T Nation

Bench Stall

Over the last few months I have been doing this program http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/effective_training_for_busy_men_1

I usually add 5lbs to the main lift each time and do 3 sets of 5. I got my bench up to 195 then stalled twice at 200 and decided to reset to 185. It climbed back up to 195 and then I stalled again at 200. I am thinking I may need a different set/rep scheme, different progression, or perhaps more assistance exercises. I weight 175 and my other lifts are
Squat: 210x5
Deadlift: 285x5
Push Press: 125x5

Any thoughts?

In my opinion you don’t have enough volume and or your not inccluding enough assistance volume. If all your only doing is 3 I would reccomend adding a few more warm up sets before your working top sets.

Or after your top set reduce the weight by 20ish% and pop out a few sets around 10 reps or so to push some volume.


Do high volume program for a cycle then go back.
Assess your weakness if it’s your pecs, tri’s, or back then work on it.
Stick at it for 3 or more weeks, while eating more protein and possibly more food overall.
Do whatever you can to add in another day and make it bench

Thanks for the responses!

I generally do 4 warmup sets. It would usually be something like 45x5, 95x5, 135x5, 155x2. In terms of assistance exercises I usually include 3 sets of 10 on weighted dips and incline dumbbell press. I used to do the additional set of 10+ reps after the 3x5 but haven’t been lately, so I will add that back in today.

How do I assess my weaknesses?

I already eat pretty high protein (every meal lean protein or shake, 5+ meals every day), but will try adding additional food around training.

Dont be afraid of some extra fat in the protein sources such as ground beef man everytime I add a pound of ground red beef my strength and weight goes up quite a bit. How much protein and food honestly are you getting at 175lbs if your not atleast at 250g your not getting quite a bit.

I would up your warmups to atleast 6 sets BEFORE your top sets. 45x5 95x5 115x3 135x3 155x3 175x1-2 then try 190 or what ever the top weight is. Really work up to your work weight don’t go near failure but get a honest feel for what the weight is going to feel like in your hands so your mentally ready to go.

I fluctuate between 175 and 182 - I compete in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at 170 or 175 depending on the tournament, so I am not trying to put on any weight, only strength. I consume on average 40-50g per meal, and I have at least 5 meals a day plus pre/post workout protein shake. I will add a bit more fat on workout days, little more oil, butter, and a little less lean meat.

I will add more warmup sets to get a better sense of the weight and get my focus down. I’m heading to the gym now and going to shoot for 180 and work back up from there.

Good luck kill it man.

Your squat is quite low compared to your bench. Maybe you should work some other lifts.

Got 180 no problem, and did more assistance, so I am confident I will push through the stall this time. Thanks again for all the responses.

My squat is low because I have been working really hard on perfecting the technique. For a long time I did it with incorrect technique and too high of a bar position, so I have been working with the starting strength descriptions and making sure every rep is solid. I am finally understanding the concept of pushing out with the knees rather than pressing down against the floor and everything is finally clicking. Got 215x5 today with no problem, probably could have gotten 8 on the last set if I wanted to push it to the wall, but I had BJJ training afterwards so kept a few reps back. I do understand that my bench is relatively high, so I will try to get the numbers more in line in the coming months.