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Adding 15 lbs to Bench in 6 wks

I’m competing in my first meet in exactly 6 WEEKS and I really want to have at least a 225 bench. I maxed at 210 friday with a 2 second pause at the bottom and I’ve been stuck here for a few months even after deloading a couple of times.

I’ve been on the Texas Method where you do a 5x5(bench) monday, a 3x3(press) wed, and shoot for a PR(bench) on friday. While this has worked for a while, I’ve stalled pretty good and now I don’t know what to do since time is so short.

A friend has recommended I start benching with 3 or 4 boards and then remove one each week until the meet. Is this a good idea or should I try something else? Sorry for the noob question, I just don’t want to screw something up since time is so short.

[quote]elano wrote:
I’m competing in my first meet in exactly 6 WEEKS and I really want to have at least a 225 bench. I maxed at 210 friday with a 2 second pause at the bottom and I’ve been stuck here for a few months even after deloading a couple of times.

I’ve been on the Texas Method where you do a 5x5(bench) monday, a 3x3(press) wed, and shoot for a PR(bench) on friday. While this has worked for a while, I’ve stalled pretty good and now I don’t know what to do since time is so short.

A friend has recommended I start benching with 3 or 4 boards and then remove one each week until the meet. Is this a good idea or should I try something else? Sorry for the noob question, I just don’t want to screw something up since time is so short.[/quote]

If your regular bench has stalled, do close-grip for 3-4 weeks, or bench from pins, board press, floor press etc.

Using boards sounds like a good idea. How is your technique, arch, leg drive etc.?

Im asking this because you might be able to get a few more pounds if you really focus on your setup.

Look-up Dave Tate’s Six-Week Bench Press Cure on this this site. Read and heed !

Elano. Also don’t forget about recovery. What is your weight now, what will you be competing in?

Also like Blacklabel said, do you have a video of your lift? Lets see your technique. How far your hands are apart.

Also don’t over do it with accessory work.

Reading Dave Tate’s article on benching and changing my form added 20lbs to my bench overnight. If your form is not yet perfect, look into perfecting it. Make sure you are using leg-drive, it changed benching for me completely.

When in doubt, cut back on the volume.

Monday: 3x5 , Wed: 3x3, Fri: PR

Also, make sure to cut back on your assistance volume especially.

But sometimes intensity can be the problem. If you are shooting for a PR every week, this is a quick way to get burned out.

Actually, I just looked at your profile and saw that you were 200+. I dont think you need to be benching 3x a week, and I definately think you dont need to be shooting for PR’s every week.

Cut it down to TWO bench sessions per week. One session should be in the 3-5 rep range, for about 3-5 sets. And the other session should be all singles, for anywhere from 5-10 singles.

The press is great and all, but if you are looking to increase your bench in a short time, make wednesday another bench workout. The press can be done as an assitance exercise on this day if you need to.

***The singles are the most important part of everything IMO. If you start with 195 and do 5-10 singles per session, and add 5lbs per week, that will put you at ABOVE 225 in 6 weeks.

Also, avoid failure and focus on technique on EVERY rep and you should hit 225+ pretty easily.

I’ve had pretty good results from having a low end bench day followed by a high end bench day. The “low end day” Wednesday- is off the chest stuff= Illegal wide presses, manpons, reverse band benches, benches with chains even heavy dumbbell work. The “High end day” Sunday is where I’ll do 3.4.5 board presses as heavy as possible to get used to handling heavier weights. Shit man the mental aspect alone of doing a 4 board press with 475 makes my 385 off the chest seem easy. It will do the same for you.

I’ve said this before and it sounds kind of ghey but it works for me…“Jedi mind tricks” - don’t think “I’m going from 210 to 225”…oh shit man 2 wheels… think "I’ve freakin done 210 and I’m just adding 7 1/2 lbs to each arm(225 total) I can lift 7.5 lbs!!

Whatever you do cut out the Wednesday shit. 3 times a week is too much. You’ll probably be able to press 2 wheels just from cutting out that session becasue you’ll be rested up more. keep us posted man, good luck

Thanks for all the replies so far!

I weigh 210 right now and will be competing in the 220. Just in case some of yall were wondering, my best lifts are
Squat 325x2
Bench 210x1
Deadlift 410x1

I read Dave Tate’s article, thanks for referencing that.

Dankid, I like your advice, maybe you can clarify something for me.

You said I should do TWO bench sessions per week, but then you said I should take out wednesday’s press and make that another bench day which would be 3 days per week. I like the idea of doing 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets instead of the 5x5 monday and then doing 5-10 singles on friday, but what should I do on Wednesday? Thank again.

Everybody’s going to disagree but increase your reps. Right now your strength training for someone who has a strong base, if you just started last year, you still need to build muscle. If you’ve stalled, you’ve likely come close to your peak power for the amount of muscle you have. You will get stronger but not by much, very fast if you continue on a powerlifting protocol.

6 weeks is a short time but still more than enough to blast through 225, but not if your using 210x1 to train. Look for a bodybuilding protocol for chest, or at the very least a general higher volume with minimum 2x a week frequency for chest, plus triceps. Do this for 3 to 4 weeks depending on your progress(ex, if your doing 185x8-10 one week then 190x8-10 the next, then do it for 4 weeks, if not 3) Then you can go back to a powerlifting protocol.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Everybody’s going to disagree but increase your reps. Right now your strength training for someone who has a strong base, if you just started last year, you still need to build muscle. If you’ve stalled, you’ve likely come close to your peak power for the amount of muscle you have. You will get stronger but not by much, very fast if you continue on a powerlifting protocol.

6 weeks is a short time but still more than enough to blast through 225, but not if your using 210x1 to train. Look for a bodybuilding protocol for chest, or at the very least a general higher volume with minimum 2x a week frequency for chest, plus triceps. Do this for 3 to 4 weeks depending on your progress(ex, if your doing 185x8-10 one week then 190x8-10 the next, then do it for 4 weeks, if not 3) Then you can go back to a powerlifting protocol.[/quote]

Sure why not, just remember there are no second reps on the platform. 225 is a very do able goal so long as you don’t do too much volume and show up fried. I would do this no more than 4 weeks so that you can dedicate your last week to a heavy single to see where your at and the last week to deload. I’d plan on your opening lifts to whatever you can do for a triple. Get on the board, then go for a PR and have one more attempt if you miss or go for PR #2.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Everybody’s going to disagree but increase your reps. Right now your strength training for someone who has a strong base, if you just started last year, you still need to build muscle. If you’ve stalled, you’ve likely come close to your peak power for the amount of muscle you have. You will get stronger but not by much, very fast if you continue on a powerlifting protocol.

6 weeks is a short time but still more than enough to blast through 225, but not if your using 210x1 to train. Look for a bodybuilding protocol for chest, or at the very least a general higher volume with minimum 2x a week frequency for chest, plus triceps. Do this for 3 to 4 weeks depending on your progress(ex, if your doing 185x8-10 one week then 190x8-10 the next, then do it for 4 weeks, if not 3) Then you can go back to a powerlifting protocol.[/quote]

Well, more muscle is always an attractive option, but if you’ve got just 6 weeks, this is not the best option. With that short of a time, you are much better off focusing on pure strength gains. Do you have to compete in the 220 class? Im just asking, because you definately aren’t going to gain 10lbs of muscle in 6 weeks, and you probably have a good amount of fat to lose based on your stats.

OP, sorry what I said was a little confusing. I meant to cut it down to 2 days per week, AND get rid of the wednesday workout. Standing presses are a great movement for developing strength, but with only 6 weeks, you need to be benching 2x per week, and cutting back on the volume BIG TIME.

I still recommend singles. They are hard, and take a bit of practice to find the right amount, but they are probably the most important part of training for a competition. If you think about it, a competition is a max single. So does it make much sense to have your traiing revolve around everything but singles? NO. Singles around 90% seem to work pretty well. Also, dont worry about sticking points or targeting weak muscles right now. If anything do regular competition bench, and a pause bench. Later on down the road, when you aren’t preparing for an immediate competition, you can build muscle, and focus on sticking points.

So i’d still say one day something like 4x4 or 3x5 and another day 5-10 singles at 90%+.

Keep the accessory work to a minimum, maybe a couple of sets of pause bench one day, and some incline db press the other day. Eat to get to the weight you want to be, and make sure not to overtrain as you approach the comp date.

If you are competing in 220 class and are 210… try to get up to 220. It will make getting 225 easier and the added weight/food will help with recovery.

Also sleep well. Try to get 8 or more hours of rest a day.

Keep training the singles, but really, it would help if we knew what portion of your lift you get stuck in. Because you’ll be competing raw, I assume, you’ll probably be having some issues with exploding out of the bottom. Make sure you’re doing some DE(speed) work with your regular pressing, because I’ve seen a huge boost in my bench strength after switching over to combination speed/max work.

Make sure you cover what Dave Tate has written on this, and as we speak, there’s a couple bench articles on the front page of the Elite FTS article section.

Big ones that helped me maximize my pressing instantly(technique fixes):“If you think you’re tight, get tighter”, “Pull the bar down under control, but not too slowly, and get ready to explode upwards with everything you’ve got, while staying tight the entire time.”, “Find your personal groove; everyone starts the press from different places, so find what works for you.”, “Make sure that you’re receiving a hand-off (like you will be in competition), so when you initiate the press, your shoulders can stay down and tight.”, “Think triceps, not chest!”, “TUCK, TUCK, TUCK! (don’t let your elbows flare out, and keep them tight so you maintain your lat tension)”, “Make sure you can feel your lats at the very bottom (they help initiate the press).”

I personally think it’s a bit late for any serious programming changes, so make sure you have someone knowledgeable handy who can critique your form. Though I still believe adding a bit of speed work will make a huge difference if you haven’t done so already. Also, when I first benched, I had shoulder problems from weak external rotators. I strengthened the shit out of them over the course of a few weeks after seeing my PT, and my bench went up from 205(pre 2 PT sessions) to 245(after the second PT check-up, which was shortly after the first) in a few weeks, at that time. Might be worth looking into if you’re like most others and neglect your back/external rotator-cuff work.

As has also been mentioned, make sure your volume isn’t ridiculous(don’t bench with full-effort more than a couple times per week) as you approach a meet. Scaling back the volume, while keeping the weight up, helps with your confidence during the meet, and you won’t have an exhausted CNS/musculature.

Oh, and lastly, don’t ALWAYS do regular bench pressing for the heavy stuff (multitude of reasons)! Find out what portion of the lift you’re stalling in, and correct it by using a bench-type lift which targets that portion. The elite FTS bench manual covers the different lifts and what aspect they help (bottom, middle, lockout), and the free, couple-page online version at least lists the lifts.

If you weigh 210 and can’t bench 225, some combination of these three factors are contributing:

  1. you don’t have very much muscle
  2. you are really weak
  3. your technique sucks

Given that you have 6 weeks until your meet, I think your best bet is to focus on number 3. Find someone who can help you in person and you can very easily add 30-50 lbs to your bench in the weeks leading up to the meet just by fixing your technique.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
If you weigh 210 and can’t bench 225, some combination of these three factors are contributing:

  1. you don’t have very much muscle
  2. you are really weak
  3. your technique sucks

Given that you have 6 weeks until your meet, I think your best bet is to focus on number 3. Find someone who can help you in person and you can very easily add 30-50 lbs to your bench in the weeks leading up to the meet just by fixing your technique.[/quote]

This is very good advice.

[quote]dankid wrote:
***The singles are the most important part of everything IMO. If you start with 195 and do 5-10 singles per session, and add 5lbs per week, that will put you at ABOVE 225 in 6 weeks.
[/quote]

I really like this advice. You should hit 225 no problem at your next meet. After the meet keep adding 5lbs a week, and then plan for a meet around March where you should be Benching close to 315. By this time next year, you will be well over the 400lb mark. :wink:

Seriously, if 225 is the most important goal at this meet, then I would focus on technique and weight gain leading up to the meet.

Post a video of your successful 210 lift, and a video of one of your heavier misses and we might be able to give some better pointers.

With only six weeks left until the meet, you really only have 4 weeks left to focuse on strength gains, and then you will need to start your taper. But if we find a glaring weakness/technique issue, we might be able to get you that 15lbs a lot easier.

Why are you doing a bunch of singles if you’re bench is that low? I’m guessing there’s probably not a big gap between your 1 rep max and your 5 rep, so might as well get some reps in.

[quote]conorh wrote:
Why are you doing a bunch of singles if you’re bench is that low? I’m guessing there’s probably not a big gap between your 1 rep max and your 5 rep, so might as well get some reps in.[/quote]

I don’t think he is currently doing alot of singles. Here’s what he said he was doing…

He’s getting alot of advice to do singles in preparation for his meet which is less than 6 weeks away. Now what he’s doing volume wise on that Friday where he shoots for a PR hasn’t been discussed.