Back in March, I bombed out at meet here in Montgomery, Alabama. It was my third meet like this where I didn't do what I set out to do. Back in May of 2001, I barely did 345, November of 2002, barely did 405, and this time I didn't even get on the board missing both 375 & 405. Jon did better than me but he also didn't feel like he did well, he ended up with 405 in the 242s and wanted to go 500. So shortly after I did the interview with Sebastian Burns, I contacted him online and chatted with him for a while.
Mistakes I Was Making
He pointed out a few issues that could have thanks to a picture I took of myself a while back benching. He told me that my upper back wasn't arched and it was causing my hips to rise off the bench. It made sense... and he told me how to go about doing it. He also made a point to see his video to clarify things further. But in the meantime, he advocated that me and Jon started working in our shirts and we did so... reluctantly. Jon had two new shirts at the time, the Titan Fury (www.titansupport.com) and Karin's Double Denim shirt (www.karinsxtremepower.com). I had two Inzer shirts, the standard blast and the heavy duty blast shirt (www.inzernet.com). Between the two of us, we had four shirts to work with. Jon gave me his Titan Fury and he used his double-denim shirt.
We had all sorts of issues at first trying to make weight touch (even before the meet), but after our first shirt workout Sebastian Burns mentions that we should get 365 to touch in our shirts. Now, I doubted this because me and Jon couldn't get 405 to touch, but at this point we were willing to try anything. So the next shirted workout, we got 365, 385, 405, & 415 to touch. Ok... at this point we both became believers and decided to heed every word of this man! Several workouts continued like this with our benches rising. We even got to the point were we did 515 (but didn't touch), but it definitely made 405 touch easier. All of out shirted workouts became better and better and I slowly starting hybriding Westside Barbell and Metal Militia training as it was helping my squat and deadlift to.
I started implementing bands, new exercises, and more. But back to the story, about 2-3 weeks before the WABDL meet I had done 410 for 2 sets of 2 and it was done so easy that I had more in me. The following week, Jon got with me for some more shirt work (we did shirt work every two weeks but before a meet I guess I did it every week... I'll have to keep that in mind!)and I did 445 for a double (2 reps) and 455 for a single (1 rep). Jon said I was good for 450 at the meet which was way over what I was planning on doing.
I underestimated myself thinking that the most I could do would be 425. Jon, that day had inflammation issues which comes with the training, but he was getting strong himself. I was starting to feel confident about my bench now (first time ever). Eventually, I saw Sebastian's video and it made things crystal clear. Then the next week after, I did reverse band bench presses with 475 for a single. That blew my mind! How in the world could I do that? Well, considering how my deadlift was going when I did 625 in the gym, I was good to go.
At the WABDL meet I ended up breaking and setting two state records. I smoked 451 on the bench and pulled 633. Everyone was amazed at how my arch was amazing. I guess you can tell the difference when you arch your upper and lower back. I did 451 that day, but I had 10-15 pounds in me easy. This was one of my best meets since the end of 2000. I couldn't believe it that Metal Militia training worked! Now I see why they are some of the world's strongest benchers! But my success didn't end there. About three weeks after the meet, I got with a buddy of mine and did 475 for a single and making it touch and then recently got back with Jon (who's going to do some damage himself) and we both hit 500!
The Power Of Metal Militia Training
I know what your think... how is it possible to go from 405 to 500 under 6 months? Well, I'm still natural so it will have to be the Metal Militia training. I know it was responsible for reviving my bench and at this point not even myself or Jon knows where our potential is at this point and we both can't wait to see where it goes. People are now wanting to come train with us to know what we know... heck, we might even have to create a Metal Militia chapter down here too because their training is awesome.
Working out of your bench shirt does work and I believe that it will keep working for us and others too. I believe if you're a powerlifter, especially a bencher, you should view Sebastian's video. The link to the video is on the interview I did with him. I'm very grateful for there training as well as everyone (including monstermuscle.com, heavysports.com and Bodybuilding.com) and my new partner Jon D., who if it wasn't for him doing the 500 first before me, it wouldn't of gotten me fired up to do mine to, for helping me out. I'm looking to doing the WABDL world later this year and another meet next month. I hope this helps fellow lifters and if you have any questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks and until next time, stay strong.
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