T Nation

Bench Press Questions


#1

male
16
165lbs
5'11
been at gym for a little less then 3 months
i do two upper body and two lower body sessions a week with a break day in between
my upper body sessions are (im guessing lower body wouldnt affect this):

bench press 5x5 first two sets are warm up 150lbs
nuetral chin ups 5x5 15lbs plus bw

ohp 5x5 105lbs
bent over row 5x5 160lbs

dips with tricep focus 3x5 (5 reps if i got this messed up on order)45lbs pls bw
bb bicep curl 3x5 75lbs

i super set the pairs of exercises and have 1 minute rest after i do one round (2min on bench press/chin)
all the weights listed are the weights i can do for 5 reps of 3 sets

diet:
3 sunny side up eggs and two pieces of toast 2 glasses of milk
a sandwitch worth 33 grams of protein 2 glasses of milk
tuna sandwitch worth 46 grams of protien 2 glasses of milk
dinner is random depends of dad but usually around 40-80 grams of protien 2 glasses of milk
beef jerky worth 20 grams of protien

question: ive been totally stalled on that bench press weight for 3 weeks
infact all my presing exercises have stalled. only my pulling exercises have been moving up. i have fairly long arms and ive been using dave tates videos on technique. requardless, the weights not moving. i can barley do 3 reps on 155 for one set.
anyway to break through this?


#2

Not enough protein and not enough carbs overall not enough calories. You're 165lbs and 5'11". Start eating at least of those two meals double the amount now. Such as your breakfast, double that and double the tuna sandwhich. Don't eat beef jerky when you go to bed. Better sources of protein with less salt.

Breakfast- 4-6 eggs, 2 toast, 5 turkey bacon, and 1 package of oatmeal
Snack- 50g of Whey protein shake with oats
Lunch- 2 x Tuna sandwhich with veggies on side
Snack- Mixed nuts with cottage cheese
Dinner- What dad makes
Snack- Bowl of oatmeal (2 servings) w/ frozen fruit

Just a example of one on how to add extra calories to your daily meal. When you REALLY feel like you've ate a lot during the day and wake up with a full feeling before breakfast but still can eat breakfast you're doing it right.

This is just my opinion that has been working for me for the past 3 weeks. I'm not a huge guy by any means so take my advice however you like.

Also, those exercies you have listed you do all of those in your upper body workout?


#3

Given your only 3 months into the training, id be tempted to reduce the workload of pressing, if your finding that your not progressing OR a better stradegy would be to lower the weight an start lighter than what you have been doing. Its a matter of taking 1 step back then 2 steps forward.

Perhaps learning how to bench properly would help:
Watch this series from Dave Tate on bench pressing and then see how your bench press goes.


the other clips in the series are easy to find, there are 7 in total
hope this helps


#4

maybe more work here?? usually 5x5 based programs have exercises for smaller parts in 3x8-10 mode.

And add more,more food...


#5

im 16 165lbs 5 foot 11 with the same issue at times
i do a different routine with 4 sets of 6-12 reps on each muscle group of a 4 day routine, so chest/triceps, back/biceps, shoulders, legs/abs
pretty much same lifting with me doing higher reps as well
eating more is starting to progress my lifts

i used to only hit up around 1500-2000 calories per day, im now hitting up 3000 calories per day and gonna aim to keep pushing myself over these holidays
its hard giving advice from one 16 yr old to another especially with similiar stats but ive grown around 22lbs in weight over a year and increased my lifts ALOT. I'd say just eat more, keep ur protein intake up with decent foods and try lifting more on a regular basis


#6

I personal don't think more is the answer here, the guys only been training 3 months, as it is he has 13 sets made up of big compound upper body pressing, this is definatly sufficent and im almost certain the answer to the OPs problems are not from lacking pressing volume.

At this stage id make sure my technique was solid, the series on bench pressing should certainly help there. And id probably drop the weight down a bit and then work up from there. I know your ego may take a dent, but after only training 3 months it can't really take too much of a hit. Drop the weight by 10% and then work up from there.

Though SWAD1987 did give you good advice in which you should eat and eat. You stalling 3 months into training shouldnt happen if your diet is sufficent, so make sure you keep eating (good food).


#7

How much are you sleeping?


#8

i get about 6-7 hours of sleep a night
@fuzzyapple ya i do those every upper body day
it seems like i need to increase my food intake alot and scale back the weight a bit correct?


#9

Increase food keep up using heavy weight in a SAFE way.


#10

yea definatly increase your food intake and if you can perhaps get 7-8 hours sleep, though i dont know how busy your lifestyle is so just do what you can.
As for the weight here's and example:
If you were using 85% say for your 5x5 perhaps drop it to 75-80% and then work up from there, that way you'll continue to make gains for longer before you stall again. On your last set of 5 i would try and push out as many reps as possible (if you can) for each exercise. This doesn't mean forced reps though!

So say as an example: 5x100lbs
5x100lbs
5x100lbs
5x100lbs
7x100lbs

Make sure each week your adding 5lbs to all your upper body pressing and pulling moves and you shall progress. For the first few weeks getting the 5x5 should be easy, then once you find a weight that has you say 5x4, 5x3, 5x3, 5x2, 5x2 or something that means you didnt really get all the reps, stick with that weight for 1 or 2 weeks until you get it all out. With a good diet of lots of healthy food, you should progress continually for the following few months.