T Nation

3 Months In. Squat/Deadlift Improved, Bench/Press Didn't


#1

Dear Jim

First of all excuse my writing but English is my 3rd language.
As the title says my Bench sucks it’s my worst lift and cannot bring it up even though I’m eating like a madman I’m not trying to be a diet queen I’m actually 88kg with a height of 1.82 cm I know it’s not a lot but as I said I’m eating and gaining weight. I’m also doing your program With the joker sets but it doesn’t work that well I mean i’m stuck at 80kgx5 and I started with 90% of my calculated max I’m also doing FSL 5x8 to get enough volume done and suppersetting it with a pulling movement as is stated in the forever book. What am I missing and staying at that weight. 3 Months ago when i started your program i had done 82.5x3 and it did not go up.

PS. Did your program for 3 months and it did wonders to my squat and deadlift not as much for my press and bench though. Before starting it I did

Squat:132.5x5
Bench:82.5x3
Deadlift:150x2
Press:60x5

After those 3 Months

Squat:150x3
Bench:same
Deadlift:180x1
press:60x5

point is I’m getting stronger at the squat and deadlift and not on the pressing movements and I don’t get why I get that it takes time and I’m only training for a couple of months but it frustrates me


#2

We would need to know more about what you’ve been doing, what template/program, what your training maxes are set at, how much assistance, conditioning, how’s bar speed, etc. FWIW though bench and press are always the hardest to improve, and your lifts will rarely increase all at the same time.


#3

K sorry so

I’ve been doing the 5/3/1 program with joker sets supperseted with either dumbell rows or variations of pull ups.

My training maxes are

squat:147,5
Bench:90
Deadlift:155
press:60

My assistance is either 3-5 sets of 10 with dumbell rows or 3-5 sets of pull ups

My conditioning is running ‘‘hills’’ (its the smallest hill ever and I’m running up and down trying to make the most out of it. It’s hard but I’m not killing myself over it), I’m playing basketball for fun with some friends at the weekend and walking at minimum 4 miles a day

I don’t really know what to say about bar speed I don’t really give it a lot of thought I lower the bar controlled and push it as hard as I can but other than that I don’t really know how to answer

also thanks for the response


#4

At this point I wouldn’t worry about jokers, not really needed where your at and just tend to be used improperly way too often. The question on bar speed was mainly meant to question if your reps are fast, or if you feel you’re grinding.

What sticks out though is you mention 82.5 x 3 as your bench PR. I’m not really sure what you’re testing this with, but using the 1RM estimating formula puts you around 90 kg, which you say is your training max. So unless I’m botching the math somehow on this are you using a 100% training max on bench?


#5

I did this PR 3 moths ago when I started the program I’ve now got that TM. I started with a TM of 82,5 kg

And about the bar speed my reps aren’t really fast they are controlled so to say I’m only grinding when I do the joker sets but if that’s the case I just do a single with 5% more or do the FSL

also I’m not really so worried about them they just make training fun as I like to go heavier but I don’t think I can answer the part about improper use I mean I don’t tire myself with them and I never take away from the rep PR set so I can’t answer that sorry :frowning:


#6

I assume you practice every lift once a week. While this can be ok with squat and deadlift, for upper body lifts you may need more frequency.

I would do (and I’ve successfully done) 5x5 FSL (First Set Last) or SSL (Second Set Last) of bench on OHP day and of OHP on bench day.

If your recovery is ok, you can try FSL the same day and SSL the other; ie:

Bench day:

  • bench 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
  • OHP SSL 5x5

OHP day:

  • OHP 5/3/1 + FSL 5x5
  • bench SSL 5x5

Make sure to pause every rep while staying tight. It will pay on the long run.


#7

thanks a lot man but what about the joker sets should I do them or not?


#8

No, just no.


#9

Don’t take it the wrong way but could you give me a reason again not looking to argue I just want to know why :sweat_smile:


#10

You are not ready. They are self programming once you learn the principles of 5/3/1.


#11

And your TM’s are too high. Lower them.


#12

I don’t get it man like really don’t get it


#13

also should I stop using them overall or just on the pressing movements?


#14

Get the book.

5 Pro’s, FSL, accessories.

Nothing else.

Get the book first.


#15

Hi,

I’ll tell you what I have my trainees do: if they can get A LOT
of reps on the “+” set (like…10 on 5+, 8 on 3+ and 5 on 1+), I let
them do some joker set after; today I had a guy doing squat, 120kg x
3+…he ended doing 8 solid reps, so I pushed him to try 130x3 (very
good) and 140 x 3 (last reps was a bit of a grind).

Of course, if you
only do 5-6 reps on 5+, 3-4 on 3+ and 1-2 on 1+ set, jokers are not a
good idea.

john_tsakalidis [1]

June 9

thanks a lot man but what about the
joker sets should I do them or not?


Visit Topic [2] or reply to this email to respond.


#16

I’ve got the forever book as I can recall wendler wrote to use both of them I’m obviously paraphrasing but it was something along those lines. If I’m wrong please correct me. Also what do you mean with 5 Pro’s

sorry for being a pain in the ass btw


#17

I see I’m doing the same thing by squats and deadlifts exactly as you said it here but by press/bench not I’m kinda skipping the joker set part and going straight to the FSL as you said


#18

I noticed that bench & OHP recover faster than squat & deadlift, so
if you do joker on squat and DL, you may as well do them on bench and
OHP. After all, if a lift or two are lagging, you have to put more
effort in them.

As I already wrote, pause every rep on chest, in both
bench press and OHP, for a full second, trying to stay as tight as
possible. Expand your chest and keep it “big” (if you see what I
mean).

john_tsakalidis [1]

June 9

I see I’m doing the same thing by
squats and deadlifts exactly as you said it here but by press/bench not
I’m kinda skipping the joker set part and going straight to the FSL as
you said


Visit Topic [2] or reply
to this email to respond.

IN REPLY
TO

fabiop [3]
June 9

Hi, I’ll tell you what I have my
trainees do: if they can get A LOT of reps on the “+” set (like…10 on
5+, 8 on 3+ and 5 on 1+), I let them do some joker set after; today I
had a guy doing squat, 120kg x 3+…he ended doing 8 solid reps, so I
pushed him to try 130x3 (very good) and 140 x 3 (last…


#19

The thing is I cannot really do a lot of joker sets if any on the pressing movements. But I’ll lower the TM and Pause everything for a second or two but I don’t know @JFG said to drop the joker sets but I did not understand if I should drop them for the squat and deadlift too


#20

Drop them all. Do not do them. No jokers.

Drop your TM, go back to basics and profit.

You were doing 82 for three and your TM is 90… does not compute.