How I train and why? + June 22 training

How I train and why?  + June 22 training

Jun 24, 2012

Friday – Raw bench

Close Grip Raw
365 x3x5 @7
365 x6  @7

ABS and fried my rotators.

Keeping training simple is awesome.

Below is an answer to some questions from Mike Tuchscherer’s Reactive Training System Website that I’l like to share with you all…

I don’t really use RTS anymore other than the RPE’s. That is something I’ll never let go of. I will say this about RTS. I would not have gotten where I am at without it. It took me to places I never thought i’d go. What I do now, seems to be working at the moment. If I need to make changes, I’ll adjust and press forward. I did follow a strict RTS format for programming and with my template until about march 2011. But I believe that is the point of RTS, teaching the user how to effectively train themself. In my case, RTS has done just that!

Around April 2011, I went to an Ortho-Shoulder Surgeon Specialist for an extremely painful shoulder. I thought that I had torn or damaged my rotator cuff and/or labrum. It ended up being a very severe case of inflammation in and around the joint, rotator cuffs, and bursas with a very slightly torn labrum. I ended up with some hefty cortisone shots. Glad I did. On top of that, I have strained my right and left pec insertions about a dozen times each over the last 10 years. I had enough. I wasn’t very smart about fixing these problems as they occurred, I would just push through them. Frustration forced me to rethink my game plan. I thought I was never coming back from this 100%. Of course I was thinking the worst case scenario.

I’ve always enjoyed high frequency training. I love the thought of benching 3-4 days a week. I did 4 days a week for a very long time. As of March 2012 (I think), I made the switch to 3 days. I would normally train the bench Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Monday was my heavy shirt day, tuesday more tricep centric, Thursday and Friday were just raw work and shoulders. 

More recently, this has evolved into a Monday, Thursday, Friday template. The equipped bench started going up very quickly, but was getting harder to recover from (due to the overall intensity), so I made sure that I didn’t touch a weight for two full days afterwards. This was good change for me. I started feeling more fresh for my monday equipped sessions and crisper on my raw days. Tuesdays and Wednesdays I do light-medium cardio on a bicycle or treadmill. 

My monday workout is my bread and butter. I focus on quality above quantity. Its all about techincal mastery in the shirt. I do a mock meet every single monday for 12 weeks. Sometimes, I never increase the weight, I just try to make it look and feel better than the weeks before. After the 3 singles, I go to 2 and 1 boards for heavy triples @9-10. If I didn’t like my singles at the beginning, I’ll do another single after the boards. At this point I take the bench shirt off and jump right into a super close grip bench (index finger where knurling starts) and do some higher rep sets with 60-65%, keeping the RPE around @7-7.5. Some people think I am nuts for this, but I am ALWAYS prepared for the contest. You have to touch weights in the contest, so why not touch a lot in training? I don’t rely on boards as a compeition prep tool…they are only a lockout tool. I don’t care what I’ve done to the 1 and 2 boards…IT DOESN’T MATTER. What matters is what I can pause and press in competition.

As for my raw benching, I decided to stick with a safe and secure gameplan. I didn’t want the raw benching to beat me up anymore, so I decided to cut @9-10s out (for the time being) of my raw training. I never go over an @8 RPE (RAW). This allows me to focus on the set with a bit more technical efficiency. My form doesn’t break down, the rep speed doesn’t slow down much, and I can get some good quality volume in without sloppy reps. Breeds good habits. It also allows me to balance out my stress for the week. Which I attempt to make straightline medium stress for every week of training except for the week before the competition and a few weeks here and there. I don’t really ever deload. Training @8 RPE causes less tissue breakdown, so its easier to recover from. The intensities aren’t so heavy they’ll depress my CNS.

Most people who read my training log probably think that I am really weak in the raw bench due to the lower intensities and unchallenging sets @8 RPE. My best raw bench back in 2010 was 480 x3 @10 and I did 490 x2 @10 with a medium/close grip. I haven’t trained for a heavy raw bench in quite some time, not sure if I will any time soon. Honestly, I am a little afraid to push the raw bench with my pec insertions and shoulder history. Health and my equipped bench is my #1 priority right now. Being this close to an IPF World Bench Press Record is keeping focused on equipped lifting. 



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