Clean and Bench Press Challenge

1st Follow-Up

5 weeks behind - ten to go and time to develop maximum strength. Third of the weeks booked for this challenge behind and it is time for the 1st follow-up. Naturally I haven't managed to train as planned, but there is no reason for concern. I have enough time left - at least building my maximum strength to the level that is the goal. Actually the only thing that concerns me a bit is the third part of the challenge a.k.a. dropping my own body weight to 90 to 92 kilos. I still have 5,5kg to lose and I'm then at the upper limit and I've lost only a kilo from the starting weight.

Weekly training rhythm

So, I should have done light - medium - hard - hard - light training weeks and one testing session. The execution has been light - medium - light - light - hard and some kind of testing. One reason for the lighter training has been quite bad cough / flu / or whatever, which made it difficult or no point of training during weeks 3 and 4. Last week was kind of normal week and I could do 5 trainings. (There would have been 6th training session also, but for some technical reasons I couldn't make it to training field ;) )

Results and highlights of the weeks

During the first 5 weeks I did my ten repetitions personal record in clean with 90kg. I don't think that is yet enough to get one rep with 130 to 135kg, but personal best is always personal best. In the last week's "test session" I tried maximum clean after the illness period and the result was again 110kg. Didn't have much power in my legs, but that is no wonder.

On last Sunday I had strength training session. This was the third chest day for that week and I actually couldn't do much, because my left peck started to cramp in between sets. I can easily say that 3 hard training session for the same muscle group during one week is too much for me. This means that one of the 3 trainings has to be explosive or speed training for the muscles (which is actually a good thing for the development!). In the Sunday's training session I was performing well in clean. There is quite a difficult surface and narrow space at the gym where I was on Sunday and still I could do 3 repetitions with 100kg in clean! More to come during this week! :)



Wasn't the technically the cleanest cleans, but got the bar up every time! ;)

I did a bit of HIIT by running 200 meters "sprints" during last week. Felt as good as back in the good old days! ;)


I tried to keep that training session light since I haven't been running basically at all during last year (!). At least I haven't done such a "long distance" intervals in a very long time. And because of the long break from running, my calves didn't appreciate my running at all. :) I was hurting 3 to 4 days and walking was pretty difficult then. Well, micro damages to muscles are important to get some results! Of course one need's also the recovery to get the damages repaired!

This week has been great so far: it is going to be 7 training session week. I did bench press 4 repetitions with 100kg and half squat 3 repetitions with 170kg. And today we had great motor skills, balance, core stability, flexibility and speed training exercises the whole day at the Personal Trainer course.

1st follow-up and future steps

And here is the 1st follow-up. I cannot give excellent grade for myself, but there is nothing you can do if you get sick, so let's give to the doing part 8,5 and progression and development 7. Next follow-up will be at the end of April or at the beginning of May - in 4 to 5 weeks anyhow. If I really get some results earlier, I'll write them down to this blog!

There are 5 weeks until the next moment of truth; goals for that are bench press 115-117,5kg, clean 122,5-125kg and own body weight 94 to 95kg. If I can reach to those goals after 5 weeks, I should be able to succeed in my challenge! :)

Have a great training week and positive mind-set to everything!

Tatu Pussila

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