Training for the IPA Buckeye Brawl on December 1st. Programming by Dave Tate in italics.


Sunday September 30th
Max Effort Upper


  • *Warm Ups
  • 2 sets each various shoulder raise and push downs. Again this is just warming up. I would also put it 1-2 sets of hanging leg raise and GHR’s Also include shoulder circuit for 1 rotation.


Again, I do my back rehab exercises and RPR voodoo.

Also, the shoulder circuit refers to using light plates or dumbbells and doing side, front, rear, H raises and external rotation.

  • *Bench Press 
  • Work up to moderate set of 3 reps raw. Make this approximately 70% of what you think you might be able to do for 1 rep right now. Rest and do it again for a single. If you use a shirt put shirt on and start working triples with boards. Work up to a moderate to heavy triple. If no shirt than do triples with those working up with the boards until you do 3 more sets of 3 reps. Do not miss a rep.



I’m not sure what my raw bench currently is. I want to pretend it is close to 225 based on my recent training but probably not so I went with 155 for my 70% weight (which would be 70% of 220).

This was my second time back in the shirt since April. Usually when I am working up in a shirt, I will just throw it on for the first few sets, not really set it or jack it down or put a belt on. I did 185x3 to a 3 board then 225x3 to a 2 board. I then set my shirt and did 255x3 to a 2 board, then 275x2.5 to a 1 board.

OH BOY HOWDY. That last set was a cluster. The first one popped up good. Instead of resetting and pausing between reps, I just kept going and it led to two more incredibly sloppy reps that were abominations of shirted benching. Sorry, shirt.

The point of today was to get some shirt and strength building work in. The most I have ever hit in a shirt is 300 and that was probably 6 weeks out from my last meet. So at 9 weeks out, I feel like my strength levels for bench are where they should be in comparison to past meet cycles.

Now here is a video on how not to bench in a shirt.

Literally nothing about those is good except I have an idea of where my strength is and I got some shirt work in. I also know what I have to fix next time.

Aside from general shirt debacles, my other big issue is my elbow health. I use the word “health” very loosely here. I do not care if they are healthy. I care if they mess up my max effort benching. In the most surprising turn of events, they hurt when benching raw but not in a shirt. Usually they hurt the most doing pressing movements to my chest and then hurt about 300% more once I get a shirt on. I have been working on getting some shoulder mobility so all of the benching stress doesn’t go right to my ‘bows (that’s what the kids call them, right?). I also went to the Hybrid Performance recovery room the Friday before benching and got my arms cupped and ultrasounded and e-stimmed. So I will go ahead and say that is why they were ok in the shirt.


  • *Extensions (any type)
  • You can pick the sets and reps but when it all done should be 60 total reps

I did some dumbbell tricep extensions with 25 lbs for 3 sets of 20


  • *Overhead Press 
  • 4 sets 5-8 reps

I used the angle bar with a quarter and a five. I’m not doing the math for that bar I don’t know how much it is. Sorry.


  • * Lat Pull Downs 
  • Do 2 sets with 3 different handles for a total of 6 sets of 8-10 reps


  • *Pull Down Abs 
  •  3 sets of 8-10 reps

These are new in our program and apparently I have been doing these wrong my entire life so it was good to get an actual Tate Tutorial on these. I will try and get it on video next time so everyone else can feel bad about doing it wrong for years too.


  • *Free Time
  • 15 minutes - do whatever you want. Nothing under 10 reps and nothing over a level 4 

I usually do everything I can think of during free time. Today I just did grip work, banded round back good mornings, and some adductor work. I was fried from benching. I am trying to make smarter decisions in my training and not just do things because I can.

Now back to the adductor debacle: I am trying to throw in more adductor work to work on my eccentric strength. Today I did the adductor machine with fairly light weight but did about an 8 second eccentric and did not let the machine go to its end range of motion. Instead of working on pure adductor strength, I’m trying to work on my ability to open up and stabilize in my wide(ish) stance for squatting in gear. I also plan on adding in the same type of movement (longer eccentric, focus on pushing out) on the leg press or hack squat.