The Onslaught Part One
The dawning of the 20th Century on mankind radiated a relatively new rejuvenating recreation as the methodically repressive ‘Industrial Age’ made work easier for the average person. A new concept of body fitness came into being because many felt the human structure and it’s health unpreserved would dissipate. The new concept was an idea which came out of war-like middle Europe.
And had for countless centuries been an ideal practiced by various exotic cultures, even before Christ, which found themselves on the march at various times far predating Eurocentric struggling and combative history. But now the concept was divergent and fresh made so by mail order impresarios. Finer
Up until this point the need to make oneself vigorous was nothing really modernistic. Environments and hard work either shaped or diminished men and the health of their loved ones. Some thrived on rigorous activity physical employment, and others factory bound or constitutionally weak found simpler ways.
Physical Culture in the beginning of the 1900’s was becoming an organized movement Euro rooted on natural past experiences of the Greco-Roman early civilizations. The basic fare evolving was free-hand calisthenics, gymnastics and a small amount of resistance exercise using solid weights of all shapes and descriptions.
In the 1920’s weights, now somewhat refined instruments of power and strength building, gained precedence over most existing forms for induction of might into the skeletal muscles. They made many of the then existing training apparatus obsolete. Barbells and dumbbells for concentrated brawn building became the ultimate physical building tools with their progressive scientific use, for the ‘body regenerationist’.
During the late twenties and early thirties lifts of specific conformation and athletic potencies (using the barbell) were already heavily in vogue. Modern Weightlifting as it is conducted today at the Olympic Games was underway and Weightlifting rather than feats of strength was gaining common acceptance as a sport.
Accompanying the opening 1940’s, Weightlifting due to its capability of developing the human anatomy, experienced a minor division within its school of thought. An isolated philosophy dedicated to aesthetics developed into the scientific study of physical culture. Although all P.C. and Weightlifting builds the body, this fresh fallout, so to speak, encompassed the visual structural aura of muscle symmetry and was dubbed with the impure elemental name of . . .’ Bodybuilding ‘.
During this post World War II era, a Bodybuilding specialty lift evolved which developed massive flaring pectoral muscles on men, or tantalizing high crested breasts on women-ultimately being favored due to its easy performance and fast results. Iron trainers everywhere began recognizing the lift as a ‘key’ to building power and visual size into the flashy muscles of the arms and upper torso.
In the opening 1950’s…this ‘key’ lift than being glamorized by the growing Joe Weider promotional influence in his major publications and journals of muscle and strength building, gained an awesome grip on the field of Physical Culture… launching names like Doug Hepburn and Reg Park into the power legend byways.
In the four decades to come, men would max-out with upwards of 800 pounds (Anthony Clark), with women pushing major lifts of 395 pounds (K. Allen in 198 lb. class) and more.
This special egocentric move has fared well against the 70’s and 80’s revolutions in Bodybuilding proposing to build bigger muscles and strength faster by implementing various redirected resistance machines. And the popular barbell lift still prevails. A few shunned the dumbbell and barbell for what they felt were more efficient machines for working and isolating the muscle fibers.
But, one Bodybuilding free weight barbell lift continually holds the curiosity, the basic drives and the overall general theme of what barbell Bodybuilding really contributes to the torso power foundations. Even now at the beginning of the 21st Century.
It consistently holds the deep fascination of muscle builders making ©THE IRON CONNECTION, regardless of the controversies which surround performance and theories of resistance actions . . . this official ‘Powerlift’ is called ‘Bench Press’. The kinesio-technical Bench Press success system for men and women you are about to study is a remarkably productive mode, when applied employing maximum mind and muscle contraction control.
That word again is maximum. And again (when we refer to ‘control’) its a pure, determined though of a separated, tuned reality away from outside factors, and a hard-sweating, teeth-gritting, muscle fight with no let up.
This is not a muscle building course, although massive muscles, thick and dense will be an end product in the areas of chest, rear arm, front shoulder region and latissimus dorsi muscle of the back which interact as stabilizers of the bench pressing sinew groups. Even the neck muscles gain column like hypertrophy.
The sole purpose of this compilation is to forge raw excessive mastodon-like energy for the handling of heavier poundages on the bench press. For this reason you will need a bench with sturdy racks. Otherwise the barbell will not be technically available for maximum and safe utilization.
At times you may need a training partner. If you train at home often alone, this training partner is mandatory. In either case you must have an open and clear mind, willing to face stress with a logic that points in only one direction . . . forward.
The methods discussed here in organization have in one year added two hundred pounds to the bench press of one particular person who trained on them correctly. Thousands of others have lifted with them achieving goals far beyond the scope of their wildest imagination.
The course modes were engineered, organized and constructed in a gym combat setting, not by just one man who found them result-producing, but literally by hundreds who were the original guinea pigs for its assorted phases and supplementary supportive systems of conditioning.
The actual ‘bugs’, both physical and psychological, were eliminated under these conditions as the system evolved to its present state. You must merely remember: “Bench Pressing is a war” and “The weight is your physical and psychological enemy”.
Battle Tactics, Part Two
“The act of bench pressing is total war”. You against a barbell’s weighted metallic resistance. Each ‘gain’ of poundage is an iron battle victory. Every personal record broken is a position breakthrough. General George S. Patton is quoted as saying: “War is simple, direct and ruthless. It takes a man who is simple, direct and ruthless to wage war.”
What you are considering to undertake here is a maneuver engineered to build strategic strength. You cannot approach it thinking soft. For to think soft is to fight soft. All wars, personal or otherwise, are won by those with better weaponry and the mentality to use it.
This system is a ‘smart bomb’ weapon, and by, implementing its technical strategic, cunning and ruthless guile you will get the most out of your power assault performance. So you will always take the high ground, you should approach the bench press with a basic enthusiastic feeling similar to a ‘person escaping from hell’.
Employing this system of tactics correctly, means performing it no more than three times a week and no less than twice a week. It requires at least a day’s rest between each session, and when used in its most concentrated, stressful form, two days’ rest is sometimes required. The gaining ratios determine the recuperative factors.
Extra heavy weights place a tremendous workload and stress on the shoulder joints when bench pressing. Acromioclavicular and humeral ligament and tendon joint attachments must be given enough time to rest and regain the connective tissue power potential they release during stress stretched workout periods.
“B.P.” extra heavy specialization stretches and exerts massive pressure on the arm/shoulder girdle ligament-tendon connectives, and joint capsule lubricating sacs (bursae) in a way unlike they affect the muscle tissue. It takes their elasticity-bonding strength longer to return to for smooth joint capsule articulation and collagenic (a fibrous protein) tenacity.
For this reason heavy specialized B.P. work means cutting down on training actions such as press behind the neck, which may cause severe joint structure strain when worked in the same routine. Even when performed on a preceding day it may hamper the joint structures stress stretched maximum recuperation.
When you operate with the super poundages this system of tactics employs . . . “You must get adequate recuperative rest for total tissue repair and energy redevelopment if you are to get stronger and become effective on that bench.²
The traditional standard B.P. leverage grip spans thirty-two inches from thumb to thumb. Some trainers like it wider. Whatever your choice, this is your power groove. For maximum weight potential the important thing is where you lay the bar when it descends to the chest. That place should be the highest part of the rib cage.
Trainers with deep rounded rib cages have a natural advantage in this instance since they have less space to move the bar through than those who have shallower thoraxes, when pressing to arms locked position. That is your first consideration.
For the novice (meaning those who have never trained before) the totality of your training scheme is based on working each bodypart with one exercise for a month or so, till proper condition is gained and training can be intensified. If you are such a beginner put this program aside for at least two months because it’s far beyond your potential and need at the moment.
Implementation of the Phase One system begins with a specialized approach to a set and rep weight ratio tactic. It works like this, based on four sets:
Warm-ups are never considered a set. The bench press should always be pre-programmed with a competent warm-up procedure, taking a light weight and executing a dozen or so repetitions to pump some blood into the cold torso and extremity tissues and joint bonding areas.
Also, and this is very important, a few torso bending and twisting actions must be included. Hanging from a chinning bar and rotating your head (around, down to chest up and back to the rear) is a needed excellent precaution to take before starting the B.P.. In this way, the cervical spine can be cleared and realigned, which makes for better neck comfort suppleness when laying on a bench.
Often a vertebra in the upper thoracic spinal column, where the rib cage is connected, is slightly off its normal axis and can ruin your neuro power output. Both hanging or the B.P. warm-up reps can pop that back. Eliminate structural torso stress and cold shoulder strains with this customized warm-up.
Maximum power output is geared and measured via this four set tactic in the following way and will act as a strength-building B.P. conditioner: ‘The dynamics of your power output always rest on the first set and ‘seven’ is the magic number. All first sets are performed with five to seven reps.
When you are able to perform seven reps, add weight at your next training session. Add ten pounds to the first set. That is your key to all gaining power.
Examining this, we find that during every workout a gain of some sort should be made. Starting with a weight in the first set that can be handled for five reps, you work to achieve seven by trying to add one rep during each bench press session. In effect you are living for that ‘big seven’ high ground. It takes guts and will to get ‘seven’.
Ordinarily, six workouts will add the necessary full two reps. You embark on the second set for the count of three to five reps while adding ten pounds to the bar. Your muscles that were tired in the first set will now be conditioned to handle and feel a heavier poundage. Usually when the first set poundage advances to seven, the second will hit five. In this way, you can be sure you have a solidified gain in strength.
Then in the third set an additional ten pounds added and one to three reps are executed. This is your heaviest aggressive set. Finally, a fourth high repetition set is included for ten to twelve reps with fifty pounds less than you began with during the first set.
The bar, rather than being lowered to the rib cage, is brought to the collarbone in a free flowing loose movement which is meant to loosen up and institute more circulation to the congested area. As well, it will instill a better pliability to the connections of the shoulder girdle.
Because bench pressing to the rib cage is not a full range pectoral movement. Power or ‘no’, flexibility must always be maintained.¹ Analyzing this phase, heavier weights are continually handled.
Therefore the first set will always feel rather light and comfortable. If you cannot add a rep, examine how that rep feels and also have a training partner back you up. The spotter will help you to force that particular rep out by lifting it slightly with their fingers: termed a forced repetition.
Next session that rep should be a free rep and if still forced will feel lighter. In either case, you will gain ground.
Phase one is your basic bench press tactic and can work indefinitely. To say that a sticking point may occur is to program an expectation of one into your training. Should an actual sticking point stump your forward advance ‘you and only you’ can determine the truth of its existence, then a new battle strategy of power deployment is necessary.
When the former ‘power groove’ grip advance ceases to function to make gains for more than a couple of weeks, a reinforcement maneuver is called up on the bench. This is accomplished by change of grip from thirty-two inches between thumbs to a twenty three or twenty-four inch hold, depending on your own personal power groove. (A reduction of ten inches inward will serve the purpose.)
With no more than three workouts, a sticking point can be smashed through using this method.
First, train the usual power groove with the regular set and rep system just as before, skipping the light fourth set. Instead, marshalling the new grip in the fourth set, work a weight that will allow five to seven reps, adding a fifth set with the same grip and ten pounds more for three to five reps. Finally, finish with the power groove pumping set as your sixth set.
The results show up in the third or fourth session employing this new tactic of reinforcement in the following ways: The bar in the power groove seems to take up and down action with a new control, and jumps through the center of the B.P. motion upward.
Still, regardless, the magic number is seven in the power groove for making gains of weights. Ultimately with time, the weight handled in this grip will climb to the poundage the power groove was stuck at. ‘The Groove’ action will force forward twenty or thirty pounds in a month or two, based on past performance data using the mind will power link which will be discussed shortly.
This phase is an adaptation of two, only this time the grip adjusts further inward to close grip. Hands together for again five to seven in the first close set and three to five in second.
That composes a bench press session of seven sets with the pump set (using the wide grip power groove) again shifted to the last position or eighth set. It’s extremely important to note if gains are being made in the time space already described, adding extra is not necessary and will not make the gains come up any faster.
The result of phase three will be the same as that experienced in the gain of ground from phase two. The bar will become a toy like object in the power groove due to the reinforced packing of the muscle fibers in the medium and close grip grooves, which strengthen the muscle system unit’s coordinating and power output action.
Although the bar may fall to your complete control an underlying element can still hold you back. That of fear. Fear of tonnage and the way it feels in your hands. When a weight feels heavy, it is heavy.
Phase four (A diversionary tactic.) When you need a ruthless conditioning weapon for a week or two, lockouts will suffice as your offensive weapons. Also known as supports, the bar is loaded to more than one hundred pounds over your best total and ultimate bench press performance.
Removing the bar from the bench racks, it is supported and lowered an inch or so for five to seven reps (a training partner must be on hand to back you up) unless you have a specially constructed power rack with catchers that can be pressed up from.
This action done on a free standing bench press is dangerous. But in a span of three workout periods, the nerves, ligaments, tendons, and muscle will toughen to such a degree that the ordinary power groove poundage will assume a whimsical lightness.
Supports are included only after the third and heaviest power groove set in phase one. They may be added or excluded as necessary, at any time for a two to three week interval, for maximum effectiveness.
No doubt, a weight heavy at arms length will also be heavy at the touchdown area on the rib cage. The ‘Plan B’ attack on the lower perimeter of your strength groove can and will close up weak gaps in your bench pressing forces.
Plan B however, is only for the most serious dedicated B.P. person and needs two assistants or a power rack with adjustable position.
The action is similar to an isometric contraction except, unlike isometrics that exert muscle force against stationary objects and surfaces for a timed resistance response. Your resistance will be a ‘live weight load’, that is pressing down returning pressure to the muscle area.
Which neurologically makes this a superior power builder. The very same bench press weight used for supports is placed or lowered to your chest by your training partners.
Here you attempt to bench press. Naturally, with over a hundred pounds more than you are capable of pressing, the bar is not going to go up. And that’s the point. Push against it, fight it, feel it, for 6 over stress reps. This builds explosive power that goes off like an atomic bomb when you return to normal exercising poundages.
A bar blasting away from your chest like a heat-seeking missile racing to its target. Now there are some problems with this single set. When the bar is released and lifted away by the spotters, a sharp ache flashes across the chest and shoulder girdle. Plan B is a brutal assault on these torso points, but a vital link-up for an explosively vicious power groove.
The insertion of Plan B takes place after supports in phase one, and is a last resort when all else fails to produce major weight breakthroughs of a steadily increasing amount. One set with six hard slugs at the bar is all that’s required. (Final note): Make sure your selected platoon spotters aren’t a pair of jokers. They can seriously cripple you by playing around. Here are the stats for an effective spotter or spotter squad…
- A good spotter (not only for your safety) is a partner who can recognize the amount of lift you need to complete the reps you’re forcing. This is not done with the hands but with his finger tips keeping the bar ascending smoothly during the force rep.
- Doing more than 3 forced reps (in my opinion) is too much strain on the shoulder joint.
- The purpose of a forced rep is an adaptation response in strength causing you to perform a clean extra rep next time you train with that weight.
- Forced reps in every bench workout potentially can cause overtraining…or not. You have to be the judge of this depending on your personal strength and gaining patterns. Meaning you have to keep track of your repping performance and not just blindly ‘bomb and blitz’.
- As to the negative part of the bench bar lay down (and finding your power groove). You probably know already the negative action is 40% higher in strength potential that the positive. And it’s negative actions in any resistance move that create muscle strength compensation for building density and fiber strength. But forced negatives on a move like the bench can be very abusive of the acromialclavicular shoulder joint attachments and the rotator cuff. Doing a negative forced rep, means to me having to have someone (potentially 2 partners) totally lift that bar off your chest after you lower a weight 40% more than you can handle in a full rep. I see this as a very damaging principle on the joints as a consequence…if not now…in the future due to possible bursa lubrication sack impingement.
Time Keying for Optimizing Goals During the entire presentation of these training tactics not once have weights in numbers been mentioned. Only in passing near the end of this B.P. combat plan will a figure indeed by referred to. How much you want to lift is your personal goal. You must create the goals, and expend the energy to victoriously fight up to them and onward.
To accomplish that, time must be structured to approach this in steps. No trainer can jump up 100 pounds in a month. Your strategy: Select a major poundage and time limit to work toward mastering this goal. At the same time, create a minor number of smaller weight positions. Now, break these goals into a series of battle grounds using the tactics presented here. In effect, this is your bench press campaign.
(An example): In one month try to gain twenty pounds on your bench. Because in either a few months or up to a year, your goal is 100 pounds more than your personal record of today. Only in doing this can you make clear to your mind and physical being what is expected of it. You must be simple, ruthless and direct with yourself. Mind force is the next area of discussion and will make that clear.
Mind and Mood Sequence for a Constant Muscle Force. If you see yourself as weak or uninterested in hard training. Or if you have your mind on other things when you start your bench press session. Then your muscles will not perform, because they need a complete mind energizing focus to activate them to their ultimate contracting potential.
Similarly, if you categorize yourself as a person who cannot achieve a goal set by yourself, then that goal will remain unchallenged and un-breached. Your conscious and hidden expectations determine exactly how far you will go on any path you choose to travel or any battle you accept or are forced to fight. The answer is to think power if you want power.
A philosopher named Schopenhauer once said, “Life is my idea”. Do you know what that means? It means to think and act as one, and believe a goal can be reached. Believing it and acting upon it will take you there. On the bench press, before you even touch the bar, picture yourself as strong and always believe it on every rep. Don’t be discouraged by a few possible low energy mood failures, because they are making you stronger since you learn from them. That is the purpose of this system with ©THE IRON CONNECTION.
Nutritional Mission Reinforcements, Part Three
All human beings eat to live. An army travels on its stomach. A champion, any champion must nourish properly to build and perform. In our frame of reference ‘each’ needs food to produce energy and repair the energy producing system that uses it.
A primary rule of thumb here is . . . “You cannot expend more energy than you replace if you expect to gain strength and power”.
A well balanced diet, rich in carbohydrates, proteins, fats and fiber from natural sources combined with liquid intake fills the needs of any intelligent athlete. But super power training as this technique makes explicit has a special nutritional concern.
Here we consume our meals with an eye toward protective recuperative nutrition. Some would immediately argue that there is no such thing, and the body will respond automatically due to the demands and workload put upon it.
But the techno-nutriceutical revolution of passed years at the opening of the 21st Century is proving that attitude a genetic outdated archetype, from the metabolic low performance athletic and strength generations that have gone before.
Our additional answer to ergogenic and specialized nutrient non-believers is: In a hospital after surgery they now give Vitamin C and Zinc supplements which have been found to play a role in the healing process. Stress-ridden businessmen are given B-Complex vitamins to counteract the dynamic effects of the competitive mental struggle they face daily, with their nervous and cardiovascular systems also augmented with Vitamin E.
The question is why? When you exert a peculiar demand on the human metabolic process compensating chemical reactions take place varying from individual to individual. But certain factors always remain the same. The need of various nutritional elements for each above the norm peculiar demand.
In strength building the words protective and anabolic enter the metabolic flow. This means paying special attention not only to the balanced diet for maintaining health standards, but to nutrients that correlate with the extreme expenditure of energy that must be replaced with priority above ‘that norm’. In this physical circumstance an anaerobic ‘super stressed’ norm.
That directly requires the use of elements that constitute the composition of connective and bonding substances (collagen) in the body and those involved in the release of energy. Certain vitamins and minerals fit this group of nutrients and can be acquired for insurance from a strong multi-vitamin and mineral tablet taken with meals.
However, special thought should be given to 3 important supplements as well. That of (lead free) bone meal tablets, Vitamin C with bioflavonoids and an Amino Acid liquid blend formula (such as TwinLab’s’ Amino Fuel) and than there’s the anabolic atomic weapon….
The Glut Vindicator
Additionally the training supplement (anabolic ergogenic) Glutamine is a major repair and anabolic promoting amino, this is changed into Proline and Hydroxy Proline the two base aminos of collagen which supports bone and muscle composition.
While there are many reasons to take glutamine from neurotransmitter synthesis, immune system boosting, increase of insulin sensitivity, to connective tissue synthesis…and many more. We trainers use it at 5-7 grams to give a growth hormone release which makes the muscle fibers more sensitive to protein synthesis.
At that potency GH may be raised (meaning circulating GH) 3-5 times the usual level, GH internal environment related sensitively release decreases as you age. Taking capsules is not economical. Glutamine has no taste so the straight powder by a teaspoon or a teaspoon and half (heaping) should give you the necessary 5-7 grams.
You can mix it in your mouth using water. Or stir it into the water. It’s also super to take after a workout as well, than have protein drink within 45 minutes later for a major anabolic reaction caused by the training and glut in tandem metabolically.
This amount is necessary because the intestines which also use it pick up a lot…since they also use it in the transport system of nutrients absorption process into the blood. Research in anabolic nutrition and ergogenics has proven the 5-7 grams works effectively. That’s a good mean to work from seeing how good you feel in performance. Meaning how well you recoup with sets, training alertness etc.
Try glutamine as a power up weapon, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find as a response. Last thing, try to get it on a fairly empty stomach. Glutamine creates the GH release in about 30-45 minutes.
So when you train you can (also) sip a light protein and carb drink between sets and do yourself a lot of good, as just another example of possible ergogenic applications using pre-workout glutamine. 5 grams taken twice a day can have a dramatic effect on safe strength building and joint integrity.
Here’s why: The bones are the depository of most minerals. Minerals, not available to body energy in the blood stream via food, will be extracted from the bones. Heavy consumption of refined foods as is the practice today, causes imbalances in the calcium- phosphorus ratio. These two are primarily involved, along with other minerals, in the process of contraction and relaxation in the muscle fiber.
Heavy stress loads placed upon the bone structure create a need for more calcium in the bones and they become denser, just as muscle fibers using protein, and carbohydrates get stronger and thicker. Here, a special need beyond the normal use of the body takes place.
Bone meal tablets (lead free), or a calcium-magnesium-zinc supplement and less refined foods are a protective insurance step when energized with Vitamin D. A cheaper way to go would be a simple two glasses of skim milk…which contains almost the entire calcium daily requirement with Vitamin D to make it bone incorporation friendly, and 16 grams of complete protein.
Vitamin C with bioflavonoids, or C as it is chemically known, ascorbic acid, is the major bonding substance of all tissue in the human organism and combines with certain proteins and minerals to allow our mobilizing tissues (muscles) and their connections (collagen) to have elasticity and durability. Without ‘C’, blood vessel walls easily rupture under heavily exercising stress.
Evidence seems to indicate that both vitamin C and calcium are difficult to absorb in the presence of refined foods. But work with each other synergistically when not blocked from interacting. Minerals play a dominant role in all electrical activity in the body from rudimentary nervous system function to muscle reaction and liquid hydration balances. Specifically potassium and sodium are involved here.
Addition of bone meal tablets (or powder) are roughly that of consuming physical formulas resembling your own chemical composition for use in the body’s skeletal and supporting tissue.
When using heavy weights on the bench, research four to six bone meal tablets combined with1000 mgs of a Vitamin C supplement from natural sources, (30gm of an Amino Acid liquid blend taken immediately after the workout within a 1/2 hour along with a carbohydrate) to enhance enzyme production for collagen repair and development, during the period of a day at meals, with a multi-vitamin mineral tablet high in the B-Complex side of the formulation.’
Now lets examine this suggested nutritional behavior and its reasons: Not acquiring the proper rest and recuperation with compensating nutritional energy restorage has profound effects on the nervous system in particular. Elements destroyed or changed in the tissues during energy use must be replaced, otherwise the physical chemistry process will recognize this situation as a deficit or overload technically termed ‘negative catabolism’.
On a conscious level, you will feel nervous and irritable. Progress in accumulating strength will cease. On a more advanced level, this will manifest itself as personal depression and a lethargy toward even wanting to train. To coin a phrase, you’ll be suffering from ‘battle fatigue’ or going stale.
Mental depression of this sort induced by advanced organic system fatigue can only be cured by ‘not working out’. So a consistency based on balance in training, nutrition and rest periods is a must to prevent this, not continually searching for new strength routines.
When the weight always feels heavy and doesn’t increase, every session forced on yourself will be a so-called downer, ultimately leaving you lost with no hope.
Time, rest and re-evaluation of your physical positions and the recognition of this symptom will renew your forward thrust. But why let that happen at all?
No one ever won a battle by giving up. The world battle itself points to the concept of the human organism trying to conquer or equalize the forces that surround it. Therefore, the goal in your case, is to equalize the goal of your mind with the strength of your muscles, put there by adequate concentrated nutrition and R and R (rest and relaxation).
Understand the reconnaissance or messages your body’s systems send back to your mind. And it will be you who controls the ‘win and lose struggles’.
1. Question: How can I use this system and train other body parts?
Answer: Use it as your chest routine being careful not to overtax shoulders with pressing exercises as described earlier. If you train every day, upper body work should be done all in one day, so you may rest on the alternate day devoted to leg training. And the leg work itself should be not particularly brutal.
The best way to handle that is two days on, one day off, as a sequence. But the ideal is three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday on a whole body schedule. Bench first. The Powerlifting system which includes deadlifts and squats is included on that day as well.
For Bodybuilding? You must choose how to expend the limited amount of energy you have. It takes energy to train and energy to recuperate. How well you gain is an individual result you must gear to.
If you want excess bench pressing power and want to exercise every single day you can only stump your progress. Because the elemental structure of the muscle fibers takes from 48 to 72 hours to regroup.
That, is related to energy and recuperative supplied by the blood stream, which is also subject to the laws of rebuilding its own stores. The inevitable answer to this puzzle is simple, direct, and ruthless (you’ve heard those words before). If you’re not making gains, then check the battle plan. Regroup and move ’em out.
2. Question: Is there anything else that can protect my joints (shoulders, elbows, wrists, and spinal column) during extra heavy training.
Answer: Yes, read the next section to find out what hurt them. But first consider massage, warm showers while you knead the area with your fingers. Or a dry hand held vibrator application to the areas for five minutes after the workout.
A good nutriceutical product for joint lubrication and cartilage protection is Glucosamine Sulfate which makes synovial joint fluids thicker thereby cushioning bones that lock and support touching each other from surface abrasion and wearing.
Training ‘extra’ heavy makes Glucosamine a protective ergogenic aid. But that still does not mean you can abuse the joint with improper performance and leverage explosions.
3. Question: Why do I feel a snap in my neck when I bench press?
Answer: Bench Pressing, and especially Bench Pressing to and from the collarbone or neck can exert a counter press force to neutralize and release subluxations and minor fixations in the lower cervical and upper thoracic spinal column areas.
Bench Pressing potentially operates off the spinal vertebrae outlets (C-5), (C-6), (C-7), (C-8), (T-1), supplying a pressure that influences their position or malalignment. If you bow the spine during the Bench Press, the entire spine is than stressed.
Secondarily, lifting the buttocks off the bench and arching is not a good and safe performance maneuver, although it can add up to 50 pounds to any Bench Press. Official competitions disqualify the lifter who body arches lifting the butt off the bench.
4. Question: How can I be sure the information contained here will work?
Answer: ‘Success is 99% belief bonded to action. Make it work!’
B.P. PROPHYLACTICS For some years now bench pressing on flat and incline benches with an Olympic set has been the only way to go for chest building fans. If the gym where you workout has no Olympic set, they sure as hell better get one quick. An ordinary barbell is just too low class for the avid bench press fans.
There’s a prime reason Olympic sets are favored for bench press. Olympic sets are important because they’re properly balanced with more exacting poundage increments.
There’s a problem due to abuse of Olympic sets. I call it the ‘fast getaway’.
Anyone who’s ever bench pressed with an Olympic set knows more weight can be handled on the ‘sucker’, because it incorporates a terrific spring action, as the bulky plates whip up and down on the ball-bearing outer hub shaft. Meaning: If you let the bar descend quickly hitting the rib cage, the seven foot bar bends a little in the center.
From the center bend it springs on the outside ends. The momentum of this action enables the lifter to gain an edge when the muscles of the chest and triceps kick in with their contracting ratio, or commonly start to press the bar.
Herein lies the problem . . . the kick in point. To make the rebound action even more pronounced many training bench press fans drop the bar to chest, as fast as safely possible without crushing themselves, especially to obtain this momentum of reverse Olympic bar spring.
They feel this allows them to handle more weight and be stronger. However, after years of abusing this technique because it becomes an ingrained habit. It can play havoc on the shoulder, pectoral, clavicle, upper arm bone ligament-tendon attachments.
The reason is simple. The stress and inertial force are too extreme for these lock-in points, when they are forced to lock in and reverse the descending stress. The bounce itself encourages a weak link in the total action just before the initial contraction starts as the bar is set up for the press from the chest.
As a consequence, this creates a whopping shock to the connective tissues (ligaments and tendons) which hold the joints together and bond the muscle to the bones involved. It can also irritate bursa sacs which help lubricate the joint and tendon areas with synovial fluid. When irritated these sacs may swell (termed: Bursitis) and over produce fluid. Any pressure on these swollen sacs causes pain, until swelling subsides.
Example: A 300 pound bench press dropped fast isn’t 300 pounds-by the time it hits it could be 400 to 500. After it’s bounced it’s reduced perhaps to less than half (liberally speaking) and where the kick-in contractile point comes you’ve got a return to probably more than a quarter ton or so. Muscle tissue may be able to handle this but it’s a monstrous assault of the joint’s moorings after total relaxing for milliseconds.
Just ask heavy trainers in the North if they have shoulder problems in the winter. That’s indicative of improper warm-up for muscles and joint connections and overstrain on the bench press. Plus, abusing the Olympic set spring in particular. The set is good, it’s the method that’s bad.
In warmer climates where the body core training temperature allows more elasticity percentage-wise this tendency is lower.
To add even more difficulty and aggravate the localized joint abuse, some lay into their routines the press behind the neck for deltoids. This savages the acromioclavicular/humeral joint shoulder connections and bursa sacs even further with over stretching stress. Especially strained and irritated is an under the deltoid stabilizing group set of 3 muscles called the ‘rotator cuff’ which tightly hold the ball and socket of the shoulder together.
The pains, kinks, or inflammation in this area, and sometimes the total immobilization of either the right or left arm due to overuse, or excess stretching of the joint tell the story for many. Did this author learn the hard way? How else?
If you can accept the simplicity of this explanation you can control this problem. Fast getaways on the bench press aren’t a building influence on the materials the connective tissues are composed of.
Quite simply the ‘vibes’ and shock can micro tear or weaken them with regular abusive applications. This may not show up today, or tomorrow. But when it does the time may be equally inopportune. Say, under a future maximum rep . . . suddenly you’re shoulder ‘burns’ out on you, or feels like it’s collapsing.
An additional exasperating annoyance that hits like a lightning bolt shock can come when you’re sleeping. It happens as you turn to sleep on your left or right side. The upper arm bone ball ending is forced to shift in the socket as you lay on it. The abused over stretched loosened ‘rotator cuff’ gives a little, and ‘pop’ it’s the kind of pain you easily remember . . .for maybe a no training two weeks, sometimes in a sling.
Go ahead, ask me how I know!
Correct this problem at the source. Control your weights and training combination actions instead of letting them control you.
Some power crazy trainers believe they have to explode on the bench press, or deadlift, or squat . . . any exercise to hit a ‘max’.
Think about that. What is an explosion? It’s when things are blown apart isn’t it? If a fast getaway allows more explosive power, then what’s really happening’?
THE CODE, PART FOUR General George Patton, one of the finest military geniuses of the 20th Century was always one hundred percent with his fighting men.
You too who are fighting a war on your bench to gain poundage, may need a lift psychologically before you train. What you are about to read here is a ‘Pattonesque’ speech adapted for the express reason of psyching you into concentrated action when you lift. Read it every time you bench press . . . study it . . . believe it! Fore you, are advancing into a personal battle that only you can win.
“Get ready . . . Now I want you to remember that no bastard ever became a great bench presser without expending complete effort. He became one by laying on a bench press and loving it as if it was his home, and fighting that barbell like it would take his life away.
“All this stuff you’ve heard about things being easy is a lot of horse dung. A real bench presser is a person who traditionally loves to fight. All real bench press champions love the sting of battle against that iron.
“When you were a kid you admired the person with the strongest arms, widest shoulders and deepest chest, otherwise you wouldn’t be using this course . . . Bench pressing and the power it brings builds those . . . a dedicated bench person loves to win and will not tolerate losing.
“On that bench you should play to win all the time. I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a person with a big body without any power. A bench presser going heavy is a winner and always will be a winner, because the very thought of losing is ‘hateful’ to the bench press champion. ”
Now your upper body muscles and mind are a team and people who tell you different don’t know anymore about real bench pressing than fornicating. You’ve got to get on that bench and fight. “You have here some of the finest information for strength building ever written, and that’s not all you can expect.
If for some reason, you have to lift your fist to another person for an indiscretion committed against your person with all the new power you’ll gain . . . ya know, by God I pity that poor bastard . . . by God I do. “When you train you’re not going to just lift that barbell, you’re going to bend that lousy iron monster.
You’re going to murder that piece of metal by the pound. “Now some of you may wonder if you’ll ever really make it to the top and gain what you’re after . . . I can assure you that you’ll do your thing. “That bar is the enemy. Wade into that bar, grab it, make it do what you want.
When you put your hands around the shaft of that heavy barbell that could smash your chest into a pile of goo . . . you’ll know what to do.
“Now there’s another thing that I want you to remember. I don’t want to get any messages or people writing me saying you’re not going up on that bench, and you’re holding your positions. Let the other guy do that.
“You are advancing and going up in that weight. You’re not interested in staying there at the same poundage level. You’re going to rip that bar off the racks and haul ass. You’re going to act strong and you’re going to fight strong all the time.
“You’re going to gain weight on that bar and physical strength faster than crap goes through a goose. “If there’s one thing that you’ll be able to say in thirty years when people will eventually be bench pressing 1000 pounds, and that’s, ya may have been one of them to fight for the goal if not achieve it.
“Alright, now ‘you sons a bitches’ you know how I feel . . . go on. I will be proud, to back up a guy or gal with guts on a bench to do battle, anytime, anywhere . . . that’s all.”
The Code of the Bench Press
When you take that bar in your hands it is yours: mind, body, heart and soul if you have one. You will win if you think win. It takes as much energy to think ‘win’ as it does lose. But the consequences are as different as these two one syllable words.
How your body struggles against the weight is the battle – The war is won when your arms lockout. Your poundage will soar if you remember but one word – ‘Win!’, ‘Win!’, ‘Win!’.