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Benching the Monolith Program

By Jim Wendler

Experience
Intermediate (2-3 years)
Time
36 minutes/day | 3 days/week | 6 weeks
Good for
Gain Strength, Powerlifting, Build Muscle
Equipment
Barbell, Squat Rack, Pull up bar, Hi-Lo Pulley Cable Machine, Tricep Rope Attachment, Dips (Parallel) Bar, 2 x Dumbbell, Weight Plate, Flat Bench
Statistics
Average Cardio Intensity
30%
Average Exertion
70%
Description
Source: liftvault.com

Created by the legendary Jim Wendler, who wrote the 5/3/1 programs and inspired other programs like GZCL and NSuns, Building the Monolith is designed for advanced athletes looking to break through plateaus, not novice or intermediate lifters. For a bench-focused variation of this program, check out Benching the Monolith.

Program overview:

  • 6 weeks in length
  • 3x training sessions per week
  • Each training session incorporates a lower body, pushing, and pulling movement
  • A Training Max of 85% of a “true” 1RM is suggested – this helps when you’re supposed to hit 90% for multiple sets of 5 reps
  • You need to eat, sleep, condition, and stretch with the same dedication used in training

For the full breakdown of the training, nutrition, and recovery needed , please see Jim Wendler’s Building the Monolith 5/3/1 for size.

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Workout Overview

Week 1

Day 1: Full Body

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Upper

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Full Body

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest


Full Body

Scroll to top

Barbell Back Squat demonstrationPlay Barbell Back Squat demonstration
7 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
1st set: 60% of 1RM 2nd set: 70% of 1RM 3rd - 7th set: 77.5% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Standing Barbell Military Press (AKA Overhead Press) demonstrationPlay Standing Barbell Military Press (AKA Overhead Press) demonstration
4 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
1st set: 60% of 1RM 2nd set: 70% of 1RM 3rd set: 77.5% of 1RM 4th set: 60% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Chin-up demonstrationPlay Chin-up demonstration
1 set, 100 reps, (rest 60s)
Take your time in finishing the reps
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Face Pull demonstrationPlay Face Pull demonstration
1 set, 100 reps, (rest 60s)
Take your time in finishing the reps
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Tricep Dips
1 set, 100-200 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises

Barbell Deadlift demonstrationPlay Barbell Deadlift demonstration
5 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
1st set: 60% of 1RM 2nd set: 70% of 1RM 3rd - 5th set: 77.5% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Standing Barbell Military Press (AKA Overhead Press)
7 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
1st set: 60% of 1RM 2nd set: 70% of 1RM 3rd - 7th set: 77.5% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row demonstrationPlay Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row demonstration
5 sets, 10-20 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl demonstrationPlay Standing Dumbbell Biceps Curl demonstration
1 set, 100 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises

Full Body

Scroll to top

Barbell Back Squat demonstrationPlay Barbell Back Squat demonstration
4 sets, 20 reps, (rest 60s)
1st set: 60% of 1RM 2nd set: 70% of 1RM 3rd set: 77.5% of 1RM 4th set: 40% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Standing Barbell Military Press (AKA Overhead Press) demonstrationPlay Standing Barbell Military Press (AKA Overhead Press) demonstration
10 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
60% of 1RM
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Weighted Chin-up demonstrationPlay Weighted Chin-up demonstration
5 sets, 5 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Face Pull demonstrationPlay Face Pull demonstration
1 set, 100 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises
Barbell Shrug demonstrationPlay Barbell Shrug demonstration
1 set, 100 reps, (rest 60s)
Time between exercises: 60s
Show Alternative Exercises

Date Created: 2/10/2020, UTC


Last Updated: 6/3/2021, UTC

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