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Bench Stalls, Other Presses Go Up, WTF

I’m a 210 pound 6’2 tall weakling but during the last past half year I have been getting stronger. But now the mother of all egoistic lifts, the bench, has stalled on me.

My current lifts (up since August):
Bench 105x3 (85x5)
Squat 145x5 (120x5)
Front squat 105x5 (90x3)
Military 70x4 (50x5)
Dead’s 160x5 (140x5)

These are kilos, multiply by 2.2 for pound if needed.

Every thing else is still going up steady, including incline bench 85x8 at the moment and close grip bench 90x10 at the moment. But my regular bench has been stalling for 4 weeks now. I always get the 3 reps but the 3rd rep is always extremely heavy and near failure. I got 100x5 ok and the minimum increase is 5kg at my gym.

I had great progression on Madcow’s 5x5 but it killed my lower back after 3 months and now I’m going a W4SB style program with front squats and romanian dead’s (I can only train 3 days a week at the moment):

Day 1
Bench warm up and ME 1 x (3 to 5 reps)
Incline bench 4 x (4 to 8)
ROW 4 x (6 to 10 reps)
BICEPS EZ bar curl 4 x (6 to 10 reps)
Seated DB clean 3 x (12 to 15)

Day 2
Front Squat warm up and ME 1 x (3 to 5 reps)
Hack squat 3 x (6 to 10 reps)
Romanian dead’s 3 x (6 to 10 reps)
Standing calf raises 4 x (12 to 20 reps)
ABS heavy

Day 3
CGBP warm up and ME 1 x (3 to 5 reps)
Military 4 x (4 to 8 reps)
Tate press 3 x (8 to 12 reps)
Chins 4 x (4 to 8 reps)
Pull down 4 x (8 to 12 reps)

Eating plenty of calories (some days maybe waaay too much) and get about 200g of protein per day.

My goal is to become stronger. Size comes with strength.

Tips and suggestions on how to get back on the progression train to stronger are welcome.

do more flat pressing, if u only have one ME set, why not add in a few more sets of 3-5, maybe even singles


Your Bench has gone up 45 pounds since August!

You think you’ve hit a plateau just because the last few reps have been slow the past 4 weeks?

I say you’re fine, and all your other presses may just be catching up to your Bench Press. Generally speaking, when your Incline Press and Close-Grip Bench Press start to become more than 90% of your Bench Press, then you might have room to argue that other presses are moving up but your Bench is not.

If you can only train 3 days a week, I HIGHLY recommend you check out Jim Wendler’s eBook “Training 3 days a week.” It’s at www.EliteFTS.com

And if you don’t check that out, keep in mind that just because you can only train 3 days a week does NOT mean you are forced to follow a template with just 3 different days. You could follow the normal WS4SB and do this…

Mon - ME Upper
Wed - ME Lower
Fri - RE Upper

Mon - DE Lower
Wed - ME Upper
Fri - ME Lower

Mon - RE Upper
Wed - DE Lower
Fri - ME Upper

Mon - ME Lower
Wed - RE Upper
Fri - DE Lower

Or you could do this with Macdow’s 5X5. Maybe that would solve your lower back troubles. Or you could just start foam rolling. That might be all you need to take care of it.

Honestly, if I was using a program as effective for me as 5X5 has been for you so far, I would just stick to it and try to figure out a way to fix the lower back thing - replacing Deadlifts with Front Squats, Foam Rolling, Ice, different stretching routine, a different warm-up, whatever.

Unless you just want change for the sake of change, which makes sense.

[quote]FightingScott wrote:

Your Bench has gone up 45 pounds since August!

You think you’ve hit a plateau just because the last few reps have been slow the past 4 weeks?

And I’m very happy with that 45 pound, but I guess my vision has become blurry due to the fact that I’m stalling at the moment.

I got 100kg for 5 on close grips today, so that is more that 95% of my regular bench at the moment. I think that might be because I’ve been grinding regular bench since August with only 2 deloads and close grip for 3 weeks now.

Checked out Jim’s book, he has great stuff on EliteFTS and youtube. Great advise from a guy that is strong as hell. I saw the “Boring but Big” template in his book and immediately thought I got to try this one! Very simple and utilizes the 5/3/1 wave form that I’ve never done before, but the warm ups leading to the top sets are 5x5 like so I already know how to do those so that I don’t wear my self out for the top sets.

Did and still do foam rolling, also saw a physical therapist and had lay off all lower body work for 3 weeks to get my back well enough for even military presses and bench. So I’m not going to risk it again this year now that I’m working lower body again. Will how ever try 5x5 again next spring when I have more time for recovery on my hands.

Thanks for the greats tips on Jim’s book and smacking me for not realizing that I have made great progress and stalling for a few weeks isn’t a surprise.