370 lb Bench Press PR, Mat Pulls, Curls, Speed, My Approach To Conditioning, And Stuff You Should Read

March 3, 2013 — 4 Comments

Let's see what happened this past week...

Bench Press PRs

I haven't attempted a 1RM on the bench for over a month (last time being January 18, 2013, where I benched 360 lb).

This past Friday I managed to get a 365 lb bench press. It felt really easy, so I slapped on another 5 lb (actually removed all the smaller plates and put on a pair of 25 lb plates) and attempted 370 lb.

Got it!

It felt a bit harder, but not to the point where I felt like I was struggling with the weight and had doubts on whether I would press it up or not.

Only 30 more puny pounds to go until I'm a member of the 400 lb bench press club!

I was going to move onto my work sets, but then decided since I was wearing my new Three Wolf Moon shirt, I might as well go for three PRs! Put on 335 lb on the bar and cranked out a 3 rep max (previous 3RM was 330 lb, done on January 25, 2013).

ROM Progression Method Week 1

Started my first week of the ROM progression method with mat pulls:

I have a feeling the weight that I'm using is too much for now. Pretty tough at this point to pull the weight that I'm using, and I'm pretty sure I won't be able to use the same weight as I remove a mat and lower the bar to the ground every week. I might stick with this weight, and then lower it later, or lower it next Friday. Not sure yet.

Barbell Bicep Curls...Outside The Rack

Also busted out some barbell curls.

I'm going to add barbell curls back into the mix because I want to get my arms (17" around, unpumped and flexed) as thick as my neck (18.5" around, unpumped and flexed).


Speed is something I'm working on (during the concentric part of the squat).

I'm trying to be more explosive out of the hole during squat, trying to come up as fast as possible for both my warm up sets and work sets.

I feel that it gives me a better warm up and better prepares me for my main sets, even when using the same weights. Plus, it feels cool to attempt to pop the bar off my traps and hear the plates rattling.

I do find it easier to explode out of the hole from a high bar squat than a low bar squat.

With a high bar squat, I pretty much just drop down somewhat slowly, then bounce and power it up with my quads while focusing on keeping my chest up.

With a low bar squat, I find I need to be more deliberate on the descent, and need to focus on keeping tight in and out of the hole. I think half way up I can finally explode while keeping good form.


Lastly, someone asked me about conditioning and the Texas Method, and I give me approach to it:

Stuff You Should Read

Anyway, check this out:

  1. Meet the Man Who Squats 905...RAW - an interview with Ray Williams @70sbig
  2. The Ten Rules of Progressive Overload by Bret Contreras
  3. The Best in Training by Jim Wendler
  4. Set a PR Every Day by David Dellanave
  5. Training for Maximum Strength by Dr. Michael Yessis


John Phung

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Ever since I started taking strength training seriously, I was bitten by the Iron Bug. Then it burrowed under my skin and laid eggs in my heart. Now those eggs are hatching and I... the feeling is indescribable.

Quick Stats
Height: 5'4" on non-squat days
Weight: 200 lb 210 lb ~220 lb (FOREVER BULK BRAH)


  • Texas Method: March 4, 2011 - April 28, 2013
  • Smolov Jr for Bench Press: June 4 - 22, 2012
  • Starting Strength: Nov 29, 2010 - March 4, 2011