What I want to propose today is a flat bench workout approach that is very different from the classic programs you usually see. I state that this is not a job suitable for everyone, but for those who will respect it will give great satisfaction.

Let’s start from the context in which this program was born: I found myself having to prepare two athletes in a very short time and this made it impossible to set a classic accumulation cycle + intensification and I needed something that would allow me to level up in a period of 7 weeks, of which the last one included peaking , then six weeks of actual work.

Inspired by my previous readings on Chernishev method , I wrote a program that it abided by the principles, but it was possible in a shorter time than the version I had studied (8 weeks on average)
is saying that that to which we are faced it is a mesocycial shock , useful to bring the athlete over the threshold in a very short time (3 weeks in this case) subjecting him to an extreme stress such as to force in a very short time adaptations that would normally take longer. It is therefore the classic ” adapted or die ” program, suitable to break the bench press record .

To whom the program for the flat bench is addressed

flat bench record

Before throwing your head down in this program you have to evaluate if you have the features necessary to use it successfully. You need training seniority with specific powerlifting jobs for at least a year or have already achieved a good weight on the bench.
If you spend 100kg at 80 / 90kg of body weight this type of work is not for you, since you can improve very well with much simpler approaches.
Another prerequisite is to have a very active chest stop. If when you are doing a bench, you tend to lose tension in your chest and to sink into it, it is more convenient to work on this defect with softer progressions that provide for the gradual insertion of progressively longer stoppages.

Now let’s introduce the program

Small note to facilitate the understanding of the scheme: 100% indicated at the end of each workout refers to the heaviest single that you can close in the worst possible conditions.
Once you have chosen this weight, calculate the workloads of the whole program by calibrating it on it and not on the real ceiling. Be careful not to overestimate this load, because the accumulation of fatigue during the program will be extreme. Keep the ego in check for these three weeks. The single will always be carried out with a racing stop, regardless of the stop used during training.

Week 1
Day 1 Bench 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 86% 3,3,3 / 100% 1
Day 2 Bench 5” 80% 2,3,2 / 84% 2,3,2 / 100% 1
Day 3 Bench stationary 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 86% 3,5,3 / 100% 1
Day 4 Bench stationary 5 “80% 2,3,2 / 84% 2,3,2 / 100% 1
Day 5 Bench stationary 2” 80% 2,4,2 / 85% 2,4,2 / 100% 1

Week 2
Day 1 Bench 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 88% 3,3,3 / 100% 1
Day 2 Bench 5” 80% 2,4,2 / 84% 2,4,2 / 84% 2,2,2 / 100% 1
Day 3 Bench stationary 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 86% 3,5,3 / 100% 1
Day 4 Bench ferno 5 “80% 3,5,3 / 83% 3,5,3 / 86% 2,2,2 / 100% 1
Day 5 Bench stationary 3” 80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3.5.3 / 88% 3.5.3 / 100% 1

Week 3
Day 1 Bench stationary 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 86% 3,3,3 / 100% 1
Day 2 Bench stationary 5” 80% 2,3,2 / 84% 2,3,2 / 100% 1
Day 3 Bench stationary 3 “80% 3,5,3 / 83%, 3,5,3 / 86% 3,5,3 / 100% 1
Day 4 Bench stationary 5 “80% 2,3,2 / 84% 2,3,2 / 100% 1
Day 5 Bench stationary 2” 80% 2,4,2 / 85% 2,4,2 / 100% 1

As you can see we are faced with something really extreme. All possible stressors are applied simultaneously. We therefore have:

-Volume : the volume of the single session is important. It ranges from a minimum of seven training series to a maximum of ten. The repetitions never fall below two o’clock and in the initial block of each workout the five reps are also touched.

-Intensity : despite the high volume, the intensity will not be less. The single post at the end of each workout will be about 90% of the real ceiling and you will face it after having accumulated all the training fatigue, so it will be perceived as an almost maximal weight. Some days you will need to charge as before a third race trial to be able to close it.

– Long stays : if you exclude the single final that is carried out with a racing stop, the shortest stop that you will find to use will be two seconds. The sessions with 3 and 5 second stops will be the most extreme, and you may need to lower the workload slightly in the last block of each workout. If you feel this need, lower the minimum weight load that will allow you to complete the session.

-Frequency : the frequency of work is daily. This choice is necessary to speed up the adaptation of the body to all these stressors. Do not try to decrease it or you will not arrive at the end of the program. Shock programs work precisely because they are extreme in all their components, if you try to sweeten them you end up bumping into a wall.

Final indications on how to beat the bench record

To get the most out of this program, follow these guidelines:

-Squat and detachment to maintenance : in this phase the work on these two lifts is very limited, setting the training in order to carry out a maintenance job. On average, the bench can always be pulled all year round even while training the other risers at the same time, but in this case we are not in a standard situation. The program will be at the limit of your recovery skills during each workout and adding more effort is not a good idea.

Also place the bench as the first exercise of each session : doing a lot of work after doing the squat will get you to the bench fully cooked at the neural level and will limit your ability to produce quality work.
For the same reason, high-intensity aerobic work should be limited. Something unpleasant can be done, but after all you will not die jumping the cardio for a few weeks.

-Heating : I know that given the great amount of work to do, your tendency will always be to try to reduce the duration of training, but you must not make the mistake of going to the savings in terms of heating.
This is a part that over the course of my career as a coach has become increasingly important in my programs, so much so that I often find myself writing heavily customized routines for my athletes.

I do not consider the specific warming done with the trained riser sufficient. Start with general mobility that touches all the major joints of the body. To this you will follow the specific work to increase the specific mobility required for the bench (increase of the lumbar arch, etc.). In the last year I started to insert between the specific mobility and the specific warm-up some exercises with the rubber bands used to educate the athlete at the proprioceptive level, simulating some sensations that he will then have to search with the bar in hand.

-Stretching and mobility : stress on the upper body will be very high, especially because of long stops. A good job on mobility will keep you healthy and will make you train better.
Much attention should be paid to the stretching of the triceps that in this program tend to suffer in a particular way and could lead to some discomfort at the elbows if not properly treated.

-Complementari: I recommend using a pull movement in every session. I do not like much traction on heavy athletes, but even without them the useful movements are not lacking. The beauty of back training is the amount of pull exercises that can be used with a little imagination and knowledge of the cause. An exercise that I always really liked to use is the much mistreated (at least in the environment pl) pulley. Avoid very heavy variants of rowers such as rubish and pandlay row, very useful in other stages of preparation, but given the high loads easily used by athletes with a good deadlift from the ground can easily raise the overall fatigue. Limited to the minimum the direct work on triceps, pectorals and shoulders, they will already be very stressed by the bench: dip, narrow bench and various head restraints will not be part of your plans for a few weeks. However, you will see that once you have finished the bench training you will not have the usual desire to do other work of relaxation.

Biceps, on the other hand, have always liked working on them by distributing the work on a higher frequency rather than weighing down the single session.

What to do after this program on the bench press?

record bench presses

Given that after this cycle your ceiling will already be increased, testing the new 1rm directly is not the best option.
This mainly for two reasons:

  • The first is that even if you are stronger you are in a situation where the accumulation of fatigue of the past weeks is enormous and this limits your ability to best express strength in a context of a single ceiling.
  • You are not conditioned on the type of performance required to be effective and qualitative with sub-optimal loads.

Therefore, the work you have to do must be oriented to the performance of a high number of quality lifts at very high loads (range 85/95% of the 1rm) and at the same time you will have to structure the training in order to dispose of the fatigue previously accumulated , at the same time paying attention not to lose the great condition built with so much effort. No drastic volume cuts then.

At the end of this phase, lasting about 4/6 weeks, you will be ready to test the new flat bench ceiling, or to go in the race if you are an agonist.

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