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Bench Question


So I am in the gym today and decide I want to shock my chest a little. I do my normal set of 205 lbs for reps, then tried something new.

I added five pounds, then did another rep, added five more, and did another, up until I reached 250.

Now seeing as how I was only doing one rep, but increasing the weight for each rep, was there any merit to this, other than my own personal satisfaction? Would this actually increase my strength? Or was I just kidding myself, and wasting time? Any thoughts guys?


Over the short term, I think it will help you determine how strong you already are on bench, but it will not neccessarily make you stronger. If you keep doing it and trying to add a little more weight each workout, you would become more used to heavier singles and realize more of your "existing strength." I think you might plateau out pretty quick, maybe four weeks or so.

That is what has happened to me when I have tried it. I periodically do similar workouts of triples or fives, adding weight each set to see where I am, but trying to do the same number of reps each set. I like to think I am pushing the envelope when I am in a rut, like right now with shoulder problems.


What you are really doing is finding your 1 RM. Right? You keep doing 1 rep, and adding weight till you can't do any more? It is a good test, but I wouldn't do it as part of a workout. It is a good way to test your strength. Do it periodically to measure your gains.

FWIW it does give you a good feeling knowing you can move that much weight.



You might want to check out CW's Singles Club as a means to incorporate this style of training for strength & hypertrophy.

It's not exactly like what you are doing, but it incorporates the 1 rep set concept.
old dogg


What you're doing is working up to a 1RM. For bodybuilding, this isn't very helpful, but if you're looking to increase strength then there's nothing better. Personally, I work up to a 1RM on a bench exercise once a week, rotating exercises every two weeks so as not to plateau. This is also what Westside Barbell does, and the results speak for themself.


This seems like a great thing to incorporate maybe once or twice a month in the overall chest routine.

I like the concept, plus it's good to do a mix up.

How did the chest feel day 1 and 2 after this?


Actually from a power standpoint it did very little for you.
What would be better would be this.
Do the 205 for say 5 reps, the add say 30 lbs and go for 5. If you make this add say another 30 lbs. Now if you can barely get the 5th rep decrease for next set by 20lbs, then 1 last set for 5 reps again decreased by 20 lbs. The intensity to the muscles is great. We do this for bench and squat and it brings about some of our best gains.
Remember pain is just weakness leaving the body.


Well, I have no soreness today, but I tend to normally feel it the second day for some reason.

I wasn't really looking for my one rep max, more like just trying something new.

I didn't really stop between reps, (Other than to add the plates, though of course there is a few seconds of recovery time there), I just didn't know if there was any merit to the exercise.


Plopped down under the bench today, starting with 225. Pushed out five reps. Couldn't do that last week. Maybe its mental, but I know for a fact last week I couldn't do it.....