Weight Lifting, Weight Training, Bench Press & Bodybuilding
March 4, 2024
Benching for Records
by Anita Ramsey

You want to know what it means to be a hardcore female bodybuilder turned powerlifter? Do you think you have what it takes to venture into my world? I don't think so! You have to be mentally tuff to be a female muscle head. I'm a Hybrid of things to come, a shapely hard body with long hard shapely legs, blond hair with hazel eyes who lifts more then you!

So, you think you are welcome in my realm or do you think you have my respect because you are in the gym? I don't think so. Why? Well, because most men and women that cross my path in the gym disrespect me. The reason? Most likely because I can out lift most men in most gyms. Yeah, anyone can join a gym, and lift weight's in-between talking to his or her friends.

But, how hard do you work? Don't get me wrong. I am humble and respectful to those who exhibit the same respect to others in the gym, to powerlifting, and bodybuilding. I will never "belittle" you. But, the moment you disrespect the fact that pound for pound I can out lift you or I find your scrawny ass flexing in the mirror in front of me, then you've made a fool of yourself.

Not everyone is dedicated to body and strength development. And, to be part of my realm, you need dedication, loyalty, exhibit respect for others and you have to be a little psycho serious too, it helps.

I am an "experienced" bodybuilder with over a decade's worth of training and competitive performance behind me. I have won numerous titles, lost just as many, and placed top ten in all National events I've participated in. I am now in my mid-thirties and I am still improving on my previous best.

"You see women are like a fine wine. We get better with age."

I do consider more things now than I used to. When I am in the gym now I have to do every movement with accuracy. Though, my joints aren't as flexible as they were, I can still pound the heavy iron.

All those years of training and eating a sensible diet have paid off. The muscles on my frame now are mine, and I earned them the hard way.

I train with a great partner: my husband. We have worked out together as a husband wife duo for half of the dozen years we've been together. When I did my bodybuilding competitions, he was there. So was I there for his Powerlifting meets and I am here to tell you, bodybuilding has its thing but powerlifting has true camaraderie.

Though, like bodybuilding, powerlifting is an individual sport once you step onto the platform. But, the fellowship is like that of football players or other team sports, a brotherhood and sisterhood. This prompted me to create The Freaks of Iron Bench Press Club which I am President.

Learn more about this club, click here.

So, needless to say, that all the big guys talked me into trying my first sanctioned bench press meet with Bench Shirt and all. I was a little reluctant at first. Why? Well, because of my bodybuilding mentality.

I always had to train a certain way. But, after talking with Dave Tate who said I would be ready for a meet since I've been training for it anyway - I am taking the leap. I'm off to the Bench Press Wars. Hopefully to one day be in the same category with lifters like Lisa Aukland, Paula Suzuki, Persilla Rebic and Bench Press Barbi.

Anita Ramsey - Are you ready for her realm?

That's my goal. Lofty? Yes, it sure is and those girls are great lifters, World Champs all. Can I someday find myself in that list? Well, all, I know is - I'm going for it.

Ok then lets get started. When I train, I max out for 1 rep on certain lifts, once a week, sometimes every two weeks! My rep schemes with weights are 1, 3, 5, 6 10, 12, 20, and 100. Yep, no set standards, and that's the key to gaining strength. I do several different methods of training. I incorporate Westside techniques with power-bodybuilding.

Predicting Your One Rep Max

Calculate Your 1 Rep Max
How much weight did you lift?
How many reps did you do?


    Enter the amount of weight you lifted and the number of reps you lifted it for (the number of reps must be between 1 and 10 in order for the calculation to work).

I also do many exercises geared toward balance and accelerating my work capacity. That is just my style! Everyone has his or her own way of training but this is mine. I am currently @ 145.5 and stronger then I was at the height of competitive bodybuilding career when I was pushing the scales at over 170 in the off season.

Nutrition Prep

5:30 am

  • Wake, one "Kranker" (oops I'm still alive) with one aspirin and a pint of un-sweetened grapefruit juice.
  • 40min Stationary bike.

6:30 am - Meal 1

One hour prior to going to the gym.

9:30 am

  • Go to the gym.

After workout

Meal 2

  • 1 cup Irish Oatmeal (uncooked)
  • 1 tbl of Peanut Butter

Meal 3

  • Bulk Whey (3) scoops with 1 tbl Flax Seed Oil and water

Meal 4

  • 2 Chicken Breast
  • Salad topped w/Grape Seed Oil and Olive Oil

Meal 5

  • Either 2 chicken breast (breaded) or pound ground chicken
  • Steamed vegetables

Meal 6

  • 1 cup Irish Oatmeal
  • 1 tblsp peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Bulk Whey

EXTRA: Multi-Vitamin by Eclipse, Saw Palmetto. Antioxidants, and Extra vitamin C.

Bench Training Workout

Twice a week on Monday's and Thursday's

Anita Ramsey Monday

Dynamic Effort Day

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press: 9x95x3 with chains
    Darts (lying db tri ext): 4x35,40,45, 50x8
    Dips w/weight belt: 2x45x6

    Bar row: 4x185x6
    Hammer pulldowns: 2 sets of 10
    Face pullthru: 5 sets of 15

Click here for printable workout log!


Max Effort Day

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press (4 boards): 45x10, 95x3, 135x1, 170x1, 195x1, 215x1, 225x1
    JM press: 2x70x6

    Seated bar press behind neck: 2x85x10
    Front plate raise: 2x45x6
    DB curls: 3x45x5
    Preacher mach: 2 sets of 20

Click here for printable workout log!


Dynamic Effort Day

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press: 9x95x3 with Chains
    Pushdowns w/ band added to stack: 4 sets of 6
    Dips: 2 sets of 6

    Bar rows: 4 sets of 6
    Face pullthru: 3 sets of 8

Click here for printable workout log!


Max Effort Day

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press (4 boards): 45x10, 95x3, 135x1, 170x1, 195x1, 215x1, 225x1, 235x1, 245x(failed)
    JM Press: 4x75,85,95,105x3
    Seated single DB press delts: 3 sets of 10
    Front plate raise: 2 sets of 6
    DB curls superset with pushdowns w/band added to stack: 3 sets of 12

Click here for printable workout log!


Workout #1: Dynamic Effort Day


Workout #2: Max Effort Day

    Bench Press (2 board): 45x10, 95x3, 135x1, 155x1, 170x1, 180x1, 190x1, 200x1
    Bench Press: 1 set to near failure 15 reps with 135
    Inc. DB Press: 2x55,65x8

    Single arm DB delt press: 4x30x10
    DB curls: 4 sets of 6

Click here for printable workout log!


Anita Ramsey Benching With Chains Dynamic Effort Day

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press 9x95x3 with chains
    Inc. bar press: 3x95,115,135x6
    Darts: 4x45x5 with mini bands
    Pushdowns(rope): 3 sets of 20 reps

    Bar rows: 3x185x6

Click here for printable workout log!


Max Effort Day (got sick with very bad cold)

    Rotator Cuff Exercises
    Bench Press (2 boards): 45x10, 95x3, 135x1, 155x1, 170x1, 180x1, 190x1, 200x1, 205x1
    After above was trashed and not felling well did not do anything else.


Dynamic Effort Day

    Bench Press 9x 95 x3 with chains
    Triceps Ext. Elbows Out 4x35x5

Max Effort Bench Day

    Close Grip Bench Press MAX: Bar, 95, 115, 135, 160, 175, 185
    Triceps Ext.
    T-Bar Rows

Click here for printable workout log!

Pre Meet Workout

Last Workout before meet

    Bench Press 9x115x3
    Triceps pushdowns 3 x 10
    T-Bar 2 x 8

Click here for printable workout log!

My First Meet

Anita's first bench press meet I have been training like the above for several months now and I worked hard and was all prepared to kick ass at my first meet. The venue was set, the USPF ECC Challenge, which was on May 17th of 2003. I didn't have to go far because it was being held just a few blocks down the road. Right in my back yard. With the weights I pushed in the gym, we all had our sites on me breaking the 148 NY State open Bench Press record- which was 250.

Yes, I have it in me. But, it wasn't going to happen this day. I scratched out my first meet. BOMBED out, Scratched, RED lighted! How does one get the weight but Bomb? Well, you have to pause the bar on your chest, no touch and go stuff, and I forgot on my opener to pause. Then my second attempt I went up in weight, got it up but lifted my butt off the bench.

Nope, can't do that either - your body must be on the bench. I did everything wrong on my 3rd attempt. So, thus all RED lights. It sucked. If you're not familiar with a competitive bench press meet you have rules, and must listen to the commands of the head referee and you are allowed 3 try's or attempts - that's it. I have never been so embarrassed in my life.

Ok, I'm a hard core female bodybuilder, but I am a woman, and I cried - hard core! Curtis comes over to me and say's "There's no crying in Powerlifting!" He's always says something to make me smile.

I called Dave Tate and told him about the meet, thinking he was going to be disappointed in me, his response was, "don't worry, it won't be that last time". And then he told me that Louie holds the record for consecutive bomb outs at meets. And with Curtis telling me that that's the name of the game in competitive powerlifting and to get used to it - But every Dog does have their day!

So, now I'm back to the drawing board too fix the stupid mistakes, like lifting my ass off the bench, which I've never done in my life. I've picked another meet and the training has begun for the IPA Halloween Bench/Dead Bash to be held in Allen Town, PA, November 1st, 2003. What happened next? Let's see.

Benching for Records Part II - Metal Militia Style


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