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Friday, March 1, 2013

Training - Bench Press, Raw and GearWhore Style

1 March 2013

After much reading of reviews and deliberating, I broke down and bought a SlingShot from Mark Bell's online store. I never saw the point in "geared" bench pressing since I don't compete, but I read a lot of really positive reviews from raw bench pressers who recommend it for overload training.

I've been toying with the idea ever since I've started bench pressing twice a week. When the weights got heavy in my last training cycle, I began to experience some pectoral pain and I'm terrified of a pec tear. So I got one two days ago and today was my first workout with it.

Bench press (no SS): warmup, then 290 lbs. x 4 sets x 6

Bench press, with SS: 225x6, 305x5, 325x4. These were nice and controlled, close-grip presses.

While there is definitely a learning curve with this thing, it felt nice and natural even on the first set. The SlingShot locks your arms in the correct biomechanical groove, forces you to tuck your elbows into your sides and grip the bar close, thus delivering cruel and unusual punishment to your triceps. I'd rate the device 10/10.

While it definitely gives you a considerable boost at the bottom (from the chest), it's not a ridiculous amount of boost, and the upper half of the movement is 100% shoulders and triceps. I can definitely bench press 325 lbs. for a top set of 4 even without the SlingShot, but not after hitting all those sets and reps beforehand. So I'd say the 10% overload estimate is pretty spot on. I've decided to use it after my regular sets are done, as overload for 1-2 heavy sets of 5, maybe once a week. Hopefully this will allow me to keep pressing twice a week while reducing the strain on my pectorals and shoulders. The ultimate goal is still 405x1, no SlingShot.

Chest-supported rows 4 sets x 6-10

Dips 1 x 9 unweighted, 1 x 8 + 10 lbs., 1 x 6 +25 lbs.

Pullups 3 sets x 5

DB incline bench curls 3 x AMAP

Seated half-curls with barbell 3 sets x AMAP

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