5×3 Bench Cycle – Week 1 – Heavy Bench Day

Exercise Sets Reps Weight
 Bench Press  5  8 105
 Dumbbell Bench Press  3  10 30
 Barbell Rows  3  6-10 115
 Chin Ups  3  3.5/2/1.5 BW
 Seated Dumbbell Press  3  10 30
 Skullcrushers  3  10 30
 Dumbbell Curls  3  10 25

Not bad for first day back in the gym.  Session went slow as I’m still getting familiar with where I need to go in the gym for equipment.

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5×3 Bench Strength Training

Finally got myself back into the gym again.  It’s been a solid 3+ weeks since I last lifted.  Decided to drop the 5/3/1 and go on a strength training program devoted to increasing my bench.  Pretty much another variation of 5×5 or even 5/3/1.  Program is periodized for 6-week long minimum.  Volume decreases over duration of program and resistance increases.  Program is as follows and can also be found at the following link:

5×3 Bench Press Program: Increase Your Strength This Workout

Weeks 1-2 –  Rep Work. You will try to perform 5 sets x 8 reps on the bench press, increasing intensity (weight) during the second week.

  • Week 1 – 60% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 8 reps per set.
  • Week 2 – 65% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 8 reps per set.

Weeks 3-4 – Transition period. You will move to a 5×5 with heavier weights.

  • Week 3 – 70% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 5 reps per set.
  • Week 4 – 75% of your one rep max. 5 sets of as many reps as possible, but no greater than 5 reps per set.

Weeks 5 to completion – You will begin the 5×3 portion of this program, and begin “auto-regulation.”

  • Week 5 – 80% of your one rep max. 5 sets of 3 reps.

The preview of each week looks something like the following:

Monday
Heavy Bench Press Day
Exercise Sets Reps
 Bench Press  5  * As Noted
 Dumbbell Bench Press  3  10
 Barbell Rows  3  6-10
 Chin Ups  3  AMAP
 Seated Dumbbell Press  3  10
 Skullcrushers  3  10
 Dumbbell Curls  3  10
Tuesday
Lower, Squat Focus
Exercise Sets Reps
 Squats  5  5
 Stiff Leg Deadlift  3  8-10
 Goblet Squats  3  10
 Leg Curls  3  10
 Seated Calf Raise  3  15
 Ab Wheel Rollouts  3  10
 Cable Crunches  3  15-20
Thursday
Moderate Bench Press Day
Exercise Sets Reps
 Close Grip Bench Press  5  5
 Incline Bench Press  3  8
 Dumbbell Rows  3  10
 Pull Ups  3  AMAP
 Military Press  3  10
 Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension  3  10
 Barbell Curls  3  10
Friday
Lower, Deadlift Focus
Exercise Sets Reps
 Deadlifts  5  3
 Squats  3  10
 Leg Press  3  15-20
 Leg Curls  3  10
 Standing Calf Raise  3  15
 Plank  3  60 Seconds
 Weighted Decline Sit Ups  3  15-20