Bench Press training

Remedial front squatting and bench pressing were on the schedule for today along with pre-workout Advil, 600 mgs.    The Advil was an experiment to see how much better, if any, my shoulder would feel during bench presses.  As on back squat day, my hips and knees felt awesome and front squats showed incremental progress.  I felt like was able to keep my upper back tighter and my arms up better and I was successful in increasing my workload.

I fully expected to complete my fifth set of 3 with 245 lbs but I ran into a minor form issue.  Apparently I had set the bar back on my shoulders a little farther than before and there was more pressure on the front of my neck than in previous sets.  Upon rising out of the hole on repetition 2, I felt that "right before the lights go out" feeling--tunnel vision, tingles, and a general feeling of weightlessness.  Luckily I didn't have too much pressure on blood flow because I was able to complete the rep and rack the bar before getting any closer to unconsciousness.  Still, it was close enough and I had gotten in some good work so I decided to move to bench presses.

Front Squats:  135x10, 185x5, 225x3, 225x3, 245x3x4 sets, 245x2

Although it was the middle of the day on a Saturday and the weather didn't justify any huge rush on outdoor activities, the Oakville YMCA's weight room was virtually empty.  Strength training blogger John Phung wrote a great pair of articles about home training versus commercial gym training.  Suffice it to say, virtually none of the 'missable' commercial gym items are present at my current home gym.
there are actually 5 unattended, lonely workstations
Despite being almost alone in the weight room with 6 power racks, when someone did wander in, they still managed to take plates from my workstation.  What the heck is wrong with people?  I guess I should be flattered at 5'9" and 230 lbs that I'm virtually invisible.  At least one person did ask if I was going to be using the plate she wanted.  I actually was but was so gobsmacked at the rare display of common courtesy that I told her she could take it anyways.

Bench presses went pretty well.  The left shoulder still barked but I pushed it a bit and managed a decent top single with 290 lbs.  I probably could've taken a good shot at 295 but without a spotter, I didn't want to push my luck.  Since I had already grabbed the 2.5 lb plates for my 290 attempt, I loaded 260 lbs for my 5 work sets of 2 reps.  I fiddled around with grip width a bit to see if an adjustment might ease up on the left shoulder and I think I found something.  I'll use it in my last pre-competition bench press workout next Saturday.

Bench Press:  45x10, 95x10, 135x5, 185x5, 225x3, 255x3, 275x1, 285x1, 290x1, 260x2x5 sets

Finished up with 3 sets of dumbbell rows and was able to add repetitions.  Overall, I increased my workload in all three exercises so it was an excellent day.


  1. haha I definitely can relate to people stealing weights from you even though you're the only one in the gym. Boggles my mind how some people can be so oblivious. I was just curious for when you're doing bench press how you place your feet. I hear a lot of people say to tuck them in close to the bench so you have a bit more leverage, but I was just curious how you do them when you're alone or at you're meets. Thanks man!

  2. I follow the setup and leg drive process in this video by Jennifer Thompson.

  3. hey craig, looks like your training is on-track! great to see.

    do you think that OHP work is transferring to the bench? I have been playing phasing them in and out as they are a serious weakness, but I don't know if they will have any real benefit besides looking more swole...

    will you touch down to 220 for this one?

  4. Hard to tell, I'm mainly doing it because it's an upper body press movement that doesn't hurt. I'm hoping it's helping me retain some bench press strength. I'm planning to cut to 220, should need to cut about 8-12 lbs so shouldn't be too brutal. When I could raw bp 340, I couldn't put 220 over my head so if my shoulders start to feel better, I'll be curious to see if my OHP strength transfers to blowing through and into a new BP plateau.


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