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 Post subject: Chest help please.
PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 6:55 pm 
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I'll try to make this as short as possible.

About three weeks ago I plateau'd with my chest. I started doing incline barbell bench presses (which I had to drop ten pounds of weight off the bar to do. For form and repitition reasons) until my incline was equal to where I left off at my flat bench pess (about two weeks). I went back to flat bench presses monday of this week and did my 3x6 with ten pounds more weight than where I had plateau'd.

Today I approached my workout thinking I had blasted through a plateau and come out ahead. I went to do my bench presses; I did the first set fine, the last rep of the second set was more of a struggle than I had expected, and I had to seriously break form to keep from having to roll the bar off myself 4 reps into the third set (I work out at home, no spotter). Out of frustration and disappointment I did four or five sets of depth pushups to failure.

I guess the point is, does anyone know anything I can do to seriously increase the strength and endurance of my chest? I feel like I'm no longer making the improvements I want doing 3x6 with 80% of my 1RM. Supersets, 5x5, bodyweight stuff, anything.

I know I post alot of really long, lame questions here. But I'm a student, so good advice is even better when it's free.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:20 pm 
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Well,

First of all, it may take longer than 3 weeks of change to pull you out of a plateau.

In other words, you could have gone back to flat bench too fast.

How are your related exercises? What are your weak points? where do you fail during the reps? How often do you change rep ranges? No need to go from doing singles to doing sets of 20, but some slight variation in sets/reps along with variation in order and type of exercise can make a big long term impact.

How often do you workout? Do you ever take a week off and do nothing at all? do you ever back off the max weights and work lighter %'s? I know 80 isnt that much so you may need less backoff than if you were training around 85+% but you could still need some.

Post a little more than just what youve done over the last 3 weeks. Getting a big bench press is a year round effort.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:23 pm 
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Hmm, I guess I'll describe the past few months and see if that helps.

I spent May-September of last year doing 3x8-12 of roughly 65-70% 1RM 3 days a week, making slow steady gains. I spent September to Mid-October without equipment other than dumbells, so as far as chest work goes I did depth pushups and regular pushups, varying hand spacing, and pushups. Again, slow and steady gains, more in endurance than strength. From mid-October to the beginning of December I started doing 3x6 of 80% of my 1RM and saw some gains, but the last few weeks of December left me at home for winter break, again doing body weight workouts, spending time with a heavy punching bag, and doing EZ bar curls. The worst part is, I was doing this just about every day. Daily EZ bar curls resulted in nagging tendonitis, which still flares up pretty intensely.

Since Janurary I've settled into my current 3x6 80% 1RM routine doing 3 days a week, total body, 24hrs in between workouts. I've taken a day off here and there, but never a solid week or more.

I really havn't had a reason to change volume or intensity too much, since I was making steady gains with the 3x6 80% 1RM deal. My lift usually fails a little over halfway up the push, I can't remember the last time I hit failure close to my chest.

Overall, my shoulders are probably my weakest area in general, but my anterior deltoids are still pretty well developed.

That's really all that I could think of.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:08 pm 
I just noticed your routine. You have to be a total novice to get away with that little rest. Or you can do just 1 set of everything. Or maybe try HST. You have got to be overtraining with that.

Since you mentioned strength. It seems to me I see the powerlifters doing like 8 or 10 sets and they only work on 1 lift per day. It is mostly real low reps too. They go real heavy and do some partials too.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:20 pm 
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Okay, I agree with the last post that 3 times per week or more is really crazy to be recovering from. I wouldnt ditch this completely if you like full body but I would try varying the exercises (I am not sure if you do the same exercises everday or not). 3x6x80% is a fine place to be working at, but some variation is usually a good thing, especially if you are looking to overcome a plateau.

(1) change set rep scheme

next, you say you struggle in the middle of the push, this is very likely weak triceps, possibly front delts, but if you say you have decent development I would assume triceps.

At the very least, I would switch your 1st and 3rd workouts to 4x4@85% or so and then change your 2nd workout to focus on dumbbells and tricep stuff. Given tha tyou have been doing a very similar routine for quite some time, I would give this new routine atleast 4 weeks so you can adjust to some of the new movements. I would recomment making either the 1st or 3rd day a Close grip bench day during this time.

Also, how is your upper back strength? You should be able to row similar weight to your bench press and the upper back is key in helping stabilize the shoulder as you move into higher weights with the bench press.

Feel free to shoot me some questions if you have any.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 12:28 am 
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Bench Press: 3x6
EZ Bar Curls: 3x6-8
Barbell Military Press: 3x6-8
Deadlifts (RDL): 3x6-8
Bent Over Row: 3x6-8
Upright Row: 3x6-8
Shrugs: 3x6-8
Strait Leg Deadlifts: 3x6-8
Close Grip Concentration EZ bar curls: 2x6-8
Reverse EZ bar curls: 2x6-8
(30-45 seconds rest between each set in all exercises)

That's my current routine. The only lifts that aren't 80% of my 1RM are deadlifts and shrugs, I need to buy more plates.

That list always seemed pretty small to me, so I never split it. That, and it's mostly upperbody anyways. If you say I'm over training doing that 3 days a week, how would you recommend it be split?

I was thinking something like:

Day 1: Bench Press, Curls, Deadlifts
Day 2: Rows, Shrugs, Triceps (Probably extensions and close grip bench presses) Overhead presses
Day 3: Bench Press, Curls, Deadlifts...

Or should I not split it at all and just put workouts 48hours apart?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 1:36 am 
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I would definately do some dumbbell work.

I like having the pure bench press (barbell) movement on the 1st day because that follows 2 days rest and thus gives you the most recovery.

I would move the Close grip to day 3, do it lighter than on day 1 OR do it the same intensity, IE dont raise the weight on day 1 and day 3 that way you get double exposure so day 3 will help you build confidence at that weight. Basically , I would avoid a barbell pressing movement 3 days per week. I think that is the source of part of the plateau. I would do all the back work you hav elisted and do some triceps (besides close grips) and some dumbbell bench and overhead work. Dumbbells work the triceps hard so I think one tricep move and then 2 dumbbell presses will be enough.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 10:55 am 
rexallxp wrote:
Bench Press: 3x6
EZ Bar Curls: 3x6-8
Barbell Military Press: 3x6-8
Deadlifts (RDL): 3x6-8
Bent Over Row: 3x6-8
Upright Row: 3x6-8
Shrugs: 3x6-8
Strait Leg Deadlifts: 3x6-8
Close Grip Concentration EZ bar curls: 2x6-8
Reverse EZ bar curls: 2x6-8
(30-45 seconds rest between each set in all exercises)

That's my current routine. The only lifts that aren't 80% of my 1RM are deadlifts and shrugs, I need to buy more plates.

That list always seemed pretty small to me, so I never split it. That, and it's mostly upperbody anyways. If you say I'm over training doing that 3 days a week, how would you recommend it be split?

I was thinking something like:

Day 1: Bench Press, Curls, Deadlifts
Day 2: Rows, Shrugs, Triceps (Probably extensions and close grip bench presses) Overhead presses
Day 3: Bench Press, Curls, Deadlifts...

Or should I not split it at all and just put workouts 48hours apart?


Holy crap you do all those lifts 3x a week???? That is WAY TOO MUCH and is a poster workout for overtraining. I notice you also have 3 exercises for biceps in there..and none for triceps!! Its no wonder you get stuck in the middle part of the bench press. Triceps are my favorite muscle to work, cause they assist in all the pressing movements. Stronger tri's=better benching! Alot of people dont even do any biceps isolation work, and just allow rows and pullups to give them their work. Unless you're pursuing a bodybuilding career i wouldnt do bi's more than once a week with only 2 exercises at the MOST. Also your rest periods are too low if your looking for strength. 45 sec is fine for something like curls, but for bench or deadlift its not enough time to recover between sets. 30-45 sec is something you'd use for endurance purposes...not strength gain (unless you were to do the rest/pause method).

With regards to the 3 day split you mentioned...well i already gave my opinion on the curls. I wouldnt do triceps and shoulders the very next day after benching, you'd have to seperate that 48 hours. Also id make one of the deadlifts a variation, like do one regular and in the other workout do the stiff-legged version. Just something different. Same with the bench, dont do the same old flat bench press twice a week. Make one of them close grip or incline...variation is the key! And dont forget those triceps...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:31 am 
Why don't you take a week off. Then try something like push/pull/legs maybe. Try 4x3-5 heavy. Then work on doing more sets later. Google for powerlifting routines. You should find some good ideas that way too.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 09, 2006 11:58 am 
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Looks like you're getting good advice already, so I won't butt in and muck it up. However, to your original question, on ideas of how to do things differently, I will direct you to several good articles. A person much wiser than myself made the statement that almost anything will work, but nothing will work forever. (Louie Simmons, WSB). I would suggest you go to the Home Page here at the site, go to the Weight Training section, and from the menu on the right hand side, look up Periodization and look into Heavy/Light training. Both of these are ways you can go about making gains y changing things up periodically. These aren't the only way to go about it, but time tested and they get , in general, good results.
Good training
Tim


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 Post subject: Faith
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:29 am 
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