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Bench Threshold


It seemed to be that i'm at a threshold in my bench press that i have difficulty passing. When i started out weight lifting, my max raised extremely quick to 195lb and it had been there for nearly a year. i've tried so many different methods yet i stil cannot get pass it. The closest i came to improving was when i started about with 3 reps of 165lb and got to being able to do 3x6 reps of 165lb. During that time, i took a break from benching and once i came back, i could barely bench a rep of 165lb. Just what is up with me?


Answer me this:

What do you squat? What do you deadlift? How much can you row?

These will likely answer your question.


My guess would be you're either overtraining or not eating enough, tough to say without knowing your training plan or nutrition.


Are you using any of the exercise or nutrition programs available to you through this site? Or do you weigh 90 lbs? Because 165 wouldn't be bad for a 90 pounder.


Bench press is over rated. Seriously

But you can try different things. Close grip presses, dips or weighted dips. Do more rows! Not cable rows either. Rowing will help stabilize and control your negative rep. blah blah

Try a progressive routine that will get you past your plateau. Start where you are 10-20 lbs off your max on your LAST set. Each workout strive to add either a rep on the last set OR 5 lbs. Yes the 2.5lbs are useful. Stick with it and with in a few months you'll see over two hundy!

The bench press is over rated.

I'm going to go squat now,
Kir Dog


How much do you weigh?
How long have you been training?
What methods have you been using?
How old are you?

If you need help we need to know more...


I weigh 155, i've been training for a year now, i've tried, 3x3, 5x5, and the 10x3 method, and im almost 18 years old.


So, how about those other exercises? How are they going? Also, what is your caloric intake like?


how much weight have you gained since your bench has stalled?

I'm betting you have not gained any...if you had put on a suitable amount of muscle mass your lift numbers would have gone up...


well, i've lost a lot of fat mass and gain some muscle size. I went from 160 something to what i am now eversince i started lifting so not much changes. As for caloric intake, i dont really keep track of those =/


so you lost weight and wonder why you haven't gotten stronger???



Since you're not answering anything about how much weight you can lift for other exercises, maybe it's safe to assume that you suck at them?

I'll tell you right now, your bench isn't going to go up until the rest of your body catches up. You sould be able to squat and deadlift substantially more than you can bench, and you should be rowing in the same neighborhood as your bench.

Make sure you eat enough protein, get enough rest, and incorporate ALL the big lifts into your program.


I think you're missing the point. How much can you deadlift and squat? Do you deadlift and squat?

Why focus solely on your performance in bench. Or is your performance in the squat and dead progressing far past your bench? I think you should evaluate why your bench means so much to you. Personally, my bench is shitty compared to my squat, dead, overhead press, snatch, clean, well you get the idea- but I have no real aspiration of being a strong bencher.

Anyway, if you evaluate and still decide bench is a weak point, do what you're not doing now. 'Cause that clearly ain't workin. Try increasing tricep strength via dips and close grip bench. Start doing face pulls for scapular retraction/depression. Do dumbell work.

Good luck.


First, get under a squat rack.

Second, read everything about Westside Barbell.

Third, put some food in your mouth.

If you can do those three things then you'll be well on your way. If not, your time would be better spent doing something else.

Good luck.


Sry, i've been missing some of the questions.

First off, bench press is not the only exercises i do. I'm an avid track and field jumper so squats, deadlifts, olympic lifts are common to me and they have been progressing rather finely. My squat is at 305, deadlift at 355, and power clean in the neighborhood for 140lb.

My basic upper body workout includes: shoulder movement, tricep, and lats. Since this question was asked, i military at a max of 105lb, tricep dumbell curl at 35lb each hand and 16 reps of chin ups are my max.

I'm practically well rounded but its just the bench press thats been holding me back. I've improved significantly in all the areas but bench pressing is the only part that's still stuck.


Okay, it seems to me that your bench is right on par with your squat and deadlift numbers, maybe not on the high end, but still seems reasonable.

I have three suggestions at this point:

(1) Work a lot on horizontal rowing
(2) Work your internal shoulder rotators - read "Achieving Structural Balance"
by Charles Poliquin
(3) Do your bench press powerlifter style. Search for the Dave Tate bench press article.


Your power clean seems a bit low to me with those squat and dead numbers. I'm going to agree with graphicsMan here and recommend you focus on rowing. It may seem like rowing is the exact opposite of what you want to improve but if you don't have a strong foundation to press off of, your bench will not improve.


IM beginning to think that too. But what are u guys referring to when u said rowing? Upright row? Seated Row?


Horizontal Rowing: any rowing exercise that targets the lats by moving the weight horizontally...

examples- bent over rows, seated cable rows, chest supported rows, etc.


Two things.

One, work the hell out of your military press. That seems to be more out of line with the rest of your lifts than your bench. The military press has been called "the squat of the upper body." I agree with that.

Two, what is a "tricep dumbell curl?"