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  #1  
Old 04-21-2016, 03:15 PM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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Posts: 29,150
Default Craig Ballantyne Bench Press Transformation

In 2006 I weighed 194 pounds and was able to bench press 310 pounds. That's crazy even for me to write. Wow.

These days I weigh 20 pounds less. I chalk that up to 3 factors:

1) IBS - It's been tougher for me to eat because of bloating... but I've made some great progress and I'm upping my calories. I also need to work as hard on my nutrition as I do on training.

2) Lack of training partner - In 2005-2006 I trained 4 days per week with Anthony Belza. He went on to become the strength coach for the Toronto Maple Leafs. We lifted hard and heavy, using the Westside style of powerlifting. Most mornings I'd wake up thinking I had just been hit by a truck...but we can bigger and stronger.

But now I train by myself...and I've lost some of the accountability and intensity. It might be time to hire a trainer, because my schedule is too unpredictable for a workout partner, plus I travel so much.

3) I'm older...10 years older. My testosterone isn't what it used to be (I know this for a fact). I spend more time warming up to avoid injury than I do training at maximum intensity. I'm simply not willing to risk an injury (not that I ever was injured back then).

***
However, those are not excuses. I can get bigger, better and stronger again, and so the next TT transformation contest shall be dedicated to building my bench press back up.

It's going to be fun.
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2016, 03:16 PM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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Here's the program I'm going to use. It's from Jim Wendler, and it's a modified version of 5-3-1. Again, this is going to be SUPER FUN!


The Hardgainer's Template

Week One
Monday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Squat
Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+ (PR set)
65% x 20 reps (widowmaker set)
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Tuesday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Bench Press
Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
5 sets of 5 reps @ 85%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes

Thursday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Deadlift
Warm-up
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5+ (PR set)
5 sets of 5 reps @ 65%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Friday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Press
65% x 5
75% x 5
85% x 5 (no extra reps)
10 sets of 5 reps @ 65%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes

Week Two
Monday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Squat
Warm-up
70% x 5
80% x 5
90% x 5+ (PR set)
70% x 20 reps (widowmaker set)
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Tuesday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Bench Press
Warm-up
70% x 5
80% x 5
5 sets of 5 reps @ 90%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes

Thursday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Deadlift
Warm-up
70% x 5
80% x 5
90% x 5+ (PR set)
5 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Friday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Press
70% x 5
80% x 5
90% x 5 (no extra reps)
10 sets of 5 reps @ 70%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes

Week Three
Monday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Squat
Warm-up
75% x 5
85% x 5
95% x 5+ (PR set)
75% x 20 reps (widowmaker set)
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Tuesday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Bench Press
Warm-up
75% x 5
85% x 5
5 sets of 5 reps @ 95%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes

Thursday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Deadlift
Warm-up
75% x 5
85% x 5
95% x 5+ (PR set)
5 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Any abdominal, low back, single-leg movement, kettlebell swing, kettlebell snatch (choose one) 50-100 total reps

Friday
Warm-Up: Agile 8 and Box Jump x 10 total reps
Main Lift: Press
Warm-up
75% x 5
85% x 5
95% x 5 (no extra reps)
10 sets of 5 reps @ 75%
Assistance:
Dip, push-up, or dumbbell bench/incline/press (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Pull-up, row, lat pulldown, inverted row, curl, shrug (choose one) 50-100 total reps
Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes
Progression and Notes
Standard 5/3/1 rules apply: Your TM increases 5 or 10 pounds after each cycle.
Each main lift uses a TM of 85% of your tested or calculated 1RM.
If you can't hit at least 5 reps at 95%, you have the wrong TM. Adjust accordingly.
Each lift will NOT increase at the same time. This is normal. Keep plugging away. The breakthrough will eventually come.
Assistance work is essential but should not be trained like your squat or deadlift.
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Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2016, 10:21 AM
Mike Whitfield's Avatar
Mike Whitfield Mike Whitfield is offline
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Posts: 2,465
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Looking forward to seeing you go through this journey Craig. Awesome stuff.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2016, 11:37 AM
concetta27 concetta27 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Budd Lake, NJ
Posts: 3,912
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Can't wait to see your before and after pics! Muscle on top of muscle.

"Prowler or Sled 20-30 minutes"

This would be a workout for me. Good luck, you have certainly set a high bar.
Concetta
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2016, 08:13 AM
dlove dlove is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 26
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Now THAT does look like some classic old school meathead-style training (for the most part anyway)!

SUPER FUN as you say!

Just out of curiosity, how long is each of these working taking to complete?

Depending on rest periods and tempo they look like mini-marathons.
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  #6  
Old 04-25-2016, 10:09 AM
Craig Ballantyne's Avatar
Craig Ballantyne Craig Ballantyne is offline
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Posts: 29,150
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I'll probably only focus on finishing the main exercise. I also don't need to do the conditioning. That's not an issue for me.
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