3 PRs This Week – OHP: 260 lb, Bench Press: 385 lb, High Bar Squat: 500 lb, and Stuff You Should Read

April 14, 2013 — Leave a comment

Managed to hit 3 PRs this week, and they were all 1 rep maxes!

260 lb Overhead Press

Missed this weight last week, and got it this past Wednesday.

For some reason, during my warm up sets, I touched the bar just underneath my chin before unracking. I tilted my head back before taking it off the rack, and the bar was at a higher starting position than normal (around the Adam's apple level, as described in my article "3 Ways To Increase Your Overhead Pressing Strength". The higher starting position lead to a greater stretch reflex.

Also, I've been focusing on driving the bar backwards and flaring out my elbows after the bar clears my head. This makes it easier to keep the bar balanced to press the weight straight up.

385 lb Reverse Grip Bench Press

An ice storm in my area lead to a power outage on Friday, so I had no electricity from around 8AM-6PM, with the exception of whatever power that was left in the battery in my phone.

My home gym is in the basement, and there's only one small window. Not much sunlight shinning in that day, so the lighting was horrible.

I missed the first try at 385 lb, likely because of not enough leg drive. The 2nd attempt, I focused more on leg drive and pressed the bar up. Legs are important in the bench press.

Only 15 lb away from a 400 lb bench press!

500 lb High Bar Squat

Did this yesterday.

Initially I was planning on doing a 460 lb over warm-up, then dropping down for a triple at 440 lb.

But 460 lb went up without much struggle, so I added 10 lb to the bar.

470 lb went up without much struggle, so I added ANOTHER 10 lb to the bar.

480 lb wasn't too bad, so I thought, "heck, let's see if I can high bar squat 500 lb. The worst that can happen is that I get injured again...not the end of the world..."

And I did it!

Last time I attempted 500 was sometime in September/October 2012, and my last 1RM high bar squat PR was late September, so I'm pretty happy with this.

Also, 500 lb high bar squat is a milestone that I've been wanting for a while. Previous best was 495 lb. I've low bar squatted over 500 lb before, but high bar is a little more difficult, and a little more satisfying to get.

Anyway, check this out:

Stuff You Should Read

  1. How I Built A World Record Deadlift (or How to Spot a Strength Fraud) by Craig Hirota
  2. Joe Weider: Bodybuilding Patriarch by Marty Gallagher
  3. Lifting Heavy with Stephen McKenzie, Canada's Five Time National Powerlifting Champion by Beth French

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