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Bench Press Help

what is wrong with my bench press?

i have just discovered that my narrow grip (less then shoulder width) and normal grip bench press is the same weight at max attempts. (it’s only 100kg x 2-3 too)

what could be the reason behind this?

lower chest weakness? triceps too strong/weak?

and i have benched 115kg once and the next week i was back at 100kg x 2. have done two weeks of incline bench, dumbbell benching, single arm bench etc… may be 2 weeks is not enough rest for an exercise?

back should be strong enough as i can row almost the same weight as i bench. (narrow grip row more then i bench with any grip)

tho a shoulder feels a bit “lose” some times. perhaps it has to do some thing with me being able to do only 10-12 pull ups at 95kg (~20% F) body wight?

my max has been decreased to about 105-110 from 115 kg for about two months now.

how do i increase my bench?

How do I increase my bench?

There is not enough time to answer your entire question right now but if your bench has been backsliding lately, maybe you could drop it for a time.

Again, short on time for science but I’ll add this anecdote. I dropped bench from my training altogether and worked dips very hard for 3 months, usually in a 5x5 pattern.

Then when I took up flat benching again, my 2nd bench workout had me hitting a massive PR (as in 30 lbs over my best for a double) I believe I was going mentally and physiologically stale on the flat bench. Which seems to make conjugate periodization make sense.

I’ll tune in later to see if your other issues have been answered by others. Good luck.

that’s exactly what i have been wanting to do for a long time - ditch the bench and do shoulders. but it just does not seem right. i didn’t work a few times in the past but … there will be time to rest in the hospital after a few weeks or so … jaw operation …

I’d see where I was sticking personally. There’s been loads of articles about sticking points and what the problem could be. In your last rep, has the problem been getting the bar off your chest, middle motion or lockout?

If I had to guess, remember guess, I would say your triceps are the force in your bench (since narrow seems the same as normal). I’d be looking at your chest or delt strength and definitely your form.

If your tri’s are overcompensating for a weak chest or delts, look into some pre-fatigue exercises to put more stress on your chest and delts during your bench to make em grow. Don’t be afraid to drop some weight if they are lacking. Or perhaps using a wider grip than normal to place more emphasis on your chest versus your tri’s.

well im gonna have to guess your triceps are overpowering your other functional muscles in the bench.

When you row with that narrow grip your pulling with your triceps on the rows, close grip benching will isolate your triceps more as oppose to your chest, so your prob stalemating on your progress because lack of other muscle strength and OVERworking your triceps.

I would have to try a month of a Mon-Thurs Bench routine, Mon close grip, Thurs a really wide competition grip bench coming high on the chest. Also use the Bulgarian segment method. They helped me shatter my plateau in about 2 weeks with ease.

well, at least triceps is alright then…

wide grip is some thing i’m thinking of for the next few workouts, together with decline bench (hate that exercise so ill do it). dumbbell press should be good too right? tho i find dumbbells to be not so much harder for some reason.

delts could be the problem. the shoulders seem to be weak. it’s somehow uncomfortable to do any kind of lifting for shoulders. my max is about ~65kg for 2 reps compared to 2-3reps 100kg normal/narrow grip bench. how much should the difference in that (shoulder/bench press) be?

come to think of it, my shoulder press is close to my skull crusher. it’s like 10-15kg difference. biceps even stronger. that body building routine i have been doing for a year got me all out of balance …

sticky point … there is no single sticky point. usually i’m able to add that little bit of motion from the lats in the beginning, then it goes up or it drops. each time a different part of the movement.

Bulgarian segment method - it’s some thing like “Tate method”

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=534922
(google and T-Nation serach show no results for “bulgarian segment method”…)

do you have access to machines that can isolate your delts? Military machine? possibly even a smith machine. just pull over a standup bench and put it there to get overhead pressing with the wobbling.

You do olympic lifts at all? cause you could even start jerking more often to help with the shoulder help. your chest sounds nice but make sure you come down a lil slow and a lil high. youll feel the tearing on the width of the chest.

Here the article on segments. Im not sure how similar it is to the Tate method but your page wouldnt load on my computer so i just tracked down the article i got the segments off of back when i used them.
http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1247464

oh, alright, thanks. the link does not work because of the “?” in the end … fixed now …

so, in theory, if i change from benching horizontal/incline with barbell to benching decline, with dumbbells, doing the segment method (totally different style) and adding some isolation front delt work should help progress right?

i have access to a smith machine. i just keep on reading how it is a peace of crap all the time…

i used to do jerk and press (up to 77kg for a few reps). used to do it as the first exercise for a throughout warm up and speed training. also to strengthen the lower back. i stopped doing those for some reason. must be all the “you will hurt your back” bull shit i heard every time. west side for SB has none of those either.

yes you should make progress…now smith machines are pieces of crap, i rarely use them, but since your working with a shoulder that gets a lil tickle now and then, it would be a little safer to keep that bar straight up and down and not floating free above your head. Just slap on a nice belt when hitting them heavy jerks you should be all gravy.

alright. i will, and i’ll post the result after a month if i can find this topic again.

good luck man and lift hard. You should break that plateau…got my fingers crossed.

Today was bench ME and wide grip is the same as narrow grip. my bench is ~100kg at any grip.

The wide grip gave me some shoulder instability tho, that was a bit scary, it felt like the arms were ready to detach from the shoulders… got 100kg for 2 reps. then tried narrow grip and shoulder still felt bad.

the lat drive felt dead. why could that be? not like i did any extra hard work on them… before the bench at least.

at the end of the workout (after ME bench, shoulders, and triceps, 3 rep max biceps …) i got so upset that i couldn’t narrow grip bench the 100kg that i went in and just shot the weight in the air! ha ha that was fun … but stupid i suppose. shoulders didn’t hurt tho.

maxed out a bit much all around today. is that very bad? getting my self extra 500-800kcal, that will fix it, right?

[quote]sabaz wrote:
Today was bench ME and wide grip is the same as narrow grip. my bench is ~100kg at any grip.

The wide grip gave me some shoulder instability tho, that was a bit scary, it felt like the arms were ready to detach from the shoulders… got 100kg for 2 reps. then tried narrow grip and shoulder still felt bad.

the lat drive felt dead. why could that be? not like i did any extra hard work on them… before the bench at least.

at the end of the workout (after ME bench, shoulders, and triceps, 3 rep max biceps …) i got so upset that i couldn’t narrow grip bench the 100kg that i went in and just shot the weight in the air! ha ha that was fun … but stupid i suppose. shoulders didn’t hurt tho.

maxed out a bit much all around today. is that very bad? getting my self extra 500-800kcal, that will fix it, right?[/quote]

Been doing any RE work on the bench? 10-15 for 3 or 4 sets? A short period of that (2-3 weeks) instead of DE work can help with shoulder stability and refresh/strengthen you for max efforts. If wide grip is a weakness, work wide grip on RE days. I’ve had to this myself recently.

Or switch to inclines or floor presses or something else that works the same set of muscles but a different way. Sounds like you’ve gone stale.

Also - can’t max every ME workout on the same movements - Something will break. Switch movements every few weeks and keep good records so you can pick up a movement where you left off when you come back to it. You’ll find that you’ll surpass old maxes when you come back to that movement.

i’m right out of 2 week RE.

i had the west side methods a bit mixed up. did the same main ME and different RE/DE exercises … been reading in their site today and whoa it turns out every thing is the other way round …

i’m forced to take a break in the end of the week for a few weeks, that will be a chance to get it all together the right way…

i thought there was some thing fishy in this training i was doing. every exercise that got forgotten for 2-3 weeks got improved (like jerk push) while the usual ones staled. god damn it…