T Nation

Bench Press Help


I'm looking for a good exercise to help me with the bottom of my bench press, from the chest to about half way up.


Lots of folks think that to press more they should focus only on the pressing..and you should BUT DO NOT NEGLECT YOUR BACK!! "OFF the CHEST" strength has got a shit ton to do with your lats and upper back strength. ROWs of all kinds and chins will do you good ok. Here are some pressing movements to consider.

dead benches..floor press..illegal wide bench..Dumbbell presses..benches with chains..paused benches, those should get you heading in the right direction but REMEMBER YOUR BACK!!

Look at big benchers, they have huge backs!


Are your shoulders healthy and strong? Keeping your RC healthy and shoulders strong will go a long way in bottom of the movement. Keeping your upper back strong will go along way in keeping your RC healthy too.


Are your shoulders healthy and strong? Keeping your RC healthy and shoulders strong will go a long way in bottom of the movement. Keeping your upper back strong will go along way in keeping your RC healthy too.


more bench press


That may or may not fix the problem, but for someone like me that would make things worse by tearing up my RC. I've started to get past a similar sticking as OP that I've been sitting on for months and it happened because I got my upper back, shoulders, and RC strong while reducing pressing volume. I'm still in the process of this and it's still working. I'm also more pain-free during the day.

By the way, is the weight getting stuck at a certain point, or up and then straight back down, or not up at all off the chest?


Thanks man! I do WS4SB3 as my program so there is twice as much back as chest, and I do PLP so I am getting extra pullups in too! I will work in some of the exercises that you mentioned and make sure to keep my back volume up. I had problems with my shoulders up until recently due to training with a guy who had no idea what he was doing and only bench pressing the top half of the rep. I had to take a step back in order to keep moving forward but my shoulders are healthy now and feeling great when I lift! Would you recommend going real heavy on the rows?


The weight gets stuck right on the chest or about an inch above it. It doesn't move back down, so when I have a good spotter I can usually finish the rep by myself, but its not pleasant on the shoulders and I'm always afraid of re injuring my shoulder. I can get sets of 5 with 255 and usually 265, but anytime I get up heavier like the 335+ range for singles, it sticks and if I get a little help to get it moving again I can easily finish the rep by myself.


I was just checking to see if it was a real sticking point or if the weight was just too heavy. Sounds real to me.


that is not a sticking point, it just that the weight is too heavy
meaby you should do more reps
i was finally able to bench over 275 because now i train the bench in a range of reps as high as 16 and 20
raw bench goes up really well when you get strong at higher reps
that is why bodybuilder are good benchers i guess


I don't think this is a sticking point at all either if you can sometimes get 5x265, 335+ is quite unreasonable to expect to lift unless your conditioning is so poor you fail over five reps simply cause you run out of gas. If thats the case, working in higher rep ranges are definately gonna be beneficial but I think your just a little to ambitious. Be patient, keep crushing the weights and you'll be getting 335 in no time.


You may be well served with a few weeks of speed benching with mini bands, then when you've come up to speed, pardon the pun, just do it every couple of weeks, maybe on your deload weeks to stay fast.


WS4SB has a heavy bench day and a high rep bench day. I easily pressed 315 for 1 and 335 also went up, albiet with a little struggle. I do have a semi unique situation where the top half of my bench got really strong due to doing bench press workouts at the top half of the range only (which I regret.) I can easily press 225 for 10 plus reps, and on my rep days, I press 165 for 25 plus reps on the first set, but it usually drops to 13-17 for the rest of the sets. I know my stamina on bench press is not great, but I am addressing that problem. I am deloading this week, so I will try to incorporate some speed work with the mini bands if I can find some, I'm not sure my gym has them. I'm definitely gonna stick to it and I have a training log I just started if you want to drop by and see how its going/give some advice, critique or suggestions. Thanks for the info guys!


Bring your grip in some (sounds like that will help your shoulders as well) and start pausing all or the majority of your reps. I agree with the above that 265x5 does not translate to 335, you most likely need to be doing 265x7-10 reps to have a shot at that. Also learn to use the lats to drive the bench and work on your arch. Speed bench, probably paused too, could work. Good luck with it.


Thank you Tim! I'll get on it! Gonna use the paused speed bench today in my DE Upper workout!