T Nation

400lbs Benchers - Got Any Tips?


#1
I'm currently at 335lbs bench and I'm aiming for 400lbs by either December or April of 2007.

Just wondering if any of you got any tips or info to share. I've looked around T-Nation for articles and such, but I just wanted to hear from members.


#2

I haven't done 400 yet, but I know I will one day.

Where's your weak point in the bench?

What have you been doing so far to get to 335?

Have you been doing heavy lock-outs off of pins?

Have you ever tried a Westside inspired routine?

I think just feeling over 400lbs when doing rack lock-outs has helped my bench go from the low 300's to 355 (where I'm stuck at now).

At first, anything over 375 felt extremely heavy and actually made my forearms feel like they were bending outward.

Once I build my rack lock-out weight up, regular flat benches felt much lighter on my hands and arms, so then I could focus more on improving the lower end of the bench without that "wholly shit this feels heavy" feeling as soon as I unracked the weights.

You can also gradually lower the pin setting each week or so to get used to the relatively heavy weight at slightly lower areas of the bench.


#3

BTW, my bench strength has always been coming off of my chest, so maybe that's why heavy lock-outs helped me so much.

If you know where your weakness is, it'll be easier to know how to attack it first, then when that becomes stronger, you'll have a new weakness you can focus on.


#4

I'm actually hoping to break 4 plates by tghe end of the years as well and SWR-1222D gave some good advice. I truly believe you need to hold heavy weights before you can bench them. It helps you get over that "too heavy" feeling.


#5

Search:

"500 the Hard Way"

"Bench press 600 Pounds"

I recommend the 1-6 method. It worked best for me in overall strength.

Try: pin pushes, 1-1/2 reps, chains, board presses, etc.

The first time I broke 400 I was doing sets of 3-5 and incorporated a lot of deadlifts into my routine. There was nothing complicated; I just lifted heavy and ate a whole lot.


#6

SWR-1222D said about what I would have said...

I'd like to add the standards...

eat more, sleep more!


#7

ive actually gotten my bench up from squatting along with working my back well. get your triceps and shoulders stronger as well.


#8

I went from 260/3 - 350/2 in about six months. Now breaking four plates is my goal. I am taller, with long arms, so my problem in the bench is all in the lockout. I'm very strong coming off the chest, and through the traditional sticking point, I lose it when the triceps need to kick harder.

How I got that improvement was from working harder, concentrating more on the front delts, tricep strength, rotator conditioning, my technique and a lot of visualization. Best of luck on hitting 400. I hope to do it as soon as possible myself.


#9

I found my sticking point to be right about 2 inches off my chest, so I set the pins just over my chest and did rack lockouts from there. This made my bench go up a lot faster, but youre not gonna get much advice here that you can't get from the articles. the bench 600 pounds article helped me a lot with my form. Pretty much just keep benching, working on your sticking points, doing dips, and work hard on your back to keep from getting any shoulder problems down the road.


#10

Thanks guys, I like hearing advice from guys stronger and me knowing what each individual did. Your posts mean alot

Questions answered below:

Where's your weak point in the bench?

At the bottom with my chest. I've been thinking of Pause Benching

What have you been doing so far to get to 335?

I've gotten it already, but what I've done is 4-5 sets of low reps between 1-5. Peridiozation is a mystery to me, but I have a heavy day and a light day where I do either Speed bench or 5x5 with 225lbs. I've bene on the same "program" for 2 years, making a 35lbs PR on all my lifts...steady, but horrible. But I did eat badly though. But I'm in the weight room everyday

Have you been doing heavy lock-outs off of pins?

Nope, don't really have the gym to do it. But i could figure out a way. I have done heavy lockouts/Static holds on bench with a spotter behind me.

Have you ever tried a Westside inspired routine?

Somewhat- Tuesday is heavy bench, Fri is light bench. But I don't do the specific excercises they do. I do Close Grip Bench alot.

Current Problems i'm having:

I have a fractured lift wrists that softens up whenever I go above 315lbs, meaning I then have to use wrist wraps.

Also, when i get done bench with heavy weight, my forearms get so tight that i have to wait a few seconds before i can let go of the bar. Think the joints are speakin to me or i just need to do some forearm work


#11

Questions answered below:

Where's your weak point in the bench?

At the bottom with my chest. I've been thinking of Pause Benching

What have you been doing so far to get to 335?

I've gotten it already, but what I've done is 4-5 sets of low reps between 1-5. Peridiozation is a mystery to me, but I have a heavy day and a light day where I do either Speed bench or 5x5 with 225lbs. I've bene on the same "program" for 2 years, making a 35lbs PR on all my lifts...steady, but horrible. But I did eat badly though. But I'm in the weight room everyday

Have you been doing heavy lock-outs off of pins?

Nope, don't really have the gym to do it. But i could figure out a way. I have done heavy lockouts/Static holds on bench with a spotter behind me.

Have you ever tried a Westside inspired routine?

Somewhat- Tuesday is heavy bench, Fri is light bench. But I don't do the specific excercises they do. I do Close Grip Bench alot.

Current Problems i'm having:

I have a fractured lift wrists that softens up whenever I go above 315lbs, meaning I then have to use wrist wraps.

Also, when i get done bench with heavy weight, my forearms get so tight that i have to wait a few seconds before i can let go of the bar. Think the joints are speakin to me or i just need to do some forearm work


#12

Having been to a few Poliquin seminars here is the tip he gave anyone who wants to increase there bench.

1 STOP BENCHING

for at least 6 chest workouts. Why? He claimed the limiting factor in bench is overuse and weakened supporting and opposing muscles.

Concentrate on
Strengthening you chinup,and pullup weighted ( If you cant do weighted chins in perfect form your probably out of balance with your chest and shouldn't be trying 400FYI not two sets were talking like 6

Strengthen you rotators, pairing a rotator cuff exercise in between chins, and an antagonist chest movement

Concentrate on weighted dips as a chest exercise with perfect deep form

Use incline movements (If you are used to the bar do dbs or vice versa

Giving an example this athlete came in and said when are we gonna bench when are we gonna bench when are we gonna bench when are we gonna bench? everyworkout he made him do those things after six weeks he went to bench

and he gained 50 lbs on his bench without benching


#13

I have hit 400 plus and to get from where you are to 400 I used a particular routine. I dont want to promote other BB sites on this site but feel free to PM me and I will tell you where to find it.

A