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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 01-15-2007, 09:55 PM   #1
Brian Cornwell
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Hey Everyone, I was just wondering what some of you did to get your bodyweight bench numbers up. I spent the last month and a half adding in 5x5 sessions with several key exercises (including bench press) and have added about 20 pounds to 5 rep max, As of now I can bench press my bodyweight (175 lbs) 7 to eight times all out (I'm relatively new to bench pressing so please don't laugh at my numbers). Iwould really like to put up some better reps/times on some WODs that include BW benches. Is it better to continue upping the weight with more 5x5s so that 175 becomes relatively easier, or is their a more direct approach? Much Appreciation for any help.
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:16 PM   #2
Dan Ensing
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Best way to increase the bench press is to bench press, but lift more weight each time. Sure, you could add more sets, but use the same weight and argue that the total poundage lifted during the workout has increased, hence I'm doing more work. Or, you could keep reps/sets/weights the same but move the bar through the range of movement faster. Again, technically you are doing more work. But, if you really, truly want to make the weight feel lighter (in this case 175 lbs.), than add another 5 lbs. Shortly, 180 lbs. will be as easy as 175. At that point, you add more weight, and so on.

Also, look at the other muscles involved in bench pressing. It's just not the pecs, because if that was the case flyes and pec deck would increase BP numbers. Don't forget your triceps, shoulders, and upper back. These areas are hit hard by CF.

BTW, no one will laugh at your numbers. The fact that you accepted a tough challenge, and an even tougher workout is admirable.

Good luck.

Dan
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Old 01-16-2007, 02:19 AM   #3
Andy Shirley
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Also do ring work. Ring work translates well to the bench. Ring dips, pushups, working on planch, planche pushups, levers, pullups.
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Old 01-16-2007, 05:58 AM   #4
Larry Lindenman
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Brian, technique is huge! Get a copy of Rip's book Starting Strength and devour the chapter on bench press...while your at it, the book is the best technical manual on the basic lifts. There are many techniques to increase bench, a lot of them revolve around hitting the triceps...hard! Increase triceps, increase bench. Floor presses, close grip bench press, board presses, all help to increase max bp. Doing the WODs will get you there, handstand pushups, ring dips, heck, most full body exercises will increase BP numbers. First get the technique grooved, then think about whether it's worth concentrating on BP. Personally increasing Deadlift, squat, or pull ups, will have much greater carryover to decreasing WOD times then anything you could do for bench. Now, if you just want to enter into a "How much can you bench?" discussion, then you've got to pound away at the bench.
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Old 01-17-2007, 11:52 AM   #5
Jason Steele
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Sometimes there is an area in the ROM for bench that you "stick at", meaning it is hard to transition through. Using some chains will help with that as well (at least it did for me)
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Old 01-20-2007, 02:18 AM   #6
Roy Williams
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Rather than trying to do more weight every workout you might also consider fluctuating the weight between sets.

You could also try having the occasional light day where you can pay more attention to technique and or rep's. Or heavy days with more weight and less repititions.
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Old 01-20-2007, 09:23 AM   #7
Craig Van De Walker
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Brian,
If you are new to BP it should be quite easy. I would do a BW max rep set or two at the end of your gym workouts maybe two times a week, or heck you could try it every day until you stall and progress stops. Look at the pullup threads for increasing max reps. Any of those techniques should apply. Advice! for the long term health of your shoulders, don't let your BP get too far ahead of your pullups.

This is a specialization routine I used in my younger days. I performed the following program for years and put others on it with universally great results for prioritizing BP strength. (this was in my wannabe bodybuilding stage). I suppose you could insert it the first day of every three day cycle and see what happens. Downside is it takes about an hour and has hardly any met con component, but is great for strength/hypertrophy if you eat well.

Starting weight is whatever you can do 8-10 times
1- DO one set of 6 BP
2- Immediately f/b a set of 6 pullups rest 2-3 minutes repeat for a total of ten sets

Next movement is
3- Heavy weighted dips 6x6 reps

When to increase weights and reps. When you can do all 10x6reps start doing sets of 7 for all sets when you can do 10x7 start doing sets of 8. When you can do 10x8 on every set move the weight up 5-10% and drop back to sets of 6.

Increasing the weight on BP is first priority, dips second priority, pullups last priority. Warning, not everyones shoulders can take this for long time when the weights get really heavy.

(Message edited by vcraig on January 20, 2007)
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:47 PM   #8
Brian Cornwell
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Thanks Craig, that looks like exactly what I need. I have been doing pullups for much longer than I've been doing benches, and I'm looking to get into any sort of "what's your bench contest", I just want to get more out of the WODs that include a BW bench press.
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