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Thinking about competing...advice needed!

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning Discussion' started by CosmicOsmo, May 7, 2008.

  1. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    Well guys, while I was getting a sip of water in between sets today I looked up and saw a poster for a local PL (kinda) competition, and even though I've never really focused on powerlifting and have no real aspirations in that area, this looks like it would be fun so I'm seriously considering signing up.

    The comp is titled "Too Hot 2 Squat", and as the name implies is basically a powerlifting comp minus the squats, so just bench and deads. I don't know why they took out the squats, but whatever, it kinda works to my advantage because I've always considered my squats a weak point that I've been trying to bring up, but my deadlift is my best lift. It's just a small local comp so I'm not expecting any serious pro-level competition.

    Here's the details:

    Competition is on July 12th, which gives me nearly 10 weeks to prepare. Weigh-ins are the day before, and I plan on entering the 165lbs weight class.

    My current stats are:

    5'10", 166.5lbs fully clothed
    Bench: 230lbs
    Deadlift: 455lbs

    I've been cutting weight for the last two months or so because I was feeling pudgier around the middle than I like to be, I've dropped about ten pounds during the cut. I'm figuring that I'd want to bulk up a bit in preparation for the comp, maybe up to 170lbs or so so I could have an easy 5lbs water-weight cut for weigh-ins.

    As you can see my bench is definitely my weak point, I've been focusing mainly on Oly lifting for the last few months so my bench hasn't been getting much attention. I think my deadlift is solid, so I should probably focus on bringing my bench up to snuff.

    Basically, my main problems is I need recommendations for a good PL-style program to follow for the next ten weeks that will add some pounds to my bench and have me peaking at the right time. I've never done preparing for a comp before so I'm really a noob when it comes to peaking. Does anyone know a good program that will bring my bench up while still keeping my deadlift solid that I could follow going into this? Also, if anyone has any other tips on competing that I might want to know, i.e. help cutting weight, what to eat before the comp, etc, that would be really helpful.
     
  2. sway_dizzle

    sway_dizzle Yellow Belt

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    hey i saw that at my golds gym to, i loled at to hot to squat, anyway i think it is to comps, a bench, and a deadlift + bench comp. i was thinking of doing it to but my numbers suck. 1rm 210 bench and 315 dead :(.
     
  3. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    Haha I chuckled to myself when I first saw it too...it's kind of a silly idea, but it should be fun.

    I definitely think I'd enter the deadlift/bench comp if there are two comps...I'd never get close to winning a bench-only comp. There are a few bench-monkey types at my gym that are around my weight that bench 315+ (of course that's about what they deadlift, too:icon_lol: ).

    What do you weigh, out of curiosity? Your numbers might be competitive if you can get into one of the lower weight classes. I myself considered dieting really hard and trying to make the 148lbs class but I'd rather bulk up a bit then cut down to that weight!
     
  4. sway_dizzle

    sway_dizzle Yellow Belt

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    right now i'm trying to bulk, im at 165 roughly, my natural wieght before was a solid 155 but i could prolly supercut down to high 140's
     
  5. Ascendant

    Ascendant <img src="http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/gg474

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    There's an enormous federation called WABDL (Wahb-dull), that stands for the World Association of Bench Press and Deadlift. It's no joke, and there are a bunch of specialists with WR numbers in it. This local comp is probably just following that idea.

    As for a program, I ran your numbers through a spreadsheet I and others have used with good success, and here's one way you could go: (it's a little conservative and for more of an advanced lifter with higher numbers, so if it starts getting too easy just bump the weights up 2-3%)

    260 Bench - Heavy

    5 reps 3 2 1 5
    Wk 1 181 191 201 211 181
    Wk 2 181 191 201 211 181
    Wk 3 191 201 211 221 191
    Wk 4 191 201 211 221 191

    5 reps 3 2 1 5
    Wk 5 201 211 221 231 201
    Wk 6 201 211 221 231 201
    Wk 7 211 221 231 241 211
    Wk 8 211 221 231 241 211

    5 reps 3 2 1 5
    Wk 9 221 231 241 251 221

    3reps 3 2 1 1
    Wk 10 115 160 205 240 260

    (If you can handle the volume, add this light day 4 days after your heavy day)

    169 Bench - Light
    5 reps 5 5 5 5
    Wk 1 124 134 144 154 124
    Wk 2 124 134 144 154 124
    Wk 3 124 134 144 154 124
    Wk 4 124 134 144 154 124

    5 reps 5 5 5 5
    Wk 5 139 149 159 169 139
    Wk 6 139 149 159 169 139
    Wk 7 139 149 159 169 139
    Wk 8 139 149 159 169 139
     
  6. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    Thanks man, that looks interesting.

    So, is that just two bench days then? I'm assuming I should still do other things throughout the week as well, squats and deads and whatnot? Are you supposed to do anything else on the bench days, like maybe board presses or triceps work or anything, or just the benches? Do you really think I'll be able to add 30lbs to my bench in ten weeks just from that? I've had trouble making gains on bench in the past, it's always a stubborn lift for me, I don't think I'm built for it.
     
  7. omgitsrick

    omgitsrick Green Belt

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    Maybe you should just enter deadlift, yours is impressive.
     
  8. Ascendant

    Ascendant <img src="http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/gg474

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    It's twice a week IF you can handle the volume. Personally, I can't so I don't do it.

    Yes, you could prob add 30 to your bench in 2 and a half months, especially since it's not a 600 right now. :)

    As for ancillary stuff, do what's weak. Find where you seem to fail and kill the muscles/ROM that are hurting you.

    Many people just don't take bench seriously enough. When I'm done with a MAX EFFORT 1 RM, my nervous system is spent. Almost like a ME dl or squat. Bring some intensity to the lift.

    You may want to back off on squats, since you're not competing in them. That could save your CNS a lot of strain.
     
  9. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    I would, but I don't think there is a deadlift only competition. As I understand it, it's either bench only or bench + deadlift. As it stands, this gives me a good excuse to work hard on my bench, which I've been kinda half-assing for a long while.
     
  10. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    Granted I haven't tried the program yet, but it doesn't seem like too much volume. Just from looking at it the light day seems like it would be really easy...what exactly is the reasoning behind such a light, low rep workout? Should I perform them explosively, like a WSB DE bench?


    I definitely haven't been taking the lift very seriously, but I hadn't planned on competing in it until recently...I've been really working on oly lifts lately and the bench doesn't really help too much there :) I haven't even been benching weekly, often I'll just do dips and maybe dumbbell presses instead, along with jerks and some overhead stuff. Hopefully if I really start focusing on the lift I'll be able to bring it up to something respectable.

    Would backing off squats be a good idea for my deadlift? I've found that when my squat goes up, my deadlift does as well...I try not to do deadlifts my than twice a month or so because of the CNS strain, but they keep going up as long as I work the squats. Also, I really want to bring my squat up (front squat in particular) because my clean is limited by my front squat right now which is not a good thing...frankly I enjoy oly lifting more than powerlifting so I don't want to completely abandon that while I'm training for this thing, although i will probably have to put it on the back burner.
     
  11. Ascendant

    Ascendant <img src="http://i543.photobucket.com/albums/gg474

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    Exactly, and work on PERFECT form. Remember when you're considering volume, though, that we're talking about CNS volume.

    I've actually found that my bench increases my jerks quite a bit. The shoulder stability and arch needed, the triceps power, and the deep-in-the-hole ant. delt recruitment all improve and transfer pretty well.

    This is going to have to be a personal decision. If I were you I'd probably stick to front squats and/or OH squats. That will back your CNS off a bit since the weight used will be less than that of a back squat.

    Also, nothings set in stone - if you're mid-program and need to adjust, do.
     
  12. Klotz

    Klotz Shalom

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    Didn't read the whole thing but do it.
     
  13. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    It this point I'm 90% certain I'm going to do it. Do you have any tips as far as programming or anything?
     
  14. Klotz

    Klotz Shalom

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    The only experience I have is preparing for the strongman comp I did. In the weeks before I just did light stuff working on my weaknesses and trying to be well rested.
     
  15. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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    What do you guys think of this program? I found it in a Mike Kennelly interview where he was asked what he would recommend for a lifter with a max bench of 225 (mine is around 230):

    Powerlifting Bench Press

    If I put my numbers into those percentages I get this:

    Wk 1: 103.5x8x3
    Wk 2: 115x8x3
    Wk 3: 126.5x8x3
    Wk 4: 138x8x3
    Wk 5: 149.5x8x3
    Wk 6: 161x8x3
    Wk 7: 172.5x4x3
    Wk 8: 184x4x3
    Wk 9: 195.5x2x3
    Wk 10: 207x2x3
    Wk 11: 218.5x2x3
    Wk 12: 230x1x3

    + heavy rack lockouts and other assistance work

    Of course, it's written for 12 weeks and I only have 9 before competition, so I'd either have to cut out the first few weeks or compress it somehow, either by increasing the % jumps or maybe doing the first few workouts twice a week to get them out of the way quicker.
     
  16. CosmicOsmo

    CosmicOsmo Brown Belt

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  17. sway_dizzle

    sway_dizzle Yellow Belt

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    you should make a shirt that says "CosmicOsmo property of Sherdog S&P" so i can spot you if i go too
     

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