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Bench Strength is Troubling Me

Hi,
I’ve been working out consistently for about six months and I’ve put on about 20lbs. I’m 5’9" and 160lbs which isn’t by any means good (mostly because of an inconsistent diet combined with a fast metabolism at 19 years old) but I’m gradually getting stronger and bigger. I usually do a full body workout 3x a week but I change it up every once in a while based on my own instincts and daily schedule.

Something that’s been troubling me lately is my bench press strength. I usually work with low reps and high weight and took my bench from about 150lbs to 215. My past few weeks worth of workouts however I haven’t simply plateaued but weakened by about 10lbs on my max, which is very frustrating. Is fluctuating in strength like this a normal part of training and is the best solution is to not worry about it and simply keep working as hard as I can at it each work out? Or is it a sign I need to maybe stop benching for a while or in some other way improve my recovery?

For comparison I can dip + 25lbs for a good full range 12 reps and I can 8 rep a pair of 75lb dumbbells, and I do these exercises much less frequently than the standard barbell bench. Thanks in advance for advice.

[quote]rhet wrote:
Hi,
I’ve been working out consistently for about six months and I’ve put on about 20lbs. I’m 5’9" and 160lbs […]at 19 years old […] I change it up every once in a while based on my own instincts […].[/quote]

To be honest, that doesn’t sound very good.

How are your other lifts progressing ? Did you lose strength on your Squat and/or Deadlift ?

What about changes in your bodyweight ?

Your strength should fluctuate a bit, thats not that unusual.

Ive seen guys get hyped up like they are on crack and hit amazing lifts that they couldn’t do a week later to save their lives.

But it sounds more like your burning out.

Perhaps it has something to do with your recovery methods.

Hows your protein intake, what is your pre and post workout shake/meal ? do you do any other physical activities, what does the rest of your routine look like ? How much sleep do you get and how regular is the rchedule, in other words do you go to sleep at the same time every night.

For a while I was being a total jack fuck and was training chest till failure 2 times a week.

I was incredibly frustrated with my back development rapidly out pacing my chest and my impatience was rewarded by a loss in strength, the very opposite of what I was trying to accomplish.

Over training is basically working too hard, and I don’t think thats the problem here, it sounds like your recovery methods are off.

I’ve been on a cutting diet the last week and a half where I’m consuming 1000-1300 calories under my daily energy requirement as well as cardio and lifting everyday.
My strength has gone down a little bit during this time while I’ve lost 7 lbs.
Diet can be a major factor, I’ve experienced it firsthand.
I’m looking forward to adding 1500-1700 calories again next week after I go off the cutting diet.
I’ve already got my menu planned out and I won’t be surprised if my strength gains take off again.

I remember getting past 275 was something I never thought I would do I started concentrating on my back and shoulders as well as bench and also several excersises to strengthen my rotator cuff.

Once my shoulder was strengthened and my back got stronger so did my bench press. I have benched 385 so far . Look at your supporting structures around your shoulders and your back those can help bench alot IMO

hmmm ur doing full body workouts… not best way to increase big three silly

If your bench regressed 10lb, I would say that you might be overtraining. Are you using simple linear progression or periodization?

How is your form? going from 150lbs-215lbs in 6 months @160lbs body weight is pretty impressive.

I am guessing 215lb is your one rep max?

if your form is good(ie touching your chest, none of the 1/2 bullshit range of motion) then maybe you just need to switch it up a little bit. What i do when my bench has stalled is that i like to hit the negative, hard. Basically using either DB’s or BB’s, when you bring the weight down to your chest go slow, very slow, like 3 seconds then when it touches your chest explode up, that’s one rep. You will have to use less weight, but it will give you a crazy burn and you will be more sore then you have been in quite sometime, but it you do that for 3-4 weeks, i bet it will break your plateau.

But first, make sure your form is correct