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Proper way to max out?

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by Okie with a g27, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. Okie with a g27

    Okie with a g27 Fellow Glocker

    Jul 28, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    Everytime I go to max out (usually every 6 weeks or so) I always wonder if I'm doing it right. I am talking about bench press. Here's what I have been doing.

    set 1: 135 10x
    set 2: 205 6x
    set 3: 245 2x
    set 4: 265 1x

    Then I go for max...last one was 300 and I appear to be stuck on it. Been at 300 for 4 months now and actually, I think it's on it's way down :( Does this sound close to what I should be doing. The obvious answer to me would be do more sets, but I really only like/want to do 4 sets. I usually work out (on bench) doing 4 sets of 8,8,8,6.

    Oh and 1 more thing! What is the #1 supplement you recommend to get me over that block I have hit. Creatine? Thanks for help in advance.
  2. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    I think if you are trying to increase your 1 RM, consistantly training sets of eights isn't going to help. Training with singles, doubles, and triples would be more effective. Also a light bench day concentrating on bar speed will help.

    Instead of supplements, maybe just eating more and gaining weight will get you over 300 lbs.

    The fastest way to get 300 lbs would be to use a bench shirt.

    The possible decline of your 1 RM is due to training too long at to high of a percentage of your 1 RM.


  3. Okie with a g27

    Okie with a g27 Fellow Glocker

    Jul 28, 2004
    Oklahoma City
    I weigh 185 and have for a couple years now...stuck there too. Let me go ahead and tell you my chest workout..see if you or anybody else has some pointers. I'll try to keep this concise.

    On chest days:

    flat bench: 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 8, and last set of however many I can do

    incline bench: using 65 pound dumbells...4 sets of 8 or 10 depends on how I feel.

    decline bench: hammer strength machine...186# 1 set of 12, 256# 1 set of 10, 276# 1 set of 10, last set I usually do between 300 and 320 1 set of 3-5 (depends on how i feel)

    flat bench flys: 55 pound dumbells...4 sets of 8

    Then I go do abs or some crap that I hate more then anything.

    California Jack, what did you mean by singles, doubles, and triples?
  4. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Sep 15, 2003
    If you're going for your 1 RM,it seems to me you are doing too much warm up-the weights are fine,but too many reps.
  5. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999

    1 rep set, 2 rep set, 3 reps set = single, double, and triple.

    Now, here is why I recommended this. I am quoting the book "Explosive Lifting ifor Sports" by Harvey Newton. Harvey was the weightlifting coach at the USOTC. And, although I quote this book, the idea is generally accepted in weight training.

    "A continuum of repetitions exists, and results are fairly specific tothe type of training you perform."

    "Weightlifters and Powerlifters primarily interested in exhibiting power and strength to move heavy resistance perform most of their training in the one to six rep range."

    "Bodybuilders, concerned with muscular hypertrophy, work mostly in the 8 to 12 rep range."

    So, what I see happening here, is that you are training for hypertrophy, yet are expecting maximal strength gains. To get higher maximal strength, cut the reps, and increase load.

    Maybe you need to ask yourself, "Am I after hypertrophy or maximal strength?" And than, train appropriately.

    Something else, training at a consistant load and rep count for extended and sometimes not so extended periods of times can lead to the trainee becoming stale. There are at least 2 ways around this. Conjugate training and periodization. There is a thread here GT Fitness I started, asking for peoples opinions about these 2 methods. You should read the links that Ateamer posted in this thread. He gave links to conjugate training sites and a link to an example of linear periodization as used by the great Powerlifter Ed Coan.

    As far as your bodyweight being stuck at 185, if you want to gain weight, eat more.

    I think you're doing good to bench 300 at 185.

    Good luck with your training,

  6. Glock13


    Jul 9, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I'd have to disagree with you on this. If he weighs 185, I think he is pretty close to being right on. 300 lbs is a lot for a 185 lbs person. Here is my max routine. I weigh 210 lbs.

    1) Warm up set with bar.

    2) 135 lbs x 10

    3) 185 lbs x 6-7

    4) 225 lbs x 4-5

    5) 275 lbs x 1

    6) 305 lbs x 1 (may skip this set)

    7) 330-335 x 1
  7. Glock13


    Jul 9, 2003
    Boston, MA
    As far as your regular chest routine:

    I might add 1-2 bench press sets to your routine. You last one being in the 2-4 rep range.

    As for the inclines, I would also try to get your last set to only be 3-5 reps ie. heavier weight.

    There is an exercise my workout partners and I call the Gauntlet. It consists of cable crossovers going from a low-setting to a mid-setting and finally a high-setting. You do all three sets one after another ie. a superset. Start with the cables near the floor and do a set of cable crossovers. Then set the cables to about waist height immediately after and do a set and finally set the cables to the top and do a final set. Run the Gauntlet two times. Do it at the end of your chest workout. It will be a good finisher.
  8. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    Oh yeah, one more thing. If you want strength I suggest that you stop training bodyparts like a bodybuilder would and start training lifts like a Powerlifter or Weightlifter would.

    What I mean is body builders train chest one day, legs another day, back, another day etc.

    Where as a Powerlifter will train bench one day, squat one day and deadlift one day. Or for a Westside style Max Effort bench one day, max effort squat one day, dynamic effort bench one day, and dynamic effort squat one day.

    I guess I'm just trying to stress that strength athletes and bodybuilders train 2 different ways.
  9. Way too many reps for a max day.

    Here was my rep scheme for my last max day:

    315x1 (what I thought my max was gonna be, it went up easy so I continued on)
    340x1 (and that was my new max)

    I took 2 to 3 minutes btwm sets to rest.
  10. Frosty_1


    Sep 23, 2003
    I have to agree, way to many reps for a Max day. On most days(non max) I'll do an inverted triangle type workout as follows(I weigh 160 right now):
    Warmup x10 @ 135
    x8 @ 185
    x6 @ 205
    x4 @ 215-220
    x2 @ 225 or so

    I then do a "rep-out" set at 155 as many times as I can, usually in the 12-14 range.

    Next I do incline bench. Simmilar routine, but not as heavy nor as many reps.

    I then move to cables, both high and low.

    Then flies using a machine.

    Lastly, I finish up by doing bar dips. If anything, this really made by bench jump. I basically do sets of 10-12 until I can no longer do them. I've found leaning forward helps isolate the chest more, and on tricep days I do them more vertical.

    Also, like others have said, EAT A LOT. Right now, I take three shakes a day, that is a weight gainer, which has carbs, fat and protein, on top of 3-4 meals a day.