Training frequency, i.e. the frequency with which you train, is a decisive factor for progress.
The YPSI Squat Vacation is one of my most read -- and put into practice -- training articles. 18 workouts in 6 days with the primary goal of maximizing gains in the squat. Statistically, this allows us to make progress in 6 days that would otherwise take 4-6 weeks.
Higher training frequency = greater training progress?
The big question that naturally comes up is: why not do the exercise more and more often for every exercise you want to improve on? Quite simply: Because the exercise frequency is limited in practice!
Basically through the individual regeneration capacity, based on sleep, lifestyle and nutrition. As well as the current training status.
However, the frequency is also specifically determined by the regeneration ability of the respective exercise.
For example, the deadlift has the lowest recovery capacity of any exercise. Most advanced lifters can only perform floor deadlifts once a week, once every 10 days, and sometimes as little as once every 14 days, and progress with each workout.
The most extreme example that I know of is strongman Alexey Tyukulov, who with a best performance of 430 kg only trains the deadlift once a month, i.e. 12 times a year, because he says it takes that long to regenerate from it .
At the other end of the frequency spectrum is the squat. A squat can basically be done three times a day and you can make progress with it. Bulgarian weightlifters consistently squatted 6 times a week, 4 times a day, which was also one of the inspirations behind the foundation of the YPSI Squat Holiday. Due to the potential for progression and regeneration, such a high frequency generally does not work for any other exercise to this extent.
Every day bench press?
First, as part of a Q&A on the release of the YPSI Bench Press Manual, I was asked whether something like squats could also be vacationed for the bench press. In other words, can you bench press every day?
The bench press is easily one of the most popular strength training exercises. The biggest hurdle to benching 18 times in 6 days, that is, benching 3 times a day, is that your shoulders or elbows will become uncomfortable fairly quickly. The reason for this is the lower tolerance for training volume in general in relation to the upper body compared to the lower body, and in relation to the bench press in particular in the shoulders, which are quite prone to overuse problems and injuries.
One way to increase bench press power is to increase the frequency to four times a week. So the answer is yes, you can bench press every day if we define "every day" as "every training day" and set four training days per week. However, bench pressing four times a week is still a very high training frequency and will require some adjustments to make such a program work in practice.
On the one hand, the so-called "pattern overload syndrome" must be avoided. We achieve this by changing the variant of the bench press in each training session. If you were to train the same bench press variant four times a week, for example only the LH flat bench press with a medium grip, there would most likely be pain or even injury to the muscles, tendons and ligaments involved. Further requirements are a certain level of strength and the muscular balance of the muscle groups involved, which we will come to later.
The Bench Press Every Day program
week 1 to 4
A LH Flat bench press, medium grip, 4 sets of 5 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B Pull-up, supinated, shoulder width, 5 sets of 1-3 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
C KH 45° incline curls, neutral grip, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 30° incline press, medium grip, 4 sets of 6 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B Row, seated, with rope, to the neck, pronated, 5 sets of 6-8 reps, 3012 tempo, 180s rest
C KH external rotation, elbow on knee, fat gripz, 2 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 15° incline press, medium grip, 4 sets of 7 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B Modified Sots Press, Fatgripz, 5 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 45° incline press, medium grip, 4 sets of 8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B LH squats, heels up, 8 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
week 5 to 8
A LH Flat bench press, shoulder-width grip, Fatgripz, 4 sets of 5 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B Pull-up, pronated, shoulder width, 5 sets of 1-3 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
C KH 65° incline curls, supinated grip, 3 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 30° incline press, shoulder-width grip, paused, 4 sets of 3, 4310 tempo, 180s rest
B Row, seated, with rope, to the neck, neutral, 5 sets of 6-8 reps, 3011 tempo, 180s rest
C KH external rotation, elbow on knee, paused, 2 sets of 6-8 reps, 4210 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 15° incline press, shoulder-width grip, 4 sets of 7 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B Modified Sots Press, 5 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
A LH 45° incline press, shoulder-width grip, double quarters*, 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
B LH Squats, 8 sets of 2-6 reps, 4010 tempo, 180s rest
* Double quarters = release LH 1/4 of the range, fully straighten again, then fully lower LH onto the chest, then raise for 1/4 of the range, then fully release again, then fully extend, that's one rep
Notes on the muscle building workout plans:
- Increase the weight from set to set to one heavy set per workout (see microperiodization below for more on this)
- Always add at least one rep or weight to this heavy set from workout to workout
- Record the weight used for each set in each workout
- Train four times a week.
- Train a maximum of 2 days in a row before taking a day or two off.
- An explanation of AB single station training here
- An explanation of Tempo here
- The optimal warm-up for strength training is explained in detail here
- When bench pressing, the middle grip is wider than shoulder width. The optimal grip width for the middle grip is determined by a 90° angle in the elbow with a horizontal upper arm.
The microperiodization of the Bench Press Every Day program
For all sessions of the Every Day Bench Press program, all exercises are "Increase to a Heavy Set." More about this here
A heavy set is defined as a rep maximum or RM (repetition maximum) set, meaning a set where you do 6 reps and you can't do a 7th rep is a heavy set. And in all programs in the Every Day Bench Press program, one heavy set per exercise per workout.
The spread, i.e. the distribution of the weight over the sets or the difference between the first working set and the heaviest set, is 30% for all A exercises in this program.
A spread of 30% on 5 reps would mean that if you can press 100kg for 5 reps, after warming up you start with 70kg for 5 reps on the first set. This prepares your nervous system for the following sets and reduces the risk of overtraining.
A spread of 35% applies to all pull-ups and squats. For all remaining exercises a spread of 25%.
The spread guarantees optimal weight distribution and thus rapid recovery and more progress.
Before we start... are you ready?
This program requires some basic muscular development. You must therefore be able to handle at least your body weight in a shoulder-width grip on the LH flat bench press. That means if you weigh 85 kg, you have to press at least 85 kg for a technically correct rep at 4010 tempo.
In addition, there are some other benchmarks:
The benchmarks for the Every Day Bench Press program
In order to be able to do bench presses so often and to be able to use this program successfully, you also need a certain basic mobility and stability in your shoulder girdle. Therefore, the following benchmarks in the form of strength performance are a prerequisite for being able to carry out the program from a physical point of view:
1. KH External Rotation Elbow on Knee - You must be able to externally rotate 8 reps on KH, elbow on knee with 10% of your 1RM on the LH flat bench press with a shoulder-width grip.
2. Pull-up, supinated, shoulder-width grip – You must be able to perform at least one pull-up in a supinated, shoulder-width grip with the same weight as your 1RM on the LH flat bench press with a shoulder-width grip. Body weight is taken into account when doing a pull-up. That means if you're pressing 100kg and weigh 85kg, you need to be able to pull up with your bodyweight plus 15kg of extra weight.
3. Modified Sots Press - You must be able to do the Modified Sot Press. This means you're sitting in the bottom position of the squat, have your heels raised by 15 cm and push a barbell up from the neck (LH rests on it) in a line that is as vertical as possible until your elbows are fully extended. The goal here is 50% of your 1RM in the LH flat bench press with a shoulder-width grip. So if you press 100kg for 1 rep, you must be able to do the Modified Sots Press with 50kg.
Note: These benchmarks and Kraft Ratios are specific as a basis for this program, but are not necessarily Kraft Ratios, which are generally optimal. The goal is to ensure you have sufficient external rotation and lat strength, and mobility in the thoracic extension and shoulder girdle to complete this program with optimal progress.
Diet and sleep during the Bench Press Every Day program
It is crucial in this program to adhere to the specified parameters such as sentences, breaks and repetitions. So don't do more or fewer sets or repetitions or make any other changes. The same applies, of course, to the assistance exercises. As with vacation squats and generally making progress, an important focus is on what's happening outside of the gym. In order to optimize regeneration, sleep and nutrition are the most important factors.
Sleep: 6 to 10 hours of sleep is optimal, depending on individual needs. You can find out more about how much sleep is optimal for you in this episode of my podcast
Diet: Enough protein, regular meals, sufficient carbohydrates (based on individual needs), healthy fats as a basis for optimal hormone production. You can find out more about how many macronutrients are optimal for you in these episodes of my podcast:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Below I answer questions that some readers may have.
Q: What if I don't meet the physical requirements?
A: Then train for it first. The YPSI Bench Press Manual contains training programs designed to achieve these strength ratios.
Q: What about lower body work during the 8 week bench press program?
A: The lower body is only worked in the second half of the last workout of the week. The full focus of the 8 weeks is increasing performance in the bench press.
Q: What is the optimal split for these 8 weeks of "Bench Press Every Day"?
A: There isn't really a split into body parts or muscle groups. There are 4 training sessions per week. With regard to the division, it is crucial to train a maximum of 2 days in a row before taking a 1 to 2 day break.
If you have a question that was not answered above, send it to us via the contact form and we will answer it here.