Let’s Talk Details
1. The Plan
2. Your Job
Barbell Flat Bench
Close-grip Barbell Flat Bench
Dumbbell Flat Bench
Dumbbell Incline Bench
How many sets to add? As you venture into the final weeks of the block, volume gets higher. If you are recovering just fine, you can add up to the maximum amount of recommended sets for key and accessory lifts. However, this is not essential for every lift and you do not have to add extra sets if you already have stimulated a muscle sufficiently.
You can check out “Videos” for common mistakes to troubleshoot your form on the key lifts before you start this training week. The goal is to feel like your form is better than ever.
Stay in a Good Spot this Block
You want a challenging workout where you leave feeling like you performed near maximally.
Plan your workout and write down the weight, sets, and rep range in the Workout Plan PDF to get you ready for Week 3.
Your reps on the first set may be near the top of the rep range, but by the last set, your reps may fall close to the bottom of the rep range.
This will feel like real training weight. Increase the weight just enough to stay at RIR 2. Keep in mind, your muscles will get depleted set to set and your reps may fall substantially. Try to get at least one set that is near personal record weight at RIR 2, and drop the weight on the upcoming sets if needed to remain at RIR 2 in the rep range.
Stay away from RIR 0! If you go to failure, the weight you picked is too heavy. Sometimes, you have to use the same weight as last week to stay in the rep range on the final set.
Add sets to KEY lifts first! You may not need to add the same number of sets to each key lift. I prefer to keep my most fatiguing lifts (heavy compounds) lower volume and focus more on the weight. Pressing can be closer to the top of the maximum number of sets for the week since they are less of a recovery problem.
Week 3 is the start of the challenge. We want to push ourselves without going to failure.
It is important to rest a little longer when the weights are heavier. If you struggle to maintain RIR 2 on your sets, you may need to rest a little longer between sets.
Above all else: Make sure your rest periods are not too short where it compromises your form!
Fill out the table with your expected weights and sets before you go workout, so you have a clear mission. Then adjust based on actual performance.
Here’s how I would fill it out for a workout: