Critical Bench Review – Is Mike Westerdal’s Program Worth It?
Whether you’re a serious football player, wrestler, competitive powerlifter, or just someone who’s going into the gym and wants to maximize the progress they’re making with their program, one thing that you definitely will want to be doing is maximizing your bench press.
Mike Westerdal’s Critical Bench program may just be the program to help you do this. Many guys who start out strong struggle to continue to see gains with their bench press exercise. Either they max out at a certain weight and just can’t seem to go beyond whatever it is that they’re lifting or they start to develop intense shoulder or elbow pain that prevents them from going forward.
What few realize though is that both of these problems can easily be resolved when you are using the right approach. This is one of the important elements that Mike Westerdal covers in his program along with many more.
Let’s take a closer look at the Critical Bench program so you can get a feel for what it’s all about and make an informed decision as to whether it’s right for you.
Who Is Mike Westerdal?
Mike Westerdal, author of the Critical Bench Program is an ACE certified personal trainer who also holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Central CT State University.
He’s had great experience both playing and coaching professional football in Europe and now has created a program to help teach other athletes or bodybuilding-minded individuals how they can unleash their full potential with the bench press lift.
He’s penned a number of articles that have been published in national weight lifting magazines such as REPS! And Powerlifting USA and has also been an amateur powerlifting competitor himself, where he competed in both the APF and APA federations.
To show that he’s a walking success story of his methods, Mike’s poundage for competition bench is 630 pounds and his weight for raw reps is 315 for a set of 15 and 405 if he’s doing a 5 rep set.
Overall, based on his background and his own physique, you can tell that Mike knows his stuff.
Who Is This Program For?
While the Critical Bench Program is definitely designed with the football, wrestler, and powerlifter in mind, almost anyone who wants to improve their bench will see great results from using it. After all, the bench press is one of the core exercises that should be included in any weight lifting workout.
There are both beginner AND advanced workout techniques discussed so regardless of what your current fitness and strength level happens to be, you’ll have no problem seeing progress from using this program.
Even women can use this program as the training fundamentals that it offers will still apply to females and they can incorporate all of these strategies into their workout routine to strengthen the chest muscles and enhance their cleavage.
The Premise Behind The Program
One nice thing about Critical Bench is that it doesn’t leave anything out. Many people are too fast in their approach to their bench press training simply by getting on the bench and lifting the weight. Few ever realize that there’s far more to it than just this.
In the program, Mike first discusses the theory behind bench press workouts. You’ll learn about the importance of including sufficient variety in your routine, how you should go about ensuring constant overloading stress to prevent a progress plateau while also making sure you don’t suffer from overtraining or burnout, and you’ll also learn specific high intensity training techniques that you can use when progress is starting to slow.
On top of this, Mike also discusses theory on proper rest and recovery techniques to speed up the repair process so that you can get back into the gym quicker along with secret training techniques for massive strength that only the top powerlifters and athletic coaches understand.
Once you’ve made your way through the theory of the program, Mike will walk you through how to go about implementing it into your workout routine. He’ll discuss choosing your workout days for chest, how to perform each variation of the exercise to stimulate this muscle, and how to add additional exercises that will most enhance chest and bench press development.
Warm-Up and Cool-Down Techniques…
In addition to that, you’ll be guided through proper warm-up and stretching protocols to use on your chest workout days and given the specifics of each session such as how fast you should be completing the exercises, how long your rest periods should be to evoke a massive growth response in the body, and the perfect repetition range for gaining both strength and size.
By covering all elements like this, Mike really sets the Critical Bench program apart from the rest as it’s such an in-depth discussion of all training variables. Only when you get every single one of these variables working in your favour, as you will with this program, will you unlock your true strength potential.
Finally, Mike finishes up the program with tips for maintaining a good mindset for results, how to prepare for each workout to ensure you maximize performance, and how you should eat and use supplements for proper gains.
Training really is only half the requirement to success, so make sure that you read up on all the diet and supplement advice he provides as this will be critical to you seeing results.
Lastly, Mike will give you with a few last tips and tricks, talk about what happens when you ‘max out’, and what to do once you’ve completed the program.
With plenty of high quality, clear pictures provided throughout the book, this program is easy to work through and follow so even a complete beginner should have no problems understanding the concepts.
Here’s What You’ll Get :
When you sign up for the Critical Bench program, you’re going to get the training manual just discussed, but in addition to that, you’ll get the following to help improve your results:
• Program logs and tracking sheets to assess your progress at every step throughout the program
• An online DVD to help make all the concepts crystal clear (this is great for those who hate reading!)
• A deload routine that can be utilized to help prevent overtraining while making sure you never take a step in the backward direction
• ‘Conversations with Elite Iron Warriors’ – a full guide of tips and tools that other star athletes and powerlifters have used to achieve success
• A complete exercise guide so you fully understand how to perform each exercise
• A guide to proper creatine usage so you can learn how to use this supplement to see faster gains
• Two bonus guides of world bench press records
• Very detailed
• Easy to follow and a quick read
• Offers dietary and supplement advice to help you achieve success
• Provides plenty of graphic illustrations of exercises for ease of understanding
• Is written by a credible author
• Doesn’t rely on gimmicky supplements to try and get you results
• Offers many innovative tips that you wouldn’t read anywhere else
• Most users will see gains very quickly due to the switchover to correct techniques and training theories
• The interview addition is a very interesting and fun read for anyone who wants to learn from the pros
• You will have to come up with training theories to target all other areas of your body yourself
• Doesn’t give much detailed information on cardio workout programs
• Some of the information will be repetitive for advanced users who already know the information from previous learning
All in all, the Critical Bench Program is definitely one to consider for anyone who is looking to boost their bench press performance and gain chest muscle size and strength. Very few muscle building programs online take an in-depth look at just a single body part, breaking it down into everything that you need to know about a proper training program, so this program will really help you totally maximize all progress you see from your workouts.
With workout programs that can easily accommodate to busy sports training schedules or integrated into a complete powerlifting or bodybuilding routine, you’ll easily be able to make use of all the training tips and advice that are provided with the program, taking your results to a whole new level.
Finally, one of the greatest advantages about this program is that he discusses the concept of deloading, which is often forgotten about in most programs but is absolutely imperative to ensure overtraining doesn’t occur.
This means that if you follow this program correctly, you should be able to see ongoing training gains rather than getting burnt out and hitting a progress plateau. While many other online programs are great, eventually they’ll wear you out as deloading hasn’t been touched upon.
This program avoids that entirely so that you’ll not only look great and get stronger while using it, but feel great as well.
So for anyone wanting to boost their bench press, give Critical Bench some serious consideration.