Cube Predator: Bench Cycle

CUBE PREDATOR:BENCH CYCLE

The reason there is a new variation is because the more athletes I work with, and the more people I coach to bigger and bigger numbers, I get ideas, I try things, and I adapt ideas.

Basically, I am admitting to you that my system is not perfect, and the more I learn the more perfect I try to make it. For instance I believe the Cube Method is a great introduction to the method itself, and very good for all ranges of lifters. The Kingpin is a much more volume-intensive, advanced program that benefits competitors. The Cube Predator is not to be mistaken with an Off-Season Cycle.

It is my belief that as a professional lifter, or for one in the pursuit of that title, one should realize there is never any down time. The Cube Predator puts more of an emphasis on muscular hypertrophy and repetition, but there is also a strong push for PRs at select points in the cycle. I have always believed that the body is capable of more when we ask it to do more… This has become my mantra for life in and out of the gym:

“THERE ARE NO WEIGHT CLASSES IN THE JUNGLE, AND THERE’S NO DELOAD IN A WAR ZONE.

CUBE PREDATOR

Within a training week I will recommend only 4 days on this cycle to allow the body to recover and grow. I prescribe the typical M/W/F/Sat training week, but you can modify however you like. I keep the Lower Days 48 hours apart, and the Upper Days 48 hours apart.

One constant in my program is that lat work is a priority every day you train. For the very developed powerlifter, a fifth day can be added as a “Bodybuilding Day” but the lats and hamstrings must be emphasized on this day. I have my athletes bench on Wednesday as their light day, and Saturday as their heavy day. This has been very beneficial as they are tasked with pushing demanding weights on Saturday after two lower body workouts and a light upper day. Because they get used to training with fatigue, adapting to this routine will build maximum meet potential once the athlete is rested and peaked for their meet.

 

WEEK 1

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 5 repetitions

70% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

60% x AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) x 2 sets

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

70% x AMRAP x 3 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

Skull Crushers w/EZ Curl Bar

5Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Seated Arnold Presses

4 x 12

DB Flyes

4 x 10

Barbell Rows

4 x 10

Abs

 

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Ups

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 6 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

70% x AMRAP x 2

DB Palms Facing Bench Press

(Lower into Armpit)

4 sets of Increasing Weight x 10, 8, 6, 5

Incline Bench Press (% Based on Incline Max)

70% x 5 repetitions x 3 sets

DB French Press

4 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

4 x 12

Military Press

4 x 12

Abs

 

 WEEK 2

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

55% x 8 repetitions

65% x 5 repetitions

75% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

65% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

75% x AMRAP x 3 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

Skull Crushers w/EZ Curl Bar

5Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Seated Arnold Presses

4 x 12

DB Flyes

4 x 10

Barbell Rows

4 x 10

Abs

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Ups

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 6 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions

85% x 2 repetitions x 4 sets

65% x AMRAP x 2

DB Palms Facing Bench Press

(Lower into Armpit)

4 sets of Increasing Weight x 10, 8, 6, 5

Incline Bench Press (% Based on Incline Max)

75% x 4 repetitions x 3 sets

DB French Press

4 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

4 x 12

Military Press

4 x 12

Abs

 

WEEK 3

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 8 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

55% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

70% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

Skull Crushers w/EZ Curl Bar

5Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Seated Arnold Presses

4 x 12

DB Flyes

4 x 10

Barbell Rows

4 x 10

Abs

 

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Ups

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 6 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

70% x AMRAP x 2

DB Palms Facing Bench Press

(Lower into Armpit)

4 sets of Increasing Weight x 10, 8, 6, 5

Incline Bench Press (% Based on Incline Max)

80% x 3 repetitions x 3 sets

DB French Press

4 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

4 x 12

Military Press

4 x 12

Abs

 

WEEK 4

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 8 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions

85% x 3 repetitions x 4 sets

60% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

75% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

Skull Crushers w/EZ Curl Bar

5Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Seated Arnold Presses

4 x 12

DB Flyes

4 x 10

Barbell Rows

4 x 10

Abs

 

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Ups

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 6 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions

90% x 1 x 3 sets

80% x AMRAP x 2

DB Palms Facing Bench Press

(Lower into Armpit)

4 sets of Increasing Weight x 10, 8, 6, 5

Incline Bench Press (% Based on Incline Max)

75% x 3 repetitions x 3 sets

DB French Press

4 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

4 x 12

Military Press

4 x 12

Abs

 

WEEK 5

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 8 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions

85% x 2 repetitions

90% x 1 repetition

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

75% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

Skull Crushers w/EZ Curl Bar

5Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 6, 5

Seated Arnold Presses

4 x 12

DB Flyes

4 x 10

Barbell Rows

4 x 10

Abs

 

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Ups

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 6 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions

80% x 3 repetitions

90% x 1 repetition

92.5% x 1 repetition

95% x 1 repetition

DB Palms Facing Bench Press

(Lower into Armpit)

4 sets of Increasing Weight x 10, 8, 6, 5

Incline Bench Press (% Based on Incline Max)

70% x 3 repetitions x 5 sets

DB French Press

4 x 15

Lat Pulldowns

4 x 12

Military Press

4 x 12

Abs

 

WEEK 6 NEW PR TEST WEEK

Monday (Light Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip

Warm-Up

50% x 8 repetitions

60% x 8 repetitions

70% x 5 repetitions x 3 sets

Close Grip (All % are of Close Grip Max)

65% x AMRAP x 2 sets

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 Sets of Increasing Weight x 12, 10, 8, 5-6

(We drop the remainder of the accessory work in prep for a maximum attempt on Saturday)

 

Saturday (Heavy Day)

Bench Press Competition Grip New PR Day

Warm-Ups

50% x 5 repetitions

60% x 3 repetitions

70% x 3 repetitions

80% x 2 repetitions

90% x 1 repetition

95% x 1 repetition

100%+ x 1

*Once the PR is set the workout is over. That is the only goal of the day, and I truly believe this builds a competitive mindset, that on this given day you only have one purpose. There are no other exercises to redeem failure. You must succeed.

As you can see, over the course of 6 weeks the work becomes quite demanding, but that is the point. You will become better and stronger through this. I like to take from Zach Even-Esh’s gym a big saying on the wall:

HE IS BEST THAT IS TRAINED IN THE SEVEREST SCHOOL.”- THUCYDIDES

Buy into the belief that the harder you work, and the stronger you make your mind, the stronger the body will be. Be willing to push yourself when all you want to do is stop. I assure you that on the platform you will have gained a new perspective and a warrior-type mentality because of the efforts you gave in the gym. It will mean more to you when you succeed because you know you did everything you possibly could. Never ever leave doubt in the gym. Leave it all there.

 One thing people always ask me about is mini cycles to get ready for a meet, well here you go!! 6 weeks of hell, but I prefer 12 so you can truly see body changes as well. Moving forward into week 7 is very easy.

Example:

Week 1 Training Max is 300 lbs, so Light day is 70% or 210 x 3 reps x 5 sets. Lets say at Week 6 you bench 320, Week 7 would be Light day 70% or 225 x 3 x 5 sets. Heavy Days would scale the same way. The only thing that changes are the 2nd and 3rd Bench movement during each 6 week wave. So in week 1-6 on Light Days we used Close Grip, and Incline Dumbbell Press, we would insert two new movements based on weaknesses for example Floor Press and Pause Press, or Dead Press and Board Press. The combinations are limitless, but they pertain only to the lifter using the method.

As you will notice, there is high demand on the triceps, lats, and shoulders, as I believe these muscle contribute more to building a maximum bench press than do the pecs. One movement I have added with great results is the DB Fly. It not only builds the pec muscle, but as a bonus it helps strengthen and stretch the pec tendon that so often causes lifters problems. I hope this article provokes some thought and gives some insight into how we are building bigger and bigger bench presses using the Cube Predator. This is a rough outline of the plan that helped Josh Morris bench 635 lbs raw at SHW, Mark Miller bench 510 lbs raw at 270 lbs, Ryan Sams bench 510 lbs at 266 lbs, and Weston Riddle bench 420 lbs raw at 219 lbs. This is also the bench plan I have been using since I have come back from my knee surgeries, and it has helped me bench an all time best 540 lbs raw weighing 284 lbs.