Here we continue with the programme we began to set out in our previous piece. Part 2 looks at the pressing sessions, both the main session and the assistance work. The philosophy remains the same as we laid out for the squat and deadlift work. So let’s take a look at how the sessions are put together…

Pressing – Main

Light Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Bench Press Progressive 3 x 3 Up to 60
Decline Bench Press Progressive 3 x 5 70
Flat Bench Press – Reverse Bands Progressive 3 x 3 70
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8 70
DB Row 3 x 8 85
Pull-Ups 3 x 8 85

 

Medium Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Bench Press Progressive 3 x 3 Up to 60
Decline Bench Press Progressive 3 x 5 80
Flat Bench Press – Reverse Bands Progressive 3 x 3 80
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8 80
DB Row 3 x 10 100
Pull-Ups 3 x 10 100

 

Heavy Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Bench Press Progressive 3 x 3 Up to 60
Decline Bench Press Progressive 3 x 5 87.5
Flat Bench Press – Reverse Bands Progressive 3 x 3 87.5
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8 90
DB Row 3 x 8 100
Pull-Ups 3 x 8 100

 

Very Heavy Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Bench Press Progressive 3 x 3 Up to 60
Decline Bench Press Progressive 3 x 5 92.5
Flat Bench Press – Reverse Bands Progressive 3 x 3 92.5
Close Grip Bench Press 3 x 8 100
DB Row 3 x 6 100
Pull-Ups 3 x 6 100

*Precede lifting with mobilisation of the major joints being worked in the session*

Pressing – Assistance

Light Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Flat Bench Press (W/U) 8,8,6,6,3,3 Up to 60
Flat Bench Press 2B Progressive 3 x 3 70
Flat Bench Press 4B Progressive 3 x 3 70
Rolling DB Triceps Ext. 3 x 8 100
DB F.Raise 3 x 8 100
DB L.Raise 3 x 8 100
Seated DB R.Delt Raise 3 x 8 100

 

Medium Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Flat Bench Press (W/U) 8,8,6,6,3,3 Up to 60
Flat Bench Press 2B Progressive 3 x 3 80
Flat Bench Press 4B Progressive 3 x 3 80
Rolling DB Triceps Ext. 3 x 8 100
DB F.Raise 3 x 8 100
DB L.Raise 3 x 8 100
Seated DB R.Delt Raise 3 x 8 100

 

Heavy Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Flat Bench Press (W/U) 8,8,6,6,3,3 Up to 60
Flat Bench Press 2B Progressive 3 x 3 87.5
Flat Bench Press 4B Progressive 3 x 3 87.5
Rolling DB Triceps Ext. 3 x 8 100
DB F.Raise 3 x 8 100
DB L.Raise 3 x 8 100
Seated DB R.Delt Raise 3 x 8 100

 

Very Heavy Week

Movement Sets x Reps %
Flat Bench Press (W/U) 8,8,6,6,3,3 Up to 60
Flat Bench Press 2B Progressive 3 x 3 92.5
Flat Bench Press 4B Progressive 3 x 3 92.5
Rolling DB Triceps Ext. 3 x 8 100
DB F.Raise 3 x 8 100
DB L.Raise 3 x 8 100
Seated DB R.Delt Raise 3 x 8 100

 

*Precede lifting with mobilisation of the major joints being worked in the session*

 

Flat Bench Press warm-up – Literally warm up as normal on the flat bench. The aim here is not to fatigue, but more to ready the major muscles that will be working throughout the session. I always found this to be a good opportunity to work on technical points and mentally as well as physically prepare for the work that lies ahead.

Flat board press – Why do we use board presses? Well, they give us an opportunity to isolate and overload a sticking point, with the view to strengthen this weak area, thus increasing the load that can be managed over the full range variation of the bench press. Higher boards will also allow us exposure to weights that would otherwise be supra-maximal on a full range movement. We will be using 2 board (3ins) and 4 board (6ins) at first. Start with 2 board 3×3 and then 4 board 3×3. These will be progressive sets every week, meaning that each of the 3 work sets will ascend in weight from the previous effort. The bar should be paused and sunk into the boards, whilst at the same time maintaining muscular tension. As a general guide, we will be looking to bring your grip in about half a hand on these compared to your normal bench press grip, as this will really help hit your triceps and build your lockout power.

Rolling DB tricep extensions – 3×8 These will be worked hard every week. They are an isolation movement for the triceps, allowing them load exposure without the assistance of larger muscle groups. The aim here is to provide a hypertrophy stimulus, as well as some general conditioning for the triceps group.

DB front raise – 3×8 Failure every set, every week will provide an amount of isolated work to help condition and develop the anterior deltoids.

DB lat raise – 3×8 Failure every set, every week will provide an amount of isolated work to help condition and develop the medial deltoids.

Bent over seated DB rear delt raise – 3×8 Failure every set, every week will provide an amount of isolated work to help condition and develop the posterior deltoids.

Ancillary Movements

These can be substituted with a like-for-like movement at the start of each 4 week block. I would suggest having 3 movements for each and rotating them over the waves. Here are some suggestions of movements I like to use either with myself or lifters I help…

 

Wave Triceps Isolation Movement
1 DB Rolling Triceps Extensions
2 EZ Bar French Press (On Floor)
3 Seated Behind Neck EZ Triceps Extensions

 

Wave Anterior Deltoid Isolation Movement
1 DB Front Raise
2 Barbell Front Raise
3 Cable Front Raise

 

Wave Medial Deltoid Isolation Movement
1 Standing DB Lateral Raise
2 Seated DB Lateral Raise
3 Stranding Cable Front Raise

 

Wave Posterior Deltoid Movement
1 Seated DB Rear Delt Raise
2 Rope Face Pulls
3 Cable Rear Delt Fly

 

 

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