12 Jun Zane Geeting, Tuesday night overhead press and bench accessories
I’m currently in an off-season training cycle working on bringing up work capacity and some weak areas. Because of my demanding summer schedule with work and the farm, I’m only training 2 days per week (3 when I can find the time, but this is rare.) I don’t plan on hitting a meet until the late fall/early winter, then the Arnold again in March. In the meanwhile, this is a good example of how to train with limited time, when you have a demanding schedule.
Tuesday nights are going to be a week to week rotation of barbell overhead press and bench press. On the weeks that I OHP with the barbell, I’ll bench with dumbbells, and vice-versa. This first week of the new split had me starting with the OHP as my main movement. Here’s what I did:
Fat man rows and push ups, side laterals, scarecrows, DB cleans
warm ups, then a top set of 185×8. This is much weaker than normal, which goes to show that I have not been working my shoulders enough.
DB Incline bench
3 sets of 15, up to 80 lb. DB’s
DB flat bench
3 sets of 15, up to 80 lb. DB’s
3 sets of 10, up to 50 lb. DB’s
2 sets of 10, and 1 drop set
Chest supported row
3 sets of 15, up to 265
Rear delt fly’s
3 sets of 15, up to 50 lb. DB’s
3 light sets with 2 second holds at full contraction
3 sets of 20+ reps
3 sets of 30 seconds
– That was the end of it. As you can see, I got in a lot of volume here. The entire training session was a little over an hour and a half, I was pretty happy with this. The biggest take away from this session was that my front delts are nowhere near as strong as they need to be right now. With the loss of my right pec, my delts have to take over a lot of the load when benching. If I want to hit any kind of decent numbers on bench, the delt strength is going to have to improve. This training cycle does address that, so I shouldn’t have any problems as time progresses. Luckily for me, my shoulders have been a strong point in the past.
-A quick note about exercise selection and the order of it here. This is something I used to include in my log when I was coming up in lifting. For any of you who followed me, I made a very fast run from being outside the top 50 yearly rankings, to a pro total and top 10 rankings. A lot of this was due to getting together with a good training crew, but also to doing 10/20/Life training and picking the appropriate exercises to bring up my weak areas. One of the things I’m going to get better about putting in my logs is the reason for my exercise selection and the order in which I did the movements. My main goals this year are to be back over a 10x bodyweight total despite the loss of the right pec, and to pull 800+ at 22o. To do this, everything is going to have to be done for a purpose, and that will all be included.
– In this session I kicked things off with standing OHP. My main goal here is to build shoulder strength for pressing, because as I said, I need the shoulders to pick up the slack for my missing pec. That aside, OHP is a very valuable tool for building most peoples bench presses, this is especially true for raw benchers. My secondary movement was DB Incline bench, the goal here was to work the upper pecs (which I still have a good chunk of, on the bad side) and the front delts again. The goal here is to build what I have left, and hopefully add some muscle mass to the area. I followed that up with DB flat bench, by this time I was really fatigued and the weights felt much harder than what they normally would be. My triceps were actually getting a little tired at this point as well, a good sign that I need more muscular endurance there.
– After the bulk of the chest and shoulder work was done, I moved on to the triceps. These are the next most important muscles to my bench press right now. As an equipped bencher, you need to be able to finish heavy weights, so you need strong triceps. The best movement (aside from heavy pressing, which I have to limit because of my bad pec) is the rolling extension. No other extension will hit the triceps down by the elbow harder than these will, and as any big bencher knows (and you can see it on any of them by simply looking) you need a lot of triceps down by the elbow to lock out the heavy shit. I used rope extensions as a finishing movement to pump a ton of blood into my triceps for some hypertrophy and increased recovery time. Flushing all that blood into the muscle brings a lot of nutrients to the area. I’ve always been a fan of this practice.
– The next order of business was the upper back, rear delts, and lats. These muscle groups are crucial to benching heavy weights. They provide stability to your entire bench press, are ultra important to lowering weights properly and under control, and also to initiating the press. Anyone who says otherwise doesn’t know what they’re talking about, period. I’ve been a mid 400’s raw bencher as a skinny 220, I’ve trained with several 800+ shirted benchers, 500+ raw benchers, and countless 700+ shirted benchers. There was a time when I had one of the weakest benches in my training group, I was doing 445 raw and 625 shirted at the time. The reason I tell you this, is to tell you that all of those guys were huge proponents of having a strong and muscular upper back. We also all pulled well over 700, with 2 over 800, for what its worth.
– The neck work was for vanity. As my bodyweight has dropped back down around 220, my neck has gotten skinnier. When I can comfortably button up my 18.5 dress shirts, shit is not good. If I said I didn’t care what I look like at least a little bit, I’d be a f-cking liar, and there is no worse look that a dude with a big ass upper back and traps with a skinny neck. Its bad news, trust me.
– I finished the session with some JL planks. These are one of my favorite core bracing/building movements out there. My friend and super impressive lifter, JL Holdsworth turned me on to these a few years back. They’re basically a really advance version of a standard plank for no other reason than you’re flexing your abs, glutes, lats, and everything in between as hard as you can, and holding it. There is no substitute in this sport for a strong and stable core, at least if you want any longevity with above average numbers. Some guys will be genetically gifted with thick abdomens, or very short abdomens that remain stable and build easily. These guys won’t have to do as much core work (but should still do some IMPO) while some of us are the exact opposite, with long/thin torso’s. We need to do everything we can to make ourselves stable, and protect our lower backs. And yes, this even carries over to benching.
I wonder how many people will actually read that shit? I know quite a few did when I was still something, haha. Oh well, hope it helps someone, somehow.[share title=”Share this Article” facebook=”true” twitter=”true” google_plus=”true” linkedin=”true” pinterest=”true” reddit=”true” email=”true”][author title=”About the Author”]