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CanditoAdvancedBenchProgram

byJonnieCandito

GoalAndContextOfProgram
Thisprogramisbuiltprimarilyforanadvancedlifterlookingtosetasideaperiodoftime
tofocusonoverloadingthebenchpresswithhighfrequency,volume,andspecificity.Alsothis
isexecutedwhilevaryingtheapproachfromnormaltrainingoutsideofthisspecializedprogram
aswellaswithinthecycle(dramaticdifferencebetweenfirst3weeksvstherest).Thisis
intentionalbecauseafteracertainpoint,evenwithsmarttraining,youtendtorunintoawall
especiallyasanaturallifter.ThisistheplaceIwasatwhenIwentafullyearonlyincreasing
mybenchpressliterallybyabout0poundsalongwithhavingminorrecurringshoulderpain.I
sayaboutbecausetechnicallyitincreasedby5.5pounds,butifyoulookup"2013National
PowerliftingMeet"onmychannelandcompareitto"IPFRawWorldChampionshipMeet"from
2014youwillseethatrealisticallymymaxwaslikelyunchangedifattemptselectionwasthe
same.
Directlinkstoreferencedvideoshere

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH5Q6JxoADU
vs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaZPkhIsbig

AfterbeinghonestwithmyselfthatIhaveslammedintoawall,despiteinitiallymaking
consistentprogressonmybenchforyears,Istartedtopiecetogetherwhatwouldeventually
becomethisprogram.Iscrappedthewholebenchpressmoretobenchpressmore
oversimplifiedapproachthatIusedtoavoidtakingaccessoriesseriously.Alsothestandard
23xaweekfrequencyyearroundapproachwasnotdoingmeanywondersasthesamebasic
inputwascausingthesameoutput.Thirdly,InoticedIwasconsistentlypeakingtoosoonon
thebenchpress.Volumewouldgraduallydrop,intensitywouldrise,butsupercompensation
justwasntevidentonmeetday.
SoallofthisbringsmetowhatIampresentinginthefollowingpagesandultimatelyin
theExceldocument.Ihavemanagedtoturnaroundmybenchpressprogresssignificantlynow
tosaytheleast.Ihita350poundbenchpressinthegymfollowedbya347poundbenchpress
incompetitionwhichendedupbeingtheliftIimprovedonthemostoutofall3during2015,
judgingstrictlybymeetPRs.Igainedabout30poundsonmybenchpresswithoutgaininga
singlepoundofbodyweight.ThenafterwardswhenIrantheprograma2ndtimewhiledropping
aweightclass,Iwasabletobenchpress2timesmybodyweightwhichisanaccomplishmentI
honestlydidnotknowifIdeverbeabletodo.
Mybenchpressisstillmyworstliftoutofthebig3,Iamcertainlynotthemost
geneticallygiftedinthisaspectofpowerlifting.AlsonotmanyrealizethatIhaveactuallybeen
benchpressingmuchlongerthananyotherlift,soprogressinitnaturallyshouldbethemost
difficult.HoweverwiththisprogramIhavefinallyfiguredoutbothhowtoincreasemybench

beyondwhatwasseemingtobealimitformealongwithsettingituptobeadaptableinalong
termapproach.

Phases

First3weeks

MaximumFatiguePhase
.5xaweek,goalisfatigue+accumulatinghigh
weeklyvolumewithemphasisonaccessories.Skillinbenchpressdevelopedverywelltoobut
barspeedkeptfastaseffortoncompetitionliftislow.Goalissimplyworkingsohardthatyour
bodyhasnochoicebuttoreacttothecollectivestimulus.Onweek3arangeisgivenitis
intentionaltoallowforautoregulationbasedontheday.Irecommendhittingthemaxendof
thatrangeatleastonceduringtheweek.Also,thereasonbehindbuildingupto90%byweek3
istoessentiallyhaveaminipeakwithinthecyclewhenfatigued.Itwillhelpyougetagood
judgementonhowrealisticyourgoalmaxiswhichisusefulsincemostofthecycleissodeep
intobeingsubmaximal.
Weeks4

HighVolumeW/SpecificityAndFullRecoveryPhase
.2xaweek,goalisasmuch
volumepersessiononthebenchitselfwhilebeingabletokeepintensitygraduallyclimbing.
Expectgreatdealofsorenessbutnearfullrecoveryinbetweensessions.
Week5

HighIntensityPeakSetPhase
.GoalistohitsomerepPRsbutintentionallykeeping
ittoaconservative3reppeaksetfollowedbythenextworkoutbeingatrue5repmaxatthe
endwithbackoffsetstokeepvolumeup.Thephilosophyonthisprogramisvaluingvolume
withanextremelyshortandminortaperoffonthebenchpresscomparedtowhatIrecommend
onthesquat/deadlift.
Week6

MaxOutPhase
.

ProgressionOfPrimaryAccessories

Loading
AsmentionedintheGeneralGuidelinesToProgramsheetontheexceldocument,
theloadingisintentionallyunlistedonthe2mainaccessories.IfyouareusingtheRPEscale,
IdsaythesesetsshouldbearoundanRPE9.Anothersuggestionistouseweightsyoudont
normallygravitatetowardssothatyoucanbothmakesmallstepsofprogressandavoidgetting
lostinconstantlytryingtoprovesomethingtoyourselfonanaccessory.Icannotemphasize
enoughthatobsessionwithloadingonaccessoriesisunnecessary.Makeitheavyenoughto
getanoticeablestimulus,lightenoughthatyouarentgettingsoampedupforasetofincline
pressthatyourelookinglikePeteRubishgoingforan800pounddeadliftinfrontofhiswashing
machine.

RepSchemes
Thereprangesweredeterminedbasedon2things:
1. Carryover
2. Variation

1.BycarryoverIamreferringtobeingabletoliftheavyenoughtosubstantiallyimpactyour
benchpress.AbiglessonIhavelearnedlatelyisthatonlyrelyingonaccessoriesforisolation
workinthe812reprangecanonlygosofar.Dontgetmewrongthatisthebestwaytogo
untilyouhaveaneedformorevariation.Thesimplestrouteshouldtakeprecedence.Butwhen
justbenchpressingmorenolongermakesyouactuallybenchpressmore,thenthatswhenthe
heavyaccessoriesbecomemoreimportant.Thatswhyyouseemostthesetsinthisprogram
ontheprimaryaccessoriesinitiallyareinthe36reprange.IpersonallyfindthatifIjust
progressonthebenchpressfromverylighttoheavythenIrunintothesamewallsandreset
points.ButifItrytokeepitheavythroughoutthetrainingcyclethenmyshouldershaveissues.
Sobystartingwithheavyaccessoriesitissimplyanothertoolofprogressiontoworkwithwhile
keepingtheactualbenchpresssetshighlyspecificintermsofreprangeandloweffort.Keepin
mindtriplesonclosegripbenchareactuallymorespecifictoa1repmaxthangoingsuperlight
highvolumesetswithjustthecompetitionbenchpress.

2.Theliftslistedareonlybarbellliftsduetothispointofvariation.Dumbbellsandmachine
workcanbesuperiorforactivationinmanycases,butsimplyhavingtheversatilityofbeingable
totrainheavytriplesallthewayuptoa20repmaxinweek4onthesameliftgivesthebarbella
bigadvantagehere.Thereprangesontheprimaryaccessoriesalsocomplementtheisolation
work.Yougetstrictlylowrepsinthecompetitionmovement,midrangeonthe2accessories,
thenveryhighrepsontheisolations.Simple,butitcanmakeahugedifferenceifyoureused
toonlypairingthecompetitionliftwithisolationsinthetraditional812reprange,asIsaidIwas
whenIwasspinningmywheels.Anotherpointtovariationisthatthe2slotsareintentionally
pairingonehorizontalpresswithoneverticalpress(countinginclineasvertical).Ihavefound
thisisaneasywaytoreducetheshoulderissuesIvehadwithpressingintheexactsameplane
ofmotion.

Youmaynoticethatyouareneverusingthesameexactrepschemetwiceonthesame
primaryaccessoryinthisprogram.ThatisactuallysomethingIfoundoutmyselfwhengoing
throughtestcyclesofit.Sincethegoalofthefirst3weeksistogosohardintermsofoverall
fatiguebutarenttrulyspecializingintheaccessorylifts,youmaynotactuallyprogressifyou
compareoneweektothenextonthatparticularmovement.Thatsfine.Ifoundthebestwayto
solvethisistojustavoidrepeatingthesameschemestoallowyourselftofocusonthereal
purposeofusingthesemovementsastools.ThatswhyIdontreallyhaveananswerfor
peoplewhentheyaskifmyoverheadpresshasincreasedafterIchoseitasanaccessoryafter
failingtopress185poundsrightbeforethecycle.ThetruthisIstillhaventhit185poundsnor
doIcare.Allthatmatteredwasattackingtheweaknessitselfwiththeoverheadpressand
lettingthepositiveeffectsshowitselflaterondowntheroadwhenitcounts,whenmaxingon
thebenchpress.

ShiftToPinPressing
Thisisbothtokeepupavoidanceofdoingthesamerepschemeon
thesameexercisetwiceandtocreatetheminipeakbrieflyalludedtointheabridgedphases
summary.Iconsideredcyclingthroughawiderreprangewhilestickingstrictlywiththetwo
accessoriestoavoidusingthesamereprangetwice,butcarryoverwouldbelacking.

Rememberwewanttokeepthereprangelowtomidrangeforthemostpart.Sothepinpress
notonlyallowsforthatbutalsoofcourseincreasesspecificitywhenitcomestotransferenceto
thebenchpress.Thisalsocushionsthetransitionfrommostlyverylightbenchpresssetsto
thenthe3singlethenatthestartofweek3.Afterthatfirstweek3workout,thereprangegoes
backupasthe2primaryaccessoriesreturninordertosimplybackoffabitfromtheheavy
liftingsincetheworkingsetsonthebenchpressstarttobesomewhatofanotablechallenge
beyondjustsportpractice.Thesecondreasonistobridgethegapbeforethe1520reppeak
setsonweek4.

IsolationAccessorySetup

Thisisfarsimplerthantheprimaryaccessoriessection.Loadingislargelyirrelevant.
VarietyisevenmoreimportantasIrecommendchoosingdifferentexercisesasoftenasyou
cantotargetthelaggingmusclegroup(s)inyourbenchpress.Ifyoudohaveanissueof
gettingtoosoreinyourtricepsforexamplefromthebenchpress+primaryaccessoriesthen
youshouldneverforcetheissue.Thatmeansyoucantrainsolightitisbasicallyactive
recovery,orifneededjustmovedownthelistofmusclegroupslessdirectlyinvolvedbutstill
somehowrelevanttopressing.Forexampleyoucouldfocusonlateraldelts,reardeltsorupper
backwork.

WhyUseaGoalMax?

Allofmyadvancedprogramswillhaveagoalmaxintegratedaswellasusinganinitial
trainingmax.Themainreasonisthatincreasedprecisionisneededtheadvancedalifter
becomes.Backinthegoodoledaysofbeinganintermediate,Iremembersquatting455
poundsfor3setsof6repsonthesquat,thengoingintoameetandhittingalifetimePRof
around535pounds.Nopeakingwhatsoeversinceitwasalocalmeet.Nowadaysasan
advancedlifterthesemomentsjustdonthappen.Younolongercanrunacycleof5/3/1using
asuperlowtrainingmaxandexpectonmeetdaytoperformwithworldlevelIPFlifters.

Alsoatthemoreadvancedlevelbodyweightstartstobecomemoreofastrategictool.
Nolongeristhebestadvicetoeatbigtoliftbigwithnofurtherquestionsasked.Nowthebest
courseofaction,ifyouareacompetitivelifter,istofindtheweightclassyouplacethehighest
in.ThisisntonlyapplicablewhendroppingaweightclasslikeIdidmymostrecentcycleonthe
program,butevenwhenstayinginthesamedivisionsomeweightfluctuationshouldoccur(at
theveryleastaminorwatercutisanadvantageyoucantignore).

Withthisbeingsaid,Idontexpectmosttorunthisprogramgoingintoameet.Iwillgo
moreindepthonthatpointinthesectionregardingwhythisprogramis6weekslong
specifically.Butregardlessevenifbodyweightisheldconstant,thegoalmaxismoreusefulfor
advancedliftersbecauseexpectedprogressstartstovarymoresignificantly,proportionally
speaking,withinthisgroup.

Letssayyouhavetwoadvancedlifters,LifterAandLifterB.LifterAgains5poundson
theirbenchpressin6months,LifterBgains15poundsontheirpressin8months.Clearly
neitherareintermediateliftersastheirprogresscouldntevenbeproperlymeasuredmonthly
sinceitislessthan5pounds,andofcourseweallknowitwouldntbelineareachmonth
anyways.Sotomostontheoutsidelookingintheseguysareinthesamesituationofslow
progress.HoweverLifterBisprogressingata300%fasterratethanLifterA!Thatismassive.
Whenitcomestonovice/intermediatelifters,wegenerallyprogramassumingasimilarrateof
progressacrossallliftersfittingthatclassificationandjusttrytokeepitgoingaslongaswecan.
Withadvancedprogrammingwearedealingwithafarmorevariedgroupwhichrequiresmore
input.Thisisalsowhytherearemorerangesforloadinggiventhroughoutandanopenended
5repmaxwithnoloadingsuggestedattheend.

Simplyputthisstyleofprogrammingisawaytocompromisebetweentrainingmaxonly
percentagebasedprogrammingandautoregulatedprograms.Ifindattheadvancedstagethe
formerdoesbecometooinaccuratelaterinthetrainingcycle,butthelattergivesmetoomuch
roomtooverthinktheprocess.

WhatIsAnAdvancedLifter?

Thisquestionissimilartowhatconstitutesanelitepowerlifterinthatthereisno
universallyagreeduponanswer,butitsoundsofficialsowealljustrollwithit.Sothereal
questioniswhatismypersonaldefinitionofanadvancedlifter?Thatentirelybasedonone
aspectandoneaspectalone.Rateofprogress.

Itisentirelyirrelevantifyoubenchpress225poundsor500poundsfora1repmax.If
youareunabletomakeconsistent,testable(ienotundertheminimumincrementsinyourgym)
progresseachmonththenyouareadvancedbymydefinition.Percentagesalreadyhandle
accommodatingdifferentstrengthlevelseasily.Decidingdurationofthetrainingcycleand
approachtoprojectedstrengthincreaseisthetrickypartrequiringmoredivisionbasedon
advancement.Thereareotherperfectlyvaliddefinitionsthatshortenthetimetabletoweekly
progressforanintermediateandtrackableprogressstraightfromthepreviousworkouttothe
nextfornovice.Butsincethegapbetweennovicevsintermediateisalreadysoshortin
comparisontointermediatevsadvancedwithmyapproach,Idontliketouseaversionwhich
splitshairsevenmorebetweenthosegroupswhileexpandingthealreadyambiguousadvanced
group.

Tosummarize:

Novice=Progressweekly.
Intermediate=Progressmonthly.
Advanced=Everythingelse.

WhyIsTheProgram6Weeks?


IpromisethatImnotjustmakinganother6weekprogrambecausethatissome
appealingnumbertomarket.Formyadvancedprogramstheprogramswillbethefollowing
length:

BenchProgram=6Weeks
DeadliftProgram=8Weeks
SquatProgram=8Weeks
All3LiftProgram=10Weeks

Formyadvancedprograms,Iamfocusingononeliftinagiventrainingcycle.Thereforethe
lengthisdeterminedbysignificance.Thebenchpressmakesupthesmallestpercentageofa
lifterspowerliftingtotalandthetimejustifiedfocusingspecificallyonitshouldreflectthisfact.
Ofcoursethisisonlyrelevantifyouaregoingwithmystyleofspecializingoneliftatatime
followedbythenall3atonceforapeakbeforecompetition.Bythetimeall3programsare
doneIwillhaveaseparateyearlyplanningandbeyondtypeofPDFtoputallofmyprograms
intooneframeofreference.OutsideofthatIwillhaveintentionallylowfrequencyoffseason
programswiththeminimalvolumepossibletojustaimtomaintainontheother2liftsuntilgoing
backtofocusingoneach.
Iwilladdthatthisisageneralideaandnottobestrictlyenforced.ForexampleifIm
runningthe8weeksquatspecializedprogram,Iwilllikelystartitbeingontheoffseason
programsforbothbenchanddeadlift.Butafterabout4weeksorsoImaystartabenchcycle
asthesquatprogramshiftstolowerfrequency.Soyoucanapplythesamelogictothebench
programbygoing3weeksjustfocusingonthebenchpressitselfbutthenperhapsstartinga
newtrainingcyclefortheother2liftsasyoubeginpressingjust2timesaweek.

AnotherreasonforthebenchcyclebeingtheshortestisthatIfindthebenchpress
requirestheleastamountoftimetopeakinatraditionalsense.Imentionedatthestartofthis
PDFthatoneofmybiggestissueswasbecomingundertrainingbythetimeIdmaxout.So
whatIfoundworksbyfarthebestformyselfisjustcuttingoutnearlyallofthatlowvolume,high
intensity,fullrestphaseandjumpingstraightfromhighvolume,workupto5repmax,straight
intomaxingoutthefollowingweek.Ihavenotfoundthistobethecasewiththesquatorthe
deadlift.Itmakesperfectsensetoo,beyondexperience,sincethesquatrequiresmoreskilldue
tomoretechnicalfactors(barpath,nuancesofknee/hippositioning,etc.)andthedeadlift
makesvolumelesstolerablewithoutburningoutduetonervoussystemdealingwithafar
greaterload.Sosquatneedsmorespecificitywithfullyrestedlowrepworkwhilethedeadlift
youjustneedmoreofabreakbeforemaxingwhilethebenchpressdoesntneedtobetrained
thesameway.

CanIUseThisWithTheCandito6WeekStrengthProgram?

IamsurethiswillbeacommonquestionsincetheCandito6WeekStrengthProgram
isbyfarmymostpopularprogram.Itisofcoursemadeforintermediatelifters.Alsowe

establishedearlierthatthisbenchprogramismadewiththeideathatthelifterwillallowhimself
tofocusoneachliftatatime,atleastduringthehighfrequencystage.Aslongasyou
understandthosetwopoints,youcantryoutwhateveryouwant.Ifitworkswellforyouthenby
allmeansgoforit.

HowOftenCanThisProgramBeRepeated?

Istronglyrecommendthatyoualwaysavoidrunningthisprogramtwiceinarow.Asolid
generalruleisaminimumofa4weekbreakinbetween.Iincludedasample1xaweek
offseasonworkoutthatIuseforthistimeasasepratesheetintheexceldocument.AlsoI
stronglyrecommendchoosingatleast1differentprimaryaccessoryexercisewhenrestartinga
newcycle.Overuseinjuriestendtooccurwhenwegetgreedy.BeyondthatIamalsoabig
believerinintentionallyreducingvolumeforperiodsoftimetoallowforthestimulustohavea
greatereffectwhenanewcyclebegins.

FinalWords

Thistypeofprogramreliesonconsistencyandstayingpatient.Alsolikelywill
resultinbeingsoreandnotfeelingtoogreatforthefirst3weeks.Somakesuretoboth
bemotivatedwhileensuringyouaretakingeverystepyouneedinordertostayhealthy.
Ifyoudontknowthedifferencebetweensorenessandinjurythenthisprogramisnt
madeforyou.

IfyoudoapproachthisprogramwithanopenmindthenIamconfidentgreat
progresscanbemadeevenifyouvebeenstuckatacertainplateauforfartoolonglike
Iwas.Youdontneedtobeasuperelitelevelliftertorunthisasthetermadvanced
isntnearlyasprestigiousasmanyperceive,whenlookingstrictlyatrateofprogress.
Thosewhohavebeenthroughthepovertybenchstruggleknowhowgratifyingitisto
finallybreakthroughit.

LastthingIwanttosayisaswithallofmyprograms,thiswillremainentirely
free.Idoputalotofthoughtandeffortintoeachoneandhavebillslikeanyoneelse.
Soifyoudohavesuccessonthisbenchprogramandhavethemoneytopitchinthen
Idappretiateanydonationonthedownloadpageofmysite
http://www.canditotraininghq.com/freestrengthprograms/
.Ifnot,itsallgoodaseach
personssupportofmychannelinadditiontosimplymakingatangibleimpactareboth
immeasurablyvaluabletome.Goodluck!

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