Whelp I benched at the APF Fl State Met in Orlando Saturday Feb. 27th, 2010.
I cut weight to weigh in at 241 pounds.
The day of the meet I was back up to around 248 pounds.
My opener was 600 pounds and felt pretty good.
2nd attempt was 630 pounds. I got it! This was an 8 lb PR for me. The lockout was a struggle as you can see from the video below.
My 3rd attempt I missed 650. Just couldn’t lock it out.
It was fun hanging out with lots of good people as well as support the rest of the Tampa Barbell team. CriticalBench.com sponsored lifters Clint Smith and Brian Carroll had tremendous days putting on a clinic!
I felt my strongest during my training cycle when I got up to 255 pounds. Lockout was the problem for me this cycle. I’ll make some adjustments and come back stronger next time.
It was a little frustrating to go an entire year and only come out with an 8 pound personal record, but like they always say, a PR is a PR is a PR.
Want to give a special thanks to Rhino for all his help during practice. Great hand offs from Trent Nelson. I enjoyed training with Richard McKeefer and Decatur, those dudes are really strong and pushed me past my comfort level which is where I need to be. And of course to Tommy Fannon for providing the gym and coaching.
If you’re wondering why I just benched like a little bitch, it’s because I tweaked my lower back a month before the meet. I don’t have it figured out exactly why, but I do throw out my back from time to time. I always have.
Oh I almost forgot, the Tuesday after the meet I did a 405 raw rep test. I hit 5 reps which was a PR for me by 3 reps. This video kinda sucks, I forgot my flipcam and had to use my phone to record it.
What’s next? Well I’m out of gear for a little bit to get some of my conditioning back, drop some unneeded pounds and get my lower back rehabbed and stronger.
I’m looking into the Bullet Proof Back program right now and plan on incorporating a lot of the helpful stretches, exercises, and tips recommend by Eric Wong. Eric’s an MMA fighter and has made a full recovery from a major back surgery he had. I love hearing success stories like that.
If you have back pain you’re trying to get rid of you might want to check this out as well. Click Here to Go to the BulletProof Back site.
CB: Most guys are being told to follow bodybuilding splits, train multiple times a day, and other non-sense training tactics that don’t work. What tips do you have for people looking to build muscle as fast as possible?
JF: The key to making consistent size gains is making consistent strength gains (in a hypertrophy rep range) while eating enough food and allowing enough time for recovery. You need to constantly be doing more weight or more reps. The body will respond to any given stimulus one time and one time only. If you place the same demands on it a second time (like pressing the same weight for the same reps) nothing will happen. You must always be forcing it to adapt and thus you must always ask it do something it isn’t used to.
The easiest way to do this is add more weight or do more reps with the same weight.
Aside from making consistent strength gains the next most important thing to consider is training frequency. To improve anything in life you need to do it frequently. Building muscle is no different. So you want to train a muscle as frequently as possible, while it is in a fresh and recovered state. This means that you should be training each body part once every 2-5 days, and not once a week like a lot of the muscle mags recommend. That’s too little frequency. The more times you can stimulate growth throughout the year the better. Obviously 104 growth stimulating workouts per year for each body part would be a lot better than 52.
CB: I have seen the phrase “stimulate, don’t annihilate” on your blog in reference to training. Can you explain what you mean by this and the relation to training volume?
JF: To elicit a training response you need to present the body with a stimulus that it isn’t used to. This stress will cause the body to adapt. The body adapts by building itself up bigger and stronger.
Where people go wrong is that they think they need to annihilate the muscle in order to elicit any type of response. This is completely counterproductive. When you annihilate the muscle with tons of sets and reps and intensity techniques like drop sets you drastically increase your recovery time. And as I mentioned previously, frequency is very important. So when you increase your recovery time you have to decrease your training time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot.
The key is to do just enough to stimulate size and strength gains but not annihilate yourself so that it takes forever to recover, or worse- that you put yourself in a state of overtraining.
CB: Triple Threat Muscle is your new program. What separates this program from all the others and can you tell our readers why you created it?
JF: My Muscle Gaining Secrets program is specifically geared toward skinny guys, hardgainers and beginners. This is more of an intermediate/advanced program that is more athletically based. So while the main focus is still on building muscle there is also a shift toward a bit more speed work, mobility and conditioning in Triple Threat Muscle.
The new program was created for the typical weekend warrior or Average Joe who wants to look and train like an athlete but doesn’t actually have the time or recovery ability to spend more than a few hours per week in the gym.
I spent the last two years experimenting on a wide group of individuals to come up with the most effective and fastest way to do this. Triple Threat Muscle is the result of two years of hard work and is based on all of my findings.
CB: And finally, what general tips can you give to our readers who want transform their bodies?
Strength train 3-4 days per week.
Lift heavy and keep most of your sets in the range of 3-10 reps.
Don’t go to failure.
Train each body part 2-3 times per week.
Don’t do more than 12-16 total sets per workout.
Always strive to get stronger.
Eat natural, organic foods and avoid anything processed.
Sleep 8-10 hours per day.
Get out in the fresh air and sun more often.
CB: Thanks brother…be sure to share some success stories with us! Time for me to get out in the sun myself.