I did the 5/3/1 pyramid on the bench 3 times, which is probably too much work. It's more than what was specified, for sure. I slapped a pair of 45 pound plates and a quartet of 25 pound plates on a 45 pound Olympic bar at the top of the pyramid. For the record that is 95+95+45 = 235. At the end of the first two pyramids I nailed 2 reps instead of one. On the final pyramid, I could do it only once.
I was tired. I didn't want to end up like Stafon Johnson. Next time, I will do more.
Naturally, this pales in comparison to the 39 x 225 that guys such as Barry Allen have performed in the past. Still, I think it ain't bad for a guy who (a) hasn't lifted in years, (b) maybe going in for shoulder surgery soon (c) just lost 145 pounds, a process that always makes you weak.
One very interesting side note: In his fantastic book and video Enter the Kettlebell, Pavel Tsatsouline provided some weight guidance for beginners with the Kettlebells. He used the bench press as a misguided guide to scaling you Kettlebell weight. His official statement was:
- Most men should begin with a 16kg (35 pound) kettlebell
- If you are a strong man, able to bench 200+ pounds, you may begin with a 20kg (43 pound) kettlebell.
- Only exceptionally strong men, such as experienced powerlifters, should begin with a 24kg (53 pound) kettlebell.
Well, it just so happens that the 20kg kettlebells at the Woodland Hills Athletic club and my own 45 pound kettlebell are just now becoming manageable for me. I can swing 'em, I can halo them, I can row them (two of them), I can tea-cup squat with them. In fact, I can swing and teacup squat with a 24kg. I can't yet clean them or snatch a 20kg, but I am getting close to a clean-clean with the 20kg.
What a co-inky-dinky that 235 becomes manageable on the bench press at the same time that the 20kg kettlebell becomes manageable on a variety of exercises. Hummmm... kinda makes you wonder if Pavel Tsatsouline has a little expertise, now doesn't it?
This guy knows his stuff. I recommend his work.