One personal goal I've been working on for some time now is the dream of being able to bench press four hundred pounds. I'm not going to devote too much airspace to it, but I will post periodic updates.
I've been through a few boom-and-bust cycles with this, but -- and yes, I'm going to play the deployment card here -- everytime I've really built it up, I've gone overseas and let it slide. But now I'm refocused as I will be here in the U.S. for the foreseeable future.
The method to my madness is built around something called the "5-by-5."
Here's how it works: You take a weight, let's call it 135 lbs. Can you do 5 sets of 5 reps? If not, just keep at it...once you're able to complete a 5-by-5, you own that weight. Now you need to start working with 140. Just keep adding 5 lbs. every time you establish ownership of a weight.
Slowly, but surely, you will become a lot stronger by doing this.
Lately, I've started to add something called "Kraft Singles" to my routine. Kraft Singles are just what they sound like -- single reps of a weight. They are not max-out weights -- just something higher than your 5-by-5 weight that you're trying to *reach* up to.
Right now, I'm 5-by-5'ing at three hundy and Kraft Singling at three-and a-quarter. I estimate that I'm about a year and a half from reaching my goal.