When I was in 9th grade and showed promise of becoming
a pretty decent football player my parents bought me a
power rack, a barbell and 315 pounds in plates to train with.
I remember my first (pathetic) workout on that power rack.
It was a bench press workout, of course.
At the time I weighed about 180 pounds.
And all I could manage to press was 155 pounds.
My upper body was so weak that I couldn’t even bench
press my own body weight! (but I could squat 315 ;)
So, in the summer of 1994 I made it my #1 priority to be
able to bench press 185 pounds… once!
Every single day after school I would head down into my
step into the power rack…
slide under the barbell…
take a deep breath…
press the bar off the rack…
The loaded barbell would slam down on my chest!
Then I would side out from under the barbell, that was held
up by the safety pins… and prepare to try again… tomorrow.
What a silly kid I was!
But not much has changed :)
Today I still set ridiculous strength and performance goals for
myself… because I love the challenge!
By the end of that summer I DID finally press the 185 lb
barbell, in fact I built up to a set of 10 with that same weight.
My next goal was to press ALL of the weights I had — 315 lbs.
If you are a grown man, it should be against the law NOT to be
able to press 315 lbs (or 3 plates each side)!
Here is a challenge for you…
If you don’t currently have a strength goal (like I do), then here
is one for you.
Bench Press 315 lbs.
And if you already can… then shoot for 405 lbs.
There are plenty of bench pressing routines out there that will
teach you HOW to press properly and set you up on a workout
plan to get there.
In fact my friend Mike Westerdal (who can press over 600 lbs) is
practically giving away his best bench pressing routines right
Bench pressing is NOT my favorite exercise… nor is it even in
my top 10 most important moves.
But EVERYONE (especially people who don’t train) who ever
asks me “how much can you lift”, is usually talking about the
Like it or not, it has become the standard test of strength.
So, might as well put up some numbers you can be proud of,
Start here: http://elliotthulse.com/recommends/315
PS – That pathetic story about me is 100% true!
My girlfriend used to watch me emasculate myself every day
after school inside that power rack….
For some reason the crazy chick still decided to marry me :)
I wish I knew about this back then.