T Nation

Adding 40LB To My Bench Press


#1

I have never trained for strength before but after seeing guys who don't look like they even lift put up way more weight than me I decided to get my strength up in various lifts. Not just bench specifically.

I train a 4 day split can I just add a strength specific set of bench to my chest day and expect to add strength even though I will be following it with a bunch of isolation/bodybuilding work.

My chest day would go as follows:

Bench Press 5x5 rest 3 minutes in between sets focusing on moving the weight as fast as I can.
Incline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Decline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Fly + Macine Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Cable + Decline Cable Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes

Same goes for barbell rows, military press, squats

My bench is currently at 180lb for 7 reps and I have not added gone up very little in the past 3 years.


#2

Why do you that workout? Before I answer your question I want to know, why you do that workout, in that order, and with those rep ranges. Is there any kinda progression in your workouts? What are your goals? And post a pic so we can see what we’re working with.


#3

[quote]jtamez17 wrote:
Why do you that workout? Before I answer your question I want to know, why you do that workout, in that order, and with those rep ranges. Is there any kinda progression in your workouts? What are your goals? And post a pic so we can see what we’re working with. [/quote]
His goal is to add 40lbs to his bench, it’s literally the title of the thread. I also fail to see the relevance of a picture in a strength related thread.

The progression question has probably hit the nail on the head though.


#4

If your program doesn’t match up with your goals, like say “have improved X amount on bench by Y time” then you are just kind of spinning your wheels. You need to be able to track progression in some way, most likely the best option for you right now to just get stronger in general would be some form of linear periodization.


#5

how much do you weigh? Could be you’re not eating enough. If your bodyweight has not been increasing over the last 3 years, this could be related to your stalled bench press.


#6

The really short answer is you will find that you can’t get all those sets in when you add strength sets and you will either quit the strength sets to pacify your OCD or you will change goals a bit and actually build strength.

Are you willing to bench 5 heavy sets to near failure and go home? Or do you have some emotional need to check the box on 20 sets from 5 angles? This is what it usually boils down to.


#7

Benching 5x5 with adequate rest and double progression will work, but if your bench hasn’t increased in 3 years you may want to reconsider your programming.

Benching twice a week would be a start. Volume day (5x5, 3x8, 6x4) and then a heavier day for just one or two sets.

There’s also this: https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/bench-more-to-bench-more


#8

I wanted to hear his thoughts on working out. I know what he wants to do, I can read. I want to know why he does that workout specifically. Whats his overall philosphy. If he wants a physique then who cares about his bench total? Sure weights go up, you should get big bigger but I wanted him to explain to me why he does what he does, in the order he does it. I wanted a pic because he keeps asking about weight loss, and brown fat cold therapy, fat burning stacks and if he looks like a beginner I wont recommend an advance program instead of say 5/3/1 or similar.

Your failure to see that is exactly why I asked the question. People dont understand there own workouts. if you can’t explain why you do what you do in your workout in that order then I will say do 5/3/1 or something like. When I train a client you ask why a couple of times and then they finally reveal what they actually want.

So drop the tone playboy.


#9

[quote]TC15 wrote:
I have never trained for strength before but after seeing guys who don’t look like they even lift put up way more weight than me I decided to get my strength up in various lifts. Not just bench specifically.

I train a 4 day split can I just add a strength specific set of bench to my chest day and expect to add strength even though I will be following it with a bunch of isolation/bodybuilding work.

My chest day would go as follows:

Bench Press 5x5 rest 3 minutes in between sets focusing on moving the weight as fast as I can.
Incline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Decline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Fly + Macine Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Cable + Decline Cable Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes

Same goes for barbell rows, military press, squats

My bench is currently at 180lb for 7 reps and I have not added gone up very little in the past 3 years.[/quote]

You are bench pressing 180 pounds for seven reps for three years and have a total of eight years of training according to another thread, and want to bench 40 pounds more and have an advanced five-day split routine, and are likely genetically ordinary and/or are missing something in the way of understanding all of this.

I am in no way trying to be rude. It just takes an ordinary guy to know one (that ordinary guy being me).

PLEASE, stop wasting your damn time, and start all over again with a minimalist program which allows for the quickest progression in all the big lifts and throw in some isolation exercises if you must. Even picking an off-the-shelf linear-progression routine (and I don’t mean powerlifting specific) will have you progressing every workout or week, such as Greyskull, Stronglifts, Starting Strength, Lyle McDonald’s Generic Bulking, Jason Blaha’s Novice, or Candito’s Novice program. All of these are basic and will not have you wasting your time instead of draining your resources with the routine above.

Isolation exercises, “pump”, “innervation”, pre-exhaust, are all great, but not when you are at a modest or light bodyweight and haven’t made progress in years while at a novice strength level.

And of course you can increase any lift with a bodybuilding-specific bro type of split program, but if you want to bench more, do a routine that is geared for benching more.

Again, I don’t know it all, but I strongly believe you are spinning your wheels and are in no position to be on a five-way advanced bro split with your current goals.

I read in your other post you want some program to sculpt inner, outer, mid chest, and are doing quite a bit of supersetting and the like. Here’s a good line from Scott Abel: “You can’t sculpt a pebble.”


#10

From one very average/borderline shitty bencher: work on your technique and flat bench, flat bench and flat bench some more. Also press. But mostly flat bench, varying the loads and set/rep scheme and do some close grip work as well. Play around with grip width too.

I put 10 lbs on my bench in three weeks (242 to 253 at 198ish) by benching three times a week going speed (against bands) one session, heavy clusters one session and hypertrophy work one session. Do the heavy and speed sessions fresh. Add about 5 lbs every week. One note, I wouldn’t do that for more than four or so weeks. I was happy with the result, but was also feeling a bit battered about the shoulder joint by the end of it.

Rowing a bunch will help too IMO. It helped me, at any rate. Pull-ups, barbell, dumbbell. All helped.


#11

presses like a powerlifter, back like a bodybuilders

MarkKO, quit giving people bench advice. You do not bench a lot. You are weak in your bench too. Stop it


#12

That’s kind of my point. OP and I both have underwhelming bench so I figure something that helped me might help him.

Good benchers will give good advice, but crappy benchers making their bench less crappy might have a couple of ok ideas too.


#13

Bench every other to every 3rd day. My preference would be to bench every third day, but you can do up to 3 workouts in a 7-9 day period. Follow this and I bet you are there in about 7-8 weeks easily.

Workout 1 4x8 at 70% 1RM
Workout 2 5x6 at 75%
Workout 3 6x4+ at 80% (AMRAP last set only, do 4 on the first 5 sets)
Workout 4 add 5 lbs to workout 1
Workout 5 add 5 lbs to workout 2
Workout 6 add 5 lbs to workout 3
Workout 7 add 5 lbs to workout 4
Workout 8 add 5 lbs to workout 5
Workout 9 add 5 lbs to workout 6
Workout 10 Warm up to a single at about 80-85%, and then do 3x5 at 60% (deload day)
Workout 11 4x4 at 80%
Workout 12 4x3 at 85%
Workout 13 4x2+ at 90% (AMRAP last set only, do 2 on first 3 sets)
Workout 14 add 10 lbs to workout 11
Workout 15 add 10 lbs to workout 12
Workout 16 add 10 lbs to workout 13
Workout 17 add 5 lbs to workout 14
Workout 18 add 5 lbs to workout 15
Workout 19 add 5 lbs to workout 16
Workout 20 Warm up to a single at about 80-85%, and then do 3x5 at 60% (deload day)
Workout 21 Set new max!

At 3 workouts per week, this is 7 weeks, if you add some extra rest days in there it is about 8 weeks.


#14

[quote]BrickHead wrote:

[quote]TC15 wrote:
I have never trained for strength before but after seeing guys who don’t look like they even lift put up way more weight than me I decided to get my strength up in various lifts. Not just bench specifically.

I train a 4 day split can I just add a strength specific set of bench to my chest day and expect to add strength even though I will be following it with a bunch of isolation/bodybuilding work.

My chest day would go as follows:

Bench Press 5x5 rest 3 minutes in between sets focusing on moving the weight as fast as I can.
Incline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Decline DB press 3x6-12 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Fly + Macine Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes
Incline Cable + Decline Cable Fly 3x8-15 rest 1-2 minutes

Same goes for barbell rows, military press, squats

My bench is currently at 180lb for 7 reps and I have not added gone up very little in the past 3 years.[/quote]

You are bench pressing 180 pounds for seven reps for three years and have a total of eight years of training according to another thread, and want to bench 40 pounds more and have an advanced five-day split routine, and are likely genetically ordinary and/or are missing something in the way of understanding all of this.

I am in no way trying to be rude. It just takes an ordinary guy to know one (that ordinary guy being me).

PLEASE, stop wasting your damn time, and start all over again with a minimalist program which allows for the quickest progression in all the big lifts and throw in some isolation exercises if you must. Even picking an off-the-shelf linear-progression routine (and I don’t mean powerlifting specific) will have you progressing every workout or week, such as Greyskull, Stronglifts, Starting Strength, Lyle McDonald’s Generic Bulking, Jason Blaha’s Novice, or Candito’s Novice program. All of these are basic and will not have you wasting your time instead of draining your resources with the routine above.

Isolation exercises, “pump”, “innervation”, pre-exhaust, are all great, but not when you are at a modest or light bodyweight and haven’t made progress in years while at a novice strength level.

And of course you can increase any lift with a bodybuilding-specific bro type of split program, but if you want to bench more, do a routine that is geared for benching more.

Again, I don’t know it all, but I strongly believe you are spinning your wheels and are in no position to be on a five-way advanced bro split with your current goals.

I read in your other post you want some program to sculpt inner, outer, mid chest, and are doing quite a bit of supersetting and the like. Here’s a good line from Scott Abel: “You can’t sculpt a pebble.” [/quote]

You nailed it on so many points here Brick. I think people stray from simple, linear progression models way too early in their lifting careers. I’ve always made my best progress on the big lifts by simply performing the big lifts a lot.

Example of how stupidly simple my programming is:
Yesterday was bench day. I worked up to a heavy (355) bench single. Then I dropped to 225 for 3 sets of 10. Then I did some rows. That’s it. Bench and rows. I can guarantee that session will serve me better than if I had benched for a few sets, then done incline db’s, then some flys, then some cable crossovers, etc.


#15

Flips that dick that benches only and still gets a chest. What a jackass


#16

[quote]jtamez17 wrote:
Flips that dick that benches only and still gets a chest. What a jackass[/quote]

I rarely meet someone who can bench “only” 355lbs and don’t have a chest.


#17

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]jtamez17 wrote:
Flips that dick that benches only and still gets a chest. What a jackass[/quote]

I rarely meet someone who can bench “only” 355lbs and don’t have a chest.[/quote]

That statement was weird.

@jtamez17

Just so I know I’m interpreting it corretly, are you being sarcastic or are you of the idea that only benching won’t give you a chest?


#18

[quote]jtamez17 wrote:
presses like a powerlifter, back like a bodybuilders

MarkKO, quit giving people bench advice. You do not bench a lot. You are weak in your bench too. Stop it [/quote]

don’t be a dick. We’re all here to learn from each other. So what if the dude doesn’t have a big bench? As long as he’s improving he can give any advice he wants


#19

[quote]craze9 wrote:

There’s also this: https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/bench-more-to-bench-more[/quote]

I was also wondering about smolov Jr as a short specialization but isn’t it too advanced ? I only think about how technique (and basically everything) must be on point to handle such volume at these percentages. Yet author says 2 or 3 years of experience is ok before starting it
CNS must be fried after such a month, not even talking about smolov squats or deadlifts. Maybe doing each specialization one month after another is ok

If OP does it I’d love to see the results


#20

[quote]tontongg wrote:

[quote]craze9 wrote:

There’s also this: https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/bench-more-to-bench-more [/quote]

I was also wondering about smolov Jr as a short specialization but isn’t it too advanced ? I only think about how technique (and basically everything) must be on point to handle such volume at these percentages. Yet author says 2 or 3 years of experience is ok before starting it
CNS must be fried after such a month, not even talking about smolov squats or deadlifts. Maybe doing each specialization one month after another is ok

If OP does it I’d love to see the results

[/quote]

Smolov isn’t going to fry your cns.