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Advice for Lagging Bench Press?


Hi folks,

I have extremely trouble with progressing at my bench press. Slowly it kind of depresses me!
For the time I'm on a Bulk and running SS.
Currently I'm 178cm and 70KG (5'10 & 155lbs) and my lifts look as followed;
Squat 1RM 115KG (250lbs)
DL 5RM 140KG (310lbs)
Bench 1RM 80KG (175lbs)

I just can't progress in the lift. Stalling at this point since a long time. Even with a deload I get back to that point and stall.
I do dips as well with currently 23,5kg (3x8) and progressing there. So I think if something is lagging, it's really my chest and not my lats or Triceps.
What do you think and suggest? Assistants?

Help really appreciated


I dont really know much about Starting Strength, but if you hammer your OHP while incorporating a lot of back work and tricep work, your bench should take off.

I would also forgo the deload week. Ill probably get hammered for recommending this, but I dont agree someone at your strength level needs to take a week off. This is just my opinion and you certainly dont need to follow it.

I hope this helps a bit


Yeah, I know that the bench is depending on the lats & triceps a lot. I already do Pendlay rows/w. dips/w. chinups to support the press. As mentioned, the Dips are progressing fine, so I don't really think that the stuck is caused by lag of triceps/lat strength.
Do even more assistance like triceps extension or anything similiar?!

I agree with the deload :wink:


Work your pecs. They're still the prime movers.


hey man,

sounds like to me that SS has just run out of gas for you, no biggie.

Personally, my beliefs are if you want to bring a movement up, then work your technique like crazy.

watch this video.

Then consider a new program, sheiko has you benching 3x a week with loads that are perfect for fine tuning form, My bench sky rocketed 50lbs once I started doing it.


Thx for the hint/link.
Already watched this series twice before, watched dvd of SS and the movie of Ryan Kennelly.
I worked a lot on my form (even though you never can work enough on it :wink:)
Let's just hypothetical say form is perfect, triceps and lats are strong enough. What would be my options?
Change the program for the bench? Not just sticking to 3x5 but do something like Madcow, TM or anything else for it to change the volume/intensity?
What Program are you refering to with sheiko?


Start doing close grip bench for reps, Incline dumbbells press and some dumbbell pullovers. I also agree with Chicksan and think you should forgo the deload week unless you feel your body needs the rest. Also eat more 155LBS is very light.



Also, I highly doubt your back and tri's are strong enough. Even if they are, they can be much stronger. Work everything, eat alot, gain some weight, spend more time under the bar and you will get stronger.


Strong enough in the meaning of that I don't think they are the issue with my BP :-/
But yeah, I do my best and work as much as I can :wink:


I think it's weird that the OP hasn't received a unanimous response of "EAT". He benches 175 for fuck's sake. Any talk about programming and lagging muscles is ridiculous. Saying SS has run it's course is total bullshit. He should be able to improve with any program if he eats more. 10 sets of 10 cartwheels would probably be sufficient at his level of development.


While I think that's completely true and OP needs to gain weight, training properly and smart he can still put more LBS on his bench without gaining much if any weight.


You're lagging everything, if anything, your squat is your weakest lift by proportion. Maybe SS isn't enough volume for you. Try SL 5x5 for a bit more volume. You should be able to easily make it to doing 5x5 with your current 1RMs. The key is to have good form and not go to failure. Don't be afraid to repeat workouts and deload whenever you don't feel fresh, but you should be able to get there in a few months.

I don't even think OP needs to gain weight. I'm at 6'1" 170-185lbs and I'm more than 1.5x as strong as OP on every lift. More volume and more focus for practicing and perfecting technique is what he needs.


He doesn't need to gain weight to get stronger than he is now, but noone lifts weights to stay skinny


I just want to get my lifts up. If that comes with gaining weight, then that's fine with me.
But this thread shouldn't be mainly about my weight but what I can do to progress. As said, if that means that I need to gain weight, so it is.


I didn't say he needs to gain weight. I'm saying that if he was doing SS, actually lifting with intensity, and eating properly, there would be no reason to be stalled at a 175 bench press. Which means 1 of those 3 components is missing. If I assume he's following the program properly, this leaves intensity and diet. I think diet is the more likely culprit.

EDIT: a fourth possibility is that OP is female. That would make a difference.

Also, please note that in his first post he mentioned he's 'on a bulk'. So he clearly wants to gain weight.


Close grip bench press, floor press, pin presses. This has helped me a lot. Have two training sessions a week for presses.


Not a girl and yeah, you're right with 175lbs being too low to stall. That's why I needed help because I always stuck on that weight...


By chance is there any 400 lbs plus benchers whom would like to add any input on this thread....nope?

Oh come on !! someone anyone?


What a shame!


Im almost there, another 25lbs or so