The aim of this work-out plan is to increase your one rep max in the bench press exercise. The programme should be done on two non-consecutive days every week, for example Monday and Thursday, or Tuesday and Friday. You will also need to change your diet to one that has more calories while maintaining a high nutritional value, especially in protein. You will also benefit from using Creatine during this programme.

Your weight to waist chart

Description of a Bench Press

Lying on a bench, with your feet positioned flat on the floor slightly
more than shoulder-width apart, hold the barbell with your elbows
locked out right over the middle of your chest. Lower the barbell
slowly to a point in the middle of your chest (aim for your nipples).
Once you have made contact with your chest, drive the weight back
up immediately

How To Do The Programme

  • The ‘80%’ (see table, right) relates to 80% of
    your one rep max. So if you can do one rep with 100kg, your
    work weight for the next four weeks (sessions one to eight)
    will be 80kg.
  • All sessions start with two or three sets to warm up.
  • On week five you will do your normal training, but you need
    to take a rest from the bench press exercise. This rest will
    prepare you for the next four weeks (sessions nine to eighteen).
  • For this phase, you must increase the weight to 85%
    for the second session of each week. So in this example, you
    will use 80kg for the first session each week and 85kg for
    the second.
  • By session 16, you should be able to do 6×6 with 85kg.
    You now need a recovery session before attempting your new
    one rep max. This is achieved by doing 6×2 with 70%
    (70kg) and then giving yourself four days of complete rest
    before trying your new one repetition maximum.
  • While doing this routine, you should stop all your usual aerobic
    work and begin your work-out sessions with the bench routine.
    You should still be doing your other exercises, but because
    the bench press is the focus for the next nine weeks, it should
    be done at the start, when you are fresh and not fatigued.
  • When you have completed the entire nine-week programme,
    go back to your normal bench routine for at least ten weeks.
  • Though you could return to this routine after a ten-week
    break, I would advise using this system twice a year. It’s great
    for a change of pace and breaking plateaus in fitness training.
  • PHASE 1

    WEEK 1

    • 1. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 2. Bench press 80% 6×3

    WEEK 2

    • 3. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 4. Bench press 80% 6×4

    WEEK 3

    • 5. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 6. Bench press 80% 6×5

    WEEK 4

    • 7. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 8. Bench press 80% 6×6

    WEEK 5

    During this period you should do
    all of your normal training, but take
    one week’s rest from the bench press.

    PHASE 2

    WEEK 6

    • 9. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 10. Bench press 85% 6×3

    WEEK 7

    • 11. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 12. Bench press 85% 6×4

    WEEK 8

    • 13. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 14. Bench press 85% 6×5

    WEEK 9

    • 15. Bench press 80% 6×2
    • 16. Bench press 85% 6×6

    WEEK 10

    During this period you should do
    all of your normal training, but take
    one week’s rest from the bench press.