This goes out to GB, PLK, and all the other legit powerlifters out there that have used the Ram or Slingshot.
I recently ordered and received the maddog slingshot and original slingshot.
Could somebody please outline a routine/plan designed to improve my RAW bench while using the Slingshot and Maddog Slingshot?
Even though I've already ordered and received them, I'm still slightly skeptical that they can improve my raw bench and help build a more powerful physique because it's taking some of the work out. Seems like it will take some of the pecs involvement out and work mostly the lockout.
I have been kicking around different ideas of how to do a 5x5 or 3/2/1 scheme with the slingshot. How often do I use it? Should I use it ONLY when I go above my raw max, or should it be used at sub-maximal weights as well? Can it be used for bodybuilding purposes? Can it be used with dumbbells?
My 3RM right now is 315 on incline, 365 on decline, and I'm not sure on flat because it's been a while since I flat barbell benched (guessing 345ish).
The slingshot is a device used for all kinds of stuff. I use it mainly for something I can overload with. For instance, before my injury, I was hitting 6 raw. I would throw in something like 630 or so and use the sling shot on it. Essentially, in my opinion, it's like a reverse band press. Some also use it when repping certain weights. I don't. There are so many devices out there its crazy. You got boards, chains, bands, etc. All are great accessory devices. But, bottom line is, when it comes time to compete, it's only going to be you and the bar. So, do not rely on it as something to help you all the time. What I do is, is make my training as rough and hard as possible. Pauses, chains, Fat Gripz...stuff like that. just to make things brutal. I think Jeremy Frey said it best, "My training is to be so brutal that when the time for a competition comes, it's a cakewalk."
I compete in gear, but I have competed raw, and all of my training does improve my raw bench..... so, not training specifically for raw competition, but the principals I use are the same.
I use the slingshot in 2 different ways...
1) It helps me handle heavy weights more often without getting too beat up. I am good for a mid-500 raw bench. I have gone 505 and 525 pretty easily but never really tried pushing it past that because I end up beat up and can't push heavy again for a while. So, if I handle 5+ raw this week I'm not going to do much more than flush out the next week, but I can go 500+ 2 weeks in a row in the slingshot just to get used to handling the weight etc... or, if you are beat up from a big raw day, you can use the slingshot the next week to handle similar weight to what you do raw but it will take some stress off of the shoulders.
2) it allows for an overload, just like how training the shirt ( to a lesser degree) helps my raw bench go up. I've handled 585 in the slingshot and 635 in the mad dog ( had way more left in me after that one) but only bench mid-500's somewhere at best.... when I handle 500+ raw it beats me up and is some work to press, but it never feels all that heavy because I am used to handling 6+ in a slingshot and 8+ in a shirt.
You can work the slingshot with the sleeves up on your biceps for more raw/chest-dominant carry over or you can put it so that your elbow joint is poking out of the split on the cuff of the slingshot to work triceps ( narrower grip, lower groove, or just trying to get more out of the device)....
We have a few big raw guys that train with us, but they use the slingshot too.... the program most of them follow is also a 3-week split, but for them week one would be heavy raw bench ( to a heavy single). Week two would be lighter, more reps, and the third would be to a moderate weight raw then either something you want to hit the next week raw followed by some overload work.
You could also rotate the overload work to your heavy raw day and use the third week just to feel some weight if you are getting too beat up....
Like PLK hit on, its gonna save your shoulders and really allow you to lockout weight you might otherwise struggle with... Id personally use it every fourth bench workout unless Im coming up on a comp- more or less depending on raw or equipped comp- Ive seen success with guys using it every 3rd workout or so again like pork said...
I've got one and I love it, I probably use it maybe ever 3rd bench session or thereabouts. For me the main benefits I find are making me more conscious of my form as I find it helps to keep me 'tighter', and I like the fact that I can overload the weights and still get some good quality reps out.
Just treated myself to some new stuff and the Reactive Slingshot was one thing I had wanted to try for a while now.