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How to add 50 lbs. To your BENCH PRESS in 12 Weeks!

Parrillo tactics and Parrillo supplements equate to a big bench

By Duke Nukem

The two most often asked training questions are, “How do I increase my arm size?” and “How do I dramatically increase my bench press?” A big bench press is the coin-of-the-realm in the bodybuilding community; very rarely does a civilian ask “Hey, how much can you deadlift?” Or “How much can you use in the leg press?”

This “bench-press-is-King” mentality is not completely misplaced; indeed the bench press is factually the King of all upper body exercises. When properly performed, using a variety of grip widths, the bench press not only builds pectorals, but builds front deltoids and triceps. Believe it or not, nutrition is critical for building a big bench press; most particularly Parrillo-style nutrition. Let’s start our bench press talk by puncturing the most pervasive myth surrounding the acquisition of a monster bench press: If I can just find the right bench press routine, I will be able to add 100 pounds to my bench press, without gaining any bodyweight. Sorry Charlie, here is a fact of bench press life; to build a bigger bench press – a significantly bigger bench press – requires you add a significant amount of muscle mass! Period! End of story. No ifs, ands or buts and no exceptions. Anyone that thinks they will magically add 50, 70 or 100 pounds to their bench press simply by finding the right routine is sadly mistaken. The plain fact is, in order to boost a 200 pound bench press upward to 300 pounds (a 50% increase!) or a 300 pound bench press to 400 pounds (a 33% increase) or 400 pounds to 500 pounds (a 25% increase) the athlete has to dramatically increase the amount of muscle they have to push with.

Want a bigger bench press? Get bigger muscles!

In order to radically increase prone pushing power you will need to radically increase the size of the pushing muscles: if a man with a 200 pound bench press has a 42 inch chest and 15 inch arms, he’ll need a 46 inch chest and 17 inch arms to engineer the 50% increase in his bench press and hit 300. That makes sense. Only a complete beginner new to training is able to increase their bench press by 50% in a few short months; the problem is most beginning bodybuilders that in fact do experience the dramatic 50% increase in all their lifts across-the-board, start out thinking that that rate of progress is normal and expected. They mistakenly reason, “Hey, I made sensational gains when I started out, I should be able to attain gains at that same rate again and again. The only reason that I haven’t is that I just haven’t found the right bench press routine.” So these de-luded bench pressers keep looking for the magical bench routine, going through all the muscle magazines, trying out all the latest bench routines used by the IFBB pros and the various strongmen. Once passed the be-ginner stage (where almost any routine will work wonders) it is highly unlikely that you will ever happen across any bench routine that will add more than 25 pounds to your bench press – assuming you stay within five pounds of your current bodyweight. So now that we’ve completely deflated your illusions about finding a magical bench routine, now that we’ve let the air out of the idea of finding a routine that will add a hundred pounds to your bench press in a few short months – here is how you can add 50-70 pounds to your current bench press maximum: Buy a substantial stash of Parrillo supplements ahead of time. Make an across-the-board commitment to establish and adhere to a multiple-meal eating schedule: embark on a 12 week mass-building bench press specialization regimen.

How the bench press pros roll: Guys add 100 pounds to their bench press within a year’s time all the time. However they will also add 20-50 pounds of bodyweight in the same timeframe. The trick is to add muscle and not fat. What separates the bodybuilder from the powerlifter is a bodybuilder will not allow themselves to gain an unacceptable amount of body fat when gaining bodyweight in order to boost their bench press. Most powerlifters could care less: they’ll eat anything and everything and this does work – anyone that bench presses using a serious routine and force-feeds themselves a ton of calories on an ongoing and consistent daily basis will add bodyweight and will boost their bench press. If they keep it up for six months or a year they can easily add 100 pounds to their bench press – but at what price? Is it really worth it to add 100 pounds to your bench press while adding 50 pounds of body fat? A lot of powerlifters will say hell yes it’s worth it; and serious bodybuilders will say hell no, “I am not going to ruin my physique for the sake of attaining a 400 pound bench press.” There is a sensible way to split the difference. A 100 pound increase in the bench press is a bit ex-treme, however adding 50 pounds to a 200 pound bench press is not: assuming you add 10 pounds of new muscle to arm, chest and shoulder muscles in the process.

The smart way to build a bench is to do it in conjunction with a Parrillo off-season mass-building program. Take three months and look to add bodyweight, pure muscle each and every week for 12 consecutive weeks. Simultaneously engage in a power bench training routine, the type powerlifters use. We’ll combine power training with bodybuilding nutrition and combine the best of both worlds. If you play your cards right, this combining and specializing will bring up pecs, delts, triceps and even lats to a degree you would not have thought possible. Best of all, if you eat right, if you utilize the Parrillo Nutritional Program and slam lots of protein and clean calories and Parrillo supplements, each successive week for three straight months, you will get bigger and stronger and you will actually lean out during the process!

The routine: Powerlifters strip away all the extra stuff when they get serious about upping their bench press. Hall-of-Fame powerlifters like Ed “King” Coan will bench press once a week. They set a second day aside for their favorite bench press “assistance exercise,” the overhead press, either in front or behind the neck. Here is a bench press routine very nearly identical to the one Ed Coan used. Ed, a fanatical Parrillo user, was able to bench press 600 pounds wearing a tee-shirt while weighing a miniscule 219 pounds.

On Day I, Coan would work up to a single, all out ‘top set’ in the bench press: depending on how close he was to a powerlifting competition, the top set reps could range from a high of 8 reps (far out from the competition) down to a low rep set of two reps (right before the competition.) Coan would then strip poundage of the bench press bar and perform two sets of wide-grip, paused, bench presses. If, by way of example, Ed was working up to 505 for 5 reps in the “regular grip” bench press, he might drop down to 455 for two sets of 5 reps in the wide grip. He would then strip more weight off the barbell and perform two sets using a narrow-grip. He might drop down to 405 for two sets of 5 reps narrow grip. Coan felt wide grip benching built “starting power” off the chest; narrow grip benches built “finish” or lockout power. He would conclude bench day with 3-4 sets of tricep pushdowns. Three days later he would come into the gym and work up to an all-out set in the press-behind-the-neck. Ed felt that when his PBN went up, his bench press also went up. He was able to use 350×5 and 400×1 in the behind the neck press. He would finish day two with laterals and curls.

Preplanning Parrillo:

Periodization is a fancy name for preplanning. Big time powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters and strongmen have used periodization tactics for decades to build up their lifts leading up to regional, national or world championships. The classical periodization template is twelve weeks in length and is broken into four, 4-week mini-cycles. Here is how a 160 pound man with a 200 pound bench press would add fifty pounds to his bench press in twelve weeks time – this represents a whopping 25% increase in just three short months! Talk about Tiger’s Blood! In order to make that happen, he needs to add quality bodyweight during the 12 week period. No sweat, we’ll have him look to add weight at the rate of 1 pound of bodyweight per week for the first six weeks and then add bodyweight at the rate of ½ pound per week for the second six weeks. To make sure that weight gain is muscle gain, it would be wise for him to have a BodyStat nine-point skin-fold caliper test done each successive week. Naturally the bodybuilder will need to eat clean and eat big in order to add quality muscle size. Assemble your Parrillo supplements ahead of time: 50/50 Plus™ is a post-workout must; Opti-mized Whey™ and Hi-Protein™ powder are indispensable; purchase at least two boxes of Parrillo Bars™ per month and do not forget Muscle Amino Formula™ (branched-chain amino acids are needed before and after a savage workout. Be sure and purchase that most effective (and inexpensive) nutritional supplement, Liver Amino Formula™. Here is how a 12 week bench press specialization periodization cycle looks on paper…

Take a page from Ed Coan’s bench press playbook and perform two sets of wide-grip bench presses followed by two sets of narrow grip bench presses. Work up to your scheduled top set bench press poundage. Try reducing wide-grip bench poundage by 20 pounds and narrow-grip bench press poundage by another 20 pounds. This makes for five “work sets” of flat bench pressing. Follow with 3-5 sets of triceps. Three days later come in and work up to one, all out set of overhead dumbbell presses, seated or standing front barbell presses or the press-behind the neck – your choice – insofar as repetitions in the overhead press, perform whatever number of reps you are currently doing in the flat bench. After overhead presses, hit some delt raises and finish with 5-6 sets of arm curls.

Eat Big, Eat Clean, Eat often and


This is a Man program, with a capitol M. If you feel you are Man enough to try it, the lifting is only half the battle. If you attempt this type of bench press specialization and ignore the nutritional part of it, if you under-eat or over-eat, one of two bad things will happen: if you under-eat and over-train you’ll go catabolic and break down muscle tissue and literally go backwards. If you over-eat and eat the wrong stuff, your bench press will most certainly go up – but not as fast as your waistline and your body fat percentile.

How do you do it and do it right? Simple: you make a commitment to get on a Parrillo multiple-meal eating schedule. Every two to three hours, come hell or high water, eat a food meal or eat a supplement meal. If it’s a food meal, make sure it is comprised of a portion of lean protein, a portion of fibrous carbohydrates and a portion of starchy carbs: refined foods, manmade foods, chips, sweets, beer, pizza, and all the rest of it are out the window. If you can’t exercise that level of discipline then you are not serious. In addition you will need to supplement. You will need to take in at least 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight each and every day. In order to hit this level of protein intake consistently, you will need to supplement. Here is one potential way in which to use potent Parrillo supplements in the daily meal template.


Day 1

Bench Press

regular grip

work up to a single “top set” of 8, 5, 3 or 2 reps


Bench Press

wide grip

after regular grip, strip off poundage, two sets


Bench Press

narrow grip

strip off more poundage, two sets


Tricep pushdowns

2-3 sets using maximum weight for 8-10 reps


Day 2


Seated press-


work up to a single, all out set of between 1-5 reps


Side and front

lateral raises

two or three sets of each, strict form, 8-10 rep sets


Bicep curls

three to four sets, different curl types, 8-12 rep sets



Top set bench press

Overhead BB press




165×8 three sets

85×8 three sets




170×8 two sets

90×8 two sets




175×6 three sets

95×6 three sets




180×6 two sets

100×6 two sets





190×5 three sets

105×5 three sets




195×5 two sets

110×5 two sets




205×4 three sets

115×4 three sets




210×4 two sets

120×4 two sets





220×3 three sets

125×3 three sets




225×3 two sets

130×3 two sets




235×2 three sets

135×2 three sets




240×2 two sets

140×2 two sets





250 x 1











Meal 1

6 am

Optimized Whey™ Shake, Liver Amino Formula™


Meal 2

9 am

Food Meal plus Ultimate Amino™, Liver Amino™


Meal 3


Food Meal plus Parrillo Hi-Protein Pudding™


Meal 4

3 pm

50/50 Plus™ shake, Muscle Amino™, Liver Amino™


Meal 5

6 pm

Food Meal plus Parrillo Energy Bar™, Liver Amino™


Meal 6

9 pm

Parrillo Ice Kreem™, Parrillo Cake™, Hi-Protein™ shake



2018-03-13T11:09:50-04:00 June 22nd, 2011|by John Parrillo|

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