Bigger Bench through Partial Training by Gabe Wells

What is partial training? Take a compound lift (bench, squat, or deadlift) that you are familiar with and work a partial movement of that lift. Maybe you are having issues off your chest or perhaps your issue is lockout of your bench, so we will use this and create a sample routine. Nothing over elaborate just really want to stick to the basics here.

Here we go:

Main lift: Bench press

For our variations we will use pin press and 2 or 3 board press (depending on how long your arms are)

Pin press: positioning a bench inside a power rack, set pin bars approximately 4-6inchs off your chest. Rest the bar on pins and press, return to start position…pretty simple eh? Good it should be, now how do we set this up reps and sets wise? For our example routine we will use 5 sets of 3 @ 80-95% of bench press 1rm. For sake of ease lets say your max is 300lbs. and we will use 80% for all sets. Now remember to squeeze shoulders together, drive with your legs, and grip the bar tightly as if you were trying to pull it apart.

5 sets @ 240lbs for 3 reps

Board press: Just like the pin press the board press is excellent for working the lockout. The triceps get a very thorough working as well. First of all, board presses aren’t just for breaking in a bench shirt! These are very instrumental in helping develop tricep power. Using 2boards or 3boards depending on how long your arms are, lower the bar to the boards, slight pause and press to lockout. Just as pin press, we will use 5×3 scheme/80-95% of 1 rep bench press max. Lets use 90% of bench press max.

5 sets @ 270lbs. for 3 sets

Alrite students lets put this into a simple format that easy to follow. Each week we will do a variation of the bench press.

Week 1: Bench press (5×3) 80% (240lbs)
Week 2: Pin Press (5×3) 80% (240lbs)
Week 3: Board press (5×3) 90% (270lbs)
Week 4: Deload
Week 5: Pin Press (5×3) 85% (255lbs)
Week 6: Board Press (5×3) 95% (285lbs)
Week 7: Bench press (5×3) 80% (240lbs)
Week 8: Deload
Week 9: Test 1 rep Bench press

There we have it kids, a bigger bench through partial training. Partial training allows for new ground to be covered as well as different avenues to work the main movement without being burnt out on the main movement.


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