Bench Press Tips (Athlete Journal 88)

This week I found a way to work around my cranky shoulder during the bench press.

This was a bit of a deload week, so nothing terribly eye-popping to report. I’m looking to put up some fairly big numbers next week though, so stay tuned for that.

I’d like to share a solution I came up with to salvage a bench press workout this week. As I’ve written a few times, I’ve got a cranky right shoulder that bitches at me during bench presses. Ideally, I’d try to let it rest, but I’ve got a big meet coming up. So, on Saturday of this week I did some slow tempo (about three or four seconds both directions) sets of ten, with the thought that if I kept peak torque as low as possible, I could get some training in without further aggravating the shoulder.

I started with the bar and worked up to 155lbs, which absolutely cooked me with the tempo I was using, and no shoulder pain either. It’s not exactly the type I want to be doing this close to a big meet, but given my circumstances, it’s a good trade-off. If you’re in a similar jam in your training, give slow TUTs for high reps a shot. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Weekly Volume And Noteworthy Lifts:

  • Volume: 45,550 lbs (Last Week: 70,447 lbs)
  • Cambered Bar Squat 295×3
  • Bench Press 250×1

Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 1:45 PM

Bodyweight: 200.8 lbs

CAMBERED BAR SQUAT

Set 1: 65 lbs × 5

Set 2: 115 lbs × 5

Set 3: 155 lbs × 5

Set 4: 205 lbs × 5

Set 5: 245 lbs × 5

Set 6: 295 lbs × 3

BACK EXTENSION

Set 1: 130 lbs × 10

Set 2: 130 lbs × 10

Set 3: 130 lbs × 10

SWINGS

Set 1: 100 lbs × 15

Set 2: 100 lbs × 15

Set 3: 100 lbs × 15

LEG EXTENSION

Set 1: 140 lbs × 10

Set 2: 140 lbs × 10

Set 3: 140 lbs × 10

Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 1:00 PM

Bodyweight: 202.4 lbs

BENCH PRESS

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 3

Set 5: 205 lbs × 1

Set 6: 225 lbs × 1

Set 7: 240 lbs × 1

Set 8: 250 lbs × 1

Set 9: 200 lbs × 5

PENDLAY ROW

Set 1: 95 lbs × 8

Set 2: 115 lbs × 8

Set 3: 135 lbs × 8

Set 4: 135 lbs × 8

Set 5: 135 lbs × 8

BICEP CURL

Set 1: 75 lbs × 10

Set 2: 75 lbs × 10

Set 3: 75 lbs × 10

Friday, April 25, 2014, 10:24 AM

Bodyweight: 201 lbs

DEADLIFT

Set 1: 135 lbs × 3

Set 2: 135 lbs × 3

Set 3: 135 lbs × 3

Set 4: 135 lbs × 3

Set 5: 225 lbs × 3

Set 6: 315 lbs × 1

Set 7: 315 lbs × 1

Set 8: 315 lbs × 1

HIGH-BAR SQUAT

Set 1: 45 lbs × 5

Set 2: 95 lbs × 5

Set 3: 135 lbs × 5

Set 4: 185 lbs × 5

Set 5: 225 lbs × 5

Set 6: 275 lbs × 3

Saturday, April 26, 2014, 9:26 AM

Bodyweight: 201.8 lbs

BENCH PRESS

Set 1: 45 lbs × 10

Set 2: 95 lbs × 10

Set 3: 115 lbs × 10

Set 4: 135 lbs × 10

Set 5: 155 lbs × 10

PENDLAY ROW

Set 1: 95 lbs × 8

Set 2: 135 lbs × 8

EZ-BAR CURL

Set 1: 65 lbs × 12

Set 2: 65 lbs × 12

Set 3: 65 lbs × 12

A big believer in practicing what he preaches, Charles Staley trains and competes just like his clients. Every Friday you can read what Charles has done this week in his workout sessions.