Sunday, December 14, 2014

Increase Your Max Bench - Pavel Tsatsouline (2002)

 -- There were some excellent shorter articles by Pavel Tsatsouline in past issues of Muscle Media 2000 magazine. Here is one of them.

by Pavel Tsatsouline (2002) 

Try the following program by Jason Brice of Johnson City, Tenn. Jason combined one of the powerlifting cycles from my book Power to the People! with ladders, a technique popular in the Russian military for improving pull-ups.

On June 30, 2001, Brice started out with one set of five reps with 225 lbs, or 67% of his 335-lb max bench (naturally you will have to plug in your own numbers). Jason did only one set of five reps per workout adding 5 lbs each time. What will surprise you is that he benched five days per week, Monday through Friday. The reasoning behind such an unorthodox schedule is outside the scope of this short article, but trust me, it works!

You cannot keep adding 5 lbs per workout forever, even if you started the cycle with a light weight - eventually you will reach your five-rep max. When Jason reached his, he switched from powerlifting style cycling to ladders. A ladder means doing one rep, resting briefly, doing two reps, etc., then starting all over when you cannot top the reps of the previous set. Brice did sets of 1-2-3-1-2 . . . with his five-rep max until his form started to get sloppy. He did this every other day for two weeks.

Then Jason backed off 10 lbs from his five-rep max established two weeks earlier and resumed a linear cycle: one set of five Monday through Friday, adding 5 lbs a day. When he had a tough time completing his five, Jason took two days off and tested his one-rep max, something he did every two months. Here is what he accomplished: 

Bench Press, 1 rep max - 
June 30th: 335
August 30th: 385
October 31: 420

Bench Press, 5 rep max - 
June 30th: 285
August 30th: 325
October 31: 360

After benching he did one-arm snatch pulls with dumbbells and heavy ab work.


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