Having a pretty big bench has always been a flex, and still remains that to this day. Many will also argue that if you really want to get good at something all efforts should be working towards bettering that thing.
If you wanna get extremely good at benching, you need to do a lot of benching. The Bench 300 12 Week Workout could be the answer – let’s find out.
Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan Overview
The Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan was designed with one purpose in mind. To get your bench from where it is now to an all-time high.
Whereas normal strength training protocols would usually make use of certain percentages, etc, this plan aims to be much more simple.
- Fitness level: Intermediate
- Duration: 12 Weeks
- Workouts per week: 1 Workout per week
- Average workout duration: 45 – 60 Minutes per Week
- Equipment needed: Minimal equipment
- Goal: Build muscle
The bench press is a rather specific exercise, seeing as it not only uses multiple muscle groups but also works across various joints. This indirectly makes it the “king” of the upper body movements, and that is why a program like this could actually work – it’s a hard movement to master.
The interesting thing about the Bench 300 Workout is… there’s only one workout per week? This goes against everything you’ve ever heard about training.
Most people have ample recovery to train their chest at least twice per week.
That being said, this plan highly advises against it. Training the bench press (not training the chest) is not only hard on the muscles, but is also incredibly hard on the CNS.
The Central Nervous System is the “internet connection” of the body.
Doing movements that are extremely taxing, or training incredibly hard, can both tax the CNS. If you end up doing this too much, that can lead to increased cortisol and hindered recovery.
Hence why this program prefers you only train on a bench once per week.
You can still train other parts of the body, obviously. They generally give you two options to run this bench program with a Bodybuilder and Powerlifting split.
- Monday: Bench 300
- Tuesday: Rest or Cardio
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Shoulders and Triceps
- Friday: Back and Biceps
- Weekend: Rest or Cardio
- Monday: Bench 300
- Wednesday: Squat Focus
- Thursday: Overhead Press Focus
- Friday: Deadlift Focus
This type of guidance means that the Bench 300 is not for beginners or even new(er) intermediates. If you are inexperienced you might want to look elsewhere to see improvement in your bench.
Another interesting thing about the plan is the shift from a 1RM – One Rep Max. This means you’re predominantly going to be doing a lot of reps, which does have its drawbacks and benefits.
You will be doing a one-rep max at some point, particularly at 6-7 weeks after starting. They also advise that you do it on a day you feel particularly good and fresh – prepare for it as an athlete would.
It is also advised (in the same breath as the 1RM comment) that you don’t bench like a powerlifter. This means benching with a flat back, normal grip, and little to no jolting leg drive.
The Nutrition side of the program is rather lackluster, with the only real advice being given is about the following:
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As you can see, it’s a bit bland. With all that said and done, let’s take a deeper look at the program.
Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan Details
As mentioned before, the 12 Week program only really advises one bench workout per week. This is quite normal to powerlifters (unless they do another light/dynamic day), but a typical bodybuilding program has chest training multiple times per week.
Let’s dig into the nitty-gritty.
Only Training Once a Week?
This is a peculiar one. A ton of people will be scratching their heads when they see the program and then 6 days per week are listed as “Rest Days”.
When you scope around a bit, the words “go ahead and do a lower day” is listed somewhere, but with that being said… what should you do?
This is where the specificity of this program comes in. This is not for all people.
Individuals that are a bit more inexperienced should not be doing this plan. There are definitely certain movements that could help your bench, such as building an extremely strong set of lats to keep you stable whilst benching.
Look, to their credit, they say “go train this” or “train that”, but that’s about it. To help you a bit, here are some specific movements you could do that can help the bench press:
|Single Arm Pulldown
|Depressing the lats while benching can really help you stabilize in the bench press
|Stronger shoulders can dramatically increase your bench press
|Upper Back Rows
|A stronger scapula/upper back muscle will not only help you stabilize a bar better but could decrease your range of motion meaning an easier rep
|Close Grip Bench
|The number 1 strength builder for your triceps as a bencher
|Overhead Tricep Extension
|Training the long head of the tricep can help you with bench pressing
Depending on your recovery capabilities and your overarching goals, you simply cannot be training once per week and expecting results.
You’ll notice a pretty large part of the program is focused on mobility, which is a rather nice surprise when it comes to weight training programs. The mobility and warmup parts are important for a few different reasons:
- Avoiding injury
- Building a mind-muscle connection
- The start of your “Pump”
The nice thing about putting in a mobility part of the process is the fact that you’ll be incredibly mobile! This may not sound like much, but the bigger and stronger you get, we usually see a corresponding lowering in mobility – especially around the chest and shoulders.
It is also advised you do a bit of foam rolling and lighter movements before you start benching to really get the blood flowing. While this may not directly increase your number on the bar, it will definitely increase your recovery capabilities and decrease the risk of injury.
2 Pros of the Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan
- Simplicity. Often we’ll come across training programs (especially strength programs) that work with percentages of maxes, or with reps in reserve, it can become incredibly overwhelming. This program does the opposite of this and simply coaches you to get as strong as you can with good ‘ol reps and sets.
- With the “once a week training” protocol you do have the freedom to incorporate this into pretty much any other training plan you’re already following.
4 Cons of the Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan
- Training once a week will simply not work. If your only goal is benching, there are better programs out there, that will program certain movements and even certain types of lifting on other days to increase your bench
- Even though they play a massive role, there is really little if any tricep work on the workout days. But, hey, at least you’re not squatting every day or something absolutely miserable like that, right?
- The nutrition guides are a complete letdown. Not a mention of the number of calories, nutrient partitioning, or even food quality. If you are a beginner or just getting to know what fitness/nutrition is, more information would really go a long way
- The whole vibe just seems a bit “Just get it done”. It feels like more effort could have been given to the development of this plan. The amount of information is low, and the manner in which it is presented is also quite disappointing. Compared to Iron Intelligence, which drags you through three phases and follows the classic bodybuilder training and eating regimens pretty darn well, Bench 300 leaves a lot to be desired.
Bench 300 12-Week Workout Plan – Final Thoughts
Benching isn’t easy. A lot of people struggle, and some even tear off entire pecs when going for extremely high weight. It would make sense that in order to get better at it, you spend a considerable amount of time and effort improving it.
This is simply not the best way to do that. The complete lack of other training guides, nutrition guides, and simply the whole vibe of this program is very disappointing. I am no powerlifter, but my best friends are and they would scratch their heads when seeing this.
If you have a goal, yes partition more time towards it, but really? No instructions for the other days? Feels like this “Workout Plan” could have been a singular workout.
Rating: 1.5 out of 5