One really good one I have used I wrote about before. It's some simple programming that works really well, and should look familiar to most dudes and chics that drop in here. I have written about it before, but in case you missed it i looks like this.
Training Max = 93% of Real Max
This is pretty simple. If you can bench 315 as a MAX (I mean you actually did 315 and you consider that to be your actual MAX, not something imagined in your head, then you plug in 290 (rounded down) as the max. 290 is 93% of 315, if no one did the math here.
Week 1 - 80% x 1, 70%xmax reps
Week 2 - 85% x 1, 75%xmax reps
Week 3 - 90% x 1, 80%xmax reps
Week 4 - 93% x 1, 85%xmax reps
Week 5 - 95% x 1, 85%xmax reps
Week 6 - 98% x 1, 90%xmax reps
Week 7 - 100% x 3
So in week 7 you'd do 290x3. Got it?
I will be running this over the 4 weeks (starting in week 4) in order to try to hit a 405 incline which has been a goal for a while. So laid out in a spreadsheet this is how it looks........
MAX 405 Training Max 375
x1 xmax reps
week 1 295 265 goal 15+
week 2 315 280 goal 15
week 3 335 300 goal 12
week 4 350 315 goal 10
week 5 355 315 goal 10-12
week 6 365 335 goal 8
week 7 335 x 1, 375x1 405x1
I rounded the numbers up or down depending on how I saw fit. You will also notice, that I set goals for the back off sets. These are not arbitrary goal numbers. If I can hit these goals week in and week out, or get very close, then 405 should be very doable. In week 7, if I were benching I'd hit the triple with the 375 as normally planned, and I would know I would be good for 405. In fact, 365x3 generally means 405 is doable, but you always want to have some in the tank for it.
For me right now this always plays in with the next 6 weeks of back training I will be doing to launch into my meet work. Incline is the only pressing I will be doing. And 405 is something I have wanted to hit on incline for a while.
The "all my shit hurts" routine -
This was my staple for a while, and was the thing that got my bench back up over 400 consistently. My pec minor and elbows would not allow me to bench heavy each week, so I eventually settled on the fact that I could bench heavy every other week, and incline heavy in between and I had fewer elbow and pec issues.
Week 1 -
Bench (heavy) - 5,4,3,2,1,1,1 (no back offs)
Incline (light) - 225 or 250 for max reps x 2 sets
Week 2 -
Incline (heavy) - up to a top triple, 1x8-10 back off
Overhead Press - medium weight - 2 sets all out
This worked beautifully. I stayed light on the inclines for reps after the heavy benching, and I avoided the back off sets on the bench. This kept me from overworking things on that plane and my elbows and pec minor thanked me for it. If you are an old gray pubes lifter like me, and feel beat up a lot from years of the heavy iron, this kind of thing can be a godsend. Just keep the incline and other pressing light on the bench days.
The "I need to press on another day!" routine -
This one I used for the USPF nationals and I felt good about it. I don't/can't bench twice a week, and personally, I don't think you need to. I know too many 500+ benchers that bench once a week to think I need to be benching multiple times a week.
But I did do some pressing on an alternate day. And this is what I did.
Day 1 -
Bench - cycle work
Curls and Triceps
Day 2 -
Press Behind the Neck - 1-2 x 8-10
Db Bench - 2x15-20
Rear or Side Laterals light - 2-3x15-20
This also worked well for me. I basically did the 100's on db bench each week, shooting for 20+ reps each set. I never changed the weight there, and kept it light.
I never used bands or chains or boards, or whatever. Chains might be ok for a raw guy. Bands? I see no point. Boards? Useless IMO, and I've already explained why.
This article is not long because these things have become the bread and butter of my training and have been for a LONG time. I've tried the whole benching 3X a week shit, and all that ever did was irritate my joints and tendons. Not for me.
The main thing also is, to start LIGHT! Too many guys start too heavy in the programming for their bench and they stall very fast. Make sure you get a running start on the weights you are hitting.