T Nation

Bench Trouble


Right, quick background, i used to be one of these guys that would hammer their chest "from alll angles"... The volume in my training was unreal!
Right now i've just started shooting more towards powerlifting, i train less frequent and heavy as poss' with progressive loads.

My deadlifting is great, it progresses nicely each week, just wondering how much accessory work to do with my chest work? My bench doesn't increase quite like my other lifts, i'm sticking to say, 2.5/1.25 kg increases with two work sets after my light warm ups, the 2nd of which i drop the load by 10%.
At the moment alls i'm doing for chest is flat bench and weighted wide grip dips, is this too little? Just wondering what else i should throw in to help my benching?

I have figured that mechanically i'm a better puller than pusher -_- always have been.
Thanks in advance


2.5 kg a week is still good


For most the bench is the hardest lift to improve at - the gains are slower and more difficult to come by. If you're increasing slowly, but steadily, you're doing well.
As far as your program goes, I would try a few heavy singles once in a while - maybe once a month. Get used to handling big weights, do a few sets with a weight that you can single, but not quite your max. Unless you want to start following a complete powerlifting-style routine, that's a change I would recommend.


Accessories will depend on weak points. We're gonna need more specific info to help you. Stick points? Speed? Form? Does one arm lag? Etc. In general though, bench will never increase as quickly as other lifts. Almost everyone is slow to build it up. I wouldn't worry about it too much.

But if you really want to jack it up, realize that bench is not a "chest" movement. Treat it as a specific skill and train it that way, with specific movements to boost performance in areas that hold you back. Arch, get good leg drive, tuck your elbows, and learn to fire your triceps from the beginning. Then get bigger, because you can simply eat your way to a bigger bench. Try to pack most of that new meat onto your tris instead of focusing on pecs and I'll bet your numbers go up considerably.


@strenghstudent, i'm not entirely sure where my sticking point is, probably the first few inches from the bottom, i definately need more drive from my triceps.
I like what you said about seeing it as a skill as opposed to a chest exercise, that's really going to help i think.
As for speed, form and arm lagging, it's as follows... speed is roughly 3 seconds down, form's good, i'm coming right down to my chest and driving back up and finally, i do believe my left arm lags, mainly because of past delt issues that have seemingly stopped since i started adding rotary cuff exercises to my workouts.

thanks a lot anyway man


When your "off the chest" strength or speed sucks, look to your back movements. What are you doing in regards to upper back work?

Sounds like you could do well with some floor presses and / or dead benches.


A video would be nice. I have similar issues as you with arm-lagging, and a narrow grip pretty much takes care of it, FWIW.


I'll try and get a video, benched yesterday and went up to 90k for 5 pretty solid reps.
For my back i'm doing a lot of weighted chins, some rows and incline shrugs. Obviously going hard on the deadlifts too.
I've never tried floor presses