Tweetgreat article for those old folks like me with bad backs
TweetI hope you read my recent article on training through injury, specifically a lumbar disc injury. In case you didnít, Iíll recap:
- This is a very common injury
- Many think it is the end of their careers (itís not)
- It is painful (especially in the acute phase)
- It can be managed
- You should not squat, deadlift, or use the lower body at all in the acute phase
- You CAN increase your bench press (you just have to be smart)
I currently have two lifters: the Chief and Laurie (two Brokeback Powerlifters) with this exact issue. They are almost out of the Acute Phase and will be adding in some cool stuff. The Edema Press is one of the things they'll be doing soon. Both the Chief and Laurie are at the end of the first training block for the acute phase and will be adding in some lower body movements in the next block. Iíll write more on that later, as this topic seems to be pretty popular and there isnít much info online about it.
For now, let's talk only about the Edema Press. I used to call this lift the Dizenzo bench, named after my good friend Vincent, but have since changed the name. The Edema Press is a theoretical exercise, meaning when I started using it I didn't know if it would work to build the bench press or not. There is only one way to find out, right?
I have added the Edema Press into the ladies block for a few reasons:
- It does not use the lower body
- It requires more stabilization from the trunk than a floor press
- It is a full range lift more like the bench press
Letís expand on the reasons.
We all know that changing the stimulus creates an adaptation right?
This is a safe variant that presents different challenges than the floor press while keeping the lower back safe.
It does not use the lower body:
We need to keep the lower body out of the lift for now, especially the arch and hip drive as this creates a large amount of pressure on the lumbar region.
It requires more stabilization from the trunk than a floor press:
Using the abs and trunk muscles to stabilize and brace is never a bad thing.
It is a full range lift much like the bench press:
The floor press is a great exercise to build your bench but it does not use a full range of motion. I want the girls to be strong through the entire range of motion on the competition bench press. Since we cannot perform the classic lift, we will use this and see how it shakes out.
How To Do The Edema Press
If you already know how to do a good competition style bench press, this is pretty straight forward. Grab two folding chairs, plyo boxes or utility benches and put them at the end of the bench so you can rest your feet on them. Lie on the bench and put your feet on the chairs. Go through your usual bench press set up with the exception of the lower body portion. Be sure to really focus on setting your upper back and lats, but donít arch!
The final step: bench.
Thatís it. Pretty simple, but remember to work all of the finer details of the upper body like:
- Drag it
- Settle it
- Shorten it
- Stretch it
- Smash it
Why Would You Do The Edema Press?
Well, I feel it will teach you to really stabilize your torso by squeezing your glutes and bracing your abs. If you donít, it will feel like you are going to fall off the bench, almost as if you were in a boat. Hatfield says, ďYou canít fire a cannon from a canoeĒ and heís right. He is referring to getting tight especially in the trunk. You have to BRACE.
If you donít know how to brace, READ THIS.
The Edema Press also is very safe on the lumbar region much like a floor press, but it is a full range. This allows you to work as closely to a competition bench press as you can while injured. This is training specificity for your sport. Sure, it is not 100% specific, but it is as close as we can get right now and still keep the injured area safe while building strength.
Think about it. If you train the shit out of this and the floor press while injured and do an appropriate amount of accessory and assistance work to eliminate your weaknesses, when you go back to adding in leg drive, your bench will go through the roof!
The Chief had a 115 bench in her last competition, and last night she did 5 sets of 5 at an RPE 7 on the Edema Press. She hit a solid 100 pounds for 5 with her feet on folding chairs, brokeback disc, and zero lower body work for the past month.
We all know that when you take squats and deads out of your training there is a good chance you will lose strength. I know that if she can smash 100 pounds for 5 reps at an RPE 7 then she can 100% bench over 115 as soon as we add her feet in. I am also pretty sure that she can at least match her old bench PR on the Edema Press if we were to do 1 rep at an RPE 10.
We wonít. That would be stupid.
When you factor in the lack of hard lower body training and the strength carryover that comes with it, I am willing to bet that this will be a great accessory lift for experienced lifters to build the bench. Give it a shot.
When you coach people, you have to think outside the box and I was fortunate enough to be associated with some great people who are on this team and have been around to learn from their experience.
With that said, I bet you are wondering how this lift's name got changed from the Dizenzo Press to the Edema Press.
Well, I think it was 2007 and there was a crew at TPS. Team elitefts was well represented that night. Vincent was not yet on the team but was the subject of discussion the day before.
Rhodes was telling us how AWESOME and BLOATED Vincent was as he prepped for his meet. If my Rhodes imitation voice carried over the writing this would be way funnier, but it does not, so insert your own Rhodes voice. Vincent was not always the lean mean jacked machine you see today. He was a large fellow for a long time.
So, way back in 2007, Rhodes gets in the gym, and me, Dave Tate, Wendler, were there. I canít remember who else was there that night but it was packed and we were ready to train. Anyhow, Rhodes waddled in and told us how Vincent would be in a few minutes as his level of awesomeness made him move a little slower.
I wish I could tell this as good as Rhodes, but when Vincent walked in, we all thought he was four breaths from dying and one Twinkie away from maximum density. Huge, bloated, fat jacked and swole ó wait, I meant swollen.
He had the ankles of a 400-pound girl in heels at the prom. Big.
Vincent wanted to bench but couldnít bend his legs due to the severe Edema and decided to just prop his feet up on two folding chairs. He then proceeded to lift all of the weights in the gym with no regard for his own health.
The Edema Bench was born.
Tweetgreat article for those old folks like me with bad backs
TweetYep..herniation all over. Good read
PAIN DON'T HURT