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Jason Carlton
March 7th 08, 07:56 AM
For a little more than a year, my routine for all body groups have
pretty much all been the same:

Exercise 1: 8/6/4 Pyramid
Exercise 2: 3 sets of 8 using the same weight as the set of 8 in the
pyramid
Exercise 3: isolation exercise

For instance, on my chest day (Monday) I would bench a pyramid of
8x305, 6x325, and 4x345, then do 3 sets of 8 @ 305, then dumbell
flyes. On my leg day (Friday), I would squat a pyramid of 8x475,
6x495, and 4x515, followed by 3 sets of 8 @ 475, then calf presses.

But I've hit a stumbling block with my bench press. I've noticed that
my measurements have actually gone DOWN with this routine, although
the weight I can lift has gone up, so I think that I'm not
concentrating the weight quite right on my back and lats. My pecs are
obviously bigger, but I've lost a total of 4" around the chest so it
has to be a loss in the back and/or lats (which I usually worked on
Tuesday).

In an attempt to correct this, I've changed my bench press routine.
Now, instead of bench press on one day of the week, I'm doing it on
both Monday and Thursday. On Monday, my routine is:

Exercise 1: 8/6/4 Pyramid of Super Bench
Exercise 2: 3 sets of 8 of Super Bench

I'm not sure if there's really such a thing as "super bench", but I
recently heard this in reference to "super squats" so I borrowed the
name. The concept is that you bring the weight to your chest slowly,
hold the bar about 1" over your chest for a count of 3, then push it
up slowly. There's no pause at the top, and I don't lock my elbows.
This keeps the tension on your muscles the entire time, without a rest
period at the top or bottom of the press.

I'm lifting 80lbs less with this than with the regular bench, but I
feel like it's beating the crap out of me!

Here's my new Thursday routine:

Exercise 1: Back to the 8/6/4 Pyramid, with normal weight

Exercise 2: I'm not sure what you call this, but I start with the bar
on the safeties of the power rack (chest level), and only push up 1/2
way before bringing the bar back down to my chest. This burns the heck
out of my triceps, and I can do 3 sets of 8.

Exercise 3: Back to the dumbell flyes

I took me awhile to get to it, but here's my concern:

I've only done this for 3 weeks now, and although I FEEL like it's
working, I've discovered that on Thursday with my 8/6/4 pyramid, I
can't lift anywhere NEAR as much as I used to. Meaning, when I only
benched once a week, my set of 4 was at 345; today, I could barely do
315! And if I'm going to be honest, by that time it had turned more
into a 3-board press than a real bench (meaning, I found myself
subconsciously not going down as far as I should just because I knew
it would drop).

I should also mention that Exercise 2 (for which I have no name) is
really with low weight (215), but I figure that it's focusing on the
stabilizers more than the pecs so I expected that. Plus, it should (in
theory) build up the lower thrust when I'm in competition, keeping me
from breaking on that last inch before the weight hits my chest.

I can see the logic two different ways. On the one hand, it's possible
that the new routine is working my chest muscles harder, so I should
expect the weight to decrease a little at first; and on competition
day, I should see massive gains from it.

On the other hand, it's possible that I'm just overtraining now, and
that I'm doing more damage than good. While I FEEL like the new
routine is working me harder, it's possible that I just feel that way
because it's new and my muscles haven't adapted yet.

So what do you guys think? Should I stick with the new routine, or go
back to the original 1-day-a-week? My goal here is maximum bulk, and I
was hoping to be able to bench 525lbs by the end of this year (the old
Franco Columbu record; he and I are the same height and about the same
weight, so I sort of feel like he's my competition).

Homer Simpson[_2_]
March 7th 08, 10:06 PM
"Jason Carlton" > wrote in message
...
> For a little more than a year, my routine for all body groups have
> pretty much all been the same:
>
> Exercise 1: 8/6/4 Pyramid
> Exercise 2: 3 sets of 8 using the same weight as the set of 8 in the
> pyramid
> Exercise 3: isolation exercise
>
> For instance, on my chest day (Monday) I would bench a pyramid of
> 8x305, 6x325, and 4x345, then do 3 sets of 8 @ 305, then dumbell
> flyes. On my leg day (Friday), I would squat a pyramid of 8x475,
> 6x495, and 4x515, followed by 3 sets of 8 @ 475, then calf presses.
>
> But I've hit a stumbling block with my bench press. I've noticed that
> my measurements have actually gone DOWN with this routine, although
> the weight I can lift has gone up, so I think that I'm not
> concentrating the weight quite right on my back and lats. My pecs are
> obviously bigger, but I've lost a total of 4" around the chest so it
> has to be a loss in the back and/or lats (which I usually worked on
> Tuesday).
>
> In an attempt to correct this, I've changed my bench press routine.
> Now, instead of bench press on one day of the week, I'm doing it on
> both Monday and Thursday. On Monday, my routine is:
>
> Exercise 1: 8/6/4 Pyramid of Super Bench
> Exercise 2: 3 sets of 8 of Super Bench
>
> I'm not sure if there's really such a thing as "super bench", but I
> recently heard this in reference to "super squats" so I borrowed the
> name. The concept is that you bring the weight to your chest slowly,
> hold the bar about 1" over your chest for a count of 3, then push it
> up slowly. There's no pause at the top, and I don't lock my elbows.
> This keeps the tension on your muscles the entire time, without a rest
> period at the top or bottom of the press.
>
> I'm lifting 80lbs less with this than with the regular bench, but I
> feel like it's beating the crap out of me!
>
> Here's my new Thursday routine:
>
> Exercise 1: Back to the 8/6/4 Pyramid, with normal weight
>
> Exercise 2: I'm not sure what you call this, but I start with the bar
> on the safeties of the power rack (chest level), and only push up 1/2
> way before bringing the bar back down to my chest. This burns the heck
> out of my triceps, and I can do 3 sets of 8.
>
> Exercise 3: Back to the dumbell flyes
>
> I took me awhile to get to it, but here's my concern:
>
> I've only done this for 3 weeks now, and although I FEEL like it's
> working, I've discovered that on Thursday with my 8/6/4 pyramid, I
> can't lift anywhere NEAR as much as I used to. Meaning, when I only
> benched once a week, my set of 4 was at 345; today, I could barely do
> 315! And if I'm going to be honest, by that time it had turned more
> into a 3-board press than a real bench (meaning, I found myself
> subconsciously not going down as far as I should just because I knew
> it would drop).
>
> I should also mention that Exercise 2 (for which I have no name) is
> really with low weight (215), but I figure that it's focusing on the
> stabilizers more than the pecs so I expected that. Plus, it should (in
> theory) build up the lower thrust when I'm in competition, keeping me
> from breaking on that last inch before the weight hits my chest.
>
> I can see the logic two different ways. On the one hand, it's possible
> that the new routine is working my chest muscles harder, so I should
> expect the weight to decrease a little at first; and on competition
> day, I should see massive gains from it.
>
> On the other hand, it's possible that I'm just overtraining now, and
> that I'm doing more damage than good. While I FEEL like the new
> routine is working me harder, it's possible that I just feel that way
> because it's new and my muscles haven't adapted yet.
>
> So what do you guys think? Should I stick with the new routine, or go
> back to the original 1-day-a-week? My goal here is maximum bulk, and I
> was hoping to be able to bench 525lbs by the end of this year (the old
> Franco Columbu record; he and I are the same height and about the same
> weight, so I sort of feel like he's my competition).

You say you think your pecs are bigger but you are smaller around the girth?
What kind of training are you doing for your back? If you don't keep your
back and rear delts up with your pecs it will adversely effect your posture.

If you are interested in increasing your bench have you thought about trying
a powerlifting routine? You may want to look a number of these over. They
are all proven powerlifting routines. Some contributed by elite
powerlifters. Including the legendary Rickey Dale Crain.
http://www.weighttrainersunited.com/routines.html

A lot of them have downloadable excel sheets so you can just plug in your
goal and they do all the math for you telling you how much weight to use
each week.

Jason Carlton
March 8th 08, 01:49 AM
> You say you think your pecs are bigger but you are smaller around the girth?

Exactly.

> What kind of training are you doing for your back? If you don't keep your
> back and rear delts up with your pecs it will adversely effect your posture.

My back and shoulder day has traditionally been on Tuesday, the day
after my chest day. It's always been my long day. Here's the routine
that I'm doing:

Exercise 1: Pull Ups, 3 sets of 10

Exercise 2: Pull Downs (lat bar), 8/6/4 Pyramid

Exercise 3: Shoulder Press, 3 sets of 10
(I used to do an 8/6/4 Pyramid, but hadn't seen an improvement in
months so I was hoping that doing more reps would help me to break the
plateau)

Exercise 4: Bent Over Rows, 8/6/4 Pyramid
(using an Olympic bar)

Exercise 5: Shrugs, 8/6/4 Pyramid

Exercise 6: Straight Leg Dead Lifts, 3 sets of 10


> If you are interested in increasing your bench have you thought about trying
> a powerlifting routine? You may want to look a number of these over. They
> are all proven powerlifting routines. Some contributed by elite
> powerlifters. Including the legendary Rickey Dale Crain.http://www.weighttrainersunited.com/routines.html

Thanks for the link! I hadn't seen that site, but I had read several
listed here:

http://www.criticalbench.com/bench-press-workouts.htm

I keep going back and forth, though; my old routine was consistently
letting me increase weight by 10lbs every 3 weeks, so it doesn't seem
like increasing the weight is the problem. For my overall girth to
have dropped, I'm obviously missing SOMETHING, I just don't know what
that variable would be.

Christianiron.com
March 8th 08, 04:49 PM
On Mar 7, 8:49 pm, Jason Carlton > wrote:
> > You say you think your pecs are bigger but you are smaller around the girth?
>
> Exactly.
>
> > What kind of training are you doing for your back? If you don't keep your
> > back and rear delts up with your pecs it will adversely effect your posture.
>
> My back and shoulder day has traditionally been on Tuesday, the day
> after my chest day. It's always been my long day. Here's the routine
> that I'm doing:
>
> Exercise 1: Pull Ups, 3 sets of 10
>
> Exercise 2: Pull Downs (lat bar), 8/6/4 Pyramid
>
> Exercise 3: Shoulder Press, 3 sets of 10
> (I used to do an 8/6/4 Pyramid, but hadn't seen an improvement in
> months so I was hoping that doing more reps would help me to break the
> plateau)
>
> Exercise 4: Bent Over Rows, 8/6/4 Pyramid
> (using an Olympic bar)
>
> Exercise 5: Shrugs, 8/6/4 Pyramid
>
> Exercise 6: Straight Leg Dead Lifts, 3 sets of 10
>
> > If you are interested in increasing your bench have you thought about trying
> > a powerlifting routine? You may want to look a number of these over. They
> > are all proven powerlifting routines. Some contributed by elite
> > powerlifters. Including the legendary Rickey Dale Crain.http://www.weighttrainersunited.com/routines.html
>
> Thanks for the link! I hadn't seen that site, but I had read several
> listed here:
>
> http://www.criticalbench.com/bench-press-workouts.htm
>
> I keep going back and forth, though; my old routine was consistently
> letting me increase weight by 10lbs every 3 weeks, so it doesn't seem
> like increasing the weight is the problem. For my overall girth to
> have dropped, I'm obviously missing SOMETHING, I just don't know what
> that variable would be.

Jason,
First off, sounds like you are hitting some impressive weight...
kudos!
As far as the new routine, sounds like over training and/or under
eating.
For many, 2 heavy bench days a week is too much. Making the second day
a light day ( say 65% max ) and doing "speed work" might help. You
also may want to consider a periodization routine for the heavy work,
where you progress the weight upwards for 3 weeks, then go back to the
weight you did on week 2 ( more reps OK) Its a series of mini 3 week
cycles of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.
Scientific studies have shown that the same routine for more than 3 or
4 weeks
has diminishing returns,and the 3 forward, 2 back method is designed
to overcome this.My 2 cents,good luck