anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau programs?

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KenDowns
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anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau programs?

Post by KenDowns » Sat May 11, 2013 8:26 am

I finally made a 225 bench in February. Looking at the training logs I added about 5# every 8 months to my bench. I think that stinks, though plenty of people will say kind and re-assuring things, I still that stinks.

Now there was an injury in there, but at most it gives me 4 months grace.

So I decided to try this one from T-nation: http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_art ... ch_plateau" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mostly I picked it because I can understand it which means I think I can follow it. But I've got a couple of questions.

Cable Crossovers. We don't have this machine. I could attach bands across a couple of racks but our gym is small and that would seem kind of rude -- I'd be taking up a lot of space. So I figured if its a pec exercise I could just do db bench with flared elbows. That's what I did Thursday and if soreness is any indicator I hit the pecs hard (I know I know soreness doesn't mean much). But can anybody suggest anything else or is this probably good enough?

Decline Press. Alas we don't have a decline, but we have a Hammer Strength decline press. This one I'm not so comfortable replacing because of the stabilizer thing. Any opinions on this?

Final question: anybody ever got any success with one of these focused programs? It seems to me to be kind of simple: you blast the target for six solid weeks, alternating between low and high reps, and park the other lifts during that time. Seems pretty simple.

Other details: I'm dropping to 3 days/week for this 6 weeks. The basic program looks like this:

Tuesday: Squat (maintenance mode). Pull-ups, bb rows alternated week-to-week with db rows. Weather permitting something with the farmers bars.

Thursday: The t-nation program

Saturday: Deadlift with trainer and anything he makes me do, likely lots of GH raises, Stiff-leg deadlifts, and weather permitting something with the farmers bars.


EDIT: My trainer suggested this instead:

Tuesday: Squat and squat accessories

Thursday: The t-nation program

Saturday: Deadlift and then back accessories. So Pull-ups and rows go here.
Last edited by KenDowns on Sat May 11, 2013 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kenny Croxdale
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Re: anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau program

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Sat May 11, 2013 9:34 am

KenDowns wrote:Cable Crossovers. We don't have this machine. I could attach bands across a couple of racks but our gym is small and that would seem kind of rude -- I'd be taking up a lot of space. So I figured if its a pec exercise I could just do db bench with flared elbows. That's what I did Thursday and if soreness is any indicator I hit the pecs hard (I know I know soreness doesn't mean much). But can anybody suggest anything else or is this probably good enough?
Cable Cross

I don't see much value in this exercise as a mean of increasing your bench press.

Dumbbell Flyes

As you noted, this movement is pretty much the same as the Cable Cross.

Take the movement as low as you can, then about 3/4 of the way up. The pecs are engaged to about 3/4 of the way up.

The last 1/4 of the movement very little pec is involved.

However again, I don't see much value in them.

Decline Press. Alas we don't have a decline, but we have a Hammer Strength decline press. This one I'm not so comfortable replacing because of the stabilizer thing. Any opinions on this?
There are some benefits to the use of machines, such as Hammer. They take the stabilizer muscles out of the picture and allow you to overload the primary muscle in the movement.

Reverse Grip Bench Press
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/video-a ... -chest.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

This is more effective at working the upper pecs than the Hammer Incline Press...ANY Incline Press. EMG research show greater activation of the upper pecs with the Reverse Grip Bench Press.

This movement stretches the pecs out.

This movement will do more for your bench press than a Cable Cross.

Feet On Bench Decline

Another method is to place you feet up on the bench press, then push your legs into the bench an arc up. This make it a decline press.

Also, the feet being on the bench make the movement harder to balance.

Thus, you stabilizers are worked more.

Final question: anybody ever got any success with one of these focused programs? It seems to me to be kind of simple: you blast the target for six solid weeks, alternating between low and high reps, and park the other lifts during that time. Seems pretty simple.
[/quote]

Yes...Butt...

A training program is similar to going on a trip.

First you need to find out where you are. Then find out where you want to go. Then how to get theres.

That means you first have to evaluate where you weakness is and how to address it.

Traditional Bench Press

For normal lifter who bench in a t-shirt, the sticking point is approximately 3-4 inches off the chest. Thus, one you get beyond that 4 inches area, you pretty much going to make it.

Sticking Point Training

Individuals who have sticking point in the "normal" area need to increase strength and power in that low range of the bench press.

Limit Strength Exercises

1) Heavy Pause Bench Press: Allow the bar to sit on your chest 4 second or longer before you push it up.

The stretch reflex is completely lost in 4 seconds or longer. Thus, after 4 seconds, Limit Strength is required/developed in moving the bar off the chest.

2) Isometric and/or Functional Isometric Bench Press: Position the bar in a power rack so that the pins are just below where you bench press sticks and/or fails.

There are plenty of articles on isometrics that you can find on line.

3) Partial Bench Press: Perform heavy reps from the chest to about 4 inches off the chest. The focus on this training is to develop Limit Strength in the lower/weaker range of the bench press.

Power Bench Press Training

Power is the grease that allow you to slide through you sticking point. As I have eluded to many times, when driving your car though a mud hole, you want to hit the hole with as much speed as you can so you can slide through it.

1) Power Bench Press Training: Using load of approximately 48-62% of 1RM for sets of 2-3 reps. You want to perform a touch and go/recoil off the chest.

This develops the stretch reflex. Eliciting the stretch reflex has been shown to increase power output by as much as 18%.

2) "Isometric-Explosive-Ballistic Bench Press Training": This term was coined by Yuri Verkhonsky, the modern day father of plyometrics.

This Bench Press training method involves using fairly light loads, 10-40% of your 1RM.

The bar is pasued on the chest for 4 seconds or long to "kill" the stretch reflex.

You then drive the bar up as hard and fast as you can. The objective is to literally throw the bar into the air.

The reason for this are explained in this article. http://www.liftinglarge.com/Plyometric- ... _52-1.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Kenny Croxdale
Thanks TimD.

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Re: anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau program

Post by Proper Knob » Sat May 11, 2013 11:14 am

To create a decline you can put a few plates under one end of a bench to create a bit of elevation.
What if the Hokey Cokey really IS what it's all about?

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Re: anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau program

Post by hoosegow » Mon May 13, 2013 1:44 pm

I'll add to Kenny's post:

Without seeing your bench, I bet if you do 6 weeks of dumbell floor presses with a pause on the floor, your bench will go up 20 pounds. Do sets of 8-10 and throw the weight up fast.
Thanks TimD.

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Re: anybody ever try those Blast-through-the-plateau program

Post by KenDowns » Fri May 24, 2013 7:48 am

Sorry for never replying guys, did not mean to be rude.

I'm comparing the answers here to the article on ectomorphs. Cable Crossovers, flys, or any equivalent is an isolation move for pecs, and isolation moves in theory ain't great for us ectomorphs.

The ectomorph article also recommends floor presses, same as hoose.

yesterday I did week 3 on this program and had a crappy workout, and realized I have a choice

1) finish what I started with this program
2) stop throwing good money after bad (make an adjustment)

In the past 12-18 months I've made these gains:

Deadlift: 130 lbs
Squat: 50+ lbs
Bench: 10
Press: 5

With this heavy bench program my shoulder is starting to hurt all the time, I dropped OHP (which I actually love) to provide more recovery time, and if I'm lucky I'll add 5-15 lbs to my comp total when the same effort put into squats and deads would add 40-50 (at least) to my comp total and would not hurt my shoulder.

I suspect I'm on the verge of a major shift in priorities. I'm strongly thinking of "parking" bench indefinitely, taking some lessons from our Oly trainer in clean and jerk, and depending on dead and squat for the comp total.

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