This installment of the Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher Coaches Log covers Mike Strom and Steve Brock’s RAW, shirt prep bench training.

The point of this particular log is to show the contrast between two excellent shirted benchers, as they train RAW, in preparation for their shirted bench work coming up later in their training cycles.  (Training footage filmed in HD, load up to 720 or 1080 for best quality).


Mike Strom (Top 50 ALL TIME American bench press list) has a 628LB shirted bench as a light 198LBer, and Steve (WPC World Powerlifting Champion) presses in the mid-700’s in a shirt and is a 308LBer. Both are in the early stages of preparing for the APF Senior Nationals.

In this coaches log/video we hone in on the fact that part of a big shirted bench is RAW bench press power. The saying “The shirt does all the work” clearly was first stated by someone without experience in a shirt. The following is a good chunk of footage of Mike’s and Steve’s RAW training session from this workout as they prep for future shirt work. Both Mike and Steve competed at the 2014 WPC Worlds and both have unfinished business there. Having competed in three worlds myself, I can see clearly their desire to come out on top at the world’s biggest meet. Both have the following things in common: A tremendous work ethic, smart training programs, and the realization that building power is more important than constantly just measuring their power. We see a lot of lifters go heavy, heavy, heavy and test their strength without taking time to build it and crescendo into meet condition. Both Mike and Steve are great in the area of meet prep and over the course of our coaches logs we hope you learn a great deal from both of them as well as others from the M.G.G. that we will feature for you.

In the training footage included in this log you will see floor-press with chains, flat bench without any accommodating resistance, as well as chaos bench. As both Mike and Steve are very good benchers, we have included a large chunk of training footage of these primary movements so you can also hone in on their technique as that might be beneficial for those looking to tweak their technique in any of the three afore mentioned bench movements.

Below you will find Steve and Mike’s workout and accompanying video (above) of some of their working sets. Ever Onward, Eric Maroscher/Owner: Monster Garage Gym.

VISUALIZE2242207_531082166941156_1567792043_o - Copy700sizeMGG
Photo by MGG: Mike Strom
Floor Press with Chains- Bar x 10, 135 x 10, 225 x 5,5, 315 x 3, start adding chains
315+1 x 2, 315+2 x 2,2, 315+3 x 1, 315+3 and a smaller chain x miss.

Shoulder hurt from the start on these, but something always hurts, and occasionally I'll just say fuck it and press on rather than being smart.

Chaos Bench- 35's handing from monster minis x 20, added 25's hanging from minis x 15, back down to 35's only x 20.

These generally make my shoulders feel great because they make my rotator cuff and rhomboids fire like crazy, so I figured it was a good time for them.

Lat Pulldowns- 5 sets of light weight x 12-15
Band Pullaparts- 3x15

I feel banged up, but starting to contemplate a meet. Getting too old to be "waiting to feel better".

IMG_1022 (1)144MGG700size

Photo by MGG: Steve Brock
Next Meet 4 months out – APF Sr Nationals Salt Lake City June 2015

I am finishing up the off season prep for me. While I am completely healed I am always aware of the torn pec needing surgery I had to deal with 3 years ago. No matter what training method I am using I am almost over cautious about the heavy loads particularly at the bottom of the press movement.

Today’s session was a lighter volume session for me in prep for a shirt next week. Right now I am cycling a heavy raw bench week followed my light higher rep movement with the 3rd week spent in a mutli-ply bench shirt. 3 days from now I will have a light speed day with lots of chest and shoulder isolation movements.

Flat Bench

Close Grip Bench

Aux Lifts
4 sets of Tri Push Downs
4 sets of Skull Crushers
We hope this video from our coaches log is beneficial to you. Special thanks to Mike Strom and Steve Brock. Music: Binary Metal, by Rob Scallon.

Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher coaches log by:
Eric Maroscher, 2-Time WPC World Powerlifting Champion. Columnist, Elitefts. Team Elitefts Member. Owner, Monster Garage Gym

Monster Garage Gym/Maroscher coaches log training footage of: Mike Strom and Steve Brock. Mike is the 2014 APF Senior Nationals winner and Best Lifter, a WPC World Powerlifting Championship qualifier and Top 50 All Time American bencher in the 181 and 198 categories and has an elite total. Steve Brock is a WPC World Powerlifting Champion and 1,003LB squatter.

Follow Monster Garage Gym at: