Sean Hercules Parker is currently training for his up and coming World Record at Body Power UK in May. Sean will be attempting to become the first person in the world to Bench Press 110kg / 243lbs Dumbbells Unassisted.
This remarkable feat of strength will see Sean load these titan Dumbbells into position by himself, press them, and then bring them down on to his knees, using a technique he has become notorious for…
From a young age, I have always wanted to do the things that other can’t, this for me has never been driven by the motives that most would expect, not for ego or arrogance. The reason has always been from far deeper within, it has always been a personal battle with myself, a journey of self discovery to see how mentally strong I can be. Mental fortitude is so important in life, and I truly believe once you possess it, the impossible becomes possible.
Physical Strength has always, and will always be impressive to me.
But for me, one’s character will always be defined by their Mental Strength, over the strength of their body.
This challenge will require my mind and body to be at their absolute strongest.
Self-doubt is crippling and will cause you to live beneath your privileges. To believe in yourself is no easy task, yet it’s essential to achieve anything in life.
Becoming the first person to do something that has never been done before could very easily be an overwhelming experience. This is where self belief is imperative. One cannot allow nerves and negativity to blind you, and your ability to achieving a successful outcome.
I never doubt myself and the power that I have within me.
That being said, I also know that there are no guarantees in life. The weights that I lift on a daily basis, are weights that not only very few people in the world ever lift, but they are also weights that can seriously injure an individual, that meaning, if it goes wrong, it goes very wrong.
Strength, No Weakness
To become successful in every great challenge, there can be no weakness, and if there is a weakness it is in imperative you invest the time and energy on improving this weakness.
You see, we all have these weaknesses, but its down to you to identify yours.
A powerful benchpress requires so much more than just a strong chest, from the foundation that you create by the way you plant you feet and drive through the floor, to the way you utilise your lats to press.
Most would assume that to develop a big Bench Press, that one must increase the volume and frequency of their Chest training, and where there is some truth in this, there are also many other factors involved.
A strong and developed upper back is incredibly important in building a big bench, this component is something I constantly see beginners and intermediate lifters neglect most. In terms of strength off the chest, if you don’t have a good shelf (namely your lats and traps) to support your bench, your upper body will collapse under the load.
A big, strong upper back will help you to control your bar path, and drive off the chest for the press.
Training to become explosive is another valuable factor.
Developing the ability to drive quickly off the chest will carry you through sticking points and help utilize the strength you have to its full potential.
Once you understand where you are weak on any given lift, that being where you have those sticking points, you can start looking at targeting those specific ranges with different principles and movements. Those sticking points are either due to a certain muscle weakness, or a disadvantageous biomechanical position (a joint angle where force production is lower).
My training programming is specifically designed to remove any weakness I may have had in any given range of a lift. By purposely breaking down each movement, analysing where I am weak in relation to the strength curve, and then restructuring my training programming to improve those weakness.
I believe by applying this level of importance to every movement, it has allowed me to turn weaknesses into strengths.
Since I began on this journey many years ago, I have only ever continued to get stronger in all of my lifts. I find that applying this level of attention to detail has been a big contributing factor.
In my experience as coach, I find that most people tend to plateau in their lifts due continuing to do a movement in the hope that they will keep improving and become stronger. Unfortunately this will never happen, unless you analyse where you are weak on a movement, you will be pretty limited on how strong you can become.
THE HERCULES HYBRID PROGRAMME
Power, Performance and Hypertrophy Programme
Upper Body Push Day
Mobility Warm Up Protocol With Bands:
A1. Face Pulls with Scapula Retraction
A2. Shoulder Retractions Dislocations
A3. External Rotations
A4. Internal Rotations
A5. Single Arm Posterior Retractions
2 Sets of 15 Reps per movement
B1. YTA Raises – 3 Sets of 15 Reps per
C1. Scapular Wall Sliders – 2 Sets of 15 Reps
Upper Body Push Training
A. Flat Dumbbell Press –
5 Sets of 5 Reps at 80% of 1RM
B. Incline Bench Press ( w ) Swiss Bar
5 Sets of 6 Reps
C. Barbell Floor Presses ( w ) Pause
6 Sets of 3 Reps ( w ) 2 Second Pauses On Floor
D. Standing Viking Press
5 Sets of 3 Reps
Concentrating on a explosive concentric
E. Tricep Tate Press
5 Sets of 10 Reps
F. Close Grip Bench Press ( W ) SlingShot
8 Sets of 3 Reps
The SlingShot is an incredible training accessory developed by my friend Mark Bell.
Mark is one of best strength coaches in the industry, and also the owner of SuperTraining Gym in Sacramento, California
The Slingshot once stretched over your ribcage at the bottom of a bench press, allows elastic energy to assist with the upward motion to an overloaded lockout. The greatest help is the bar speed off your chest, and the assistance curve approaches zero at the top of the movement. This means you get a lot more work holding and locking out your bench with heavy weight. The effect is it allows you to overload on your 1RM.
I am currently training Upper Body Push twice a week. One session is very much a dynamic effort day, this being I use sub-maximal weights with maximal speed. This method is used to increase the rate of force development and explosive strength.
I utilise a large number of sets ( 5 -12 sets) and very few reps ( 2 – 5 reps ).
I also incorporate the use of Chains and Bands for accommodating resistance on some movements.
Utilising 40-60% of 1RM in addition to 25-30%1RM load from accommodating resistance ( Chains or Bands ).
The second Upper Body Push Day is a Maxium Effort Day. During this session I train a large number of sets (8-12 sets) and very few reps (1-3 reps ).
Progressing from light, to a very heavy weight (90-100 1RM for the last 3-5 sets).
This is just some of the training principles that I Utilise in my training programming in the quest to becoming the first person in the world to Bench Press the 110kg Herculean Dumbbells.
This record is certainly not to be missed and I hope to see you all at Body Power UK in May.
Stay Strong, Stay Blessed
Sean Hercules Parker