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Failed bench press for physical, Need Help

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by cellison1460, Aug 23, 2004.


  1. cellison1460

    cellison1460
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    I just took my physical for LE job and passed everything fine except for the bench press. I have to do my body weight which is 165, I was able to do 135 easily. It is on some universal that is older than dirt. Can anyone give some suggestions on what a good workout might be, I have to go back on Oct 1.

    Thanks,
    C. L. Ellison
     

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  2. ateamer

    ateamer
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    NRA4EVR

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    Bench twice a week, once heavy, once lighter. The first workout, start with three sets of six (as much weight as you can handle with proper form for six reps). Every week, reduce the reps by one and add some weight until you reach a new one rep max. The second day, do three sets of 10 with moderate weight.

    That should help you get to benching bodyweight. Also be sure to do shoulder work and lat work (pullups and rows).
     

  3. USPMAN

    USPMAN
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    Wear a bench shirt. If they won't let you, then do about 4 sets of 5 with 135, 4 or 5 days a week, never to failure. Go to your book store and buy "Power to the People" by Pavel Tsatsouline or overnight it from the internet. Even though the press is only briefly mentioned, his lifting techniques and programs will have you laughing at 175 by that time.
     
  4. Okie with a g27

    Okie with a g27
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    The main thing is....your gonna have to work out. Your not gonna get 165 1.5 months later by sitting on your butt (not that you do that). Do as the earlier posters have said, but work out AT LEAST 3 times a week (bare minimum).

    My friend has been trying to get 185 for 3 months now. When he first started he could get 140. HE STILL CAN'T GET IT!. I'm beginning to think he may be "special".

    Wouldn't hurt to do push-ups in your spare time too. GL
     
  5. California Jack

    California Jack
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    I agree with Ateamer except on the light day I'd do 5 sets of five with 60% of yor max. Rest 45 seconds between sets and move the weight as fast as posible. Give absolutely 100% on every reps, bar speed is important.

    On light day you may want to do some assistance work, maybe weighted dips. Ateamer, what do you think?

    And , he's right about lat work. It may not be intuitive, but it helps get the weight moving off of the chest.

    Technique may help too.

    Jack
     
  6. saint01

    saint01
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    I hope that you are not talking about doing chest 3 times per week!!! Please keep in mind that your strength and growth DO NOT happen at the gym. They happen at home when resting. There is ABSOLUTELY no reason to do chest more than twice per week. The key is to keep the intensity up. Research shows that after 1 minute of rest, the body has recovered 80%, and will not recover much more within the next few minutes.

    You want you bench to grow? Workout legs! Yeah, it might sound crazy, but working your legs out causes more release of testosterone, which helps to build muscle. Try this program:

    MONDAY:
    Chest - 4 sets of Bench, 4 sets of Incline Dumbbell
    Triceps - 4 sets of Dips (essential, do the machine if you can't do them with just your bodyweight)
    - 4 sets of Tricep pushdowns
    Shoulders - 4 sets of upright rows
    - 4 sets of shrugs
    - 4 sets of military press with dumbbells (less stress on the shoulders)


    WEDNESDAY:
    Quads - 4 sets of squats (USE A SPOTTER!!!!) warmup, then go heavy
    - 4 sets of Leg Press
    - 2 High rep sets of extensions
    Hamstrings - 4 sets of laying leg curls
    - 4 sets of standing leg curls (or still leg extensions with dumbbells)
    Abductors - 4 sets of sumo deadlifts (use proper form and go lighter)


    FRIDAY:
    Back - 4 sets of Pull-downs
    - 4 sets of T-Bar Rows (again, good form is essential)
    - 4 sets of dumbbell rows (make sure that when pulling the weight up, you pull towards your waist and squeeze...contrary to popular belief, this is the correct way to do them)
    Biceps - 4 sets of ez-curl preacher curls
    - 4 sets of one arm dumbbell curls
    - 4 sets of standing barbell curls (use the standard barbell for bench press weighing 45 lbs. and just do reps...do as many reps as you can in each set, meaning go to failure)


    That is a breif beginners workout plan. Do that, keep the intensity up, and you will add 30 - 40 to your bench in 1.5 months. DO NOT FORGET LEGS!!!! You will be amazed at the just if you work your legs out hard.
     
  7. California Jack

    California Jack
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    FWIW, I agree with Saint about squatting, but was also going to suggest conventional deadlifting. Deadlifting can have the same impact as squatting and you don't need a spotter, squat rack or power rack.


    I probably would bench as prescribed by Ateamer or perhaps my suggested scheme on Monday and Friday and than squat or DEADLIFT on Weds.
     
  8. Slotback

    Slotback
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    I would even suggest that you add in the old fashioned pushup as well. It's an excellent exercise to toss in. You might even go so far as to have a day-once a week perhaps-in which you keep doing pushups (in sets) until you've hit 500. It's an idea which has worked well for me in the past.
     
  9. live-free-r-die

    live-free-r-die
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    Naked Pancakes

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    What stupid ass put bench press on an LE physical?

    It is about the most useless exercise on the planet.

    Do you guys have to do pull ups?



    PS
    Saint,
    Not to be an ass, but why would you do shoulders after chest and tri's? Bench uses your shoulders and your triceps are just as important as delts in a Military press. I rehab lots of shoulders from people who got hurt at the end of a chest and tri's day, doinf shoulders.
     
  10. California Jack

    California Jack
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    Live Free,
    You don't hear that much, but for the most part I agree. But, it would be pretty hard to compete in a power lifting comp without training the bench. And a bodybuilder wouldn't fair well if he didn't bench.

    But for your average athlete, fitness fanatic, or strength trainer I don't think it's the most pratcical lift. It at best is an assistance lift. Bench probably doesn't even belong in the NFL Combine let alone an LE test.

    Jack
     
  11. Matt VDW

    Matt VDW
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    What would be a better test of upper body strength?
     
  12. live-free-r-die

    live-free-r-die
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    Naked Pancakes

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    Well since you said "upper body" I am going to go with pull up, especially for LE and military.

    In football the thing people don’t understand is that the strength needed for hitting and blocking is in the legs and the core. If you don’t believe me try and push 300 lbs on a cable machine standing up.

    A good test for upper body pushing power would be clapping push-ups.


    I agree that a body builder needs bench, but bodybuilding is all about size, not strength or power.
     
  13. California Jack

    California Jack
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    At the NFL combine, they bench 225 lbs for reps. It is an endurance test not maximal strength. Like LiveFree said, though, core strength is more important. A better test for them would be cleaning a weight, maybe body weight for reps. Not only does the clean come closer to measuring the functional strength need to play football, it measure explosiveness, a much better indicator of functional football strength.

    I know you spoke of upper body strength, but please remember, the body is one piece.

    The bench is a useless measure of functional strength because, if on the football field, if you are laying on your back pushing a weight straight up, you've been beaten badly.

    Football is played on the feet, so strength should be tested on the feet. That way they'd be testing something more functional. A press (more commonly called standing or military press) would be better.

    If one still insists on testing strength while off of the feet, Incline (bench) press is still a more functional test.

    For the most part, the bench is new in strength testing. Up until say the 70's, strength trainers would ask how much someone pressed not how much they benched.

    I'd much rather be strong on my feet than strong laying on my back.


    Jack
     
  14. saint01

    saint01
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    The reason that you would do shoulders is becuase they are already pre-exhausted and don't need to then be trained as hard. Bench only worked the front heads, so you still need to work the middle and rear heads. Tri's, if done properly, should have nothing to do with shoulders other than dips, which is just an all around workout. It is called pre-exhaustion and has been used for years by some of the world's top bodybuilders.

    I agree that bench seems to be next to worthless, but if that is on the test, then train for it. This wasn't a discussion as to why it was there, and unless someone has the power to get it off there, we need to help cellison1460 get his bench up. I know that the workout I provided, if done properly with the correct diet, will yield the results needed.

    Also, I do not disagree that the traditional military press with the barbell is extremely detimental to the shoulders. The barbell in general is, given the fact that there is no room for flexibility from one arm to the next. My doctor, and personal friend, is the team Orthopedic Surgeon for the Cincinnati Bengals. When I had major shoulders problems, he suggested that I get rid of the barbell for military's and do lighter dumbbells until I started to heal. I have been doing that for 3 years now and have not had a problem since.
     
  15. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum
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    CLM

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    I must point out I don't do much straight bar bench work. I prefer dumbbell press.




    If you can get away with it..........arch your back a lot on the bench AND draw your shoulder blades close to each other on the bench. This little trick really helps. It sets your body such that your are really doing a partial decline exercise---most everyone can do more weight this way. Sometimes a lot more weight.

    Are you tall or not so tall? If you wrap your thumb over the bar-try a few without a wrapped thumb. If not try some the other way.


    ***Try wide, medium wide and narrow grips. You may well find that a more narrow grip (which seems to employ additional muscls groups) can help. However, lots of very powerful guys use wide grips.



    ***Try a few reps. (with lightish weight) by dropping your elbows close to your sides at the bottom. If you do this now try a few dropping your elbows way wide (careful here--this can expose shoulder problems).


    Arch your back, scrunch your shoulder blades, try different hand positions and bar travels. Exercise your lats, front delts and esp. triceps and you'll get there fast. Eat lots of protein and sleep a lot if you can.

    I defer to California Jack and others about specific training issues.
    But I'd underscore something Jack said. Don't try to move the bar too slowly. The bench press should be a fairly dynamic exercise.
     
  16. live-free-r-die

    live-free-r-die
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    Naked Pancakes

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    Saint,

    The reason for the high incidence of shoulder injuries after chest workouts is because they are pre exhausted. I would just work shoulders and chest on alternating weeks/days.
    Anytime you straighten your arm your tri's are very active, think about a military press it is the same arm motion as in bench.

    Last comment:
    The world’s top bodybuilders spend more money on drugs, than I make in a year. I know I trained many of them when I worked in San Diego. It is totally personal but I have nothing but distain for what those freaks do to their bodies.

    PS Don’t take any offence to what I say, I am just highly opinionated.
     
  17. California Jack

    California Jack
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    Thanks for the compliment Mag. But I defer to Ateamer. Because he actually competes, I believe he is more qualified than me. I just tallk a fair game.

    BTW, your technique advice was right on.

    Jack
     
  18. saint01

    saint01
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    With all due respect, I am going to take the word of a professional orthopedic surgereon for a pro NFL football team over your's. I too don't mean any disrespect, but up to this point, since I am yet to see your resume, he has more crediability than you.

    I have been training for over 12 years. I have had injury's and have worked through them, working with my doctor to ensure that these don't happen again. Again, you might have been training for longer, but to this point you haven't shown me anything that proves me wrong.

    Pre-Exhaustion is a workout that is used by more people that just the top-superfreaks that you speak of. It simply is nothing more than taking a muscle and just finishing exhausting it. It could be argued that if you bench, then do incline dumbbells, and then fly's, that your bench was your pre-exhaustion for your pecs. It really is basic common sense.

    Let's be honest here. Most injury's occur because of either stupid people trying to move more weight than they should, or improper form. That is what it really burrows down to. I can't tell you how many injury's I have seen over the years from guys throwing weight around only to tear a biceps, or a rotator cuff. Yes, straight bar military is hard on the shoulders, but I didn't propose that. And no, pre-exhaustion doesn't cause injury's. Show me one study that proves that it does. It is really a very simple technique to just finishing off a muscle. Based on your arguements, every person that does Chest and Tri's on the same day then is prone to injury. And we both know that is absurd, as you rdo chest first, thus pre-exhausting your tris, and then finish them off. This is not different other than adding your shoulders to the mix.

    Finally:
    While I do not agree with their 150k a year drug usage, they still do train extremely hard and eat very strictly, which in my opinion counts for something.

    What I honestly can't stand, are people that start spouting off about how all the IFBB people are drug users and nothings and blah blah blah, as soon as anyone mentions the top bodybuilders. YES, they use drugs. Yes they do. But that doesn't mean that they don't bust their asses ini diet, exercise, and weight lifting. You don't have to approve of their usage, but they still work extremely hard in lifting and their dieting. (good example is this...I believe barry bonds used drugs, and if so, should be stripped of certain records...BUT, he is still a better player than i am and a naturally gifted athlete, of whom I still respect as a ball player).

    My training partner right now was the US power lifting champion in 97 and 98 and was told that if he wanted to make it to the world's, that he would have to use. He opted not to, which I respect, but to totally discredit all of his hard work and dieting if he had used, in my opinion, is ludicrious. I dont' look at it as a black and white issue.
     
  19. HammerG26

    HammerG26
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    I would agree with the previous posters regarding the shoulder workout. As an athletic trainer (not personal trainer), I see many of my athletes injuring their shoulders because of Military Press, etc when they are already fatigued. If you insist on doing Military press, then do it on a day when you work out your back. In doing lateral raises (making yourself look like a cross or a "t") don't go above parallel to the ground, you will begin to impinge the supraspinatus tendon (one of the coveted Rotator Cuff muscles).
    Good luck.

    Hammer
     
  20. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum
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    CLM

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    HammerG26,
    In your opinion are dumbbell "military" presses easier on the shoulder joints than straight bar military presses?
     
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