Let’s Talk Details
1. The Plan
2. Your Job
Wide-Grip Barbell Flat Bench
Close-grip Barbell Flat Bench
Dumbbell Incline Bench
How many sets to add? As you move into the final weeks of this final block, you will notice that the volume and training is near maximal. We are not trying to establish a new normal. We are training harder than we can sustainably do. This means that it is okay to do more than you normally would. I would recommend that you save a little bit in your tank for next week, but for the most part, release the beast these next two weeks. Consider a deload after you end this program.
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.
For your key lifts, consider using intensity techniques on the last one or two sets of each exercise..
For your accessory lifts, you may consider resting between reps if you want to crank out a few more reps. Keep in mind that this trick stimulates the muscle more but comes at the expense of more fatigue. Do not forget that week 4 is next week and we need you to be sharp!
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.
Since this is the last week of the block: be a little more ambitious than usual about doing more sets. We want to finish with the maximum amount of work possible. Make sure to sleep 8 hours or more, nail your diet, and manage your stress. This will help you recover to do more volume.
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: