Speed Bench Workout

Posted by Louie Simmons

Westside’s speed bench is done on Saturday. Most think of this work as nine sets of three reps using three different grips. Do three sets with the index finger just touching the smooth part of the bar. Next, move outward for three sets and finally do three sets with the little finger touching the power ring. You can do the grips any way you would like. Most do the closest grips first, but it is up to you how you do the sets.

Westside started doing the sets with about 40 percent bar weight and 30 percent chain or band for accommodating resistance due to bar deceleration. The light percent was for a rate of force development or RFD. Years ago most powerlifters were not that fast, but with the speed-strength benching we became almost too fast, which led to the great speed, but a reduction in force.

Now in 2017 Westside has moved up the bar weight to 50 percent plus 30 percent chain or bands. The close and moderately close grips helped build more than just triceps. After the bench sets, two or three sets of dumbbell presses are done. For each workout you should change bench angles from flat, seated, incline, and decline to work the muscles at many angles.

Use a weight that is fairly easy for 20 reps per set. Next, go to triceps. Westside rotates the exercises when progress can no longer be made—dumbbell rollbacks, elbows out extensions, French press. Westside benches then we train the muscles that bench. After a fast warm-up, push the triceps as hard as possible for 60 to 100 reps. As a guideline, always try to add weight when

Use a weight that is fairly easy for 20 reps per set. Next, go to triceps. Westside rotates the exercises when progress can no longer be made—dumbbell rollbacks, elbows out extensions, French press. Westside benches then we train the muscles that bench. After a fast warm-up, push the triceps as hard as possible for 60 to 100 reps. As a guideline, always try to add weight when

Next, go to triceps. Westside rotates the exercises when progress can no longer be made—dumbbell rollbacks, elbows out extensions, French press. Westside benches then we train the muscles that bench. After a fast warm-up, push the triceps as hard as possible for 60 to 100 reps. As a guideline, always try to add weight when possible but maintain good form. Barbell extensions play a large role in Westside training—EZ-curl bar, football bar, straight bar. The bars are rotated when necessary to raise weights, again 60 to 100 reps is just a guideline, some can do more while it could be too much for others. After the dumbbell or barbell extensions, do 100 push-downs in high reps or band pushdowns for the 100 reps. The triceps are very important and certainly the lockout. Next, it is lats, upper back, and delts. This means front, side, and rear delts.

The bars are rotated when necessary to raise weights, again 60 to 100 reps is just a guideline, some can do more while it could be too much for others. After the dumbbell or barbell extensions, do 100 push-downs in high reps or band pushdowns for the 100 reps. The triceps are very important and certainly the lockout. Next, it is lats, upper back, and delts. This means front, side, and rear delts. 

Westside has many workouts for speed day. I had always used the advice of Larry Pacifico for benching when it came to triceps, but Bill Seno, a great bencher, and upper body builder, gave me a time-tested program for adding pounds to your bench. Work up to a six rep max starting light so you can keep adding weight for three or four weeks. When no more progress can be made, start over with an

When no more progress can be made, start over with an eight-rep max. After a few weeks and no more progress can be made, go to a 10 rep max. After a few weeks of 10-rep maxing out, go back to a third program. This time it is 6x6 reps for a few weeks until it becomes impossible to go higher. Then start over with 8x8 reps. Again, do eight reps per set until you can go no higher.

Now it is time to start over with 10 sets of 10 reps. The last two programs are for building bench press muscles with its high volume when doing a six rep max. The next cycle with the 6x6, 8x8, and 10x10 reps is an extra high volume.

When a meet is about 12 weeks out, go back to the original 9x3 reps.

All workouts can be done with bands or chains or a combination of both. It is common to add a choked band to increase the lockout. It can be any band from minis, monster, light, medium, or strong. This is a great method for a raw or geared lifter.

The reps can be done with any grip—close, medium, wide or ultra-wide, meaning about-one inch outside the illegal lines for a meet. Only do one method per cycle. This is a lot of work but the results speak for themselves. After any of the three speed-day workouts, always do all the special exercises for the triceps, back, and delts. 

Louie

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