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A New Progression Technique For Benching

I guess it isn’t new in any sense. In fact, it’s probably older than most of the people reading this blog, but it’s probably new to you.

The inspiration for this style of training comes from Doug Young, one of the greatest powerlifters of all time. This is how he progressed his benching and, as someone who benched 612 pounds in just a T-shirt, he knew a thing or two about bench training.

It is a 12 week rotation. The first four weeks are the most important and were you will see the most gains. From the calculations that I have done it seems like Doug would start the cycle at 1.35 times less than his max. This is a little less than 75% of max so start in the 70-75% range. Here’s were the progression comes in. Your fourth and final set is a limit set (if you’ve ever done Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 you should be familiar with this concept), which means max reps, AT THE SAME WEIGHT. Every rep over 6 that you get is equal to 5 pounds added to the bar the next benching session. If he couldn’t do more than 6 reps, the weight didn’t go up until he could.

It can be neither denied nor confirmed that epic chest hair is reponsible for epic strength

Doug would bench twice a week using this system.

Lets use a 300 pound bencher as an example:

Workout 1: 220 x 6, 220 x 6, 220 x 6, 220 x 10 (this equals 20 pounds)

Workout 2: 240 x 6, 240 x 6, 240 x 6, 240 x limit

And so on for four weeks.

After four weeks he would split the benching into two different days. One day with the 4 x 6 and the other day as a 5 x 3 (this day going for straight sets as heavy as he could for triples) for another four weeks.

This puts us at 8 weeks. The final 4 weeks are split into two week segments. The first two weeks are twice weekly 5×3. The second two weeks are twice weekly 5×2. After five days rest attempt a single rep max. Start over.

I just looked over everything I wrote. I have a feeling people will be confused so I will try to simplify.




Weeks 1 – 4*

4 x 6

4 x 6

Weeks 5 – 8

4 x 6

5 x 3

Weeks 9 – 10

5 x 3

5 x 3

Weeks 11 – 12

5 x 2

5 x 2

Week 13



* Follow the weight progression explained above for each workout.

There you have it. Pretty simple but, as Dan John is so fond of saying, DEFINITELY not easy.

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