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Bench Press Plateau

I have been training for around 2 years and it seems my bench press has just suddenly come to a complete stop. I have tried countless ways this includes doing varations such as close grip and OHP even floor pressing hasn’t had an impact. I have even put on 12lbs just to hopefully get 4lb on my bench. Don’t get me wrong the progress is slow as in the last 7 mounts my bench as come from 154 for a 1RM to 160 for 5RM.
I have just turned 17 and need a solution however I thing the only thing I need is time however I would like some tips that I could include. My weight is around 185 at 5"9 around 13-14% bf.

Try: Cluster training, high reps for a while OR a combo of high reps once a week & low reps once a week. Get your row numbers up, get strong as fuck on tri exts.

Texas method or madcow 5x5

Improve Technique: Post a formcheck and use targeted assistance work according to your technical weaknesses.

Put on more useful muscle so pretty much your whole upper body but probably more towards your triceps, front delts and pecs lel. I know you gained some weight but from your results you probably went about it sub optimally in some way.

Jump on a decent program.



What @khangles said, and also if you aren’t already bench more often. Maybe three times a week. Fit it in somewhere, something like three sets of five just to groove technique.

fuck knew I forget something.

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i strongly disagree with the notion that this should be addressed by fixing technical issues with his bench. programming should be super basic, and effective.

this kid is stuck at a 160 lbs 5rm on bench. that tells me there’s something seriously wrong here. I also think he’s waaaay underestimating his bodyfat, because there’s no way his bench would suck this much if all those numbers are accurate. A relatively lean 185, at 5’9, and struggling with 160 lbs bench? Don’t buy it.

Progress should be super easy at this stage of the game. Linear progress should still be possible. He shouldn’t need to bench more than 1 time a week. he shouldn’t need to implement sophisticated training methods.

My own thoughts boil down to a few things. one is that his diet may be absolutely terrible, and he’s not eating the right things to grow. Doesn’t matter how much you train, if you don’t get in sufficient macro/micronutrients (not just overall calories), you’ll get stuck.

Another thought is that either intensity or consistency is lacking. I remember a couple guys who I lifted with in college who never got past a 185 bench. I felt like they just didn’t have the mental capacity to push hard through reps, or lift with relative intensity. All their sets looked like, say, 7 easy reps and then a failed 8th rep, as the second they struggled on a rep they couldn’t push through.

Final thought is that perhaps he’s exaggerating the problem in the first place, given that he’s used to seeing fast progress.

OP, how often are you going to the gym, and what program are you running? how long have you been running this program? How long has your bench been COMPLETELY stalled. when was the last time you added weight to the bar? what rep ranges do you generally train in? what do you do for the rest of your upper body?


Concur. Especially as a 5’9 dude. At 17, those are crazy stats.

@jackt Do you always stick with the 5s as your rep range?

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Used to do the original 3x10 with just mass volume but I have decided I wanted some relative strength base so I do a 5x5 full body three times a week and just focusing on strength. When I say relatively lean I mean not a guy but just a bit fluffy in the mid section but still have abs not that defined that’s all. I didn’t even know my stats were anything brilliant if anything I thought they were just above average been training consistently for 2 years but only realised I been doing it wrong and not progressing probably.

Been running alpha destinys 5x5 for around 3 mouths making gains on squats and deadlifts but not bench. I eat like a horse must have at least 3600 Calories a day and training three times a week but the strength on OHP which I train 1 to 2 times a week and bench 2x per week one being close grip high volume and the other being paused bench press 5x5. The close grip I’m making slow gains as my tri’s were lacking but I’m confident that I will get through this plateau with just hard work and continue with the program it’s been my shoulders and tri’s that always lacked so by doing these varations it’s just a matter of time. I’m progressing on both OHP and CGB thanks for the help.


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Judge for your self was never really sure of my bf %

Post a video of your form if possible.

Hard to tell from one photo but I’d have you at least in the next bracket of bodyfat % and possibly even the one after that.

Anyway, I’m surprised that your close grip is progressing but not your bench. That would suggest a form issue. Do you arch your back aggressively?

I arch enough to where I my tight and have a good setup but I wouldn’t say a aggressive arch. I will do a form check for any tips I could improve on.

With your poverty bench there sure as hell is. Told you to post a formcheck two weeks ago ffs so pls from a couple of different angles with say 160-170ish lbs

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Maybe you could try fractional weights? Increase it by .5 lbs or 1 lbs at a time? Just a thought.

May I suggest that you might want to seek information from a more established and proven source and not a you tube guy.

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Form check here !

Did a 5x5 with 154lbs this is only my first set probably could of added 5lbs but this is a starting point and need some tips on my form. I live in the UK so the plates are in KGs. Felt more challenging than it looks.

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Hard too tell from the angle… But it looks like your wrist and elbows are not inline with one another when you touch. If that is the case your losing power from it.