T Nation

Bench moving up, finally


Well since starting a 3x a week bench/chest workout my bench is improving. I did chest Thursday of last week, I got 155 for one. I worked chest Friday, 3x3x135. On Monday I did 3x3x135, 3x145 and 3x155. Then today I did 3x3x135, 3x145, 3x155 and finally 3x165. I felt like I could probably hit 170, or even 175 for 2-3 reps, but I didn't want to fatigue my CNS so I stopped there. I will try for 170x3 on Friday, then 175 on Monday.

While I'm pleased with my chest workouts, I feel my other body parts could benefit from this. Would it be okay to hit legs, shoulders, bi/tri in this manner too? I mean honestly, I haven't had gains like this in a long time, and while I don't want to jinx myself, I can only hope they continue all the way up to a decent bench for my size, ie 255 atleast. Let me know what you think as far as volume. The reason I think this is working is I never go to failure...reducing CNS stress and preventing overtraining.


Sure try the rep scheme for other exercises as well. Keep up the great work.

Mike Mahler


I've devised a workout I think should be good. I would say the volume is high, with many exercises I think I can benefit.

Basically I work chest/triceps on Mon/Wed/Fri, and Legs/abs/biceps on Tue, Thur and Sat. I throw in some Military presses also on leg days. It should be taxing, but aslong as I keep the reps low, I think I should be okay. 3x3 is fairly reasonable I think.


If you want to continue to work your chest 3 times a week
you might want to read this article:


IF you are looking to improve your bench, read this two articles:

Big Bad Bench

600 Bench

Hope these help


Thanks for the links. I hit a new PR today, 175x2. 2nd rep was difficult, but I got it. Today I did 135x3x3, 145x3x2, 155x3, 165x3, 175x2. Monday I will stay at 175, and try for 3. Once I get that I'll move up again. Do you think it would be beneficial to now move all my weights up, ie, 145x3x3, and skip the 135?


Yeah. Ditch the 135 and maybe try two sets at 145 then jump to 165. Save more fuel for 185 x 3.

Keep riding it til it dies. Don't make the mistake of getting satisfied and backing off. It may be a while before the next growth spurt comes along.


I would drop the 35's myself. Working up the rack is not the best strategy you can employ in the and if you are going through this three times a week, save yourself some time but cutting out a set or two and increasing the work load, you are doing strength training after all. :slightly_smiling:


I agree, drop the sets with 135.

One way you may want to look at it is to have a rep goal, then the numbers should fall into place. I think around 25 reps would be a good goal considering you're going 3 x a week. (that's the same reps as the classic 5x5 scheme). Since you're doing 3 reps you'd do 12 sets for 24 total reps. Break down those sets to whatever wieght according to your reasonable goal for that day. And of course, adjust as your body responds to the volume.


Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to start at 145x3x3 this week. Then go up, hopefully getting 175 for 3 reps. Hopefully I can hit 180 by next Friday.

In related news, I received my M1T. I plan to start it next Monday. If all goes well I hope my bench will increase a bit faster, maybe be at 225 in a month or so. We'll see.


Just a small update: Monday I hit 175x3, and 180x1. Felt strong after, could have hit it 2 more times I think, but didn't. On the downside I'm having a bit of trouble getting my other lifts to go up. Most notably squat and DL. Guess I gotta keep hammering away.


The set of 135 is important. It is the first warm-up set/real set. Move up from there. I have a general rule that if you cant do a set for 5 reps DONT MOVE UP. The fact is you arent ready for the next weight yet.

Trust me...i did 2 sets of 275 for 10 reps on incline and a third set of 15 reps at 275lbs. Then i did 5 rest pauses at 315!

Good luck and keep working hard.


Good job man! Look how your bench has increased 25lbs in just 6 days. Working multiple times a week is a good strategy but I would watch out for overtraining in the long run.