Increase Bench Press Reps

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Daryl Laws Increase Bench Press Reps
Question: I have summer football combines in June and one of the events I have trouble doing well is the bench press for reps. I do 300 pounds for a one rep max but don’t do well for reps. I heard you helped the player at the Shrine Bowl combine who did 40 reps. What do I need to do to be ready for this?

Answer: The young man who did 40 reps with 185 pounds is an exceptionally driven individual. We were able to work a segment to specifically work on reps into his training routine once a week without overtraining him on chest.

Without being too specific we initially used 195 pounds for his reps when we were eight weeks from the Shrine Bowl combine. At the combines they are looking for the point at which you reach muscle failure with this exercise, specifically muscle endurance, with a predetermined weight for all participants. After a light warm-up, we set 195 pounds on the bar with the plate order of a 45 pound plate, a 5 pound plate and a 25 pound plate last on each side. He then performed as many reps as he could to positive failure. He racked the weight, we pulled the 25 pound plates off each side and he then immediately performed as many reps as he could until he reached positive failure with 145 pounds.

When he was one month from the combine we increased the weight to 205 pounds and did the same. His drop set was 155 pounds. Our target was 40 to 50 total reps.

One week before the combine we did a real weight test with 185 pounds and still adding the drop set when he reached positive failure.

One rep strength and muscle endurance require two different training styles, but the end result of combining alternating training routines is both your one rep max and total reps max can increase.

God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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