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Bench press overload progression help.

Zigurd

Zigurd

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I need to know what is the best way to promote muscle growth with the bench press.

In my current routine, I do 4 sets of bench press.

1x12
1x8-10
1x8
1-10

I pyramid the weight up until the last set, in which I lower it down towards the same weight I did in the first set. The ONLY problem is that in the first set I start at pretty much 70-80% of 1RM

This means that in the next set I add only 10 pounds of weight to the barbell. And in the 3 set I add 10 again.

In contrast, I could do it differently. I could start at about 50-60% of 1RM and in the next sets add 20 pounds for each set.

What is the best way for muscular hypertrophy ? Add minimum weight in each set but putting all out effort in each set, or adding maximum weight in each set but putting maximum effort only in the last set (because the first one would be almost like a warm-up and the second would be not so hard).

I also wonder if going light in the last set works. My old trainer who was a bodybuilder (XBOX HUEG) told me it was good for the pump to finish with a lighter set.

I hope you guys understood what I am trying to say, I am greatly hungover xD
Reps will be granted for help =)
 
PrinceVegeta

PrinceVegeta

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How about som low reps/ rest pauses, best to have training partner there

The similaer rep range as descirbed above but for maybe incline dumbells, i always felt benching is better with low reps, just like deads and squats
 
The Creator

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The optimal rep range for growth is 8-12 reps. That being said, the body will adapt to any given stress and if you are constantly doing the same chest work with the same weight and same volume, you will likely see no great results. Results become more difficult to attain as you progress. The training response to resistance eventually yields diminishing returns. Everything from the strength and growth adaptation to the endocrine response diminishes as you train. Frequency, intensity, and volume are the three things that should really be considered when looking to overload and progress. You should map out your training for chest for 10 weeks in advance. Personally, a light session and a heavy session per week has worked great at bringing my chest up. I still hit that hypertrophy range going 5-9 on my heavy days and 10-14 on my light days which allows me to improve on strength and density as well as hypertrophy. You should start your program with a relatively moderate-high intensity and then over the ten weeks, incorporate overload, progression and the occasional de-load. Your intensity should never exceed 90% of your max weight. Manipulate the frequency, intensity, and overall volume in a organized manner and you will see the results you are looking for. It is always going to be difficult to continue improving and this is where most folks turn to chemicals to help progress however, you can do it naturally if you just put more effort into the organization of your program.
 
PrinceVegeta

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^^ nicely said Creator! so u never do low reps?
 
Zigurd

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I've been doing a lower body/upper body split for the past month. I do LB twice a week and UB twice a week. Plus a day for arms and delts.

This routine is yielding amazing results for me. I am adding 5-10 pounds to each main exercise per week, and each "secondary" every two weeks. My deadlift went up from 120 pounds to 180 (for 8 reps, bodyweight of 150 lb, bf of 8-9% using clippers).

As soon as I hit plateau I will incorporate max. intensity/recovery periods into my routine. The thing is that for now I don't feel I need them. So as far as giving me an answer, it doesn't really matter the load range, the body will respond to overload anyway ?

Great =)
 
tim290280

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I had posted a great reply that expanded on Creators points. We just had two power spikes in 3 mins that killed my computer (and TV). :angrydude:

Anyways - there are a lot more things that can be trained than merely 4 sets of whatever weight. Progression can be measured and advanced in a number of ways:
Weight
Reps per session
Sets per session
Intensity (% of max or total work per session)
Time under tension
etc

So it is about doing more, of a better quality, in a (lesser) period of time. So want more hypertrophy then you need more work in a session but also more work in a cycle. So training an aspect more than once a week or 4 times in a month should give better results. Plus it also allows you to train other aspects. You say you do 12 reps at ~80% of max (not likely that it is your 80% then, 6-8 reps is usually 80%) which is a lot of reps in a set. It doesn't train max strength which will benefit hypertophy. So If you had two sessions a week on pressing you could do a medium (current) and a heavy (say 3-6 reps) day.

Frequency is also about the promotion of neural efficiency and how as you advance you have to do more work to progress.
http://www.musclemecca.com/showthread.php/neural-factors-fatigue-and-manage-them-1910.html

I think I made some other points too, but they are lost to the ether.
 
El Freako

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I'm not going to in too scientific in my response since I'll look stupid next to Tim and Creator. I'll just suggest that you look into german volume training as an overload principle for hypertrophy. It prescribes using 60% of your 1rm and aiming for 10 sets of 10. Once you can do 10/10 then you up the weight. Personally I rarely do more than 6 rep sets for any of my major lifts and instead used an 'advanced' version from t-nation. The volume is brutal, especially if you use supersets but the results were great.
 
PrinceVegeta

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^^ what do you mean by advanced version of T-nation!?
 
PrinceVegeta

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What;s the normal and advanced version of T-nation? link to training program?
 

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PrinceVegeta

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ok thanx freako, now i understand what u meant, i thaught there was a training routine made by T-nation, my bad!
 

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