I'm absolutely thrilled to be writing this article. The fact is I've been waiting a very long time to write it. On October 21,I bench pressed Before I continue, let me be very clear that as a powerlifter, a pound bench isn't one for the record books. According to my own lifter classification system, it isn't even a Master level lift, let alone an Elite one.
However, I'm still very proud of that lift. I'm proud because to reach that level of strength — for me — was hard. When I was 19 years old I was benching pounds and I thought that I'd hit in just a few years, tops.
But 15 years later, when my bench was no higher thanI was beginning to think I might never see But the aim of this article isn't to brag about something I did, but to share with you how I did it — so you can hopefully do the same.
Listed below are my best competition bench presses by year, including bodyweight, for the last seven years. I'd lifted in many meets before that but was wearing the old bench shirts from the 90's Inzer single-plywhich made it difficult to draw comparisons with my raw bench press.
I know what you're thinking. That's one hell of a plateau. I should mention that this training rut was not through lack of effort. It's an unusual year if I don't train pretty hard at least 48 weeks out of the year, often more than that. Still, my best-laid plans simply weren't working.
Something needed to change, and what finally worked for me was a threefold approach:. My best competition bench at the start of the program was pounds, but in all honesty I couldn't bench that at the beginning of this plan.
I would guess that my max at the time was aboutno more thanso I had my work cut out for me, but first I had to determine how long the prep would be.
The last time I'd followed this routine I did it for 10 weeks. That felt a little too long, so I decided to follow this program for six weeks, plus one pre-competition week. I started every upper body day the same way. I'd perform the following stretches see video below in this exact order. This would take no more than 10 minutes in total to complete.
I paused on every rep on the bench press and the board press, every workout. I didn't miss one scheduled rep during the entire program, which is something I'm pleased with. While performing this workout I also followed an intense barbell-curling program although not super high volume as I was competing in a strict curl competition as well.
On Tuesdays, I'd also do an easy leg day. I didn't perform any regular cardio or conditioning during this phase — which isn't ideal for the long term — but the focus for these 7 weeks was to accomplish the goal of benching Here's the program, which some might recognize from the 8 Weeks to a Super Bench article I wrote with Coach Thibaudeau.
This is a brutal bench program — after the first week or so you feel pretty banged up — but then you get used to it. And the more you run this program, the most used to it you get. Peri-nutrition played a big part in getting me through the workouts.
Taking fish oilparticularly during the last several weeks, helped prevent some of the nagging elbow and shoulder issues you get when you bench heavy regularly.
My last heavy workout was the Friday workout of week 6. I lifted twice the week of the competition, on Monday and Wednesday. Those days went as follows:.Two weeks ago, I completed my first pound bench press. Similar to my quest for a pound deadliftI learned some valuable lessons along the way. Here are 10 bits of wisdom from my first pound bench press. Conventional wisdom would say it was a lousy time to hit a max lift.
Hot as hell, heavy metal blasting, full of old rusty weights — my ideal environment. This circles back to my approach to powerlifting: train in a low-arrousal environment i. This lets you take advantage of the extra adrenaline only when you really need it. I got to test my bench on a Forza competition bench press.
After training on a run-of-the-mill adjustable bench, the Forza made my setup feel incredibly tight and stable. That said, lousy equipment should never be an excuse for poor training. Train your deadlift on a stiff bar with no knurling? A legit deadlift bar will feel like a twig in your hands.
No monolift? If Captain Kirk can squat a grand for a double out of squat stands, you can walk out The bench press can be trained heavier and more frequently than the squat or deadlift. In fact, the squat and deadlift compliment each other with training because the same muscle groups are involved. The bench, however, stands alone. Even the other big compound upper body lifts overhead presses, rows, chin-ups, etc. Bottom line: if you want a big bench, bench heavy and often.
Twice a week is best for most, but many can and should press three times a week for serious progress. Like I said, benching is much less taxing on the body overall than squatting or deadlifting. There are fewer risks when you approach technical breakdown, and, assuming you have a spotter, failing on a bench press is much safer. Rarely did I hit complete failure, but flirting with it pushed my press to a new level.
I often preach to beginner lifters to do the same lifts over and over. But sometimes, doing the same thing over and over builds bad habits.
That was the case in my bench press. I got lazy. I got in the habit of letting my elbows flare too early, of letting the bar sink too far into my chest, and of being too quick with my pauses. All these things led to a plateau and a nagging pec injury. One of the biggest factors in recovering from my aforementioned injury was simply adding in more rotator cuff work.
I had no use for an ego-stroking, partial-range-of-motion exercise that did nothing for my weak points or so I thought. But that nagging pec injury refused to go away. Every time I benched using a full range of motion, the pec got irritated. Greg subbed in 1-board and 2-board presses for a few weeks. Lo and behold, pec pain gone, press achieved. Turns out every exercise has its place. In my case, the combination of overloading the movement and avoiding my painful range of motion was just what I needed.
Keep an open mind. Thanks to miggsybogues and frankduffyfitness for getting right up in there. Despite the previous point, when choosing accessory or supplementary exercises to strengthen your squat, bench press or deadlift, choose exercises that take away your leverages whenever possible.He was known for his psyching up before bench pressing.
He used to break open two ammonia capsules and cram them up his nostrils. He sniffed and got an eye opening burst of ehilaration. He screamed, stompped his feet and attacked the bar! Here in this article you will read about his Week-Bench-Routine.
This routine lead him to a bench press record of lb! Technique and philosophy of lifting For pushing movements you need well developed pectorals.
Bill cites that heavy sets for medium number of reps are great for power in benchpressing. He recommended short rest 2 — 2. According to Bill the wide-grip benchpress high on the chest will build your upper pectoral and anterior deltoid. For lower pectoral and tricep he recommended narrow grip bench press low on the chest. Nonlockout quick reps for explosive power and this technqiue will build up the tension. Opposing muscle group — lats and rhomboids. Upper back strength is important for the balance.
This exercise is also great for developing the pecs. From lb to lb Bench Press To train the upper arms helped Bill to excel from pounds to lb in the bench press. He did flat bench flyes and he recommended to pay attention to the technique. You have to contract the pecs similiar during bench pressing.
How to get Massive shoulder Dumbbell presses, front and lateral raises were great for Bill to develop power and size in the shoulder.405 Benchpress - @bburtonfit
Dumbbell Presses technique He turned his wrist to the proper angle, that you will be able to isolate the deltoids and to keep the triceps away. The triceps should not be too much involved. Front and lateral raises technique Technique and strictness is important.
He used in his training 95lb dumbbell. For Bill heavy weight was important. Cable work should also work great to pump the blood through your muscle. This routine helped him to break the dumbbell press record at lb for 5 reps. He lied on the back and used to bring an EZ-Curl bar three inches above his chest and locked his pectorals and deltoids. He pushed in a range of motion of 10 inches.
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Does FitnessFactory. Some items purchased at FitnessFactory. Service availability varies by location. This service includes delivering and assembling the specified item within the space of your choosing. Please call for information. COM Est.I hit this PR in March of this year. But it took years to get to this point.
Let me explain how I did it. You know how as a kid, you wish you were older? Well I can tell you as a year-old adult, I wish I was younger. As you age, not only do you not recover as quickly, but any injuries also seem to last longer. But there is a silver lining that has come with age outside of being self sufficient and creating an absolutely perfect familyand that is experience lifting smarter, not harder.
I for one have experienced a much lower frequency of injury now as compared to high school and college when I'd have minor pec and shoulder injuries a few times a year. I was introduced to the bench press while on vacation at 12 years old.
Laid down, struggled to bench 85lbs weighing about lbs at the time while my cousins a few years older were benching lbs. When the trip was over, I didn't touch another bench for 2 years, until I entered high school, where I signed up for "weightlifting" yes, Olympic style. I lived around a large group of cousins throughout high school, so I was able to really familiarize myself with the weights during and after school with "two a days" most days of the week.
As a youngin, recovery was no problem. Thinking back to my programming from years old, it went something like this:. With this simple yet effective split, my bench soared from lbs freshman year to lbs sophomore year mostly amateur gains, but the recovery was fine even with the heavy frequency as I was a kid.
Between my sophomore and senior year in highschool, I did what all other kids did, found myself a "serious" girlfriend. While this made the bench frequency drop to days a week in my last 2 years of highschool, I continued to be consistent and worked hard in those sessions and ended my senior year with a lb competition pause bench at lbs at a regional competition.
This was good enough to take home 1st place on bench and 5th place overall clean n jerk :. College will always be referred to as the "good ol days" as far as I'm concerned. The perfect balance between young and old. Not too young where you can't drive yourself around or make adult choices, and not too old to have to deal with mortgages and all of the other responsibilities adults deal with.
DuringI competed in a USAPL sanctioned meet and broke the collegiate state record for the lb class with a lb paused bench at lbs bodyweight. Throughout college at the University of Floridamy bench went from lbs to lbs. We had an annual bench press competition which I entered and won each year, keeping my never losing bench press streak from high school alive through today. Slow and steady was my motto.The House Where muscle is built.
One of my goals at the time was to bench press lbs before the end of my senior year. I was running out of time. My lifts had been improving consistently, but to date my best bench press was lbs. If I was going to get lbs before I graduated, today was the day. I didn't tell anyone about the t-shirt.
I just stuck it in the bottom of my gym bag, underneath my weight belt, knee wraps, plastic container of chalk and pack of smelling salts.
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After I warmed up and then loaded the bar to lbs, word spread around the high school gym that "Sward is going for It was time to go for it. After I instructed my spotter, "One, two, three! I let the weight lower to my chest and then pushed hard.
The bar went up in a slow, but consistent, grind. I had done it! I was now in the "lb Club. I calmly walked into the corner of the gym.
10 Lessons from My First 400 Pound Bench Press
I turned my back to everyone, reached into my gym bag and pulled out the bright yellow t-shirt. I pulled off the shirt I was wearing and replaced it with the new shirt. Then I turned around to face everyone in the gym. The gym erupted with positive energy as our strength coach yelled out, "Now that's what I'm talking about!
But that day, back at the end of my senior year in high school, has always been an important and positive memory for me. I have two sons, ages 13 and They have both been getting into weight-lifting and I have been coaching them. They often ask me about my past weight-lifting exploits.Quad-grip design guarantees safer and easier performance than any other plate on the market. Encased in durable, heavy-duty rubber to prevent scuffing or damage to equipment, walls or floors.
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They are also impervious to rusting, chipping, flaking or losing their color. And the integrated metal sleeve provides a smooth, secure fit onto any Olympic bar. Heavy lifting has never been easier or safer. Sets include 7' Lb. Site by LoadedCommerce. Opening a Gym or Fitness Center? Email us at : sales thebenchpress. Price Match Guarantee Custom Prices. Our Radio Commercial. Contact Us for Custom Search! I received Read More Testimonials. Free Shipping. There's no reviews for this product, be the first to write a review.
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