Quick Bench Press Variations

Just a few easy bench press variations that can be performed without any or minimal accessories. People don’t realize how simply changing your grip can change the exercise. I go into more detail about this stuff in Mogy workouts but…
From a body building perspective…
Chest emphasis: Standard, wide (not great for shoulder health), paused
Triceps Emphasis: Close, board press (not too high), reverse grip (Use spotter for this) bands
From a bench press more weight perspective:
Start: Pause
Lockout: Close Grip, board, band, reverse

Cena 487lbs Bench PR

In the  10 week training cycle leading up to this he only went 90% or more of his previous max for 2 weeks.  However, since the training cycle was based on a very conservative number, he never crossed 87% of his true max the entire cycle.  A PR is a nice surprise when you haven’t been training very close to it.  The stronger you are and the older you are the less you can play with near max weights on a regular basis. Train smart and you can continue to progress.

Stimulate and adapt

When it comes to your physique or athletic performance progress isn’t linear.  When you first start out progress is easy and everything works.  However, as you approach the limits of what your body can do progress slows.  Once you could put 10lbs on your squat a week but now you are happy with 10lbs in 4 months.  The better you get, the fancier you have to be to make progress.  This is why you see world records in many sports being slowly chipped away instead of blown away.  Eventually your progress will look like a series of steps and plateaus.  It is important to remember the basic idea of what you are trying to do in the gym.

Provide a stimulus sufficient to cause the organism to adapt.

As it adapts over time, it takes more stimulus to cause an adaptation.  Therefore, what you did to get your squat to 225lbs isn’t going to get your squat to 600lbs.  Or what got you to 10% fat won’t get you to 5%.  The problem with this very basic formula is that people being creatures of habit tend to not change enough to give their body enough of a stimulus.  This doesn’t mean working out more.  It may mean fixing weaknesses you have been ignoring.  It may mean doing less work and recovering more.  Your workouts will be a series of pushes and backing off.  Push your body to the edge.  Back off and let it heal.  Progress is like steps.   Small goals that lead to bigger goals.  The point is that it is OK to get stuck.  It just isn’t ok to stay stuck.

This idea is expanded on here…



How the Split Jerk works (simple version)

The jerk can has great benefit to the power athlete.  It requires speed, coordination and decent shoulder range of motion to perform correctly.  Here we have an athlete who doesn’t have much training in the jerk.    The drive is initiated with the legs then you push yourself under the bar.  You are using your speed to get under the bar as well as strength to initiate the drive.  This lift allows you to stabilize a lot of weight overhead and you can’t perform it correctly if you don’t move fast.  The goal is to get as much out of your legs as possible and move YOURSELF under the bar rather than trying to simply push the bar overhead.  Since the weight used can be very heavy there is no eccentric phase and the bar is typically dropped.

As the trained eye can see the form isn’t Olympic weightlifter perfect but we don’t need that for this example.  Instead you can realize that this is 3x Olympian Lauryn Williams just messing around with overhead stuff between winning medals and being faster than you.  As a side note she is also pound for pound the strongest female ever to lift at the gym.   Follow her bobsled adventures here: @LaurynCwilliams