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Old 08-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #41
Ricardo Costa
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Meet Day
Sat 8-20-11

Drove to the site with thermals, sweats and heater blasting...weighed in at 241.2 lbs!

Warm up went good.
135 x 8
225 x 5
275 x 1
315 x 1
365 x 1 2 brd
495 x 1 Shirt 2 brd
525 x1 Shirt 1/2Ē from chest

Opener 551 - good 3 white lights
Lever belt unbuckled - right side of back really tight during lift
Judges fumbling with blocks under feet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBm-9-v_ICw

2nd Attempt 573 - good 2 white lights (side judge said butt came up slightly)
Lever Belt unbuckled - right side of back tight again
Judges fumbling with blocks under feet again throwing off set up

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GgjygYC7i0

3rd attempt 590 - miss - ran out of gas around 2-3 board range
Changed belts to a skinny bench belt, tried to tighten it up more than lever belt, but should of just left it with the lever belt unbuckled holding the shirt down and not changing it up.
Judges still fumbled the blocks
now left side back started to cramp

Awesome learning experience! This was exactly what i wanted, when you travel, cut weight, eat differently, etc. things will go wrong and this meet had some obstacles for me.

Trying to figure the belt i wanted to use, felt good with lever belt and not jacking the shirt, so i should of just stayed with that belt and tried to jack shirt a little bit.

Rushed the warm up, i changed benches in the warm up room and the different bar didnít have the rings so my 495 felt awkward with not being able to see my hand spacing correctly. have to remember that for next time.

Should of got up and reset when judges were adjusting blocks felt like i was arched to long and moving around while they adjusted block placement, could of reset and not had my back tighten up. Also weighed in same day and didnít get all my water back in so was probably a little dehydrated. Olympia i will weigh in the day before so i will be able to correct and water depletion.

Found out before the meet that there was a new rule change of adding a start command which i hadnít practiced for. and now we can bench on our toes (which i prefer because of arch) so i will be adding that in to change up my arch and angle of the stroke length.

My normal lift off guy Scott Hoekstra was up right before me so i used an old stand by Filiberto Toledano. First was fine but second didnít come out fast enough! Usually he is great but we havenít practiced in awhile.

Was really cool because this meet was smaller but there were some of the best benchers in the country showed up. David Douglas, Daniel Smith III, Scott Hoekstra, and Jimmy Kolb. J. Kolb is the All Time number 1 single ply lifter at 242 and opened up with 803 lbs! He did not get a lift in, he flew in from Ohio for a Scott Mendleson Meet that was cancelled, was cool to see him in person and boy is he built perfect to bench!

In no way do i want to sound like i am crying or putting up excuses, i would like it to be a learning meet for me and others, so people can see how many things can go wrong but in the end you canít have excuses, you need to perform on the platform and can only blame yourself if YOU miscalculate or allow something to not be perfect!

The judging was great and the people there were awesome! As always i had a great team of guys who were willing to help warm up, give me water, give me nose tork, hold my ipod and to tell me not to be a pussy! So that end of it was outstanding! Thanks guys.

Also your only as good as your training partners in this sport and i have some great ones. I ended up with 1st place and best lifter Single Ply! Scott Hoekstra hit a raw PR of 501 and first place in his masters class and the invincible Daniel Smith III took 1st and best lifter Raw! He is 68 years old benched 402 lbs Raw a couple months ago, today he was a little off and just missed 403 lbs to break his own record as he is the All time #1 Raw Bencher from 60-70 at 242 lbs. Retired USMC Master Gunnery Sgt. Smith who battles from ailments from Nam is a machine and sight to behold!

I am blessed to be around such great lifters and hardcore MEN!

Some goals met and many more to go after!

~Costa~
If you donít like it, get Stronger!
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:59 AM   #42
Derek Simonds
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Great meet report, great lifts and thank you for posting the videos. Awesome job all the way around.
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:02 PM   #43
Ricardo Costa
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Thanks Derek!

Recovery Work:
Tues 8-23-11

Push Ups (3 different positions)
5 sets of 30

Had a couple days of rest; work has been intense and is continuing this week and next, I need these workouts to clear my mind and let the daily grind just slip away.

~Costa~
GFH
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:44 PM   #44
Ricardo Costa
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Back Work:
Wed 8-24-11

Mobilty Warm Up

Rack Pulls (below knee)
Bar x 10
135 x 10
225 x 8
315 x 6
405 x 4
495 x 3
315 x 10 Snatch Grip

DB Curls
3 sets of 10
** Super Set w/
Hammer Strength High Row
3 sets of 10

Rear delts
3 sets of 13
** Super Set w/
Straight Leg lifts (parallel bars)
3 sets of 10

Lat pulldowns (close grip)
3 sets of 10
** Super Set w/
Back Extensions
3 sets of 10

The Magic 50
40 lb DB
5 Rounds of:
10 Snatches (5R, 5L)
10 swings (5R, 5L)
10 Burpees

1/2 Handstand pushups
2 sets of 5

Crow Stands (Convict Conditioning)
4 sets of 20-30 seconds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThWfscblty4

Felt Great tonight, once i visited my old friend, the Rack Pull! Its been a few months since i have done these, but it was nice to feel some weight in my hands and to use some good ol' fashion brute force!

Did the Magic 50 again and boy is that some good cardio!

I have been trying to incorporate some more body weight training in side of my workouts so i played a little with it at the end. The HSPU's are a lot easier at this weight than they were a few months ago. Those crow stands really work your wrists and balance, i really think i have found a great training aid for the start of the bench press where i have to wait for the start command. I will be incorporating these to help aid my technique!

~Costa~
GFH
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:03 AM   #45
Eduardo Chile
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You have a very impressive bench going, and I was wondering some things about your technique.

How aggressive do you try to arch when benching raw? Foot placement?

I've been trying something new, with shrugging my shoulders/traps when I'm benching. Seems to be more comfortable. Some other guys over at RTS have been doing it. Is this something you do?
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Old 08-26-2011, 09:55 PM   #46
Ricardo Costa
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Thanks E. Chile
Like every maximum effort lift technique plays a huge part of improving and making the most of what you have. If you want a big bench you have to arch, some do it more aggressively than others but for me if i can lessen the distance of bar travel it is a must to try to improve. I foam roll 3-4 times a week and then leave the 6" roller under my low back to help flexibility and to be more comfortable in that arched position. Also on some speed days i use a foam roller under my low back to work my set up and practice being in the proper position while i work speed/technique.

Foot placement is very important, you have to find a comfortable position to allow you to have leg drive but yet have them a little farther back under you as to maximize your arch. it takes practice as if you lose your leg drive you won't be able to lift as much. i personally have short legs and a long torso so when i bench i like to use blocks (plates) under my feet to allow me to arch a little harder but still be able to push back hard with my legs.

Very, Very important to squeeze your shoulder blades together and to "bench on your traps" If you look at my meet videos that is the first thing i do is to set up on my upper back with my shoulder blades squeezed together hard. if you take a band and do band pull a parts, that is the type of tension you want to have while you bench. it is 2 fold, first when your shoulder blades are pulled together you have a solid foundation on the bench if you are relaxed you tend to teeter on the bench and have no power to drive off of. Secondly if you pull them together it allows your chest to come up at least an inch (some people more) giving you less distance that he bar needs to travel!

Hope this helps, there are a lot of tricks of the trade, you just have to find what works best for you.

~Costa~
As the saying goes, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, Practice, Practice."
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:16 PM   #47
Ricardo Costa
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E Chile,
just saw your youtube video from 8-25-11 and you have a few things going on. first is you set up twice, either arch back towards your feet or stand up on the bench, but don't do both get set in a good position and move on.

On your board press portion when you pull the bar out the first thing you do is let out all your air, don't do that! as you "pull" the bar out you should be taking in air and as the bar is over your body you need to remain tight, which means don't let all your air out!

Use your legs, the bench press is a full body exercise!!! You look like you are cut in half, your upper body is doing all the work and your legs are just hanging out. Practice driving your heels into the ground and pushing back, putting pressure on your traps.

Lastly have fun! You look like someone is making you work out. I know there are a lot of things to think about, but man get a little motivated, put on some music, something. Your last name is Chile, act like it, have some fire in your workouts!!!

Just some constructive criticism, now time to go to work and get better.

~Costa~
A little music goes a long way
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:29 PM   #48
Ricardo Costa
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Speed Work:
Fri 8-26-11

Mobility warm up

Speed Bench:
Bar x 10
135 x 5 - 3 sets
185 x 3 - 3 sets close grip
205 x 3 - 3 sets med grip
225 x 3 - 3 sets wide grip

Floor Press:
225 x 8
275 x 5
300 x 5
300 x 5
300 x 5
275 x 8

Lying Tri Ext - Ez curl - top of head/forehead/upper chest
80 - 8/8/8
80 - 8/8/8
60 - 8/8/8
60 - 8/8/8

Dips (BW)
x 20
x 20
x 15
** Super set w/
Ab Machine
3 sets of 20

Felt a lot stronger and faster with my floor press! I love floor press as it works my weakness of the mid point of travel and forces me not to use my legs which puts the emphasis on my upper body technique, at least for me.

Had a good work out, now i just start to fine tune everything as I lead up to the Olympia!

~Costa~
GFF - Get F@*Kin Fast
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Old 08-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #49
Ricardo Costa
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ME Bench:
Mon 8-29-11

Mobility Warm Up

Bench
Bar x 15
135 x 8
185 x 6
225 x 6
315 x 3
365 x 3 Padded 1 brd
405 x 2 Padded 1 brd

Shirt work - 3brd w/ short mini bands
455 x 2
485 x 2
525 x 1 or 2 (can't remember)
550 x 1
565 x 1

DB Side Raise
4 sets of 10

DB Clean
3 sets of 13

Felt good tonight the technique felt solid! I am now working with my lever belt buckled, at meet last week it was just clasped and not flipped closed, so now the goal is to close it and have it tighten up the shirt a little bit and get used to the pressure and explode to lock out with the mini bands adding the drive through in the middle where is my weakness.

It was in the high 90's tonight in the garage gym, gotta love training in harsh conditions, it makes the test much easier when things are more pleasant!

~Costa~
Rise Above
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:48 PM   #50
Ricardo Costa
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Speed Work:
Thurs 9-1-11

Mobility Warm Up

Speed Bench
Bar x 15
135 x 3 - 3 sets
185 x 3 - 3 sets Close
205 x 3 - 3 sets Mid
225 x 3 - 3 sets wide

Floor Press (close grip)
225 x 8
300 x 5 - 3 sets
250 x 10

ez curl
3 sets of 8
** Super set w/
Tri lying Ext - top of head/forehead/chest
3 sets of 8/8/8

CS Row
3 sets of 10
** Super set w/
Rear Delts
3 sets of 10

Perfect pushup
3 sets to failure

Felt great tonight, the speed bench felt like an empty bar, that's what a good pair of wrist wraps can do. When I put mine on it helps me to SQUEEZE the bar and makes it weightless in my hands. I really like my wraps from rhinopowergear.com as they are comfortable but cast like so i can wear them for long training sessions! get a pair of good wraps, wrap the hell out of your wrists, and see PR's start to fall!

I'm really liking the floor press after the speed work as it works my weak spot after i have pre exhausted my bench.

Since you guys follow along i will give out a little secret that i have been keeping under wraps. Use the perfect pushup! Of course I have no affiliation with them, but they really help to emphasize the proper technique of the bench as you tuck your elbows towards the bottom of the bench and you flare your elbows out as you push. A pair of these simple tools really force you to emphasize your technique and get your swole on as well. Suspended rings/Blast straps work the same way so use either of them and make some gains.

There is an old Westside video where Louie talks about these suspended chain pushups they did and how they will make you "armor plated" and i would agree they will definitely give that feeling.

~Costa~
Stay Thirsty my Friends
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