T Nation

Bench Strength Decreasing for No Reason


Hi guys, new poster but been a long term lurker till this problem.

I was hoping you guys could help me find why my bench is decreasing so much

Been training for about 15 months now and managed to get my bench up to 77kg and it felt pretty easy, was so keen that I decided to go for 79 the next time. Ever since then my bench has been decreasing and now I'm having problems benching 72.
I thought it could have been overtraining as I'd never had a full week off but went on holiday the next week so had my week off with no effect. This leaves me wondering what could be doing this?

I currently weigh ~68 am 16 and am about 5 9, my other lifts are increasing at quite a good rate


This is just my observation. You did not go into much detail about your training. I would assume though that you kinda just go into the gym lift weights. At this point in training you need to get on a decent program. I have been lifting for about 2 years. I am a year older then you, and around the same time I personally notice that some lifters where not progressing at all. This is my experience. I could be very wrong. Alot of people recommend doing starter strength. I personally picked up wendler's 5/3/1, since I did a some research into decent assistant movements in area's I was lacking, and my strength has improved tremandousley. This is only my experience, and my lifting career is short, so any other advice you get would be more valuable then mine. Good luck to you man, and happy lifting.


I second getting on a basic simple but proven program.

Also make sure you're form is good. It's as important or more important than the program. That doesn't mean going by what you 'feel' is good and how it looks in the mirror. That means having an experienced coach and/or lifter analyzing your form. An alternative would be posting a video of your form on these forums. I even go as far as recording my sets and checking them between sets to make sure I'm on the right track. If you want to know the best angles feel free to ask.

Also, make sure you're eating right. There was an article about training younger less experienced lifters that had some real good eating tips that I think would probably be applicable to you.


Thankyou for the replies guys, and sorry for the lack of info

I usually warm up with about 10 reps at 40 then go for 10 reps at 60, before starting properly I'll (usually) do 5 reps at 72, 2 reps at 75 and 1 at 77.

I've just started sixth form (if you don't live in Britain its kinda like another school when you've finished the main one) and I usually have a fruit smoothie with 3/4 litre of milk for lunch I'll have a sandwich and crisps plus pepsi. I have a solid tea which usually varies and have a pizza and more milk before bed. Whenever finishing a workout I'll have milk (again lol) with cereal and syrup.

Hope this helps


overtraining is a very long process and as long as you dont overly stress yourself for prolonged periods of time you probably dont need to worry about that. maybe take a day or two off to let your muscles recover and really hit that supercompensation.

you might not be eating enough. at 68kgs you should be getting around 2500-3500calories per day and at least 70g of protein.


get on a proven training template like 5/3/1


Stop worrying about maxing. Keep building your rep strength.


He doesn't mean 70 grams of protein, he really means 150 grams


Officially just failed at 72 now, used to be able to do 5 at this, might just commit suicide


This. And pretty much everything else that has been said.

Make sure to pick very conservative training maxes and build up slowly. At your age especially, it would be a good idea to avoid training to failure on the big compound lifts. Even many of the older, more experienced guys will go as far as to religiously avoid training to failure.




Gain weight and train some assistance lifts.


How about just starting over? You've trained consistently for 15 months. It's hard to continue progressing for that long. Repeat your cycle with a new REALISITIC goal. Maybe instead of 15 months you chop it up to 4-5 months. Shoot for a 5% increase every cycle.


Hey Doxol I understand your concern. Losing strength anywhere sucks. I am not a expert by any means so do with my advice as you wish. But if I were in your shoes I would take a look at my diet and make sure that I am getting 2-4 gram of protein per lb of body mass, along with the supporting good carbs. Also I have cut out alcohol, " My body recovers faster when I don't drink "

Next I would make sure that I am getting adiquate sleep to allow my body to recover.
Then If after checking these and my training and I was still having problems, I would go talk to my doctor and have him check my Testosterone level. "Maybe somethings crashing it."
I hope any of this might help.


I'm pretty green myself but my two cents would b to not stress something like this too much. You got decades man. Just chill out on the maxing. Maybe test it every few weeks but focus more on putting on some mass and doing a lot of assistance excercises. Basically what everyone else is saying.


Perhaps the "Honeymoon" aka beginner gains are over? Welcome to the working your ass off for 5 more pounds., 10 more pounds etc. just keep at it with a reputable program and STICK TO IT. that in and of itself will carry you further than a program hopper. Your issue may be as simple as you've now progressed further than your training scheme is good for.


You're doing the same thing I did and a lot of beginners do.....YOURE LIFTING TOO HEAVY!!

I always ramped up in weight and down in reps for a long time, and went no where and was frustrated

Your first assignment is to lift 60kg as many times as possible in one set, this will be the heaviest set for that day, then do 50-75 reps of assistance

This is basically like the beginning of 5/3/1


Lot of good posts here, figured Id add one thing that hasnt been mentioned yet.

Its possible (and Id even say likely) that you arent actually really losing any strength. Your gonna have bad days. Youre talking about failing with 95ish percent of your max, theres plenty of days when 95% of my max is not in the cards. For me personally on bench, about 90% of my max is the most I can guarantee Ill be able to get on any given day.

So, look over the advice offered in this thread, look over some programs, and move forward, dont get down about this, its completely normal.