Bench with speed and power
So today was definitely a reboot day considering I haven’t been to the gym since Friday — because I used Saturday and Sunday as my rest days; so coming back today, I created my own workout plan utilizing the information I learned from Matt Wenning, I made today a dynamic power workout — with bench press as the core lift. I focused on form and using my back more and chest and shoulders less. It is still something to get used to , but it went over well overall, I also need to implement some forearm exercises to make my wrist stronger (they have a tendency to bend when bench pressing higher weights) and I want to rid of the habit before I end up hurting myself — so if anyone has any wrist strengthening exercises they recommend that helps them, please leave them in the comment section.
Considering today is my first workout with a core lift, I went all out and made sure to really focus on the key factors to make my bench stronger. The key factors Matt told me about — my weaknesses and making them into strengths. All of the accessory work was for Triceps, lats and rear delts. I am definitely sore up top, but it was worth it, because I had to really put forth the effort.
Warm up: 12-15 min (done as a circuit)
- DB press: 4 x 25, 30 lbs
- Cable one arm tricep extension 4 x 25 each arm, no weight
- Pec dec/rear delt machine: 4 x 25, 20 lb
- Barbell bench press (dynamic/speed and power): 9 x 3-6, 80 lbs – I did 3 sets of medium, 3 sets narrow and 3 sets wide grip and focused on speed and power output & used 60% of my 1RM.
- Close grip lat pulldown: 5 x 10-15, 70 lbs
- Kneeling cable tricep extension: 5 x 10-15, 70 lbs
- Cable face pull: 5 x 10-15, 70 lbs
- Rope straight arm pull down: 5 x 10-15, 40 lbs
- Cable triceps overhead extension (rope): 5 x 10-15, 60 lbs
- Bentover DB reverse fly: 5 x 10-15, 30 lbs
- Seated elevated cable rows: 5 x 10-15, 90 lbs
- Reverse grip triceps pushdown: 5 x 10-15, 50 lbs
- EZ bar military press: 5 x 10-15, 50 lbs
Now I wanted to do bench press with bands as well but my gym didn’t offer thin enough bands for me to do it and I thought I could manage the thicker bands, but with the help of a spotter I couldn’t even manage to lift the bar off me with the thicker bands, #lifelesson so maybe when I get some bands then I can implement those for dynamic speed day as well.
So this lift will be exciting to talk about because I know my blog has some heavy lifters for sure and people who implement this workout on a more daily basis, but if you aren’t someone who has done this particular exercise, don’t fret, today is your lucky day to learn! The above video shows Scott Herman demonstrating it with the barbell, but it can be done with dumbbells (will be discussed in separate post) so, if you don’t have a barbell, this is one of those versatile exercises. The ONE thing to keep in mind is to ALWAYS do this exercise using the correct form and technique or you will end up injured or with unnecessary soreness. I know I always tell you guys to watch for form and technique, but this one of those exercises it is extremely important because many people do not do this exercise correctly. If you are like me, you should be putting most of the effort in your legs and not so much your back – although you will use your back muscles as well. Pay attention to the above video and the step by step directions.
How to perform the movement:
- Using a barbell, hold it at hip level, with a pronated grip (palms facing down). Shoulders back, back arched, and knees slightly bent. Starting position.
- Lower the bar by moving your butt back as far as you can, keep the bar close to your body, head looking forward and your shoulders are back. Should end up just below the knee.
- Return to starting position by driving the hips forward and standing up tall.
- Repeat for the recommended repetitions.
Now this exercise is easier said than done, pay attention to your full ROM and making sure you aren’t compensating in any way that could cause injury. I obviously recommend for beginners, using the bar only and if the 45 lb bar is too heavy, try using the 35 lb bars or using a body bar.
- hip flexors
- back muscles
- abdominal muscles help keep you from folding in half
So for those of you who do this deadlift, what is your max?
P.S I have actually spoken to Scott Herman on Instagram! lol
Normally, I would be holding dumbbells or a barbell but I made a point to do them without extra weight to demonstrate the movement for beginners. I don’t like having to do lunges but I will admit that they are a great functional workout and because there is such a variety of them, it can always be changed to your liking and fitness level. As always, down below I will share how to do them properly and the muscles that are effected.
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- Feet shoulder width apart and hands placed on hips
- Step forward with one leg, making sure to flex the knees to drop the hips. Decent until the rear knee comes close to touching the ground, posture should remain upright and front knee stays above the front foot
- drive through the heel of your lead foot, extend both knees to raise yourself back up.
- Step forward with the rear foot, repeating the movement with the opposite leg
What muscles am I working on:
- lower calf muscles
- back muscles acts as stabilizer
- abdominal muscles act as a stabilizer
It is important to have strong core for lunges in order to keep your form. Many people struggle with lunges so if you are someone who does, start without using any weights and focus on form and technique. Lunges are a great functional exercise, much like squats. If you are more advanced you can use dumbbells or a barbell for added weight.
How many of you like doing lunges? any favorite types of lunges (which I will talk about in other blog post)
When it comes to a good back workout, we all tend to go towards the rows and for good reason, but have you thought about adding some variety to your workout and giving the seated low row a try? I am performing this workout in the link above to give you an idea on how it gets done. Take into consideration I am lifting a heavier weight but it doesn’t mean you will need to, just lift what you can lift but make sure to keep your form in check because I don’t want to see any of you hurt.
How to perform the seated low row:
- Sit down on the seat and place your feet on the front platform. (knees should be slightly bent – not locked)
- Lean over but be sure to keep the neutral alignment of your back and grab the v-bar
- With arms extended, pull back until your torso is at a 90 degree angle from your legs. Back should be slightly arched and chest should be out. You may feel a slight stretch on your lats, this is the starting position.
- While keeping your torso stationary, pull the handles back towards your torso until you touch the abdominal region (breathe out while performing this movement). Make sure to be squeezing your back muscles, holding that contraction for less than a minute then slowly go back to the original position while breathing in.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Keep in mind that there are many attachments that can be used, they all have certain ways to hold the handle, so be aware of this.
Muscles Effected by this exercise:
- rear deltoids
- forearm flexors
- middle back region
I don’t know how many of you love having a good back day, but when it doubt give this a try and really make sure to squeeze those muscles so you can really feel the muscles engaging throughout the movement. As always, be sure to contact a professional before starting this exercise if you have prior injuries or conditions that could inhibit you.
Thanks for reading, be sure to like, comment, share and of course follow for more workouts!