Unlocking Your Raw Bench Press Potential: A Glimpse into Limitless' Method
In the realm of athletics, upper body strength stands as a cornerstone of triumph. The chest, back, arms, and shoulders wield immense influence across various sports, especially in the raw powerlifting domain. For a raw powerlifter aiming for pinnacle success, a robust bench press is non-negotiable. Given the impressive benchmarks seen in contemporary powerlifting, inadequate bench press training can leave you falling short of your competitive aspirations.
A common misperception about Limitless is its equipped-focused training. This isn't entirely accurate. Even for equippeded lifters, at Limitless we insist on cultivating strength in both raw and equipped conditions. The rationale was clear: enhancing raw bench press strength and muscle mass could only bolster the equipped bench press. The achievements in developing equipped bench pressers unequivocally affirm this approach.
At Limitless, our bench press training encompasses a comprehensive focus on all essential aspects of the bench press. This spans absolute strength, explosive power, upper body muscle mass, and technique. We achieve this through a blend of main and accessory exercises, employing varying intensities, velocities, and volumes.
Here's an insight into how we fortify the raw bench press at Limitless:
Identifying Weaknesses: The Foundation of Progress
To embark on refining the raw bench press, we meticulously assess an athlete's max effort strength, accessory exercise strength and work capacity, and overall technical prowess. This assessment is vital to gauge an athlete's potential and identify any existing hindrances in their progress.
Max effort strength evaluation involves pushing the athlete up to 85-95% of their capacity, keenly noting the struggle points during the ascent. Additionally, we select a range of upper-body exercises to test and enhance accessory exercise strength and work capacity.
Throughout this process, we carefully observe the technical execution of each exercise, from the main to the accessory ones. Armed with this assessment, we construct a tailored training program, ensuring immediate enhancements in raw bench press strength and technique.
Building Chest and Anterior/Medial Deltoids: The Power Center
The initial thrust towards a potent raw bench press lies in enhancing the chest and anterior shoulder strength and mass. By fortifying these areas, we optimize the force applied to the barbell while minimizing the competition bench press's overall range of motion. It's a win-win strategy.
Moreover, strengthening the chest and shoulders is pivotal for injury prevention during the raw bench press, given their significant role in both eccentric and concentric phases. Our main exercise variations often involve full-range pressing movements to ensure proper training of these muscle groups. Simultaneously, we incorporate exercises with a reduced range of motion to target specific joint angles, such as bench press variations, incline bench press, close-grip bench press, pin press, board press, Spoto press, and floor press.
Accessory exercises further amplify the strength, mass, and work capacity of all relevant muscle groups. These encompass flat and incline dumbbell bench press, standing chest press, dumbbell floor press, push-ups, overhead press, landmine press, dumbbell lateral raise, dumbbell front raise, and dips. Athletes perform these exercises for 3-5 sets at varying rep ranges.
Building Arms: The Leverage and Control
The arm complex, including triceps, biceps, and forearms, plays a pivotal role in both raw and equipped bench press. Strong triceps are vital for extending the elbow during the press, but sturdy biceps and forearms are equally crucial to assist in this process and maintain a solid grip on the barbell.
While our main pressing exercises contribute to arm strength, we allocate specific focus to arm-centric training during the accessory exercise segment of our training regimen. Our approach here mirrors aspects of bodybuilding training, adjusting volume and intensity accordingly.
For triceps, we engage in exercises like rolling dumbbell tricep extensions, skull crushers, press downs, and dips. Biceps are trained with movements such as dumbbell curls, hammer curls, cable curls, or preacher curls. Forearm training includes wrist curls using dumbbells or bands, reverse barbell curls, and Zottman curls. Athletes perform these exercises for 3-5 sets, varying rep ranges based on the exercise.
Additionally, we integrate heavy accessory work to enhance tricep strength, employing exercises like close-grip bench press, JM press, board press, pin press, or floor press. The focus remains on strength improvement, usually at lower rep counts in the 3-5 range.
Building the Back and Rear Deltoids: The Pillars of Stability
In the bench press, stability during the liftoff, eccentric, and concentric phases heavily relies on the strength of the mid and upper back, coupled with the posterior shoulders. These muscle groups play a pivotal role in initiating, sustaining, and locking out the bench press.
At Limitless, we dedicate a considerable portion of our accessory exercise training to fortifying the upper, mid, and lower back. Be it an upper or lower-body training day, a back-specific exercise is likely to be included. However, upper body training days emphasize the mid and upper back.
Our arsenal of exercises includes barbell rows, dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns with various attachments, chest-supported rows, upright rows, shrugs, and pull-ups to effectively train the mid and upper back. Additionally, we incorporate exercises like Y raises, rear delt flys, face pulls, reverse pec deck, and banded pull-aparts to target the posterior shoulders.
Athletes perform these exercises for 3-5 sets at varying rep ranges, typically with lower rep counts and slightly higher intensity for back exercises. Rear delt-focused exercises are performed for higher rep counts.
The Limitless Approach: Inspired by Sheiko and the Conjugate Method
Our methodology draws inspiration from a blend of Sheiko and the Conjugate Method, tailored to suit the needs of raw powerlifters.
Quintin's meticulous approach, honed over almost two decades, emphasizes the necessity of strength across raw and geared conditions. It's about developing not just strength, but the ability to exert that strength efficiently and effectively in the bench press.
Incorporating Limitless' inspired training methods into your raw bench press regimen will be a pivotal step in your powerlifting journey. If you've grappled with a feeble or stagnant bench press, our methods will set you back on the track to progress and gains.
Make no mistake—the Limitless Way is the epitome of effective training."