Week 5, Day 2, foundation phase

Got to the gym today for bench press and barbell rows and saw that the one experienced lifter at the gym was there.  I had heard he was training during the day to beat the summer crowds so I was surprised to see him this evening.  I said hello and we spent a few minutes catching up.  He was working on some rack pulls to train his hip lockout (he eventually worked up to a set of 10 with 945!).  I set up for bench press and two sets into my work sets he mentioned that my rep tempo was too slow.  I was using a tempo of 2-1-x or 2 seconds down, 1 sec pause, as fast as possible on the way up.  The only problem was, the weight I was using was slowing down the concentric phase enough that the total repetition time was taking in excess of 5 seconds.

He recommended a total repetition time of 4 seconds or less and suggested that I lower the bar quicker so I'd be able to lift it faster after the pause.  Sure enough, changing up the tempo dramatically sped up the bar speed on subsequent sets while still keeping the 1 second pause at the chest.  He also suggested something that I had also heard from another experienced lifter at my last meet.  He said that at our age-he's a year older than I am-we should only be training the bench press to the chest with heavier weights once every 3 weeks.  He said if I wanted to train to the chest to use lighter weights (65% range).   He said it's important to manage the stress on the shoulder capsule and suggested board work or reduced range of motion pin presses on weeks where full ROM wasn't being used.

I will incorporate those suggestions into my schedule going forward and see what happens.  He's never steered me wrong so I fully expect my bench press to improve.

Bench Press:  all reps paused, 135x10, 185x5, 225x5, 275x3, add wrist wraps, 295x3, 285x3, 285x3, 285x3, 285x3

Barbell Rows:  135x10, 185x8, 225x8, 275x5, 275x5

Much less total volume tonight due to a lot of time spent talking.

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