18" bench press

This is a semi-close grip bench press. The grip width is 18" (that is the width between both indexes when holding the bar). Lower the bar down to your lower chest and press it up in a straight line. On this exercise you do not control the tempo, the goal is simply to lift as much weight as possible for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Sets/ Reps

3x5

3x5, 3 x 4

1 x 5, 1 x 3, 1 x 2 1x5, 1 x 3, 1 x 2

1x3, 1 x 2, 1 x 1 1x3, 1 x 2, 1 x 1

Auxiliary exercise: Static hold

The objective of this exercise is to get you used to holding very heavy weights at arms length. By holding sub-maximal weights you condition your nervous system and motor reflexes to accept this high form of loading and muscular tension. You see, you have an inhibitory reflex which is the "gift" of the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO). When muscle tension is very high, it tells your muscles to stop producing force. This is a protective mechanism but in most individuals it is set too conservatively and can impair your lifting prowess. Reduced inhibition is one of the reasons why you see some small individuals handle big weights. So for this exercise you simply un-rack (with a partner) a load that is greater than your maximum and hold the load in the lock-out position for a certain period of time.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Sets/ Time

3 x 10 seconds

4 x 8 seconds

5 x 6 seconds

3 x 4 seconds

Load

110%

115%

120%

125%

Assistance exercise: Bradford press

Assistance exercise: Bradford press

Start with the bar on your shoulders, press it just high enough so that it can clear the head and bring it to your clavicle. Press it just high enough so that it can clear the head and bring it to the shoulders. That's one repetition. This is a great exercise to develop the shoulders and the drive off the chest on a bench press.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Sets/ Reps

3x5

6x4

4x3

2x5

Remedial exercise: Lying dumbbell triceps extension

Remedial exercise: Lying dumbbell triceps extension

Lie down on a bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended, palms facing each other. Bring the dumbbells down with a flexion of the elbow only then bring them back up. For this exercise use a slow tempo, something in the line of 503 will do just fine.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Sets/ Reps

3x10

5 x 8

3 x 6

2 x 10

That's it for the first block as far as the high intensity workout is concerned.

That's it for the first block as far as the high intensity workout is concerned.

Block 2: Week 5-8

This is the second exercises block and it's performed after the first 4-weeks block. It's also 4 weeks in duration.

Main exercise: 32" bench press

This is your regular bench press. The 32" is still the distance between your two index fingers when your hands are wrapped around the bar. Lower the bar down to your lower chest and press it up in a straight line. On this exercise you do not control the tempo, the goal is simply to lift as much weight as possible for the prescribed number of repetitions.

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Sets/ Reps

3x4

3x4, 3 x 3

1 x 4, 1 x 3, 1 x 2 1x4, 1 x 3, 1 x 2

1x2, 1 x 1, 1 x 1 1x2, 1 x 1, 1 x 1

Auxiliary exercise: ^ bench press (pin press in rack)

On this exercise you still continue to stress the CNS by using an overload (load higher than your max) but you add a dynamic facet by making it an half lift. Start the bar so that you have approximately 8" left for the lock out (or just a bit higher than your sticking point). Start the bar off the pins and press it up. Lower it all the way to the pins, rest 1-2 seconds than perform the next rep.

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Sets/ Reps

3x5

6x4

4x3

3x2

Load

105%

110%

115%

120%

Assistance exercise: Push press

Assistance exercise: Push press

This exercise is a great shoulder builder and will really improve your strength at the start of the bench press. It also teaches you to "explode" at the start of the movement. To perform it stand upright with the bar on your clavicle, dip down slightly and push the weight up explosively with a powerful leg and arm drive.

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Sets/ Reps

3x5

6x4

4x3

2x5

Remedial exercise: Lying dumbbell triceps extension

Lie down on a bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended, palms facing each other. Bring the dumbbells down with a flexion of the elbow only then bring them back up. For this exercise use a slow tempo, something in the line of 503 will do just fine.

Week 5

Week 6

Week 7

Week 8

Sets/ Reps

3x10

5 x 8

4 x 6

2 x 10

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