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How To Train Naturally For The Big Bench!

Learn why so many people cannot finish the last 3-5 inches of the bench press and how to increase your bench by 50 POUNDS!

By: Bob Huizar

As you all know, if you've been benching for a while and if you've been stuck at a plateau, gee, even 15 pounds is a great advance, but 50 pounds?

Let me tell you, after you work on this program you may believe 50 pounds to be conservative! Now just who is Bob Huizar? Big Bob who has labored in the California Dept. of Corrections for 15 years, is one of the head sports managers for the 2003 California Police and Fire Games, a full-time daddy, and a nuclear bomb of a person.

Perhaps more germane, Bob holds several California and World Police and Fire Games bench press records, all set over the past 12 years. More and most important, he has scientific, practical and a seemingly innate, intuitive ability and knowledge about benching. He is one of those special guys who can jack and rack em! He knows how you can build HUGE upper body strength, how to mutate training and eating into building and recovery. Call it functional physiology!

To cut to the chase, Bob recommends much more tricep strength work to help at the top of the lift when you are locking out. He feels most people get their bench "out of the hole" okay but, when it comes to getting the heavy weights to a fully locked out position, their triceps give out and that is why he recommends heavy tricep work. He feels that this is true even if you use an elbows-out "pectoral-type" grip as the pectorals recoil at the bottom, being on stretch and start well, but "de-leverage up high" and your triceps still must finish the lift.

Indeed, while we were at the Arizona Police and Fire games last year, we witnessed numerous lifter-people miss their bench, because they could not finish the last 3 to 5 inches or so prior to the complete lock-out position.

Okay, so lots of heavy triceps work. What kind of exercises, sets, reps etc? Well we took the pictures associated with this article while we were working out in the Hershey, PA, Powerhouse Gym to show you what Bob recommends. Now I understand that most people reading this will think "why all the emphasis on triceps, what about the pecs, man?" Well I have to be honest with you, I thought the same thing, and however after recently attending the Arizona Police and Fire Games, watching the athletes who failed their bench attempts, I now understand completely why Bob emphasizes the triceps.

The fact is that, at this meet, every one of the missed attempts reached the point of failure at about 3" to 5" shy of the full lockout position. What is the primary push of the weight at this point? It ain't your pecs, brothers and sisters of iron, it's your triceps! By far, the majority of people get their bench "out of the hole" but fail at the top. This shortcoming will only be magnified by the use of benching shirts. Benching shirts give you additional support and spring "out of the hole" but; if you have not overcompensated your tricep strength to help you "lock out" your bench at the top, it will not make much difference if you bought a Titan, Inzer (or PURE GRO CA Advanced Labs T-shirt), you will not be receiving all the potential benefit from the shirt. So to get the most at your next meet, train your triceps to the point of overcompensation and you will lock out with a personal record at your next meet.

Here is another idea to add to your training arsenal and it will help you get used to heavy weights. Set a flat bench into a squat rack or power rack and use the safety rods that go all the way across the cage on each side from the front to the back. Set the height of the rods so that your total range of movement for benching on these sets is limited to only the last top 8" to 10" of your bench press stroke. Rest the bar across the top of the safety rods and load it up to about your max, continuing to perform sets until you are about 30% above your known max. This will benefit you several ways - physically and mentally.

Physically it will allow your triceps to feel the heavier weight and strengthen them at the "lock out" position. Your shoulders will get used to the feel of supporting a substantially heavier weight than they are normally exposed to. Lets face it, the last place you want to try a new heavy weight to "see how it feels" is during an actual powerlifting meet. This method is a great way to get your shoulders, triceps and your mind used to heavier weights - safely!

Another thing. Think for a minute - most people train their bench, when preparing for a meet - raw, without a benching shirt. The choreography of muscles used during the execution of the bench press: from the emphasis of the pecs and lats at the bottom, to the triceps at the lock out changes dramatically with the use of a benching shirt. Get working on the strength of your triceps and watch your bench numbers soar!

Bob estimates that most people will conservatively add about 30 pounds or more to their bench total in about 4 months by following his routine enclosed. Some will get as much as 60-pounds. From Bob's experiences, my experiences and now the experiences of 196 test subjects (men and women across a wide base within the police and fire departments of the U.S.) we see that the use of creatine and glutamine powder and the Pure Gro has expanded to 4 times a day. That's right 4 times a day! Juxtapose these three products mixed together in a blender 4 times a day in addition to 3 regular meals a day. That's "7-EATS" a day!
Bob does reverse grips benches and advises going heavy but using ultra strict form. This strengthens the triceps to help you hold your pause at the bottom and stretches your shoulder tendons.

Your meals must be anabolic and your supplemental protein anti-catabolic (PURE GRO), e.g. balanced to get your whole system jacked, racked and whacked. Include whole eggs or egg whites, chicken, steak, roast beef, fish, steamed vegetables, some whole grains, oatmeal and fibrous fruits.

By the way, my big-chest-seeking, big bench friends, PURE GRO is critical because it is a mixed blend of the best proteins and of course, we offer this at 40% OFF retail only to all Planet Muscle readers, so you can make this program work! We offer this so that when you break it down, it is 83 cents per serving and THAT IS IN A 4-POUND SIZE. You don't have to buy the 10-20 pound size to get a low price. Call 877-412-3348 to get ALL the deals. And check out the PURE GRO ad here in PM! Even mention Planet Muscle and we'll include a FREE multi-colored T-shirt, which is very nice, not crap! This is another $12 freebie only from us goofs at CA Advanced Labs. (To get a free subscription to MuscleQuest 911, call 877.412.3348, as well). OK, end of commercial!

Another critical thing. You non-steroid guys, try cycling a stack of 1-AD and NO2 (nitric acid) but only do this for four weeks. Go on both with the above two supplements 3 weeks, then 10 days off, then 3 weeks, then 10 days off etc. The PURE GRO, creatine and glutamine, just stay right on. You do not need to cycle these, but to get a big effect of the other two, you MUST!

NOTE: Little Rich is really 6'6" and 245-pounds. He benches 455 for 5 reps with a close grip and pauses. He carries 3% bodyfat in the off-season. He has a 165 IQ, is a multi-millionaire and gives $40,000 each week to charity. He credits it all to PURE GRO, the Weider System and taking peyote on Tuesdays. (He already regrets the day he spoke to Jeff Everson.)

Bob's Add-50 Max Program

Set 1 Set 2 Set 3 Set 4
Straight-Bar Pressdowns 130x20 140x15 150x15 175x12
Weighted Dips Bodyweightx10 extra 45x10 extra 90x8 repeat set 3
Reverse Grip Bench-Presses 135x10 225x10 285x10 315x8
French Presses 135x10 185x10 225x8 225x8
Rope Push-Downs 100x15 150x15 200x10 250x10

Print This Workout, Click Here!

About Bob

Bob Thomas
The Bench-Pressing Cop
He Bench Presses 405 Lbs. 28 Reps!
Herculean Feats!
Born: 8/9/65. 37 years old, Police Officer, City of Pittsburgh. High school junior, bench 330 lbs., squat 525 lbs., wt. 152 lbs.

  • Senior year high school, weighing only 167 lbs., 400-lb. bench press. At 178 lbs., Bob did 115 perfect push-ups, leading his entire Army division. In 1992, (drug tested in Altoona, PA) 501-lb. bench at 235 lbs. wt.
  • Later in 1992, he broke the PA record set with 580 lbs. In the 1994 East Coast Classic, Bob benched 600 lbs. In September of 1996, Bob won the U.S.P.F. (Drug-Tested) Nationals in Philly with 574 lbs. o In April, 1997, Bob took a bullet in the leg. He still got ready and lifted in the Police and Fire World Games in Calgary, Canada and won. Lifting under strict IPF rules and with a busted shirt, he still hit 560 lbs.
  • In 1998, he won the WNPF National drug tested meet with 570 lbs.
  • In Nov. of 1998, he won the WNPF Worlds in Lancaster, PA 580 lbs.
  • In 1999, he received an invitation to lift in the Arnold as the Police and Fire Champ.
  • At 278 lbs. weight and even with a bout of the flu, Big Bob made 640 lbs. He figures that, if he were healthy, he would have been close to 700 lbs.
  • At The Arnold in 2000, Bob performed a truly remarkable feat when he made 402 lbs. for 28 reps! It was more amazing because he felt something in his chest pop on his 21st rep. But got 7 more reps anyway. He had figured to do at least 30.
  • Late in 2000, Bob made 500 lbs. for 12 reps. In 2002, Bob heard that 47-year old, Big Bill Kazmaier had done 35 reps with 100-lb. dumbbells (military press) seated. Bob then made 44 reps of the military press with the 100-lb. dumbbells and figures he'll get 50 reps soon.

Pic Of Bob:

Natural Chuck Curry Busts Records! - Short forward by Jeff Everson

We now have hundreds of men benching 500 lbs. Shit - we all know one of the big reasons why. Indeed, perhaps to the tune of about 90% of the reason it's STEROIDS! We can agree to call it an elevation in the level of mediocrity, I guess.

Now, let's just say, steroids make a world of difference in getting your pecs, delts and triceps bigger and stronger (along with your testicles getting smaller and weaker). However, what may work for a nandrolone junkie might not work for Mr. Clean (even though the original Mr. Clean always looked like he could triple 500 lbs.).

So, natural bench ace and supplement guru, Chuck Diesel (try this guy's Diesel Fuel if you want to go to the Moon), explains to us the do's and don'ts of a natural who wants the maximum bench and big pectorals too.

Chuck Curry - Benching The Natural Way! - Colorado State Bench Press Natural Champion

Naturally, (pun intended), I'd like to turn you all into bench-pressing machines. So, I will give you the blueprint to make consistent gains in your bench press, gradually and naturally, increasing your benching power, through do's and don'ts! In a future issue I will go over reps and exercise combinations to add 50 to 100 lbs. to your bench in 6 months. It always starts with the same question, doesn't it? How much can you bench? No one much cares about your power clean, squat, or truck pull distance, they want to know how much you can bench.

Benching it is! You can't build incredible upper body thickness without benching. Most great pro bodybuilders, Arnold to Jonnie Jackson, started out powerlifting.

Get off your lazy bump and hump to the gym! You are not going to get a "monster" bench sitting on your behind or working out two times a month or by not actually reading PM, in lieu of looking at all the gorgeous rock hard babe's butts.

One more thing - summarily take all those workout programs you have been collecting from other magazines, the ones from the so-called "voice of the champions or pros" and take them to a recycling center.

Unless you are a "juice-crew all-star," you are not going to get freaky mass / big bench from any workout in those magazines. Freaky mass gains come more from freaky full syringes made for horses not from gut busting bench press workouts.

Do's And Don'ts:

Do

  • Take multi-vitamins, zinc supplements, antioxidants, all to speed recovery time and decrease soreness. Take blended proteins 3-4 times each day, sleep 7-9 hours, especially the day before benching.
  • Warm up with light cardio (8-12 minutes), back and leg work (15 to 20 reps - 2 sets). (Light cardio and leg work before benching will give you a crazy upper body pump while you are benching.) Bench, Saturday and Tuesday. Wednesday-Friday are not good benching days (assuming you actually work a M-F job).
  • Take 2-5 minutes between sets when benching heavy, sets of 8 or less reps.
  • Visualize your bench workout before you get to the gym. You will be stronger mentally if your brain knows exactly what you are doing before you get to the gym.
  • Keep a log. In the Air Force we say, "If you don't document it, it didn't happen." Keep it dynamic. A great cycle is to do only flat bench one workout. Next workout warm up with flat, then do incline dumbbell. Repeat.

Don't

  • Don't bench after sleeping less than 5 hours the night before.
  • Don't bench heavy (70%+ of max.) with low reps (1-7) the day after back training.
  • Don't bench the day after training your legs, triceps, delts, or back. Only bench with well rested tri's, delts and back. This is extremely important to benching strength. Also, if you hit the legs hard the day before, you will not have any energy to bench.
  • Don't do more than 3 sets of tri's and delts the same day you bench 70% or more of your max (you are going to tear down more muscle thereby increasing the time needed for recovery).
  • Don't bench more than 5 times a month.
  • Don't do decline presses. Declines don't work what responds least. Instead do more incline barbells, and incline dumbbells.
  • Don't have sex within 2 hours of benching. Stress is good when benching, memories of sex are not, not to mention sheer fatigue. [Everson note: I knew there was a reason I never hit 600 lbs.]
  • Don't worry about size, size will come. There are no raw, natural benchers who are benching 400 lbs. plus walking around with 12" arms and a puke chest!

The bench press is pushing power of the triceps, delts and chest. Your back (even though a pulling muscle) is important, as it is the base of the bench press. It stabilizes everything. I never broke 300 lbs. on the bench press until I started deadlifting.

Also when training to increase your 1-5 rep bench-press, train delts and tri's for size (8-15 reps). It's important to grow these muscles to increase benching power. Your triceps and shoulder power will increase naturally with benching strength.

In a future issue I will discuss what to do opposite bench day to help increase your bench press, and will present a 6 month, 27 bench press workout program to boost your bench 50 lbs. to 100 lbs. and/or take your 1-rep maximum to a 3-rep max!

Thanks,

Bob Huizar

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