T Nation

Bench Not Going Up


Hello, currently I'm benching 76lb for my first set and then I go for another set at 80lb. When I'm able to do 12 reps of my first set weight, than the next workout day I would do 80lb for my first set and 86 for my second set.

The problem is that I have set a minimum of at least 8 reps but when I try to do my second set, which like I said is currently 80lb, I can only do 6. This indicates to me that I'm lifting too much weight however, the reason I'm dong 76lb for my first set is because before, I would do 12 reps of 70lb which means I had to move up to 76lb for my first set. If anyone is confused by this please tell me and I will clarify.

Basically my question is should I go back to doing 70lb for my first set and 76lb for my second set or should I just stay at the current level?

BTW I have been at 76lb and 80lb for about a week and a half and it's not getting any easier.



i just read your first post and suggest perhaps eating more & more times throughout the day. From personal experience, I notice i can't lift nearly as much and have horrible workouts when i dont eat enough.

Another thing you could do, switch to another exercise for a bit(incline press?). There are tons of guys on here that would agree you'll see better results if you mix up exercises.

Also, are those dumbells or are you not counting the bar; because that is not much weight at all for a barbell at your weight.


God please let this be a joke...


You are 6 feet tall, 165lbs and you can ONLY bench 80lbs? The olympic bar is 45lbs so how are you getting 17.5lbs on each side? How are you lifting 76lbs at all? You have been at the same weight for a WHOLE week and a half and, instead of working at getting stronger, you think you should back track just so you can get 2 more reps?


My first thought was maybe you ought to check out getting a bench shirt.....

Joking aside, maybe he meant 80lbs on each side huh? Ok probably not. I still dont know where you're getting those numbers from.

BP is a fully upper body gauge of strength. Its the whole system from pecs to triceps to shoulder development. If you're just trying to work on getting your bench press up without these others, you'll go...up...but not far. Eventually you'll get slowed to a stand still without working these other muscle groups.

First thing I would check is your form. I dont recall where, but you can search and find out plenty of articles on here about proper form.

Still...you need to give us more info to help you out like actual weight, if you're using a straight bar or whatnot (I prefer dumbbells myself), age, sex, etc.


Oh, and what PX said, why are you expecting your weight to increase so dramatically? Did you just start BPing? In the first few months of weight training you can expect great gains, but after that its a slow road. Maybe its better if you get back to us once you've trained longer than what appears to be two weeks.

What's the deal with all the reps too? That looks like the normal pyramid type of workout and its junk. Just because you cant bang out 10 reps every exercise doesnt mean you ought to lower the weight. 10 reps isnt the magical number to a great body. Look into 5x5 training or ABBH (10x3). That'll build some strength and size.


Did you just start working out a week and a half ago and are you following the bench every day routine? And I am not making fun of you, just asking.

Maybe you should tell more about yourself...how long working out so far and what kind of routine.


We all struggle with the daunting task of breaking the 76lb to 80lb plateau. I would suggest trying doing some power rack curls. Start with the 2lb pink dumbbells but dont be frustrated if you plateau at 3lb.


Don't sweat all these people making fun of you man, you have to start somewhere. Make sure you are getting proper rest and nutrition and that you have a balanced workout and overtime you will make gains. You can't expect to raise the weight every workout.


Making fun of him? How do you bench 76lbs without bringing .5lbs or 1lbs plates to the gym? Without the bar that leaves 31lbs on each side. How is it you skip this as if it isn't important or as if everyone else is wrong for pointing this out?


I am giving the guy the benefit of the doubt that it was a typo.


Could be one of those home set ups with the crazy plates and 20 lb. bar, plus the collars, but anyways-

Try a beginner program. Maybe even just pushups until you can do about 20 in a row, pullups, one legged squats, lunges, and squats with just a bar for form. Might as well start deadlifting and doing farmers walks too.

Get the book called Get Buffed! by Ian King. There is enough in there to keep you busy for about five years. Should be required reading for anybody who even thinks about touching anything heavy.

That should help your bench.


I think he's for real. He has only been training since December 2005.


I too am unclear as to where the odd weight multiples come from, though...

Tell us a little more.


Subflood, here's some reading to start you off. You can thank longtime T-Nation member Vroom.




Personally, I think that if you can't do 20-30 pushups, you really don't need to be bench pressing, unless you are really, really heavy. If you can't master your own bodyweight, external resistance is just going to get you hurt.


Do you mean 80kgs?

that would explain alot imo


a bad conversion between the two? I don't know...sounds weird


About the odd weight: I'm not counting the barbell and it's not an olympic barbell. The weights I have are 25lb, 10lb, 5lb, and 3lb. At each side I have a 25lb + 10lb + 3lb = 38lb * 2 = 76lb. I started weightlifting in January so yea I'm weak. Sorry about that.


People count the weight of the bar. If you didn't know, now you know. As far as dropping the weight used just to get 2 more reps, clearly someone has confused you. The goal is to get stronger, not just to do a set number of reps. In other words, it makes no sense at all to drop the weight used simply because you lifted it 6 times instead of 8.

In fact, join a gym so that you can see other people working out. If you are training at home, that may be why you are so confused.


How long are you resting between sets?

If I were you I would drop the 1st set with 76lbs and just do 2 sets at 80lbs. I would be surprised if you don't get at least 8 reps on your 1st set at 80lbs.