Bench Press Routine by Roger Estep

Submitted by Mr.Berg on Tue, 03/03/2020 - 15:46
roger estep workout

Here's a great excerption from Roger Estep's question and answers column published in PL USA. In the 80s fans from the whole world used to send letters to Estep and he answered them. - Mr. Berg

Dear Roger: I am a non-competitive weight lifter, 6'1" and 205lbs. I currently bench press 265lb., but can't seem to get above this. Please devise a bench press routine that would enable me to reach 300lbs. Mark D.

DEAR MARK: "As you know from my articles I believe in heavy weights year round. I have had success with this type of program and I'm sure you will also. You should train the bench twice a week, once light to medium and once heavy. On your light day you should never leave the gym fatigued. The light day should work your technique and develop the proper groove to bench pressing. 

You should leave the gym very hungry for your heavy day, so you can make new progress. I would say that your light day sets up your heavy day. Your heavy day is the time to put your mind and body to work. On this day you should feel fatigued after the session.

I will outline a program considering a 265 bench as your starting max. Training days: Monday (light) and Friday (heavy). 

1st Week: Monday bench
135, 1 set, 10 reps
135, 1 set, 8-10 reps
165, 1 set, 5-6 reps
185, 1 set, 1-2 reps
205, 1 set, 1 rep
225, 1 set, 1 rep
135, 1 set, 10 reps

Friday bench
135, 1 set, 10 reps
135 1 set, 10 reps
165, 1 set, 5-6 reps
185, 1 set, 1 rep
200, 1 set, 1 rep
225, 1 set, 1 rep
245, 1 set, 1 rep
265, 1 set, 1 rep
205, 1 set, 1 rep with pause
145 1 set, 10 reps

2nd Week: Monday bench -
135, 1set, 10 reps
135, 1 set, 10 reps
165, 1 set, 5 reps
185, 1 set, 1-2 reps
210, 1 set, 1 rep
230, 1 set, 1 rep
145 1 set, 10 reps

Friday Heavy
135, 1 set, 10 reps
135, 1 set, 10 reps
165 1 set, 5-6 reps
185, 1 set, 1 rep
210, 1 set, 1 rep
235, 1 set, 1 rep
255, 1 set, 1 rep
275, 1set, 1 rep
215, 1 set, 1 rep
155, 1 set 10 reps

3rd Week: Monday Bench
135, 1 set, 10 reps
135, 1 set, 10 reps
165 1 set, 5 reps
195, 1 set, 1 rep
220, 1 set, 1 rep
240, 1 set, 1 rep
155, 1 set, 10 reps

Friday Bench Heavy
135, 1set, 10 reps
165,  1 set, 5-6 reps
185, 1 set, 1-2 reps
215, 1set, 1 rep
245, 1 set, 1 rep
265, 1 set, 1 rep
285, 1 set, 1 rep
225, 1 set,1 rep
165, 1 set, 10 reps

I think you can see the pattern of weight increases each week. Assistance work should include your favorite exercises for the biceps and lats. You should work these two muscle groups very hard to try to get an increase in size which will help you come off the chest during the bench press.

Tricep work should also be included, but keep it to a medium intensity workout so you don't overtrain the tricep. Your triceps are getting a lot of work during the bench press and overtrained triceps mean an under trained bench press.

Roger Estep"