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Friday, December 5, 2008

Bench Press Updates....

As always, I like to start these posts off with a little inspiration. Pictured to the left is my good friend and former Ball State University powerlifter Matt Wenning. I'm assuming this pic is from ~2002 or 2003. At the time, Matt was benching in high 400's, maybe low 500's. I got word (via the latest PLUSA) that he recently benched 815! Matt is an inspiration to a lot of people and I wish him the best going forward.

After last week's post I figured I better keep everyone in the loop with my bench press training. Don't expect anything too huge, yet; my goal is simply to get healthy and back in the groove, then start pushing my numbers from here. Last night I trained later in the evening, which generally leads to sub-par training sessions. I'd love to train in the morning all the time, but lack of training partners and other commitments sometimes get in the way.

Regardless, I kicked off the session with some serious soft-tissue work using the Starr tool. If you have soft-tissue adhesions/scar tissue, you need to get your hands on one of these things. They rock! After about 5 minutes my pec was feeling better than it had in quite some time. I warmed up using the I/O drills, and then began the benching.

Again, keep in mind that the weights are not huge. Like I said, the goals are:

- No pain

- Clean, crisp reps

- Develop connective tissue strength

Luckily my boy Justin was in last night, and I've also made another promise to myself that I am going to get a hand-off for everything 135 and over. Can I lift it off myself? Sure. But when I do, I compromise my stability and I can't get my right scapula back into place. Lack of scapular stability = shoulder/pec problems.

I started with 185 for 8, and that felt pretty good. I honestly would've been happy to stay there, but with some goading I moved up to 195. Again, nice and smooth. I went up to 205 for my last set and the final rep was a struggle, but still clean.

Honestly, the biggest difference between tonight and other training sessions was the soft-tissue work before hand and the lift-offs.

All in all, this was a good session. Now the key is to string together a couple of weeks like this, and then eventually a couple of months. Only time will tell, but this was exactly what my body and mind needed.

Have a great weekend!

Stay strong


BTW, if you like my bench chronicles, let me know as I've considered doing this with my squat as well. It's more jacked up d/t surgery and the ensuing compensations, but I really have no idea if people want to hear me ramble on about my own lifting week in and week out.


Kenny said...

I don't comment much (or at all, really) but I read your blog regularly. Love the bench chronicles, and would deffinitly look forward to the same with the squat. Just thought I would let you know!

Hope the training keeps going well.

Gerkin said...

This is a good idea. I can say that following your squat wouldn't be bad... and I think I might do it on my blog with my deadlift for some fresh content.

Boris said...

Hi Mike,
I'm currently rehabilitating my shoulder so I'll be following your bench training but I'd like to hear about your squatting too.

By the way, I can't wait until your Sydney seminar in February. I wish more smart guys like you would visit us down under.