380 lb Bench Press, 330 lb Front Squat, OHP Fail, Thoughts About Upcoming Meet Attempts & Stuff You Should Read

April 7, 2013 — Leave a comment

Man, I was hoping to get 3 PRs this week, but only got 2:

Bench Press: 380 lb (1RM)

So I got a 380 lb bench press this past Friday!

This is a +5 lb PR, and one of my goals for 2013!

Up from 355 lb at the start of the year, which is a +25 lb increase in a little over 4 months. Not bad!

Now I just need to work on my squat, deadlift and overhead press, which have a combined increase of 0 lb in my 1 RM so far this year 🙁

Front Squat: 330 lb (1RM)

On Tuesday I worked my way up to a 330 lb 1 rep max on the front squat!

I did this mainly because I figured out how to make front squats more comfortable.

Hated front squats before simply because my anterior delts and collar bones can't take the pressure of a loaded bar. It's very painful for me and I would always end up with bruises on my shoulder and collar bone area.

Also I don't have the flexibility in my shoulders and wrists to maintain the rack position.

I put on a pair of Fat Gripz to the bar to act as padding. This took care of the bar-digging-into-shoulder-and-collarbone pain.

And I used a pair of straps to hold onto which eliminated the need to put myself in a double Americana arm lock with the bar in the rack position.

I don't normally do front squats, but I'm going to add this in the mix mainly to build my quads and my erectors (in my back). Also, I read that Dan Green uses front squats to build his back squat. He's a pretty strong guy, so it's gotta be good!

My lower and middle of my back was pretty sore the next day, especially the left side, which I think affected my OHP...

Overhead Press: 260 lb (MISSED)

Attempted a 260 lb OHP on Wednesday, which would have been a 5 lb PR, but I couldn't lock out my left arm:

At first I thought the issue was my left triceps, but it wasn't sore at all and felt fine. I think the issue was my core wasn't stable enough and because of this, I didn't have a solid base to push off of. This was probably due to the front squats done on the previous day. Lower back and middle of my back was very sore, and somehow this resulted in some instability.

I did mostly extend my right arm, so I'm pretty sure I'm capable to pressing 260 lb with both arms. But extending my right arm while not extending my left caused my body to slightly bend to the left side which made the back pain a little worse. It's feeling fine now, so I may try again next week.

Thoughts About Upcoming Meet Openers & Attempts

There's a CPF meet coming up in June, and I've given some thought to what my openers, 2nd and 3rd attempts would be.

I'm going with the strategy of opening with a 2RM or 3RM (or a weight that I use for my "over warm-up" set), 2nd attempt to beat a 1 rep max, and 3rd attempt to beat my 1RM again.

So it looks like this:

1st Attempt2nd Attempt3rd Attempt
Squat210 Kg (462 lb)235 Kg (517 lb)240 Kg (528 lb)
Bench Press160 Kg (352 lb)170 Kg (374 lb)175 Kg (385 lb)
Deadlift230 Kg (506 lb)250 Kg (550 lb)255 Kg (561 lb)
Total600 Kg (1320 lb)655 Kg (1441 lb)670 Kg (1474 lb)

This could change in the future, but I think this is doable. I would have to be 100% and injury free.

I still need to mail in my application form, so I think I'll do that this week.

Also, I need to really work on my squat and start deadlifting again. I haven't deadlifted in a month due to an injury, but I have been doing 1 arm suitcase deadlifts to maintain pain tolerance during the hook grip, and hit my obliques and other muscles on the side of my trunk.

I should also review the rules and make sure they allow the reverse grip bench press and the performance enhancing Three Wolf Moon shirt...

Anyway, check this out:

Stuff You Should Read

  1. Heavy Partials for Size and Strength by Greg Nuckols
  2. Hip Thrust & Glute Science and Maximizing Power Production by Bret Contreras

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