Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Dead Benches: Test

Dead Benches: 65x1, 85x1, 105x1, 125x1, 145x1, 165x1, 185x1, 205x1 (PR). On October 4, 2010 I tested at 175 for a clean single. 122 days later, I got a 30 pound PR.

Part of this was "learning" the movement. It's not like I never benched this much, I just took the stretch reflex out of it. I won't make too much light of that fact, though. In the beginning it was a 50-pound gap between a dead bench and a full bench (225 at the time), no wonder I couldn't move past 240 for the longest time. Now, I have narrowed that gap.

The other part of it was a gradual loading of volume. I did about 6 weeks for every 10 pounds, and I did the sufficient amount of reps to get stronger. The clusters work like a charm: I used a rep range per set of 2-3, to maintain speed. The only thing I will change for the future is to use sets of 1 rep when going above 90% 1RM.

All that said, I got the 205 launched with a good degree of effort and then, a few inches up, it was like I hit a brick wall. I just kept straining and straining until it budged. It made for one painfully slow rep, even with it being just singles. So I don't think I have another 10 pound gain in me. 5 maybe.

What I'm thinking of for the next cycle is a 4-week wave vice 6, with the last week being a deload. So week 1 would be 75% 1Rm for 5 sets of 3, week 2 would be 85% 1Rm for 5 sets of 2, and week 3 would be 95% 1Rm for 5 sets of 1. And to get it moving again, I might reset it to 90% of 205 to start with (about 185) and add 5 pounds each cycle. Maybe use chains every other cycle. This ought to get things moving again. Remember, it's speed I'm after with this movement.

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