T Nation

Bench Press Not Improving


I’m now towards the end of my fourth cycle and have increased my calculated 1RM Deadlift, Squat and Shoulder press by 10-15%, a result I am very happy with and I had never expected! My bench on the other hand has only increased by 1-2%.

I’m 33, been training mostly bodybuilding style training for around 10 years now and had completely plateaud in the bench before starting 531, which is why I started. My bench has always been below average compared to the other main lifts.

Up to Cycle 4 I had been doing basic 5/3/1 as described here: How to build pure strength. Since Cycle 4 I have incorporated joker sets.

Should I just remain patient with the bench press and it will increase by itself or are there better way to push through a plateau?


It’s improving. 10-15% over this time is ridiculous. So ride the wave and remember you are not a beginner so any time you improve the better.

And jokers are not the answer. A proper plan and my basic fitness standards, both addressed on Tnation forum, are essential.