Can You Survive This Bench Press Workout?

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And here we go. Are you ready for a serious challenge? Ready to blast your chest and triceps into the WTF zone?

Well, then it’s time.

I wouldn’t suggest attempting this workout on International Chest Day. You know, Monday. Why? You’ll be hogging the bench like a mofo.

Save this bench press workout for one of those days when you’re full of energy and have a few hours to kill. It’s not an easy session, to say the least. You’ll have DOMS (muscle soreness) for days.

To say this training day is bench press-centric is an understatement. You start with a quality warm-up, move on to heavy benching, and then beat the snot out of your chest and triceps using volume. Bench press volume. Dumbbell bench press volume. Close grip volume. And finally, triceps volume.

Bench Press Workout Notes

You must at least have a ballpark estimate of your bench press one rep max heading into this session. If not use a recent heavy set and plug it into the Tiger Fitness one rep max calculator linked below.

Bench Press One Rep Max Calculator

You can opt to use a bench press assistance device if you prefer, like Mark Bell’s Slingshot. Just make sure to base the numbers on your relative one rep max USING this device.

Heavy Sets – These sets are designed to challenge your strength and prime your CNS. Perform the reps as listed.

Bench Volume – Here, the goal is to complete 10 sets of 10 reps using 50% of your one rep max. Rest as needed in between sets. If you can’t perform 10 reps during each set, don’t sweat it. Just do what you can.

Whatever you do, don’t train to failure. There is no point in doing so. Just hit as many quality reps as you can, and stop a set when you feel like you might fail on the next rep.

Dumbbell Bench – Take 45% of your bench max and split that weight up between two dumbbells. For example, if you bench 240, use 45% of this weight or about 110 pounds. This equates to 55 pound dumbbells.

Close Grip Bench – By now you’ll be struggling. Badly. Try to complete six sets of eight reps using 40% of your bench press max.

Finishers – Now that you can’t feel you’re triceps at all, why not finish them off with some brutal rest-pause work. Pick a weight for each of these exercises that would normally allow for 20 to 25 reps per set.

Using a rest-pause style, push for 50 total reps. Rest as needed, but don’t use extended rest periods. The point is to simply catch your breath for 5 to 15 seconds in between bursts of brutal effort.

If you are able to complete this workout, let me know what you thought of it in the comments section below. May the gains be with you!

Bench Press Workout
Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
 Bench Press – Warm Ups
 Bar  1  10
 30% of Max  1  8
 40% of Max  1  5
 50% of Max  1  3
 60% of Max  1  1
 70% of Max  1  1
 80% of Max  1  1
 Bench Press – Heavy Sets
 90% of Max  1  2
 80% of Max  1  5
 70% of Max  1  10
 Bench Press – Volume Sets
 50% of Max  10  10
 Dumbbell Bench Press
 45% of Max  6  10
 Close Grip Bench Press
 40% of Max  6  10
 Triceps Finisher
 Cable Triceps Extensions – Rest Pause  1  50
 Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions  1  50
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.