Weightlifting Wednesday 4/7/21


Weightlifting Wednesday 4/7/21

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but rather the most adaptive to change.” – Charles Darwin

There’s a reason why we are still here on Earth. We adapted.

Yet the very thing that pushed us to where we are today, we find ourselves avoiding. We avoid, as human beings, challenge. We would much rather be comfortable, cozy, and safe. Now we aren’t going to let loose predators to chase us around, but if we truly want to find that next best version of ourselves… we know we need to get uncomfortable.

When we find ourselves struggling today, take a step back. Realize for just a moment, in the uncomfortable mess that we are in, that this is us… getting better. If we can re-wire ourselves to embrace those sweaty, painful, often embarrassing moments… we can go wherever we want to go.

Strength/Gymnastics – 25 min

*Aim to use the entire 25 minutes to give plenty of rest between sets and for planks!

Bench Press

For Load
Bench Press*
1 minute accumulated Plank (on elbows) after each set (7 sets)
*(RX – complete whole minute on elbows with straight body)

WORKOUT BRIEF [0:00-3:00]


  • HEAVY DAY!!!! Today, we bench!
  • We have 26 total reps! Log all lifts. They all count!
  • The goal is to build in load and achieve a heavy double by set 4 or 5. When we re-visit the reps of 4 and 6, we can look to lift a little more than the first two sets.
  • If the athlete fails a set, the set still counts as a set.
  • Fun day! Let’s get strong and give the legs a little rest (just a little one).

Bench Press

  • Use customized load
  • Use Dumbbells (double or single arm)
  • Floor Press (same as bench, but the athlete will lay flat on the floor with knees bent)
  • Weighted Push-Up (plates resting on upper back – will need a partner)


  • Scale by going to your hands with straight arms or inclined on rings or a box.
  • On knees as a last option. Remember we want to focus on a solid core as much as possible, so even an incline would be better than shortening your body on the knees if possible

GENERAL WARM-UP [3:00-8:00]
:20-:30 of each – Coach Led
Arm Circles – forward/back
Arm Swings – across the chest
Leg Swings – forward/back
Toe Touch & Reach Overhead
Plank Shoulder Tap to Push-Up
Air Squats


  • Find a partner or make a group of 2-3
  • Set up the bench station, such that all members can safely un-rack and re-rack the bar
  • Collect a set of clips and bumper plates. Bumper plates are neatly placed away from the lifting area.

SPECIFIC WARM-UP [8:00-17:00]

Bench Press (Practice) – Teach ‘How To’ Set-Up Correctly aka ‘Rack Etiquette’ – Assess!

  • When athletes have hands on the bar before un-racking, there should be enough bend in the elbow to allow a press up on the bar and safely place into the set-up.
  • If the arms are too straight when un-racking, the j-hooks have been set too high
  • Eyes slightly in front of the racked bar. Approximately 4″-6″ is adequate.
  • Four points of contact – heels on the floor, hips, shoulders, and head on the bench
  • Tight mid-section with a large arch in the spine
  • Hands slightly outside shoulders with a closed grip

Bench Press (Execution)

  • Communicate with the spotter. The spotter will assist with moving the bar into the starting position. When the lifter calls, “got it!”, the spotter will release the bar. In addition, when the lifter has completed all reps, the spotter will assist the lifter returning bar back into the rack. Be sure the barbell is firmly in the rack before spotter and athlete release the bar.
  • 10 Empty Barbell Reps – Focus: Breaking forward at the elbow, the athlete will aim to pull the elbows inwards towards the torso. After contact with the chest, the athlete will drive through the heels, push the knees out, and press the bar up.

LOADING / LIFTING [17:00-23:00]
Bench Press Build-Up
3 Sets of 5 Reps:

  • Build across all sets to find starting weight.
  • A good starting weight is a load that feels very heavy for 6 reps and would struggle to do 7. If athletes are looking for a rough percentage, then ~80% of a 1RM would be appropriate.
  • After 3 sets, athletes must have their starting weight on the bar for the first working set.

DRY RUN & BATHROOM BREAK [23:00-26:00]
1 Practice Round
4 Bench Press
:10 Plank
2 Bench Press
:5 Plank

WORKOUT [26:00-52:00]

  • After bracing the body, athletes should control the bar down, but this doesn’t mean slow. Too slow would add an unnecessary tempo/eccentric aspect to the lift. Controlling a slow negative is not required for this lift.
  • Elbows will fall at ~45 degree angle relative to torso. This angle creates a smoother lift and places the shoulder in a stronger and more natural position.
  • On the drive up, encourage athletes to drive through their heels and push through the palm of the hand, not fingers. It is ideal to have the load stacked over the forearm vs. in the fingers.

HOT SPOTS (critical positions to assess)

  • Assess the set-up of the athlete – when the bar is un-racked, the athlete needs to be set so that the bar does not make contact with the rack. This will have been taught earlier, but requires a check-back throughout the workout.
  • Assess the width of the grip. It’s not wrong to do a close-grip or wide-grip bench press, but that is not the focus for today.
  • Feet stay firmly on the ground, knees align with toes just like a squat. The Bench Press is a full body movement and we use the legs to assist with the lift. If you see heels up and knees rolling in, cue and correct. For shorter athletes, plates may need to be placed under the feet to raise the ground up.

Extra Work (If time during class, or before/after class)

Clean-Up & Midline Work
Ab-Roll Outs x 30 (each) or as many reps as can be accumulated in 5:00

  • Clean & wipe down all equipment, leaving the barbell with a set of bumper plates on. The load doesn’t matter, we just need your athletes to elevate the bar from the ground.
  • Athletes will place the knees on the ground, align the hands with the shoulders and grab the bar.
  • Keeping the arms straight, athletes will roll the bar forward while holding a rigid midline (shoulders, hips & knees in one straight line).
  • Once a straight line is achieved, or as close as we can get without losing midline stabilization, keeping the arms straight, pulling the arms back towards the hips and return to the starting position