Bench Press 101

On most days you head to the gym and ‘do the right thing’. You take out your training log, follow the reps and sets, add a little more weight than last week and walk out the door feeling pretty darn good about yourself. Other days, you’re not quite ‘feeling it’ and you spend less time strengthening your deadlifts and more time chatting up the hot chick in the squat rack. Hey, it happens.

Then there are some days you just walk into the gym feeling extra pumped and super focused. Sure you could bang out your regularly scheduled training program. Hell, the way you’re feeling you could probably hit a couple of PR’s. But, today, you’re same-old training program just won’t do. You want to tackle something tough. You want a challenge. You want to train so hard that you crawl out of the gym. 

Lucky for you, we’re here to help. Each week we’ll give you a tough, one-off workout that you can try when you are looking for the ultimate training challenge, or just feel like you need a break from your regular routine. But be warned, this training program will leave you totally CRUSHED.

Prepare yourself for the brutal workout on the next page. This one is going to hurt. 

Bench Press 14

Everybody loves to press. Which is why you never have to wait for a chin-up bar or see people lining up to deadlift on a Monday night, yet the squat rack and the bench press stations are more popular than the neighborhood hot spot during ladies night. Well, you might not be so fond of pushing exercises once you give this ascending/descending ladder a try. Load the Front Squat with 50% of your bodyweight and the Bench Press with 75% of your bodyweight (feel free to scale up or down as needed).  Alternate between the two movements starting with 10 reps of the Bench and 1 rep of the Squat and finishing with 1 rep of the Bench and 10 reps of the Squat.

The goal is to complete all the reps in as little total time as possible, but make sure your form is tight on every rep. Once you get through this combo the chin-up bar may not look half bad.

The Workout

Barbell Bench Press
10 sets x 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 reps

Barbell Front Squat
10 sets x 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 reps




Dan Trink is a personal trainer, strength coach and nutritional consultant based in New York City. To find out more about Dan visit