Since I’ve been walking, or skipping, along on cloud 9 the past couple of days, I had determined last night that I was going to walk into my training session this morning and nail my floor presses with chains. I was so close to making every rep last week; I just knew I would do it today. Of course, Michael decided to change things up on me this morning, but I didn’t even care because he said I was going to do real bench presses! I haven’t done a real bench press since July 26 for the powerlifting competition.
All these months of doing floor presses have paid off, because there was a definite improvement in my technique.
I warmed up with just the bar for a set of 8, added 20 pounds for a set of 8. Michael said to put 10 pounds on the bar, so I put a 10 on each end. I was on my third rep before Michael realized that I had put on more weight than he had intended! So, we dropped back down to 70 pounds for a set of 5 before going back up to 85 pounds for a set of 5.
Now as I’ve already mentioned, I haven’t bench pressed since the competition. I failed on my third attempt at 104.7 pounds, but I did set a new PR on my second attempt at 93.6 pounds. With that in mind today, we put 95 pounds on the bar for a single, and it was easy! We put 105 pounds on the bar for another single, and it was ugly but I got it. My right shoulder gave a big clunk as I lifted the bar off the rack, and I think that threw me off just enough to cause me to completely miss-groove. I lowered the bar to the wrong spot which put my elbows in a weak position and made the press so much harder than it should have been. Still, it was a new PR, and I’m pretty stoked about that! Then we dropped the weight back down to 85 pounds for two more sets of 5.
This is the week of doing new things, I think, so it was only fitting that I moved on to reverse banded presses.
85 pounds x 5, 105 x 5, 115 x 2
Did you see that last weight? 115 pounds! With bands, I know, but I’m still proud of myself. I’ve always seen the bench press as my weakest link, so I’m excited to see improvement.
The morning finished off with a small 3-set circuit:
a) chest-supported rows
12 kg kettle bells x 12, 16 kg kettle bells x 9, 16 kg x 9
8 pound dumbbells x 20, x 20, x 18
c) rear laterals (for the record…so not a fan!)
8 pound dumbbells x 20, 17, 15