Bench 120kg x5x4x6, then 100kg x9 (90s rest)
Superset with DB Preacher Curls 12.5kg x12, 10kg x20
DB Decline 25kg x18x12 (60s rest), then back to the bar 100kg x4 (60s)
Machine Incline Lever Bench 30kg 15×12 (60s)
Sumo Deadlift Practice 150kg x2x2, 140kg x5
Lever Deadlift 200kg x10
Bench 120kg x4x4x5, followed up with 100kg x12 (2 mins rest)
DB Decline Bench 20kg’s x20x20 (90s)
Incline Lever Bench 40kg x12x8x7 (60s)
DB Hammer Curls 17.5kg x12x10 (between first two bench sets)
Sumo Deadlift 140kg x3x3x7
Disappointing bench session today, felt really heavy, little twinge in my shoulder on rep 6, so stopped and did some lower weight volume training instead. Sumo deadlift today instead of conventional as thinking of entering a powerlifting competition and need the practice!
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
Well after sleeping on it, and the fact I still have DOM’s from Sunday’s Hack Squat’s! I decided to go ahead with DC Training again. I’m going to give it a good 3 months this time to see how much difference it makes to my current stats/strength. I’ll take my measurements later today and add to this post and then again after the three month trial period. Lowered the weight slightly as DC training requires a more controlled eccentric (lowering) phase and explosive concentric (lifting) than traditional strength training.
Decline Bench 100kg x11+3+2 RP – Shouldn’t have gone for a third on the last set! I had to set it on the pins and squeeze out from under the bar! (removed that from the video!) – I only managed about 15 secs of the static hold afterwards, forgot about how hard it is!
Seated DB Press 27.5kg x8+2+2 RP – Again only 15 sec hold, will keep it at that for now untill I get accustomed to it and increase when possible.
Close Grip Bench 90kg x8+2+2 RP – Arms are toast after the last two sets! could barely push the 90kg!
Chins x9+4+3 RP
Machine Lever Row 80kg x 11 – No rest pause on back thickness exercises, just one straight set for safety – I’m not sure this is always the case especially where chest is supported as this one is. I’ll read up more on this I think.
I had some time afterwards to take some more pictures for my book and noticed someone had left 200kg on the Lever Deadlift Machine so I went and gave it a go – smashed 10 reps so decided to increase to 240kg and it still felt OK for an easy 5, so then finished the set with 260kg x2 reps! As I said before a definite ego machine! I love it!
Back to training after a hectic week! Bringing the frequency method back for press-ups and going to hang my rings in my new garage so I can do chins as well.
Decline Bench 121kg x4x4x6 – felt strong on these, kept the reps at 4 as no-one to spot me and I didn’t want to get stuck under the bar! I’m going to keep the increases to 1kg and see how far I can get before returning to flat.
Machine Preacher Curl 17.5kgx14, 15kg x12
Pendlay Row 65kg x10x10x10 – jumped 5kg from last session, will keep it to 2.5kg from here to keep the technique right, it’s too easy to start using hips.
Squat 147.5kg x4x4x5 – struggled with these today, I had been in the gym too long and overdone the warm-up so just didn’t have it in me by the time I got to these! Grr! I’ll repeat the weight next week and see how it feels!
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.