Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eight Week Intermediate-Beginner Bench Routine - Mike MacDonald





Eight Week Intermediate-Beginner Bench Routine
by Mike MacDonald (1983)


Here is an eight week bench pressing cycle for intermediate-beginner lifters, based on a personal max single of 250 pounds starting the cycle. The goal would be to increase the bench press 40 to 60 pounds during this cycle. On all benches you should concentrate on strictness and technique. The Cambered Bar can be used if you have one for the pause reps, but if you don’t, use a regular straight bar. Be sure to take 3 minutes between sets and 4 to 5 minutes between pause-rep sets for maximum progress.


Week One

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 reps for 2 sets
175 x 5 x 1
200 x 3 x 1
225 x 3 x 1
2-second pause reps:
200 x 3 x 1
190 x 3 x 1
EZ Curl Bar bench press, narrow grip:
max weight possible for 4 sets of 5

Wednesday –
Same as above.

Saturday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
175 x 5 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
230 x 3 x 1
2-second pause reps:
205 x 3 x 1
195 x 3 x 1
EZ Curl bench press, narrow grip:
max weight possible for 4 sets of 5.


Week Two

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
175 x 5 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
240 x 4 x 1
2-second pause reps:
205 x 3 x 1
195 x 3 x 1
EZ Curl Bar bench press, close grip:
max weight possible for 4 sets of 5
Hammer Curl (thumbs up)
4 sets of 5, light weight (first day)

Wednesday –
Same as above.

Saturday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
175 x 5 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
235 x 3 x 1
2-second pause reps:
210 x 3 x 1
200 x 3 x 1
EZ Curl Bar bench press, close grip:
max weight, 4 sets of 5
Hammer Curl:
6 sets of 5, add weight if possible today


Week Three.
Bench twice per week now.

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
175 x 5 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
235 x 3 x 1
2-second pauses:
210 x 3 x 1
200 x 3 x 1
190 x 3 x 1
EZ curl bench, narrow grip:
max weight, 4 sets of 5
Hammer Curl:
6 sets of 8, add weight only if possible

Friday –
warmup:
175 x 5 x 2
215 x 3 x 1
240 x 3 x 1
2-second pauses:
215 x 3 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
195 x 3 x 1
same as above on EZ Curl bench and Hammer Curl


Week Four

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
175 x 5 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
240 x 3 x 1
2-second pauses:
205 x 3 x 1
195 x 3 x 1
EZ Curl bench and Hammer Curl:
same, add weight if possible


Week Five

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
180 x 5 x 1
220 x 3 x 1
245 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
220 x 3 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
200 x 3 x 1
200 x 3 x 1
Same as above on assistance work

Friday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
180 x 5 x 1
225 x 3 x 1
250 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
225 x 3 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
Same assistance work


Week Six
Go max today

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
180 x 5 x 1
220 x 1 x 1
250 x 1 x 1
270 x 1 x 1 (or 275)
pause reps:
215 x 3 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
205 x 3 x 1
same assistance work, increase weight when possible

Friday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
185 x 5 x 1
230 x3 x 1
255 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
230 x 3 x 1
220 x 3 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
same assistance work


Week Seven

Monday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
185 x 5 x 1
230 x 3 x 1
225 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
230 x 3 x 1
220 x 3 x
210 x 3 x 1
210 x 3 x 1
assistance work, increase weight when possible

Friday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
185 x 5 x 2
235 x 3 x 1
260 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
235 x 3 x 1
225 x 3 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
same assistance


Last Week
max on Saturday

Tuesday –
warmup:
135 x 5 x 2
185 x 5 x1
235 x 3 x 1
260 x 3 x 1
pause reps:
235 x 3 x 1
225 x 3 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
215 x 3 x 1
same assistance

Saturday
Max Day –

warmup:
135 x5 x 2
185 x 5 x1
225 x 3 x 1
first attempt:
265
second attempt:
285
third attempt:
290 or 295

GOOD LUCK!

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