Decline Bench 120kg x6, 100kg x10 (60 secs rest)
EZ Bar Curls 30kg x12x12x10x8 (30s)
Viking Press 70kg x9, 40kg x11, then Lat Raise 7.5kg DB’s x19 (60s rest)
Squat 150kg x6
Standing 1-Arm DB External Rotation 5kg x15x15 (rest each side as long as it took to perform the set on opposite side)
Cuban Rotation 10kg EZ Bar x12x12 (90s)
SPIN followed by Seated Leg Curl 60kg x17x11x10 (90s rest)
Later in afternoon 500m rowing challenge – 1:33.8
Then in the evening a Chest & Tricep session to help motivate a friend
Smith Bench Press 120kg x5x5x3 (rest approx 2 minutes)
Smith Incline Bench 90kg x10x8 (rest approx 60-90 secs)
DB Bench 34kg x12x12 (rest as long as it took for Nathan to do his set)
Machine Chest Press (High position to imitate decline bench) 80kg x12x12 (rest as above)
DB Flyes 9kg x40
DB Overhead Extension 38kg x12x9 (rest as above)
Dips x12x12 (rest as above)
Tricep Pushdowns 15kg x40
Smith Decline Bench 110kg x5x5x8
Face Pulls 20kg x15x15 (superset with first two bench sets)
Cable Curls 25kg x12x10 (90s rest)
Cable Rows 50kg x20x19 (2 mins)
Injured my heel earlier in week so couldn’t squat or even leg press so superset Leg Extension & Leg Curl – No rest between sets, just the time it took to move from one machine to the other – 60kg x15, 50kg x15, 40kg x15
Neck Harness 12kg – 4 sets of 30
Not going to get to The Shack till monday, so did a ‘commercial’ session at work during lunch ..
Decline 34kg DB Bench x12x10x8x6 (60s rest), followed up with 8kg DB Flyes x15x15 (60s)
Single Arm 42kg DB Row x12x10x8x6 (60s)
DB Pullover 34kg x12x12, followed up with straight arm pulldown 20kg x20
Leg Press 200kg x20
Seated Leg Curl 30kg x25x25x25
Another double Spin class yesterday so spent a bit of time straight after classes stretching my hip flexors, I’ve also been trying to take some time at night to foam roll them and my quads (ouch!). A bit short on time today so superset (of a sort) my lifts – basically in the 3-5 minutes between Bench and Squat sets, I’d do another lift which didn’t effect it too much in order to get all my lifts done in the timeframe.
Decline Bench 120kg x5x5x6 – After previous post fancied giving them a try myself, I had to put boards under my feet as couldn’t put my feet down otherwise! Felt a bit unstable as not an ideal decline bench – can’t hook legs – felt like I was sliding a little, but got the hang of it by my last set. (cut the video as I stupidly went for a seventh rep which failed and you don’t need to see that!)
Yates row 82.5kg x15x15x15 (slotted these in between each bench set)
Machine preacher curls 15kg x11x10 (as I’m still doing pull-ups all the way through, my arms are pretty tired when I get to these! but I really like them so sticking with it! – Again, I performed these between squat sets to save time.
Squat 142.5kg x5x5x10 – Form got a little ugly toward last few reps but I was determined to get 10 again! I’m still surprised that Spin isn’t affected these at the moment, I put it down to the mobility I’m doing for my hips/APT and just eating as much as possible the night before my session!
Anyone who has been doing bench press in some variation will have had or still suffer from shoulder pain. Usually around the anterior deltoid (front shoulder) or impingement in the rotator cuff area. Though you would think otherwise the flat bench press tends to irritate the shoulder more than the overhead press. This is because the flat bench utilises the anterior deltoid heavily, especially with a medium to narrow grip, developing mainly the front part of the shoulder. Whereas the overhead press (performed correctly) develops the shoulder as a whole.
Most bodybuilders believe that the chest should be worked at all angles and that decline is for the lower chest only. In fact during EMG studies it has been shown that the decline bench press (at a minimal angle i.e 15-20 degrees) actually activates more total chest muscle than other angles. Not only that, but there is a lot less pressure on the anterior deltoid seriously reducing chance of injury and less irritation for already damaged shoulders. Many of the biggest names (and bodies!) in bodybuilding – Yates, Coleman & Cutler to name a few, swear by the decline bench and use it as a main stay of their training, this should make it definitely worth considering if mass is your goal.
One of the things I particularly like about the decline bench is that it feels so much better, the angle feels more natural (it resembles the movement the pectoral muscles are mainly responsible for) and certainly for me, I am more aware of my chest in the movement and so find it easier to focus on the lift rather than the pain in my shoulders!! You can also move more weight in a decline position, increasing your strength and confidence under the bar, which can then help you past sticking points when you return to flat benching.
If you haven’t tried it before (or even if you have), replace your flat bench with it for a while. When you reach a plateau swap it back out again and see how it has helped your strength come along, as well as your physique! Just be sure to have a spotter to hand as any bench, and worse case, dare I say it? use a smith machine for safety.