T Nation

Bench Going Down

I am training to make my college football team again when I get back from the Mid-East. I have been doing, Flat/incline bench, Deads, Squats, and Power Cleans as my staple lifts. I have also added BB military press and Close grip bench as assistance lifts, among other things.

The part that bothers me is that I am maintaining weight at 225 lbs, and all my lifts are gaining significantly while my flat bench keeps plummeting. I maxed out at 370 at the end of my last cycle, and now I can barely get 345. What’s happening?

[quote]Hazmaticus wrote:
I am training to make my college football team again when I get back from the Mid-East. I have been doing, Flat/incline bench, Deads, Squats, and Power Cleans as my staple lifts. I have also added BB military press and Close grip bench as assistance lifts, among other things.

The part that bothers me is that I am maintaining weight at 225 lbs, and all my lifts are gaining significantly while my flat bench keeps plummeting. I maxed out at 370 at the end of my last cycle, and now I can barely get 345. What’s happening?[/quote]

not enough info… It could be a form issue, overtraining, etc.

meat

Agreed, not enough info. My guess is probably you’ve been doing the same things over and over without changing volume, sets/reps, etc.

I have been using a preset cycle that varies every week. Each week I decrease reps but add weight. I have used the workout for 2 cycles before this one and gained 20 pound on my max each cycle.

So even then, the weights are different because the percentages are the same, but the max is different. My form is perfect, as well. If my form is off now, it will be exposed when I try out, so I am careful to make sure my form is correct on every lift.

I had thought that it may be overtraining, but I only do a combined total of 10 sets for chest, twice a week. Anything else you may need to know?

How much or little shal I say are you eating to maintain weight as opposed to gain. are you restricting calories??

I am deployed overseas, so I keep my diet pretty clean, but I have to guess on how many calories I am taking in. I can’t really keep real track of it. I would like to maintain weight, but get leaner. So I am doing what I can along those lines.

[quote]Hazmaticus wrote:
I am deployed overseas, so I keep my diet pretty clean, but I have to guess on how many calories I am taking in. I can’t really keep real track of it. I would like to maintain weight, but get leaner. So I am doing what I can along those lines.[/quote]

Dont expect to be consistantly breaking PR’s while getting leaner at a point something has to give.

[quote]Hazmaticus wrote:
I am deployed overseas[/quote]

Life stress can be treated just like training stress. You’re probably getting less sleep, too. If you’re training isn’t off, then it’s gotta be something.

I think you should post your chest work out

This week it was as follows:
monday
Flat bench
75%x6, 80%x5, 85%x4, 85%x3
Percentages are based off of a 370 Max lift
Incline bench
205x6, 225x6, 225x6, 245x6, 255x4
Didn’t start doing inlcine seriously until this cycle

Thursday
Flat Bench
75%x4, 85%x4, 90%xc4, 90%x4
DB incline bench
4s 105x6

This is week 5 of a cycle that I got from a friend that works at NC State. This is one of the off-season cycles for Bench Press at USC (Trojans). The cycle is only 6 weeks long so that would be why I am supposed to do 90% of my prior max for 4 reps. it assumes that I have gotten stronger since the beginning.

If you have previously been gaining, then put emphasis on the incline, and have stalled, maybe you should de- emphasize the inclines.

There is only so much room in the capacity to recover and grow.

Maybe a methodical reduction in loading will allow you to dial it back enough, but not too much, to experience the training effects you are looking for.

Do you anything for the upper back? Being in the military you probably do pull-ups, but you should add in some heavy rowing for muscular balance.

It’s most likely mental if you aren’t losing weight.

I do heavy deadlifts on Mondays and heavy Power cleans on Thursdays. On those days I also do 5 sets of 6 on BB Bent rows, and 3 sets to failure of Pull-ups.

a question

how many weeks in a row have you done flat benches??

maybe you are a bit stale…especially if you are on a “linear” type of routine

Zatsiorsky recommended to use the same exercises for a mesocycle (between 6-10 weeks)…but to change the load (sets/reps/weight etc) during the mesocycle

so if you have been, say, 4-5 months on bench then you might simply be burnt out on it(pattern overload)

maybe switch to floor press, or slight incline or decline maybe with a little wider or narrower grip…change something anyway

also…too much work over 90% can burn you out

I am guessing that if one was already a little stale on bench from doing it too much, then he hit the 90% phase of a cycle, he would start going downhill pretty quickly