Bench Training, Rants, lectures, Q&A, and general lifting education

AmateurStrong

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All,

Am going to be running a thread here that will go beyond the typical list of workouts with the weights and reps utilized, instead we will try to dive a bit deeper. Including the bigger question of WHYs...

So Lets open up with a big picture snapshot.

Me (pictures below)
34 years old (this month! WhooT WhooT
Best Bench 501lbs Raw
Squat: 535 sleeves
Deadlift: The struggle.

I have been working out since I was 16, Bench has always been my thing. Took me YEARS to bench 501. Literally years, for example, when I was benching 480lbs it still took me two years to get to the 501. I think a lot of people lose focus of the time involved in strength training and instead focus on the statistical anomalies, sure IG brings us all closer...but don't lose focus of your own lifts and goals by watching someone elses!

I have been engaged in powerlifting now for 5 years and have had considerable opportunities to learn and as an average Joe that had to learn and fight for every pound on the bar I think I have quite a bit I can help others with. Hence my name, AmateurStrong...

172DB61C-6E71-4F08-879E-692A5FA21EB2.JPEG
 
AmateurStrong

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Nutrition:

Currently running Renaissance Periodization

I am on the Base Template, hoping not to have to move to Fat Loss 1. Currently am at approximately 2500 calories on workout days and 2200 on non-workout days.

My goal right now is to lose some side fat.

Starting weight: 220lbs
Current weight: 200lbs
Target Weight: likely 185-190
 
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BBiceps

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Nutrition:

Currently running Renaissance Periodization

I am on the Base Template, hoping not to have to move to Fat Loss 1. Currently am at approximately 2500 calories on workout days and 2200 on non-workout days.

My goal right now is to lose some side fat.

Starting weight: 220lbs
Current weight: 200lbs
Target Weight: likely 185-190
How tall are you?
 
AmateurStrong

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5'4" and 220 is thick sauce! Short travel helps that bench( in no way dissing) .
Actually it’s a double edge sword and a huge misconception

While short arms can be beneficial they can also have disadvantages

One thing long limbed benchers have in common is that the large ROM allows for the build up of elastic energy, which of course helps with speed off the chest

Long arms can also work on their arch and grip width as well to help level the playing field even further.

Take note most 500-600lbs benchers aren’t 5’4 like me... they are bigger guys
 
Cgkone

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Actually it’s a double edge sword and a huge misconception

While short arms can be beneficial they can also have disadvantages

One thing long limbed benchers have in common is that the large ROM allows for the build up of elastic energy, which of course helps with speed off the chest

Long arms can also work on their arch and grip width as well to help level the playing field even further.

Take note most 500-600lbs benchers aren’t 5’4 like me... they are bigger guys
True. Bigger muscle = more potential
 
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Question, when you do a heavy bench day, what other exercises are you doing and are you going heavy on them as well?
 
AmateurStrong

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Question, when you do a heavy bench day, what other exercises are you doing and are you going heavy on them as well?
Great question, I think it’s important to organize and structure your workouts into cycles. For me a typical cycle is 5 weeks, after which time I may or may not rotate some of my exercises and goals

So, to ram this home I will explain what I’m doing now in my training.

On upper body day I do my main movement, which is bench.
After bench, in this cycle, my goal is increasing strength on that lift and the direct muscles involved in that lift so I do a close grip bench after with heavier weight and rep range in the 6s

If my goal were hypertrophy I would do a secondary movement in the 15-20 rep ranges.

After that I do additional exercises which are always in the 15-20 rep ranges

In summary
Main movement
Supporting movement (which will either be hypertrophy or strength rep ranges)
Then additional movements based on need in the rep range of 15-20 reps

Keep in mind when I discuss rep ranges there is the expectation that the maximum weight is used to obtain those reps cleanly for maximum of 2-3 sets (4th set happens only if you really ****ed up your loading scheme and drastically under worked on the first 1-2 sets—-this should avoided)
 
AmateurStrong

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Bench Training, Rants, lectures, Q&A, and general lifting education

Let’s test if I can post videos yet, I may need an admin to fix this,

I also don’t understand why my avatar won’t show up.
 
AmateurStrong

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Bench Training, Rants, lectures, Q&A, and general lifting education

Week 2
bench - main movement
4x2 235 vs dbl blue
1 amrap 235 vs dbl blue x 8

Close grip bench ( additional strength component)
3x6 275 all paused

Additional hypertrophy movements
Military press (ohp) 95lbs 3x10-15
Light cable rows
Pull-ups 3x10
Cable flyers 4x14-20


https://youtu.be/wilWoMFTIuY

^
Note all reps are strict
I also do not recommend bands for everyone they need to be strategically used and you should know why you’re using them

The dbl blue band adds 80-100lbs of band tension at the top and obviously varies based on range
 
tyga tyga

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Did you use to have a different name on here?
 
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Likely

Kbrown84 would definitely be me
Thought that was you. You’ve changed from the “explosive” throw your self off the bench every rep to a completely different controlled rep now.

Either way. Cool to see you back
 
AmateurStrong

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Thought that was you. You’ve changed from the “explosive” throw your self off the bench every rep to a completely different controlled rep now.

Either way. Cool to see you back
Can you reference a video ?

You may be referencing speed work, which I still do.
If you aren’t using the appropriate amount of weight or band tension the back can come off the bench.
Speed work should be performed at very high velocity, if you can measure it the range would be .8 to 1 meter per second. Can use a device like a tendo or OpenBarbell to measure speed

But, yes a lot of my training methods have refined and changed a bit over the past few years

I’ve recently moved to Florida so am excited to get back to training
 
tyga tyga

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Not your top set/s but your warm ups.
 
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IMG_9093.jpg
that dinner looking like
 
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One thing long limbed benchers have in common is that the large ROM allows for the build up of elastic energy, which of course helps with speed off the chest
I’m not convinced on this. I don’t think bar travel would equate to elastic energy. The elastic energy would be coming from the muscle, so the degree of flexion would be the more significant factor there. Assuming two lifters used the same form, they should have essentially the same angles of movement at each joint, and thus more or less the exact same amount of elastic energy. At least, that all seems logical to me.

Also, is that sweet potato you’re having for dinner?
 
AmateurStrong

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I’m not convinced on this. I don’t think bar travel would equate to elastic energy. The elastic energy would be coming from the muscle, so the degree of flexion would be the more significant factor there. Assuming two lifters used the same form, they should have essentially the same angles of movement at each joint, and thus more or less the exact same amount of elastic energy. At least, that all seems logical to me.

Also, is that sweet potato you’re having for dinner?
Jeremy,

I think there are a myriad of factors at play regardless of a Lifter’s height.

Elastic energy, I think, definitely plays a role. As does bench setup and technique.

Here is an excerpt someone else wrote online which I find interesting as well, dealing more with insertion points.
“we need to examine the moment arm of the tricep and pectoral muscles. For the sake of simplicity, we will only discuss the pectoral muscle, which inserts into the humerus. The further towards the forearm on the humerus the insertion point is, the more leverage the muscle has. Larger people tend to have insertion points further towards the forearm on the humerus. This increased leverage makes up for the decrease in leverage caused by having longer limbs. People with larger limbs also have more area for muscle growth. If you have two people, one with a 30″ long arm and one with a 40″ long arm, but they both have arm circumferences of 15″, the guy with the longer arms is going to have more muscle mass on his arm.”

Relating to technique here is an excerpt from me:

*Learn to Maximize your leverages*
Too often we hear people complain about their leverages on the bench. Wahhh I'm tall, I gotta move the bar like twenty feet more than you!

Robert Knutsson at 6'2 has an average ROM of 11.69 inches
Kyle Brown at 5'5 has a ROM of 10.43 inches.
In our competition setup despite drastically different leverages our bar paths only differ by about 1 inch...

Learn to analyze and critique your setup for what is optimum for you! But also remember a shorter ROM may not be a superior position for maximum strength—I can lower my ROM significantly but in doing so my bench would drastically decline.

IMG_9096.jpg
 
AmateurStrong

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Remember

Strength is relative

A huge accomplishment for you isn’t any less of an accomplishment because someone else on IG or at your get. can do better

Focus on your struggles and how hard YOU worked to get to a certain goal
 
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Jeremyk1

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I do like the info you’re putting here. Just when you mentioned elastic energy specifically, it just didn’t seem quite right. Anyway, thanks!
 
AmateurStrong

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I do like the info you’re putting here. Just when you mentioned elastic energy specifically, it just didn’t seem quite right. Anyway, thanks!
Not a problem, always appreciate people’s input!
 
AmateurStrong

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Lets get some Q&As started, who has some good questions about training or diet?!?
 
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Ok, question number 2, what do you think about 5/3/1 for strength training?
 
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Ok, question number 2, what do you think about 5/3/1 for strength training?
I personally have not run 5/3/1 and likely never would. However, that does not mean that I don't see the value of the program.

The focus is on REP personal bests, which prevents you from overtraining, too many people are overly concerned with just their 1RM that they forget that most of the magic happens during training not testing the 1RM.

I think the program works great for most people, until they start changing things or fail to properly apply themselves and push themselves within the prescribed intensity (weight) and reps and sets.

A program is not a suggestion, you stick to it. Thick and thin for a period of time and assess the results.
 
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If anybody is following me and has some experience with graphic design basics and want to do a good deed for the month, shoot me a message

Trying to launch a website
 
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How’s you deadlift and how do you do a typical deadlift session with accessory lifts?
 
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Tomorrow is deadlifts, last workout session in this first cycle then I take a nice week off (few workouts but only 50% of 1RM)

My strength isn’t coming back as quick as I hoped while in calorie deficit but that’s life and honestly shouldn’t be a surprise.

After deload I go back to straight weight on Saturdays.

Today
Bench 365 4x2
1 amrap 3 + 5 second rest then 1 with long ass pause
Bench 185 3x15 close grip
Standing OHP 135 3x15
Pull-ups 3x10
Side raises and front raises
E81D6D2C-3AF8-48EC-A5B7-30C9244EBA67.jpg
0DCC0763-1EC0-49F0-9CE6-E95394C82593.jpg
 
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Where’s the deadlift session?! I have been waiting the whole day... :(
 
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IMG_9361.jpg
 
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Bench Training, Rants, lectures, Q&A, and general lifting education



Went down to Miami figured I’d throw up a pic

Deload ends tomorrow, I’ve got January left in this cut and then I transition into a maintenance diet, or maybe directly into a lean bulk.

Obviously had a few cheats over New Years, and I hope everyone had a good new year

Time to get back to training
 
AmateurStrong

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Hey everyone
Bench day tomorrow and squats Thursday
This is the 2nd week in this Mesocycle

Am thinking about throwing in a fat burner but one that has minimal impact on appetite. Definitely don’t want one that has an ingredient specifically for appetite suppression

I am aware that stimulants in general also can suppress appetite

Open to suggestions,

Training videos tomorrow

Here’s a progress photo

BC912DCB-0E2B-4203-9D7D-9482FD459F60.jpg
108A8334-2087-4C99-8402-C0A057A37EE9.jpg
 
Old Witch

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Why are you screaming in the kitchen?
 
AmateurStrong

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Little training video and flex video, still trying to cut more this month, but I’m certainly ready to go into maintenance

Was a volume day, 2x25 with 230lbs after doing speed work (compensatory acceleration of 9x3 vs blue band)

Note, I’m no bodybuilder, not yet at least. I am competing in powerlifting, next year I will likely transition to bodybuilding

https://youtu.be/9G07B0ZT87k
 
Humble

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Little training video and flex video, still trying to cut more this month, but I’m certainly ready to go into maintenance

Was a volume day, 2x25 with 230lbs after doing speed work (compensatory acceleration of 9x3 vs blue band)

Note, I’m no bodybuilder, not yet at least. I am competing in powerlifting, next year I will likely transition to bodybuilding

https://youtu.be/9G07B0ZT87k
Great work ethic! Fun to watch!
 
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3BF643A8-F93D-4D51-83B4-1D2DCD7DEA4C.jpg


52619295-6CD2-4D7C-AFB1-E3FF9AA3C891.jpg


Little flex action tonight
 
AmateurStrong

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Whose still following along ?
 
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Hey everyone

I want to throw in a fat burner soon, haven’t decided.

This week is deload then I start my next training cycle. Pretty excited about it

770C3E43-F49A-42DA-B137-4195391561B3.jpg


827DFFB2-46FB-44D0-94DB-19328632AA4C.jpg
 

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