Zane Geeting, Tuesday night bench training

I’m currently in an off-season training cycle, working on bringing up work capacity and some weak areas. During the busy summer months I only train 2x per week, so I have to make every session count. As I approach the competition season (fall into late winter/early spring) I will probably go back to training 3x per week. As far as competition plans go, I’m looking to do Dan Dalenberg’s APF fall open here in MI, in Oct. After that will be the XPC finals at the Arnold sports festival.


Tuesday night put me back to barbell bench for the main movement in my off season rotation. I was supposed to do some pressing in my super loose Inzer Phenom, but left it in my demo car at work. So, I got to the gym with no gym bag and decided to do some raw benching instead. The general guideline that Dave Tate gave me after the loss of my right pec was that there’s no reason to go over 275 without some kind of “protection” for the pec (i.e. a shirt or slingshot of some kind.) This session was proof that Dave knows his shit, lol. Here’s how it went:

Warm up

Bird dogs, McGills, Glute bridges, Scarecrows, Side laterals

Bench (hard pause on every rep from 225 up)

bar x a bunch






295×2 (these were still very easy, but Dave was right, cramped up on the 2nd rep, shut it down)

Seated DB OHP

3 sets of 10, up to 80’s x10

Rolling extensions

3 sets of 10-12, up to 55’s x10

Lat pulldowns

3 sets of 10, and one drop set.

Face pulls

One high rep set to all out failure, somewhere around 35 reps.

– That was it. I got to the gym around 8:45, and the rest of the guys had started at 7:30, so I had to keep the pace moving pretty good as to not hold them up. The bench work felt great until the cramp got me. The 275 set was probably an RPE of 6 or so, the 295 didn’t feel any heavier over the first 2 reps, but that damn cramp got me. That 300ish mark is where that pec just can’t not activate, and once it flexes with any kind of force, whats left of it locks up and stays that way until the pressure is relieved. Bummer, but it is what it is. I just need to stay in a loose shirt for what would normally be my raw stuff over 275, then switch into a normal shirt around the 400 mark.

– I followed the benching with the DB OHP. I made sure to do these with a full ROM and keep the load on the front delts. My shoulders aren’t as strong as they once were, probably because I can’t bench any kind of appreciable weight raw anymore. That’s fine though, just need to stay on top of it. The shoulders are more important than they ever were before because they take a lot of the load that the now missing pec used to.

– From there it was the rolling extensions that I’m always preaching about. Its funny, just last week I was concerned that they were stalling out on me, then this week they got moving again. No need to switch as long as I’m making progress on them. This is a prime example why you have to give something a fair shot, you can’t just jump the gun and decide it doesn’t work, til you’ve given it a few weeks to get going.

– I finished up with lat and rear delt work for setup and stability on the bench. Anyone who says these things aren’t important for you bench A) Doesn’t know what they’re talking about, and B) Has a weak bench, so… Do them, be strong, its worth it. And yes I do have a weak bench, because I only have one pec. I have an excuse, the other crowd does not, other than not having strong lats and rear delts. Of course, if they keep it up, they’ll have a shoulder injury to blame it on, so there’s that.


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Zane Geeting

Zane Geeting is a pro multi-ply powerlifter with best lifts of a 935 squat, 625 bench, and 765 deadlift. He is coming back to competitive PL after a year and a half layoff that was a result of several serious injuries including a severe rupture of the right pec that could not be repaired. Zane has an extremely busy schedule that would make most people quit before Friday. He works 55+ hours a week as a finance manager. As a renaissance man, he is also currently restoring a 140 year-old farmhouse and maintaining a hobby farm. Despite all this, Zane still finds time to train 2-3 times per week, as well as coach other lifters.  
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