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Thread: Master HLM - Press Focus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2023

    Default Master HLM - Press Focus

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    Current stats:
    47yo, 5'10", 222lbs, ~25%BF
    5RM PRs: 320 squat, 350 deadlift, 250 bench, 137.5 press

    Recently recovering from a melanoma excision procedure, and still have steri strips in place.

    I switched my press technique to the press 2.0 and had to deload slightly. Due to my knee condition, I have omitted cleans. For my weekly program, I am running a modified HLM every week without alternating bench/press movements:

    Squat 4x5
    Press 4x4
    Chins BWx6x4

    Squat 2x5 @85-90%
    Bench 3x5
    Dead 1x4-5, and backoff set of 1x5 @85%
    Dips BWx15x3

    Squat 3x5 @90-95%
    Press 3x5
    Pull-Ups BWx5x4

    I perform 50 32kg kettlebell swings and walk 1-2 miles on active rest days. Don't really have a specific question other than is will the once a week bench be enough to continue to drive progress? I'd appreciate any input or criticism on my current programming with the press focus. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    Quote Originally Posted by KevinHP View Post
    will the once a week bench be enough to continue to drive progress?
    Probably not. Why are you doing this?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2023


    The press is my weakest link and I want to increase the volume. This schedule is based off example 24-6 from pg 257 in the Barbell Prescription and somewhat off Nick's article: Intermediate Programming for the Upper Body Lifts | Nick Delgadillo

    Perhaps 5x5 on Wednesday bench would be sufficient stress to force adapation? Or I could incorporate 4 presses and 4 benches over a 2 week period:
    P, B, P/B
    B, P, B/P
    with volume on M/W and intensity for both on Friday? Not sure what would be most effective with that particular rotation.

    I'm not struggling as much on my presses now (maybe it's my technique shift to 2.0) and haven't gotten stuck on bench yet; but unsure once a week will be sustainable for continued progress.
    So far, so good, but appreciate any suggestions or advice for possible improvement with a press priority.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2023


    I've been running HLM since January, and prefer MWF due to my schedule. However, the more I think about it, I plan to add some conditioning work soon, and may switch to a 4 day H/L split anyway to keep the length of workouts manageable. That would negate any concern since I'll be pressing and benching 2x weekly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2024


    This is from the intermediate programming for upper body lifts by nick that you referenced.

    Run a compressed Texas Method for your upper body lifts. There will be no light days, you’ll just do all of your volume and intensity work for both lifts in the same week. The initial setup looks like this:

    Monday: 5x5 Bench Press @ 90% of Friday’s planned intensity day weight.

    Wednesday: 5x5 Strict Press @ 90-95% of your last completed set of 5 at the end of your LP.

    Friday: 5-7 Press Singles @ 2-5 lbs more than your last “heavy” press workout AND 1x5 Bench.

    I ran this when my press and bench started slowing down and getting stuck. I used it for a couple of months until my workouts where averaging over 2.5 hours on the 3 day and then switched to a 4 day. But my question is why not try this. You increased the volume on your press which is recommended in the article but you decreased volume for the bench. If you were doing a 3 x 5 bench/press alternating you were averaging 4.5 working sets per week. When you made a programing change it went to 3 x 5 for your bench. You would correct that mistake by going to a 5 x 5 like you asked but that is not optimal or the most effective use of your time training. Right now you are at 7 sets on press per week. You could 5 x 5 wed and on fri do 5 x 2 but keep adding weight until they become 10 heavy singles. Which is recommended by Nick for reasons he goes into in much more depth in a YouTube video Press and Bench press programing - getting and staying unstuck.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    starting strength coach development program
    I'm entering into week 10 on Andy's garage gym warrior program. The extra volume seems to have helped my squat and press. Squat 315 last night and it felt lighter then when I was squatting 315 previously. I too am trying to improve my press.

    The extra volume on the deadlift has helped me get the "push off the floor" down so deadlift and grip strength are going up!

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