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225x10 Hypothetical Scenario


Short version of concept to be discussed: Lifter wants to bench 225 for 10 reps, his current max is 225; what is the quickest way to getting that goal? Based on rough estimation with 1rm, his current 10 rep max would be around 170.

I see several possible options:
- Work with sets of ten, gradually adding weight until you reach 225 for ten
- Go balls to the wall every time you bench, doing 225 for as many sets/reps as possible. Add sets of 1 initially, then doing sets of two. The theory here is specificity; goal is reps with 225, so get very accustomed to 225 being in your hands.
- Work on increasing 1rm, which would need to be around 300 in order to get 10 reps @225 ( I know, not exact and there is room for error).
- Some combination of all of the above? Heavy day early in the week, 10 rep sets day later in the week? Work to heavy singles/doubles or whatever and then do back off sets in the 10 rep range? Use a particular training method for a 4-6 week cycle and then switch?

Iâ??m interested in hearing what everyone thinks about this. Lots of different viewpoints in this particular forum so respect each person, nothing is written in stone, and lets have a good discussion.

No, it doesnâ??t have to be said, every person is different and responds best to different things. Just want to kick some concepts around.


I'd do the first one


More accurately, I'd do both one and three


it will probably take 2 or more years to get from 225 to 300 max or in this case 225x1 to 225x10... you're gonna have to increase your 1rm significantly and focus on that until you're say 275-285 (assuming for you 10rm = 75% 1rm), then you can focus on reps which will improve much faster than your 1rm. the biggest factor is your fiber type.

but basically, focus only on getting 1rm up at first (this part could take years) then you can work on increasing reps once you're around 225x6

i don't think there's much to discuss, it's pretty well established that the above is the fastest way to increase your rep max.... ie increase limit strength and maybe a 12 week conditioning phase at the end to insure strength endurance isn't a limiting factor.


Playing devils advocate a little here. Your saying, if the goal is to get stronger in a more bodybuilding oriented rep range, that the fastest way is to work on reps in the lower rep range? Are you advocating any strength oriented programs like 5/3/1? Basically, take a cue from powerlifters to help get strong in higher reps?

And out of curiosity, what do you think would happen to a lifter that went in trying to put up their 1rm every time. Either by more reps or more sets, attempting to increase more overall reps with 225 every week? Burn out real fast I'm guessing?


2+ years?


2 years does seem like a bit much to add 9 reps to a particular lift. Granted, that means adding 55 pounds to your bench.


  1. It's one thing to go from 400 to 475, but 225 to 300... not if the goal is strength.


What has given me the best result on almost every lift is working up to a conservative 3-5 rm every week, then doing one back off set of 8-10 reps. I train a body part once a week, and only 4 days a week.


Depends on how you look at it because numbers get skewed with rep/max calculations. 170x10 to 225x10= 55lb increase but 225x10=~300 which would be a 75lb increase from 225 max. I went with 55 because it relates more to the goal.

Either way, is it unlikely someone could add 1 rep a month? That would have it well under 1 year.


I'm inclined to think this or something along the lines of this would be best. Work on increasing limit strength because 225 will be lighter with a higher max, and work on 10 rep specific strength because it is the goal rep range. I'm thinking 2 days a week, one focusing on each.


225 X 10 isn't difficult to reach for a man with ordinary genetics. Basic progressive overload with the most basic routine is all that is necessary.


I agree. I wasn't trying to make it specifically about 225. The numbers are arbitrary. Was more interested in some discussion about the stronger part of bigger stronger leaner, since the majority of these threads have been about bigger vs leaner. Thought some middle ground would be a nice change of pace.


It's basically take your pick then:
5 x 5
Linear periodization a la Ed Coan
Metal Militia


Assuming their 1RM is 225, I would just run smolov jr. cycles for close grip bench. I don't know much time between cycles I would allow, but when I ran smolov jr for close grip bench my shoulders felt very good afterwards; I see no reason to wait more than a month between cycles. Once 1RM is 300+ I would then focus on 225 for reps.

My experience was I brought my 1rm on CGBP up from 195 to 235. When I tested 1rm on regular grip bench I got 260 without any problems at the sticking point. While it may vary for different lifters, I assume that gains from training CGBP will directly carryover to regular bench in general. I know my bench tends to be chest dominant so I never really struggle with the sticking point per se, the lockout just grinds a lot for me.

Even if I didn't do smolov jr., the fastest way to get there would be benching frequently, so I would use some combination of the approaches from the OP


This is what worked for me:

Ramp Up to 225

Once you get to 225, do as many reps as you can for a set. Take rest, do as many reps as you can after that, work up to 10 total reps.

Then pyramid down 10 lbs to 215, do the same rep scheme (as many reps/sets it takes you to get to 10 reps)

Pyramid down to 195, do the same and then repeat for the below weights.

just the bar for as many reps as you can.

Rest until DOMS have left. Your next BP session should go for a max BP lift. Hopefully you can go above 225

Your next BP session should be the same pyramid scheme but instead of 225 being your max, you work up to 245 then work back down.

This should increase BP for reps in about a month.


I'd suggest three things:

  1. Increase your 1-5RM through a progressive overload program. 5/3/1, sheiko, simple linear programming, anything will work.

  2. Continue to get stronger on your 10RM, doing assistance either on your strength days or on off days. I've done both.

  3. Gain weight. Muscle and fat. If you're a fairly lean 85kg now and you add 5kg muscle and 5kg fat over the next 6-12 months you'll increase your capacity for strength and see greater gains.


your higher rep range max is mostly determined by your 1rm, that's why there are all kinds of calculators that do just this. but as i said, there is variation due to fiber type. if you want to bench 315x10 and you bench 225x1, you don't do sets of 170x10 to get to 315x10... i hope that's obvious. same holds for 225x10. you're gonna have to focus on getting your 1rm way up and then you can work on rep work (again, how many reps you can do is mostly a function of your 1rm)

you want to focus completely on increasing your 1rm though that doesn't mean you just do 1 rep maxes. follow a program that focuses on increasing limit strength: 531, sheiko etc. a 5rm correlates extremely high to 1rm but you're right above that (e.g. 10rm) you're gonna have to develop strength endurance some. 12 weeks is plenty to do this if you have the raw strength.

again this is well established. do what you want though.


You're saying that in 3 sessions, 20 pounds will be added to your bench? I don't k.ow if you got that from somewhere or if you just made it up, but that looks kind of ridiculous. If it works for you, then great.


Honestly I'm surprised by the overwhelming majority that seem to value powerlifting training so much.

A lot of people talk shit about stronglifts 5x5 for leaving people unbalanced/looking un bodybuilder like. But based on the opinions here that say, get strong first Nd then worry about hitting the reps in a higher rep range, I don't understand the negativity towards it. I know its not either/or and bodybuilding/powerlifting share many concepts. I just figured there might be more varied opinion than this.

Haha, and I was waiting for someone to come in and say, fastest way? Steak and potatoes X a lot.