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Curtis Dennis Jr. Training Journal: Page 23!

The philosophy of this system is one thing... building muscle.

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Hey guys, welcome to a new year of training. I'm glad to be back from a two week layoff on the holidays. January was a very productive month. A lot of new things were added to my system during this month. We added a speed bench day which will help with the explosive strength and we also added a new exercise called board presses which helps every area on the bench. Plus I added a speed squat day to help with my squatting problems. We me and my partner Jon came back from our break, we were both pretty sick.

He had gotten the flu from his wife and I had gotten my cold from working inventory at work. So we trained every day but Tuesday because we needed to rest. With our workout, we started to alternate exercises every two weeks and at the same time getting stronger on them. Also, during this month, I hit my peak on the bench without a shirt with 355. When I did 355 for 4 sets of 3 with a 30 second rest between sets, I hit my limit on these. I thought that this was damn good without a shirt which meant that my max had to be higher than 405.

Jon hits 275 for 4 sets of 3 at the same time. Also at that time, my old shoulder injury came back so I was glad for the speed days where I don't have to go as heavy. On speed day, I did 235 for 8 sets of 3 reps and Jon did 210 for 8 sets of 3 reps. Since we are currently awaiting our bands, we added weight on these slowly, but at the same time we wanted to move that bar as fast as we can. I think I'll be doing this up to my meet come this March. Also, we started doing board presses and we slowly added a board every workout( there was a total of 4 boards). Just in case you guys don't know what board presses are, they're the bench press with boards on your chest in the simplest terms. We started with 2 boards doing 6 sets of 3 and then we eventually got up to 4 boards currently doing a three-rep max on them.

We quickly realized our weaknesses. Mine was at the bottom while Jon's was at the top of the movement. This meant more lockouts for Jon and more half-rep death sets for me. Also during this month, Jon did 315 for 2 singles and did 335 for 4 singles which shows his lockouts are coming along. I also realized that you have to do lockout with a semi-close-grip/ normal grip. My bench squats, I started with 315 for 10 sets of 2 and eventually worked up to 365 for 4 sets of 2 during my 10 sets. I can really feel these working me and I feel that doing 500 is possible if not more.

We also took up a challenge from a buddy of mine, Jon Darty. Me and Jon D. are startin a powerlifting team he's been motivating me this last month. Jon is a really strong guy and did 120s on DB bench press for 23 reps!!! All I can say is DAMN!! So me and Jon H. decided to do the same on DB bench press. We didn't start doing these until the end of January and on the fly I did 100s for 3 sets of 15 reps and Jon H. did 80s for 3 sets of 15 reps.

Guys at my gym are amazed at how many time we did these weights and since I broke the 150s at my gym, doing high-rep DB bench presses isn't a bad idea. We also started doing Rack Shoulder presses which work a great deal on your shoulders. I started with 225 for 8 sets of 3 reps and Jon did 185 for the same. These also help your bench press as well and helps with strengthening your lockout. We also started back doing grip work on Monday so I can help to get some thick hands. We're going to get some Captains of Crush Grippers. Jon H. was able to close the #2 which was good so were going to get the #2 and the #3 to start with. Jon D. going to bring some grippers with him when we get together next month.

On the Close-Grip bench press, I did 345 for a single and Jon does 315 for a single. We do this exercise once a month to help with building strength. We also do Rack Deadlifts once a month and I did 705 for 3 reps and Jon did 335 for 3 reps. Not bad for the first month!! I'm real confident about doing 600+ from the floor. We've also been doing Good Mornings as well. Now, that's about all for January as far as our strength is concerned. Jon's arms are at 18.25" inches, which made me proud. I measured my arms as well and they are at 20.25" inches which meant that I've reached my goal. Flexed they are 22.25"!!

My system is continuing to evolve as I add even more training methods to it. I'm currently working on "Keys to Gaining Size and Strength 2" which is only available thru MXOnline. It will go over what I've have been doing the last year or so. I'm also doing a full meet come this March here in Montgomery, Alabama. I plan on shooting for a 500 squat, 430 bench, and a 615 deadlift which should place me in national competition later this year. I also plan on having my team together by then as well. So if you are in or around Montgomery, Birmingham, or Tuscaloosa, visit my personal site:

for more infomation. Well, I hope everyone's training is going well and I have received a lot of emails about the challenge I issued to everyone on trying my training system and it still stands as people have taken up the challenge and are experiencing the results themselves. So don't get left out!! Well, like I said, glad to be back and I look foward to telling you about my training in february as I prepare for my first full meet in two years. Take care and stay big!!!

Curtis D.