T Nation

Bench Help

Hey guys, thanks for the advice about getting above 150, I started up on 4000 calories a day and after like 3 weeks I’m at 155. Slowly but surely I guess.

Anyways, I’ve been having problems with bench really since I started lifting. I’ve been lifting for about a year now and my bench has never been that impressive.

When I started lifting, I was 120lbs and benched 75. Now, I’m 155 and max 170ish but I’ve been suck here for a while, and I’ve noticed my chest isn’t getting any bigger either.

Last week, I mil pressed 135x3 as my 3rd set, and I can DL 250. My pulldowns are pretty strong too, but I can’t give an accurate weight on that one.

Any advice for getting my bench up and blasting my chest? I thought about doing some isometrics but I’ve never really done any of those, and I also thought about doing the broken up sets (1 rep, 10 sec rest, repeat) that I read about.

Any help would be awesome, thanks in advance.

Youve gained 5 lbs in 3 weeks? Thats not slowly but surely, thats a normal pace.

If you have just recently started eating enough calories to grow, be patient and keep eating. Your bench will go up with time.

You arent going to make amazing progress in three weeks.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Youve gained 5 lbs in 3 weeks? Thats not slowly but surely, thats a normal pace.

If you have just recently started eating enough calories to grow, be patient and keep eating. Your bench will go up with time.

You arent going to make amazing progress in three weeks.[/quote]

Well yea that’s true I won’t make amazing progress in that little amount of time. I guess it’s just sad to see my beginner’s progress (fast) turn into average progress (not so fast). The only thing that got me thinking I had a weak bench was that all of my other lifts are fairly strong for my size while my bench is not.

This could be due to the fact that I started working my whole body from the start, and not just doing the frat boy thing of benching over and over each time I go to the gym. Who knows.

For me, my bench was stuck also, around 205 for 5 reps. I decided i wanted a more imposing look so I started doing various forms of shrugs with every workout and my bench finally went up, I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until i stopped doing shrugs and my bench plateaud again. Needless to say I have started doing trap work on a regular basis again.

Your bench more than doubled in a year. That is fantastic. But now the work begins. In the beginning you made progress just because you were lifting weights. Now you need to find a good basic program (there are tons of them here) and stick with it. You found out the way to eat, now just find the proper way to train. You won’t continue at the rate you have been, but you will still make progress.

I’m in a similar boat, my deadlift is pretty good(at least in the sense that it has progressed very well) my squat is pretty good. But my bench has progressed a lot slower. I don’t know exactly what to do for it, but I have observed that my triceps fail far before my chest does. The upper portion of the lift(the more tricep dominated part) is much harder for me than the lower portion, and once my triceps get fatigued(which is faster than my chest) I can barely hit another rep.

So, I don’t really know what to do to address this. But I have started doing a set of dips before benching, and I’ve also started doing half reps in the upper portion to try and hit the triceps more. My bench has gone up a little bit in the past 2 weeks, but nothing substantial.

Benching 170 and DL’ing 250 sound like they correlate alright.

I bench like 215 and pull about 320 right now…your lower body should be stronger than your upper body…doesnt always work out that way with the frat curler crowd, but you did the right thing in realizing that working the entire body was important.

Yeah, I just went to the gym the other day and pulled 5x 285. I could have done more too, so next week I’m going to go for 300, which will be almost double my weight (150-155) finally.

My bench is still stuck though, but I’m definitely going to try heavier weights with fewer reps and lots of trap exercises to see if that works for me. I also might work out an extra day of chest+tri for a few weeks and see how that works out. I’ll keep you posted, and thanks again for the info.

Make sure youre getting enough assistance type movements in. If you have weak anterior deltoids and triceps, your bench will suffer greatly. Make sure you dont neglect them when training bench, they are important!

And you probably know this, but if you want a strong chest, you need a strong back too. Balance your pushes and pulls.

[quote]fightingtiger wrote:
Make sure youre getting enough assistance type movements in. If you have weak anterior deltoids and triceps, your bench will suffer greatly. Make sure you dont neglect them when training bench, they are important!

And you probably know this, but if you want a strong chest, you need a strong back too. Balance your pushes and pulls.[/quote]

I agree here. I have never heard of traps helping the bench. I would really make sure your triceps are up to par cause they will hold you back. Do bench variations and go heavy and it will go up just give it time.