Bench Press Program Capsule

By: Tim Rigby (courtesy of Inside Fitness)

You’re intense, your training is intense and powerlifting is all about brute, maximum force for just one rep.  Did you know, though, that in order for your bench press training program to yield the biggest gains, you need to ease off the gas fairly regularly?  What we mean by this is that you have to combat the urge to train with near-maximal resistance for single reps often.  In fact, many of the elite benchers in the world will train using a 12-week program that is mainly an inverse progression from six to three or two reps, with their performing singles only once a month!

Powerlifting requires greater recovery than muscle-building.  If you crank out singles more than once every three weeks, you’ll soon hit a level of overtraining and run the risk of injury.  You’ve got to lay off and trust that the gains will come, even when your alternating “light” days have you using a considerably lighter weight for as many as five reps per set.  You’re still inciting strength, not to worry.  Just don’t shoot yourself in the foot by overdoing the super heavy lifting.  Save the ultimate single rep for competition day.

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