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A Bench Press Program That Always Works

Trying to administer a three day per week percentage based bench press program around a student-athletes schedule is daunting.  During the academic year, for a variety of reasons, the school week may only be four days or less.  There is Labor Day, teachers workshops, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving vacation, the winter holidays, spring break, in Northern America winter snow days, all of which may disrupt a lifting schedule.  Athletes also have competition, midterms, finals, religious concerns, special school events and there is often late travel during the competitive season that causes limited rest for the participant and all alter the best-laid plans.    

Pendulum Racks 

A Bench Press Program that always works regardless of schedule:

Day #1 – Bench Press – 3 sets of 5 reps

Warm up any way you choose, but once you have selected your warm up method the method should never vary.  When you can accomplish 3 sets of 5 repetitions add 10 pounds the next Day #1 workout, also add 10 pounds to your warm up weights.

Every Day #1 you must total 15 repetitions.  If you achieve 5, 3, 2 repetitions in your sets this means you are down 6 reps from your 15 rep total of 3 sets of 5 repetitions. Continue performing additional sets making up the 6 missed reps. 

Day #2 – Bench Press 4 Sets, your goal is 40 reps in 4 sets

Warm up any way you choose, but once you have selected your warm up method the method should never vary.

When you begin this program start the first workout with a weight you can do 15 reps with the greatest effort.  Your goal is ultimately to get a total of 40 reps in 4 sets with the chosen weight.  When you accomplish this add 10 pounds the next training session.

Every Day #2 you must total 40 repetitions. If you achieve 15, 8, 6, 5 repetitions in your 4 sets this means you are down 6 reps from your 40 rep goal total.  Continue performing additional sets making up the 6 missed reps. When you can accomplish 40 reps in 4 sets add 10 pounds.

Day #3 – Bench Press 4 Sets with the Day #2 weight

Warm up exactly how you did on Day #2.  Do 4 sets of maximum repetitions with the Day #2 weight.   When the 4th set is finished regardless of the total number of repetitions accomplished the Day #3  bench press is completed.

Pendulum equipment

This same program can be used in-season with this adjustment:

Day # 1 – 3 sets of 6 reps for a total of 18 reps

Day #2 – Bench Press 4 Sets, with the goal of 40 reps in 4 sets, always making up the reps that were not accomplished in 4 tries.

Day # 3 – You will only bench press 2 days per week and resume the three day per week program when the season is over.

Some rules:

If you have a short week out of season and can only fit in two days of training choose Day #1 and Day #2.

If you can only fit in one day of training, in or out of season, choose Day #2.

A simple program that will always Get you Strong. The only catch is that it does require EFFORT! 


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