That's the claim of Shawn Phillips, whose bench press program took him from a max of 350 pounds to 405 in just six short weeks. He can do math--he knows that's a 55 pound difference--he just doesn't want to get your hopes up.
My teacher at the YMCA suggested we start this program on Monday, when class resumes. I'd been using a pyramid workout every Monday since early December and had passed to the 125 pound level (twice, as I could hardly believe it the first time); to continue it now would mean I'd be attempting 120 every week, which would get pretty tiring.
Phillips's program looks good. It emphasizes frequency instead of mere intensity. Where I'd been lifting at max in the middle of each pyramid and lifting to fail at the end, now I'll be doing low rep, low volume, high intensity sets--and benching two times a week instead of one. There are periodic rep tests, as well.
"The more frequently you can perform a lift, the smaller each increase in resistance and the more likely your body will be able to adapt," says Phillips. "Instead of trying to make large jumps every six or seven days, you make small jumps on your bench every three to four days. This makes for a much smoother and much more consistent climb."
Not to mention less chance of injury. Sounds good to me, so let's do the math: I've got 11 weeks until the bench press competition, which means I should be benching 200 in no time. It's a plan.