Eric, I am Michael Hart a fellow 165er. I was actually invited to your raw meet a few years back. Anyhow, I have raw lifts of 390-295-590 in competition and I am not a bencher by build with long limbs on a 5'10" frame. However I am currently in a bench rut myself and would like to offer my help.
My first meet in 1998 I was benching around 290 and I am still at that 290 today. However back in 2000-2001 when my training was much different I had easily benched 300 with supreme confidence and had 310 going pretty good. I follow a modified westside 4 days week with extra work on 2 other days. I compared my training logs of today with those of '01 and the two biggest differences were my brief experimentation with a russian routine (heavy 80-90% work every week) and my tricep volume.
I am so fed up with my stagnant bench that I have bit the bullet and I am currently trying to duplicate my tricep volumes of old despite current trends on elite. I have nothing to lose except more time but so far after a month or two I feel a little more pop in the bench. I still rotate cam bench w/ 1 board, incline,floor press, wide bench and an ocassional closegrip for me work. The only true change is instead of doing 4-5 sets for triceps as I do on most assistance I am shooting for 8,10 and even 12 sets for 1 tricep movement rotated every other week. I keep very detailed logs and I still shake my head when I look at what I used to be able to do volume wise, eg. over head rope ext 60x12x10sets. I can't even come close to doing that now!
This leads me to believe that my triceps are holding me back because I tried focusing on rep work with bottom benches and seated presses thinking that my pecs and shoulders were holding back my raw bench. Well I hope this simple approach might spark an idea and I will keep you informed of my progress. Good luck and God bless, Michael
Of course I remember you.
Thanks for your input. If you notice in my training logs, we have increased the triceps work on both the main training days as well as the G.P.P./developmental S.P.P. days for some of the same reasons you mentioned.
Please let us know how your plan goes; and of course you can follow my progress here in my log.
About Eric Talmant
Eric Talmant is a top lightweight powerlifter and has a "passion for all things nutrition." A 1996 graduate of the University of Evansville, Eric is a certified Metabolic TypingŪ advisor and Functional Diagnostic nutritionist.
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