Chest and Back Variation A
Tonight I went into the gym thinking that for my chest and back training I was going to break my bench press record and land at 230 lbs. My chest hasn’t seemed to have gotten any stronger over the past couple of years since I always hit a plateau at 225 for a single. Tonight I was wrong. Tonight I didn’t land at 230. Tonight I smashed my bench plateau by 10 lbs and hit 235 for a single.
I’m not sure what it was tonight, but the stars aligned. From my previous learnings, my max bench day is all about ensuring my joints are loosened up and my chest is primed without hitting too much volume. So instead of ramping tons of triples, I got the bar moving at some low weight so the blood was flowing, and then started taking some bigger steps to ramp. Instead of going 165, 175, 185, 195 etc… I went 135, 170, 195 before I felt like I was going to get into… the danger zone. From there, I said instead of taking away from my max attempt, let’s hit a couple of more sets but do lower reps. So a double, then a single right below my previous max. Now my chest is primed and I don’t feel tired. The single I just performed was easy… So what’s another 15 lbs? Boom. Killed it. Crushed it. Owned it. So what’s another 5 lbs on that? Up, up, and away.
I was actually amazed that my 235 attempt got sticky where it did. Usually for me, the sticking point is right off my chest. That is, I lower it, and then right at the turn around I give up. This time, the bar was half way up before it slowed right down. Maybe the tables have turned and I need to practice my lockout?
So how did I magically make a 10 pound gain on my bench plateau? Did my chest suddenly inflate an extra 10 inches? Did I have sushi at lunch today? Negative. I’m not sure what it was… Aside from the month of training since my last attempt, the only thing I did differently was take Sam’s advice about my grip on the bar. No more thumbless. I squeezed the shit out of the bar with my hands fully around it. No shoulder pain today. No elbow pain. No wrist pain. I just grabbed as hard as I could, stuck my traps in the bench, and pressed the shit out of it.
I felt the rest of my workout went perfectly. I hit all my reps for chest and felt like my pecs would explode after. Can’t ask for more there. My pullups and rowing went well too. My lats are still absolutely messed up from the stretching I did the other day when military pressing. The ONLY thing that didn’t go perfectly was all the stair masters were taken. I had to use a treadmill and cry as I did cardio.
I got another side chest post up today too. I tried squeezing my back arm up against my pec instead of leaving it out in the open. I think there’s still something fishy about the angle I’m hitting it at. I also noticed my phone camera does some funny lighting thing when I move close to it to start the timer and then back up. Sometimes it’s fine and things remain lit properly and other times it seems like it washes things out. This pic was a bit washed out, but obviously I need to drop a ton of body fat and polish the posing before it will look good.
All in all, one of the best chest and back workouts I’ve had in ages.
|Exercise||Sets x Reps||Weight (lbs)||Comments|
|Bench Press||2 x 6||Bar|
|2 x 3||135|
|1 x 3||175|
|1 x 3||195|
|1 x 2||205|
|1 x 1||215|
|1 x 1||230||+5 lbs PR|
|1 x 1||235||+5 lbs PR|
|Incline Dumbbell Press||1 x 6||70|
|1 x 6||75|
|3 x 5||80|
|(Super) Wide Grip Pullups||5 x 6||Bodyweight|
|4 x 5||Bodyweight|
|Overhand Barbell Rows||3 x 8||135|
|Underhand Barbell Rows||3 x 6||135|
|Bench Press||10 x 10||105||3 sets super wide, 3 sets wide, 3 sets medium, 1 set narrow.|
|Close Grip DD Handle Cable Pulldowns||3 x 6||130|
|Treadmill||15 minutes||Brisk Pace|