I’m still fresh from my “victory” of achieving a 1pl8 bench in under a month. 1pl8 is netspeak for 135lbs: a 45lbs. bar and a 45lbs. plate on either side.
My first bench press session had a top set of 105lbs. for two reps, if you’re simply comparing weight on the bar, that means I put 30lbs. on my bench press in 23 days.
I count from 95lbs. because those reps were much cleaner. When I say I’ve never benched before, it’s because I never benched to the standard I’ve learned these past few days. I benched flat-backed, feet anywhere, maybe my butt came up. I don’t know, it was a mess, and I’d hit the wall at 95lbs. and give up.
So, to me, I put 40lbs. on my bench press in 23 days. This post is going to deal solely with this workout.
Friday, August 17 (Day 18)
- 115×1 @ 3 RIR
I upped the volume on my warm-ups a bit because I felt the bigger jumps in weight were “shocking” me a little too much, and I had a difficult time calming down between them.
I took a long rest between 110 and 115, about 8 minutes. My elbow was bothering me from the day before (likely due to poor squat form) and I felt “twitchy,” my mind was telling me to go but I just don’t like to start a set from a hyped-up place.
After I finished the 115lbs. it was decision time. I had four options:
- Stay at 130lbs and do more volume (either another rep or more drop sets)
- Increase to 131lbs, following the plan I’d been using the whole week.
- Increase to 132lbs, because 130 felt so easy.
- “Fuck it,” and try 135lbs. I have two days to recover, and all next week to increase by 1 pound per day to hit my goal before the end of the month.
- 135×1 @ 1
- 115×3 @ 2
- 105×4 @ 3
I kept my drop sets the same intensity from the last workout. I think moving forward, I’ll keep the idea of maintaining intensity on the drop sets.
I haven’t decided on the progression scheme for them yet. The simplest thing to do is just slap a fiver on them every week or two. Like if I feel I could have really gotten 5 reps or more on Fridays, next week add 5lbs. That kind of thing.
The top set is the most important to me but I need more volume to prevent me from stalling than just the top set. I’ll skip drop sets on days I feel particularly run down.
My whole mindset about my workout changed after getting the 135: I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I felt so good I didn’t want to risk anything to ruin it.
- 185×1 @ 1
I cut warm-up volume for Squat considerably compared to the last workout. My legs wake up easier, and I felt I’d done enough to de-rust my form to be safe doing this lift.
My major problem after doing the 185 set is that my lower back felt tender, despite setting up correctly. I considered not even going for a top set increase.
- 200×1 @ 2
The one came up slow, but I was careful with my back positioning and I didn’t feel it at all during the rep. What I was mindful of instead what what my knees tried to do.
They didn’t cave, but if I had gone for those two reps in reserve, they would have been super dirty.
I don’t know if I want to incorporate Squatting every day after Benching, but I think at least twice a week could be good. If I did 5lbs every day next week I’d be squatting 2pl8 though, which is terribly tempting.
I divide my workouts into two categories:
Training is the thing I’m actively working to improve. In this case, I’m training the Bench Press. I’m considering training the Squat, also.
Exercises are things I do to stave off muscular imbalances but are not important enough for me to feel badly if they do not progress. I’ll still try, but I don’t care.
If I’m doing cardio for fat loss, it’s exercise. If I’m preparing for an event, it’s training.
I decided on this day to keep my training vlogs about the training, and stopped recording my exercises.
Really don’t know what I wanted to do here. I stalled at 85lbs. before I started benching every day and here I was again. I decided to just get 5×5 volume at 65lbs.
Maybe I’ll try 5×5 at 70lbs next week, with only a form warm-up beforehand. I should be physically warmed enough from benching and squatting anyway.
Lying Leg Curl
- 55×15 (AMRAP)
Having done Overhead Press I felt like my legs had enough rest to do some hamstring work, to help keep my knees in check.
This is basically the format I should be doing the Overhead Press in, too, except I won’t do an AMRAP set.
I just want to do sets of 8-12 on leg curls. Not decided on progression for this either. I’ll just try 60 next time and if I can’t get 8, I’ll revert to 55 for that workout and go for reps, I suppose.
I intended to do a 5-rep test with this, but after I couldn’t get the 130×5 I realized I actually beat my 130×1 by a rep anyway. So I decided to just do two drop sets.
I think since I’m not training any pulls I should train this with a greater volume focus than intensity. Maybe try 115 for a top set of 9, since I got eight total reps at that weight in this workout and have two days of rest to adapt.
Keep the warm-up volume to something manageable, I do want to practice form on this exercise also.
Dumbbell Lateral Raise
I decided that when I got less than 9 reps, I would drop the weight and do an AMRAP. I need to pay more respect to my lateral deltoids.