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Bench Press Advice


#1

I've been training quite consistently since September 2014. Yet, my bench press has remained absolutely stagnant since that time!

Embarrassingly, I've remained stuck at 80kg (5 reps) for the bench press. I incorporated weighted dips in my workout to see if that would improve my upper body/tricep strength but it appeared to be futile. While I have managed to go from unweighted dips to 40kg (for 6 reps), the bench press feels just as heavy.

Any advice? Feeling incredibly frustrating and it feels like I've been going backwards.


#2

Have you tried 531? It seems obvious that bashing your head into that brick wall leads to no results.


#3

I find it surprising that you can do 40kg weighted dips for 6, and yet plateau at 80kg bench for 5. What do you weigh? What has your bench routine been over the last month? three months? 6 months? What do you weigh?


#4

Without the information mentioned above, who knows… However, 5/3/1 is a good suggestion. Also you may want to try searching this site for the Dave Tate 6 Week BP Cure. It works.


#5

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
I find it surprising that you can do 40kg weighted dips for 6, and yet plateau at 80kg bench for 5. What do you weigh? What has your bench routine been over the last month? three months? 6 months? What do you weigh?[/quote]
I weigh 70kg (155lbs).

I essentially have a split bodypart routine. I’ve been doing something along the lines of this, with roughly a day rest in between.

  • Chest/Triceps - Bench Press, Weighted Dips, Skullcrushers, Tricep Pushdown
  • Back/Biceps - Lat Pulldown, Cable Row, T-bar Row, Bicep Curl, Hammer Curl, Weighted-Chinup
  • Shoulders/Triceps - Shoulder Press, Raises etc, Weighted Dips, Face Pulls
  • Legs/Abs - Deadlift, Leg press, Decline weighted crunches, weighted hyperextension, pullups

Ideally I would want to do a routine which incorporates a mixture of strength and hypertrophy.


#6

It is silly to post this question without including any info on how you’ve been training the bench press.


#7

[quote]OZJ wrote:

  • Chest/Triceps - Bench Press, Weighted Dips, Skullcrushers, Tricep Pushdown
    [/quote]

This doesn’t tell us how you’ve been training bench press, only that you’ve been doing them.

Off topic, I’m also curious why you feel the need to rest a day in between every workout on a bodypart split. They are normally designed for the express purpose of avoiding these “wasted days”.

I also think it’s telling that you have 3 arm days and 1 leg day.


#8

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

I also think it’s telling that you have 3 arm days and 1 leg day.[/quote]Priorities, man! JK, I agree.


#9

So your bench press 5 rep max is stuck at 80kg and you want to know how to make it go up.
Well how about trying some triples?

After your first couple of warm up sets start working up in 3’s.
Stop at 82.5 kgs.
The next session aim for 85kgs.
The next 87.5 and so on.

Once you stall you can go back to 5s again but make the first week relatively easy and build it up in 2.5kgs each session. It’s like a built in deload to freshen you up for the heavy lifting ahead.
No point hitting a wall each session. That only causes stagnation.

By doing this you will continue to make strength gains for a long time. Actually a lot of elite powerlifters use a similar method.

Ideally you will want to keep a log and will have a pre determined number to hit each time. Early cycles could be 4 weeks long. That would be what I recommend when starting out.


#10

What are your goals? To get jacked, to get strong, to get big, to compete in powerlifting`, what? What specifically are you trying to accomplish by going to the gym?


#11

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]OZJ wrote:

  • Chest/Triceps - Bench Press, Weighted Dips, Skullcrushers, Tricep Pushdown
    [/quote]

This doesn’t tell us how you’ve been training bench press, only that you’ve been doing them.

Off topic, I’m also curious why you feel the need to rest a day in between every workout on a bodypart split. They are normally designed for the express purpose of avoiding these “wasted days”.

I also think it’s telling that you have 3 arm days and 1 leg day.[/quote]
5x5 for compound exercises, 6-8 reps for others, 8-10 reps for isolation.

Hmm… I didn’t think of that.

Honestly, my programming and routine is probably awful. As I said, I’m a beginner and I don’t really know what I’m doing. I guess my goals are to get strong (for now I want to reach targets of 1.5x BW bench, 1.5x squat, 2x deadlift) and to look good.

How should I amend my training?


#12

do madcow, /5/3/1 etc or just alternate through differrent rep schemes each week ie 5x5, 4x10-12, 10x3, 5x20 even


#13

More food generally helps bench numbers.


#14

[quote]OZJ wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]OZJ wrote:

  • Chest/Triceps - Bench Press, Weighted Dips, Skullcrushers, Tricep Pushdown
    [/quote]

This doesn’t tell us how you’ve been training bench press, only that you’ve been doing them.

Off topic, I’m also curious why you feel the need to rest a day in between every workout on a bodypart split. They are normally designed for the express purpose of avoiding these “wasted days”.

I also think it’s telling that you have 3 arm days and 1 leg day.[/quote]
5x5 for compound exercises, 6-8 reps for others, 8-10 reps for isolation.

Hmm… I didn’t think of that.

Honestly, my programming and routine is probably awful. As I said, I’m a beginner and I don’t really know what I’m doing. I guess my goals are to get strong (for now I want to reach targets of 1.5x BW bench, 1.5x squat, 2x deadlift) and to look good.

How should I amend my training?[/quote]

I suggest you start doing a proven routine. There are many to choose from, here are a few:

5/3/1 - https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-1

Madcow 5x5 (can’t post link, google “madcow wackyhq”)

915 - https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/915-workout-program


#15

You probably need to improve pulling strength, with chin ups, rows, and face pulls. If your pulling strength is weak it will cause bench press plateaus. Also you could try strengthening your rotator cuffs, If your cuffs are weak your body won’t let you make gains to protect your from tearing your rotator cuff.


#16

[quote]craze9 wrote:
I suggest you start doing a proven routine. There are many to choose from, here are a few:

5/3/1 - https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/beyond-531-program-1-1

Madcow 5x5 (can’t post link, google “madcow wackyhq”)

915 - https://www.T-Nation.com/workouts/915-workout-program
[/quote]
This, definitely.

Not this:

[quote]aliceinchains wrote:
You probably need to improve pulling strength, with chin ups, rows, and face pulls. If your pulling strength is weak it will cause bench press plateaus. Also you could try strengthening your rotator cuffs, If your cuffs are weak your body won’t let you make gains to protect your from tearing your rotator cuff.
[/quote]

I’d also consider watching this:


#17

[quote]OZJ wrote:

Embarrassingly, I’ve remained stuck at 80kg (5 reps) for the bench press. [/quote]

Have you ever lifted more than 80kg, even for a single?