T Nation

BENCH PRESS

I’d like your valued opinions on this, T-dudes and gals. My BP sucks big time! My max is 170 lbs. I’m doing a 5,4,3,2,1 scheme with some assistance exercises added like JM presses, dips, and cuban presses. But, my 1RM in the DL (deadlift) is 300 lbs. I’m 29, 5’9 @158 lbs. I train the Bench and DL two days a week. I also do speed work for bench and box squats on 1 day.

Get Pavel’s book “Power to the People” and follow the strength routine. You’ll kill those numbers in a few weeks.

So Joel, how are his strength routines while dieting?

if you are concerned with strength, read dave tate’s articles re increasing your bench.

maybe you should bench one day a week

I am with wiNO on this one. IMO, this is a perfect ex. of OVERTRAINING. If you are using that kind of rep scheme (a rep scheme for strength) and not seeing any increase in poundages (strength), that’s your muscles trying to say something to you. Shit, the PRO’s don’t even work chest 2x per week (well, maybe every 5th day). Unless of course, you are currently following an HIT routine…but I doubt it! Remember, growth occurs during RECOVERY! I suggest 1g of sauce a wk OR hitting chest ONCE a week. The latter being the safest and healthiest!

I don’t think it’s necessarily bad that someone benches two or even three times a week. It just depends on how you train and how you split up your volume. But if you do a 5,4,3,2,1 rep scheme twice a week, you probably will overtrain, especially since you’re working up to a heavy single twice a week. Deadlifting heavy twice a week probably isn’t a good idea either. Try taking a week off from benching, then go with one heavy day and one light (speed) day, and use a different rep scheme for your heavy day (3-5 sets of 5, for example).

What has generally worked well for me is taking a lay-off from the flat bench for about 3 weeks. It may be a maddening feeling, thinking that your going to atrophy and your bench will go down, but everytime I’ve done so (After benching really hard) my bench has gone up a lot (Relative to where it was). Proper nutrition and creatine has also helped me progress on the bench. I’ve had the most success with a 3x4-5 on the flat bench, followed with a 2x6 incline db, and 1x4-6 dips, done once a week. Its your choice whether to take a break, but if you don’t take a break, it may be time to change your routine. How long have you been doing the 5,4,3,2,1? If its over 4 weeks, maybe its time for a change. If you lay off the bench you good really focus on strengthing your assisting muscles (delts, lats, triceps). You may also want to examine your sticking point if you tried 175. Good luck.

No need to use advance concepts such as speed bench at your level of strength and development. Save that stuff until you actually need it …Right now all it’s doing is causing you to overtrain and overstress your nervous system. Also be wary of your volume in the squat and deadlift…2 days of deadlift + 1 day of box squats?? That can be very draining. If bench press specialization is your priority I would cut both squat and deadlift to one day a week probably on the same day and than have 2 upper body days. Your bench press scheme sounds fine as it is but if anything you’re probably training too heavy (like most beginners)…never miss a rep and never attempt a rep you can’t complete on your own. How many really really strong guys in the gym have you ever seen that utilize forced reps? Probably none. Yet what’s the first thing newbies do when they want to increase their bench press?
Also consider de-emphasizing the negative portion of each rep during the bench press and auxiliary lifts. Train explosively concentrically. Negatives are great for size but emphasizing them too much will cause a fiber shift and actually cause you to get bigger while at the same time getting weaker. Sorry for all the rambling!!!

I’m 5’9 160# my 1rm on fb is 300#,my working weight is 230# for 8 reps.I was stuck at 250# for along time on my 1rm,this is what I did. for 1 month I did db inclines with all I could handle for 8 reps,then added 5#and did 7reps and so on till I was down to 1rep(I think I started 65# for 8). then done the same on barbell fb. one day a week is all you need to do chest when doing this,these two are all you need to do for chest for a month. it really tears the chest down.you will like the added size and the pump is great,only for a month then try a 1rm you’ll be blown away.

thanks T-dawgs! To tell you the truth, I don’t feel I am being overtrained and I am no newbie either. I haven’t experienced a stall in gains, (in fact I started at a mere 130 estimated 1RM) but (like many of us are wont to do) I sought your opinions on finding other means of speeding up the rate. As of late, I am nearing four weeks on this training and am meaning to minimize the volume on this work as the 4th week draws near. Also, I am not doing any forced reps; all my reps are done not to the point of near exhaustion (or as Pavel calls it–“on the nerve”) nor am I a HIT Jedi. I just found it weird how imbalanced I am as to my strength ratios (bench and deadlift). All things said, I appreciate all your input. All of which shall be considered and added to my knowledge. Thanks too stingray for sharing your workout scheme. It sounds very interesting; I may just have to try that one out, bro.

Man, I love this forum. :slight_smile: