Bench – Lifting Log

Bench - Lifting Log


Things were out of the regular order for tonight because my close friends were visiting from home and wanted to bench instead of squat. The downside was that I put two of my squat workouts in a row (but it was the lightest one and a heavy one the next day), and the benefit was getting tons of tips on the bench from my friend. I should have tossed up a video of him benching 455 and then repping out 315 like it was an unloaded bar.

Started off just by ramping into the low 200’s. For bench, I don’t do a lot of mobility warmup stuff, I just… ramp. I was deviating from Strength Theory in this workout but I don’t think it’ll be the end of the world… It was supposed to be a narrow-grip focus day but oh well. Once I was in the low 200’s I started doing doubles and singles. I worked up to 225 completely on my own, which is still one of the only few times I’ve ever hit 225 smoothly on my own. I decided to show my friend what my previous PR attempt looked like at 235 so that he could see where my technique breaks down.  My 235 bench attempt looked exactly like it did before. I thought that I was getting stuck a few inches off my chest,  but he disagreed. He was claiming that the only reason the bar even got that high was because of the quick turn around out of the bottom of the movement, but that really there wasn’t enough power from the bottom. If I’m able to increase my power off my chest, then I’d be able to correct that.

Cool! My bench accessory work was then tailored to be a bunch of pause reps at a modest wait, so I hit reps of 4-5 at 165 with a 1-2 second pause. Also identified that I don’t actually get a lot of leg drive on the bench despite being really tight, so my next bit of accessory work was doing neutral-grip dumbbell presses on a tiny incline. The twist is that at the bottom, I need to lower into position and hold the contraction. I throw the dumbbells from the bottom position but I don’t rely on any “bounce” out of the hole (can you even say “out of the hole” for bench-related movements?). This was a cool cue because I could feel that my entire body wanted to jerk upward when pressing. “There’s your leg drive”, said my friend.

We finished off our workout with a classic bicep pump. Just hammered on some of the hammer strength machines (see what I did there?) and got eh blood going. Was a nice twist hitting the machines for biceps since I almost exclusively stick to dumbbells. Definitely had a ton of tightness in my arms by the time I walked out.

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