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#224416 - 01/21/06 08:58 PM Pyramid bench press
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Hey guys. When starting my workouts years and years ago I had a one time max benchpress of 75lbs. I've increaed that quite a bit, but still have more to go. Of all the techniques I tried, pyramid lifting has by far been my favorite. It gives you a nice way to judge your progress as well as getting your body used to one rep heavy lifts.

I left that first gym after about 3 years. They had a bench pyramid chart on the wall and without it I was lost. Unfortunately all the places I looked online wanted to charge you for their knowledge. I got so desperate I went back to my first gym and scrawled a part of this magic chart down and now I'm going to share it with you =) if any of you are so inclined, give it a try and let me know if you love it as much as I do.

WARNING: this is considered to be an advanced benchpress technique. Please don't try it without a spotter because you will be pushing yourself to the very edge of what your body can do! If you can't work with a spotter please be conservative with chart choice, and slowly work up to that edge instead of trying one thats too hard and getting a weight bar stuck on your chest.

The format of the chart is as follows (using my current chart):

1-rep max 240
____________ ___
8 reps 160
6 reps 175
4 reps 190
3 reps 205
2 reps 215
1 rep 225
4 reps 190

so in a linear fashion I do 8x160, 6x175, 4x190, 3x205, 2x215, 1x225, and back to 4x190. If I can complete all of these reps then my estimated one-time-max benchpress is 240lbs.

Here are 14 different charts for you to use. If they are too heavy subtract 10lbs from each row until you get to where you need to be. If these are too light, add the same weight to each row.

---210 220 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 310 320 330 340
-----------------------------------------------------------
8 |140 145 150 160 165 170 180 185 190 200 205 210 215 225
6 |155 160 170 175 180 190 195 205 210 220 225 235 240 250
4 |170 175 185 190 200 210 215 225 230 240 250 255 265 270
3 |180 190 195 205 215 225 230 240 250 260 265 275 285 290
2 |190 200 205 215 225 235 245 250 260 270 280 290 295 305
1 |195 205 215 225 230 240 250 260 270 280 290 300 305 315
4 |170 175 185 190 200 210 215 225 230 240 250 255 265 270

Also this chart can be used for deadlifts or squats. I find this is a nice compliment to a 5x5 workout. If I do a bench chart on monday then I'll do 5 sets of 5 reps on bench on thursday.

enjoy

[edit: argh I lost my formatting a bit. looks like the forum removes too many spaces. hopefully its still understandable]


Edited by Borrek (01/21/06 09:00 PM)

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#224417 - 01/22/06 12:48 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Borrek]
TimBlack Offline
Exalted

Registered: 05/10/05
Posts: 1403
Loc: UK, Brighton
How much do you weigh? It's just that, for anyone under 180lbs, it's relatively unlikely they're going to be benching that much... Hell, I'd be pretty chuffed to be benching 220lbs
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#224418 - 01/22/06 01:47 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Borrek]
Dereck Offline
Prolific

Registered: 10/04/04
Posts: 10413
Loc: Great White North
I've found this to be fairly accurate for determining the 1 rep max.

http://www.thepumpingstation.com/1repmax.html

I'm not sure if I understood the original post as Borrek said he had a one time max benchpress of 75lbs. And though he says he increased this quite a bit, these are exception increases ... good for you.

I'm not sure how to read the chart. What does each section stand for? If the side on the left going down is the number of reps and the numbers on top going across are the 1 rep max's, and the body is the amount of weight at those reps that equals the 1 rep max ... this doesn't make sense for the 1 rep part???? OR is this just for this pyramid exercise?

Knowing what my 1 rep was years ago when I was only into weight lifting and not martial arts ... from actually doing 1 rep ... and also know what I was doing for regular lifting ... this chart doesn't work for me. The link I provided is fairly close though. Back in 2002 my 1 rep was 332 which I did successfully and tried a second but the second was sloppy and I cheated. On a regular day I was doing 5 sets of 289. When you throw that in the linked formula it says 1 rep equals 337 ... darn close when I was able to partially lift a second. According to this chart, if I'm reading this right, I should have been able to lift between 350 to 360 ... which I know was not possible. This would give somebody a false hope.
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#224419 - 01/22/06 03:50 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Dereck]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Quote:

I've found this to be fairly accurate for determining the 1 rep max.

http://www.thepumpingstation.com/1repmax.html

I'm not sure if I understood the original post as Borrek said he had a one time max benchpress of 75lbs. And though he says he increased this quite a bit, these are exception increases ... good for you.

I'm not sure how to read the chart. What does each section stand for? If the side on the left going down is the number of reps and the numbers on top going across are the 1 rep max's, and the body is the amount of weight at those reps that equals the 1 rep max ... this doesn't make sense for the 1 rep part???? OR is this just for this pyramid exercise?

Knowing what my 1 rep was years ago when I was only into weight lifting and not martial arts ... from actually doing 1 rep ... and also know what I was doing for regular lifting ... this chart doesn't work for me. The link I provided is fairly close though. Back in 2002 my 1 rep was 332 which I did successfully and tried a second but the second was sloppy and I cheated. On a regular day I was doing 5 sets of 289. When you throw that in the linked formula it says 1 rep equals 337 ... darn close when I was able to partially lift a second. According to this chart, if I'm reading this right, I should have been able to lift between 350 to 360 ... which I know was not possible. This would give somebody a false hope.




Yeah I guess this came out a bit confusing. The chart is not for estimating how much you can lift for one rep. It is a benchpress workout routine. Each individual column is a workout routine by itself and it is just presented in order so you know where to go once you can fully complete a whole column with ease. The far left side is the number of reps for each given weight amount. The "estimated one rep max" part you can think of as just a name of each chart. For example my friend might say "Are you lifting the 250 chart today?"

I've personally found that the "estimated one max rep" is close to what I can lift if I can successfully complete every rep on a chart. When you get into the groove and are pushing yourself I find that its hard to complete the last rep on each step of the pyramid. This is because of muscular fatigue. Since the one rep lift on my current chart is 225lbs, I know I can lift more than that without fatigue.

to be honest I maybe try a one rep max once a year (and then only because of much smack talking by my friends) so if asked "how much ya bench?" I would say 225 instead of the 240 that my chart estimates.

And to answer Tim's question my current weight is 172 pounds, but I'm at 15% bodyfat. I like french fries.

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#224420 - 01/25/06 09:51 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Borrek]
nick26 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
how in the world do i read your pyramid thing borreck.. i am very interested in that but i am confused...im not dumb im just confusedd...and the website provided the percentages were wierd and it was off with what i could oo so borreck whats up how you read that?
_________________________
Fear Nothing but Fear Itself

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#224421 - 01/25/06 11:28 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: nick26]
Borrek Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 501
Loc: Ann Arbor, MI
Just curious but how much weight can you comfortably lift 8 times? use that number to choose the right column for you

lets just take the first column as an example.

--210
------
8 |140
6 |155
4 |170
3 |180
2 |190
1 |195
4 |170

You would refer to this as the "210" chart and your bench routine would be:
140lbs for 8 reps, 155lbs for 6 reps, 170lbs for 4 reps, 180lbs for 3 reps, 190lbs for 2 reps, 195lbs for 1 rep, then finish with 170lbs for 4 reps again.

make sure to rest about 2 minutes between sets.

make sense?

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#224422 - 01/26/06 02:46 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Borrek]
nick26 Offline
Member

Registered: 01/09/06
Posts: 93
Loc: Detroit, Michigan
ahhhhh oookkk......yes now it does. thanks for simplifying that for me peanut sized brain...thats a sweet chart thingy..awosme
_________________________
Fear Nothing but Fear Itself

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#224423 - 04/12/07 07:25 PM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Borrek]
Eagle Offline
Stranger

Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 1

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#224424 - 01/16/08 08:29 AM Re: Pyramid bench press [Re: Eagle]
bodypower Offline
Stranger

Registered: 01/16/08
Posts: 1
so when your benching you roughly add on 10% each time you go up to the next set





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Further advertising like this will result in you being banned.


Edited by Reiki (01/17/08 06:01 PM)

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#224425 - 02/25/08 03:22 PM Re: Pyramid bench press *DELETED* [Re: bodypower]
Rufio Offline
Stranger

Registered: 02/25/08
Posts: 2
Loc: Minnesota
Post deleted by Rufio

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