Archives For Leg Drive

Well this has been a somewhat productive week:

Bench Press PRs: 375x1 and 320x5

I missed this weight last week, probably because I did not recover from the volume day workout.

I got it this week however, I think in part because I "deloaded" on Monday (normally I would have done 302.5 lb x 5x5, but only did 230 lb x 3x5). This made me feel nice and fresh for Friday.

My back cramped half way up, and this nearly made me lose control of the bar. Managed to lock it out though.

Also, I hit a 320 lb 5 rep max (previously it was 315 lb)

Originally I was planning on doing a deload as well (something like 280 lb for 3x3), but I felt good that day so I went for it. Also, Craig Hirota hit a bench press PR as well, and that got me fired up to get one or two of my own!

Even though I had planned for a deload, sometimes you gotta do what you feel is right vs doing what you planned.

I'm going to cut down on the number of sets on Monday (volume day) from 5 sets to 3 sets. I'm finding 5x5 with progressively heavier weights (I'm up to 300x5x5 now) is more difficult to recover from. I'm hoping that dropping the number of sets will still allow me to continually progress in the bench press, and not be too sore/un-recovered for overhead presses and intensity day bench presses.

Injury Update

The pain is almost gone.

It only hurts when I sneeze, and I can barely feel any sensation when I squat. In fact, I can now explode a little bit harder out of the hole.

I'll continue squatting and adding weight every workout for this upcoming week (low bar squat: 3x5, high bar squat 3x5, adding 5 lb per session).

Overhead Presses

I am chasing 225 lb x 5 reps. My best is 4 reps and my 5RM is 220 lb.

My plan is to get 5 sets of 3 first (15 total reps), and then try for a 5 rep max at 225.

This week I got 12 total reps within 5 sets:

Not a bad week despite recovering from an injury!

Anyway, check out these blog posts I wrote this past week:

  1. How I Use Leg Drive During The Bench Press
  2. MuscleTech Phase 8 Protein Powder Review

Stuff You Should Read

You should check out these blog posts from around the web too:

  1. Does B.S. Hold True for Exercise Science? By Ryan Williams
  2. Arching vs Bracing by Mike Robertson

I figured out how to utilize this "leg drive" during bench press sometime during the past couple of months, and I'm sure it has contributed to my continued gains.

I discovered this by using my *imagination*:

Maybe this is totally wrong, but it seems to be working for me so far.

Here's what I do:

What I try to imagine is if there was a bathroom scale placed underneath my upper back, buttocks and one for each foot as I am lying down on the bench.

Bathroom Scale

Imagine 4 of these: 1 underneath your upper back, 1 underneath your butt, and 1 for each foot.

I then push with both of my legs and raise my hips so that my butt is OFF the bench. Then I lower but buttocks gently so that they are barely touching the bench.

If I pretend to have an out of body experience and take a look at those imaginary bathroom scales while I'm pushing into the ground with my legs, I would see that most of the weight distributed on my feet and my upper back, with nearly 0 lb of pressure being placed by my buttocks.

It's almost as if I'm trying to lift my butt off the bench, but just not quite there yet.

In this position, my quadriceps, glutes and back will be contracting hard and my back is arched and my butt will be touching the bench ever so slightly.

Even before unracking the bar, my is body is tight and uncomfortable.

Combined with the rubber anti slip mat on the bench to prevent my body from sliding, imagining "bathroom scales" to harness the power of leg drive has helped improved my bench press.

Spongebob Imagination

Works for me, and it could work for you!

Some of my posts you might have missed:

  1. Smolov Jr for bench press: 300lbs, 25 total reps (Video)

And some posts I came across this past week you should read:

  1. Box Squatting is the Greatest by Ryan Wood
  2. How To Use Leg Drive by Jesse Burdick
  3. Stop Bitching And Start Benching #4- My Two Cents (NSFW) by Jamie Lewis
  4. Defining Fitness by 70sBig
  5. What Types of Cues Should Trainers and Coaches Provide? by Bret Contreras