How to Bench Press 500 Easy
By: Louie Simmons
Everyone strives for a goal,
one of which may be a 500 bench. The problem is how do you achieve
it? For me it was a mystery until I discovered a method of training
known as the conjugate method. This is done along with the dynamic
method with submaximal weights on a second day, 72 hours later.
Today we have 29 people who have done at least 500, four who have done
over 600, and the youngest person ever to bench 700. Here's how.
On Sunday we use the dynamic
method. The weight is 55% of a contest max with a shirt. If
for some reason you compete without a shirt, 60% is used. We do 8-10
sets of 3 reps. It's best to use three or more grips In a workout.
Most of the sets are done with a grip inside the power rings on the bar,
that is, with the little finger inside the ring. Using grips inside
the rings will aid greatly in triceps and anterior delt development.
The reps must be
very explosive. Lower the bar quickly, but under control. Lowering
contributes to raising, or concentric, strength. Lowering a bar slowly
build muscle mass but not strength.
Please, I beg you, stop reading bodybuilding magazines. They have
contributed greatly to ruining strength training in the United
States. After all, plyometrics is the energy
gained by the body dropping and then responding to that dropping with reversal,
or explosive, strength.
The bar should be pushed
back up in a straight line, not back over the face. This requires
strong triceps. This path is a shorter distance and requires no shoulder
which is also much safer. The barbell will
always seek the strongest muscle group; that's why most push
the bar over the face. Their delts are stronger than their triceps.
But it should be the reverse. One sees a lot of shoulder and pec
injuries, but seldom do you see a triceps injury. Why? The triceps have
never been pushed to their maximum, potential.
We do approximately
20 reps out of 200 above our training weight. We may add only 30-50
pounds to the bar, mainly to check that bar speed remains high. If
speed, or reversal strength slows, you have a
problem. After all, this would still be a very submaximal weight
if you bench press 500 and train with 275, or 55%. You could
also do a few singles, but not with more than
90% and not very often. We found this interferes with the max
effort day three days later.
After bench pressing,
go first to triceps work. Basically 60 total reps are done with dumbbells,
broken down into 5 sets of 10 reps or possibly 7 sets of 8 reps. The palms
should be facing inward, toward the body, when dumbbells are used for extensions.
When a barbell is used, 40 reps should be done, bringing the bar to the
forehead, chin or throat.
Paul Dicks presses
with a regular bar or a Safety Squat Bar can be done.
We do a lot
of J.M. presses, named after J. M. Blakely: with a close grip, lower the
bar to 4-5 inches off the chest above the nipples, hold for a split second,
and press back up. This is a very effective exercise.
triceps, do front raises with a bar, plate, or dumbbells. Heavy weights
used. Also do side delts with dumbbells or a cable, rear delts, 4
or 5 sets of lats, a few hammer curls. Do delt and lat work by feel,
but continuously do more and heavier weight.
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Copyright 1998 Louie Simmons.