Day 2 – Bench Press and Rows: Strength and Conditioning Workout

Alright, I posted a brief glimpse of this workout on Facebook earlier but I want to expand on it and give you the details of today’s strength and conditioning workout. Today the focus was on bench press and rows. Or to be more technical, chest and back.

I’m basically following Brian Alsruhe’s linear progression strength and conditioning workout program (found this on YouTube). This is a 24 minute video and he goes into extreme detail. I included his video on my first Strength and Conditioning workout blog. If you missed it, you can read that here (this link opens a new page so you don’t lose this one!).

Day 2 – Bench Press and Rows Workout

Phase 1 – Bench Press and Rows
Sequence Exercise Sets Reps Weight
A Barbell Rows 1 8 225
A Barbell Rows 3 8 275
A Barbell Rows 1 8 295
B Bench Press 1 8 225
B Bench Press 3 8 275
B Bench Press 1 8 295
Phase 2 – Bench Press and Rows
Sequence Exercise Sets Reps Weight
A Dumbbell Rows 4 8 105
B Incline Bench Press 3 8 225
B Incline Bench Press 1 8 245
Phase 3 – Bench Press and Rows
Sequence Exercise Sets Reps Weight
A Pull-ups 4 10 bodyweight
B Dumbbell Flyes 4 10 55
C Dumbbell Pullovers 4 8 75

*You’ll notice A, B and C in front of each exercise. I’m doing giant sets and this is the sequence. For example, I did a set of barbell rows followed by a set of bench press. On some, I used multiple lines if I used a different weight. 

Workout Details for Bench Press & Rows

I’m telling you, I’m still having a tough time wrapping my head around this type of workout. The giant sets seem like fancy word for supersets. However, you really have to shift your thinking on this concept.

Brian Alsruhe does talk about this in his linear progression workout program video. He prepares you for the fact that you may feel like you’re losing a little strength in the beginning of the program. But stick with it.

I never imagined doing heavy barbell rows before bench press. And I certainly never imagined doing these exercises back-to-back. Again, this is a tough one to swallow. We’re used to focusing on one lift for gaining strength, especially when it comes to bench press. But I surprised myself this morning.

As you can see, I stuck with the same weight for both barbell rows and bench press. Oddly enough, I was strong on bench press after doing a set of barbell rows. There’s something about doing an antagonistic exercise that boosts your strength for the following exercise. I was winded, but strong. I had to push myself.

Assisting Exercises

I want to touch on the exercises that followed the core exercises. Now let me back up a moment. My Phase I only included rows and bench press. In Brian’s video, he’s doing something for obliques as a third exercise in the giant set.

I may or may not throw that in next week. But I really had to zone in on doing rows before bench press. And I included a third exercise in the following phases.

All of my assistance work was based on helping me get stronger on my bench press and rows. And there’s a mix of training for hypertrophy in there as well. The nature of this workout focuses on both strength and conditioning. With the conditioning aspect, you can expect changes in your physique and body composition.

Many powerlifters and strength trainers aren’t concerned about their physique. But we all know it’s not healthy to have a lot of body fat no matter how strong you are. Will you sacrifice strength for a good looking physique? I don’t think so. Unless you are getting into shape for a bodybuilding competition, sure, you will indeed sacrifice strength for the sake of body composition. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. In layman’s terms, you can be strong and look good. And be healthy.

Linear Progression Workout Video – Brian Alsruhe

I’m including Brian’s linear progression strength and conditioning video in this post as well. It’s worth watching and as with everything, if you want to make slight modifications, you can. I think he even encourages this. Like I say with my workouts and my guitar lesson videos, use what’s being provided as a guide to create your own method.

Strength and Conditioning Program

This program also calls for a final 10 minutes of extreme conditioning. As I mentioned in my Day 1 post, I’m doing some martial arts training later in the day. Last night, I did two rounds of three types of kicks (I plan to do the same this evening).

  • Straight kicks
  • Front kicks
  • Modified round house kicks

I did 10 kicks of each one listed above. My modified round house is basically my beginning phases of perfecting this kick. I’m not calling it a true round house (though there are several types of round house kicks) because I’m not quite where I need to be on my form. But we’re getting there.

I plan to do martial arts training as my conditioning workout three to four times a week. I’ll gradually increase the amount of kicks (sets and reps, so to speak). Last night was only about 10 minutes of kicking; I’ll up this to about 20 minutes over time.

Though it’s not in the program, I may go to the gym and train some arms tomorrow. My next heavy day on the program in Thursday, which squats. I’m looking forward to that

Train with Passion,


<<< Day 1 – Deadlifts and Core

>>> Day 3 – Squats

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Day 1 - Deadlifts and Core: Strength and Conditioning Workout *
  2. Day 4 - Shoulders and Pull-ups: Strength and Conditioning Workout *
  3. Week 2 Day 1 - Deadlifts and Core: Strength and Conditioning Workout *

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