Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We all have weaknesses...

One of the things about putting yourself up in front of the world posting workouts etc... is that your weaknesses are part of you and will come out - in front of the world. Most hide from this and only want to show the "strong side" of themselves. I try to be as open as I can be about where I am weak etc...and Rif's post the other day showing the dumbell bench as a great assistance exercise for the bench press revealed one of mine.

Since my training has been a bit scattered and I train on my own (getting lift offs from people at the gym), I figured the DB bench was just the ticket. And it is.
At one of the places I work the DBs only go up to 85# - and since I have hit the 100# DBs for sets of 3 before I figured a 5x5 type approach with the 85's should be great. Well it didn't turn out quite that way.

DB bench 85# x 5, 5, 4

Stopped cold at the 4 th rep of the third set!
(that's 11 reps short for those of you counting at home)

Turns out I found a weak spot that should allow me to progress my PL bench (no wonder I have been bumping my head against the same spot and not increasing my bench! I'm weak!)
Sounds like Westside - doesn't it? Yes but I "maxed" out my target exercise before I am going to a "special" exercise so it is my twist on the Westside "train your weaknesses" philosophy.
And I am still working on my form for the flat bench etc...

So I will be pushing the DB bench for the next three - four weeks and then a back off week and then the PL meet. Thanks Rif.


Mark Reifkind said...

you're welcome I said on my blog, I wasn't specifically thinking of you when I posted that vides( just love db bench myself and thought it was a cool video)but it certainly was a good choice for you.
one of the best things to ever come out of WSB for me was the INTENSE focus on finding, training and destroying your was never ending. as soon as one was 'solved' the analysis begain again for the next weak point and the process began again.
one learned to embrace their weakness as it was the path to their long as it was attacked vigoursly and continually!
you will be making great gains on the db bench and your barbell bench will benefit as a result; of that I have no doubt!
train hard!

Taikei Matsushita said...

You and Rif's saying open up a whole new knowledge. They are simple, applicable, and mostly battle proven.
I enjoy the last few writings alot.

Rick & The Family! said...


It is interesting how everyone is so different. I can handle the 110s (heaviest at the gym) for 6-8 reps all day long, yet my flat bench still sucks. Go figure.

Hope the db work helps you. I have found doing it 1-arm at a time helps me more then just regular db presses.


Anonymous said...

I am glad to see you "open-mindedly" disecting your workouts with training concepts from other successful PL'ers...DB bench never helped me much...I could rep out 120's for 3x10 and still maintain a steady weight at best.
Howvever, I had a great "ahh-haa" when I added strict OH presses and floor presses with KB's specifically, for my low end work... coupled with high end work off 1, 2 boards(for raw lifters) with occasional 3 board work really helped me!!
In all honesty though,lower volume helped the most!!! Good luck and keep posting...great stuff!!!
-alan martin, RKC, Oct 2007

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Rif - we will see where this takes me.

Thanks Taikei - just sharing my journey.

Thanks Rick - too true - everyone has their own thing - just have to find it.

Thanks Alan - The reason for the DB work emphasis for now is that I don't need a spotter and can hit a "weak" point (we will see if it is actually a weak point that boosts my goal lift or not) - not having a crew to train with and get good handoffs, hold boards etc... limits the training options.

Mark Reifkind said...


everyone needs different special exercises depending on where their weak point is. For me I needed lockout work as I could get lots off my chest but I had to keep the tri's strong enough to lock heavy weights out.but I used a bench shirt. If I had competed raw i would have done more flat db bench variations for special exercise.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff and insight guys!

Brett, your right about lifting w/out a crew...cutting yourself short on weight because of no lift-offs/ spotters is the worst...the only upside is that it can reduce the risk of overtraining...maybe.
As for board presses, I have put the boards under my shirt (nice splinters!) or you can also wrap a bungee around your chest and boards to hold them in alright. Not ideal, and the boards usually end up in your face by the end of the press; but oh well...good luck, I hope your training is successful!! later, alan...

Aaron Friday said...

Brett, that's really a shame. The dumbells at our gym go up to 200 lbs, and I've never seen anyone use them. I'm amused by them, actually.

Here, grab this 200-lb dumbell and do an exercise, LOL! Get real.

Blogs are great for sharing whatever you've got. Strength, weakness, and anything else you've got to report while attempting something real. Life is too short to be a faker.

Too bad you're stuck lifting alone. You'd be a star at our gym. Not only would I spot you on bench, I'd show up just to give you shit and keep you company on other days. Can't beat a community.

Brett Jones said...

Thanks Alan - I might give those splinter presses a try ;)

Thanks Aaron - I would be honored to have you spot me and be a part of the Press community.

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