T Nation

Benching 400 Is Easy


I'm starting this because of another thread where people were saying that 400 benches were common and that anyone can hit it......right.......SO I'm going to ask all of you who here benches 400 RAW??? If you do say how long it took you to hit it, what training enviroment you workout in, and if you compete in anything, play sports, or ever did, I'll start.

I hit 405 touch and go 2 weeks ago for first time ever, took me like 7 years to get it and it took me 2 years to move from 365 to 405...I go through periods of really stagnet training due to not setting goals or being focused in the gym because I'm busy elsewhere.

In these years I have SEEN in person two other people hit this number, I've seen a decent number of people hit 315, but almost all of them were athletes, and I only know 2 who can do it who don't compete in anything, I've lifted in 3 different university gyms the past 5 years, and two ymcas, before that at a no name gym and my parents house.

I played basketball in HS over 5 years ago, and this year I did two amateur strongman comps.


Benching 400 isnt easy, that was just said to put someone in thier place.

However, its easier than alot of people think.

I cant bench 405 but I think I will soon and I have been lifting for about 2.25 years.


How much do you weigh? There are people whose focus is only size and strength. So they will gain weight to make it easier. If you played basketball I'm assuming your not huge so of course its going to be more difficult for you to bench 405. Contrary to popular belief weight is a HUGE factor in strength.


Very True, When I gain weight so does my bench.


I don't think anyone thinks it's easy, but it IS attainable by most everyone if they put in the time and effort.

Maybe 400 is getting towards the high end of what anyone can do, but I truly believe every healthy adult male has the ability to bench in the mid- to high-300's with some consistent training.


I'd say 3 wheels is doable for most people with training over time, but 4 wheels isn't from my own observations. I know a few guys who have been training for over 10 years, and can bench a little over 300, and haven't been able to break that mark for a very long time. In contrast I've only ever seen one guy bench 405 for negatives and I've been in 4 university gyms, 3 of which had football programs.


This is true, I never would have hit it while staying under 200 lbs, I sat at 190 for a long time just because I liked they way I looked at that weight, (good abs), but I'm about 215 now and plan on eventually going up to 230.

Regardless of weight though I still think 400 is hard to get.


I did 425 as a high school senior. I was 17 and 235.

I got up over 500 during college.

I never really specialized in benching, I was just kinda good at it (and all pressing movements - inclines, push press, jerks)

But, I'll say this. I set the school's record. After I left a bunch of guys hit 300 and talked shit about breakin my record. None of them got past 315. The road from 3 to 4 is a long one...from 4 to 5, even longer...and so on.


JOe, i think you misinterpreted some of the posts in the other thread, the 400 benches mentioned there were almost all for lineman, most of whom weighed 250+, 400 is around 1.5x BW for them, just about ANYONE with 5+ years traing experierence should be able to bench 1.5X BW, now if you train to get abs and stay under 200 BW a 400 isn't anywhere near as easy as you won't have the muscle or bobyweight to do it, in that case your 1.5x bench will be in the low 300's.

A lot of people's perceptions of how hard something is comes from where they train, I used to train at a very good gym where there were several competitive powerlifters and at least 5-6 national level bodybuilders, I would say at least 20 people there benched over 400 raw and 5 or 6 could pull 700 with just a belt.

Recently I've been training at a 24 hr fitness due to work and haven't seen anyone try over 225 on bench and haven't saw anyone other than myself try to bench.


I weigh 210 and put up 405 about 8 months ago. I used wrist wraps, and did a touch and go press. I did not arch my back.

It was really weird, I was stuck around 315 for a while and then i started incorporating a lot of squat, DLs, and clean and presses in almost every single one of my workouts. It was remarkable to see that just by upping my overall muscle strength, not just in my back, but in my legs and core as well, that i could put up almost another 100 lbs on bench about 2 months after i started.

During high school i played lacrosse and football, in college i played rugby and dabbled in mma.


I can think of 4 guys I train with off the top off my head who've done it. 2 90kg'ers (198lb), a 100kg masters lifter (220lb) and a 125kg guy (275lb).

I train in a powerlifting gym so it's not as uncommon as it would be in most places. I also train in a public gym and I know of only one or 2 guys who do it there.

Achievable definately, common, definately not.


I manage a hardcore PL gym. We have plenty of guys who bench over 405 raw. I hit my first 405 at 181 back about 5 years ago. I think your training focus and atmosphere play a huge part in hitting big numbers. You won't see alot of 300+ benches at your local YMCA or rec center.


I think you hit the nail on the head antman, I've always had a good training atmosphere, but have had to switch training crews several times due to schedule changes at work, it always seem that when I'm with the crew that has a big DL'r my dead jumps dramatically, and the same for the other lifts. A think a majority of it is how you view the weight.


It took me 4 years. I got 315 when i turned 16 and didn't hit 405 until 19.


Anyone replying to this thread is likely to have biased views in my opinion since you all bench over 400.

Whether you realize it or not you are the exception, not the rule, and if you are lifting in a "hardcore" gym, or play football, or something along those lines, then of course you're going to see it more b/c people who are already strong or have a desire, or some potential to be strong, will gravitate or be led to that type of atmosphere - the average gym goer isn't going to be.


thats why you shouldnt be average.


So I think everyone agrees its not easy but is doable. However, I think that its not doable without smart training and diet. For example people at my gym-24 hour fitness- train like idiots and I'm pretty sure will never hit a 405 bench.

So its possible but only with good training and diet imo. -I still haven't got it but only been training for year-


I'm not average, but most people are average since that's what being average is, and most people don't bench 400, so it isn't common.


I wasn't saying you were average, but the reason people like myself and others on this forum CAN bench over 400 is because we strive to not be average in the gym. I bust my ass day in and day out, every choice I make affects my lifts (eating, sleeping, etc). What I do is a hobby, not a way of life.

If you truly want to bench over 400 you can, you just have to get yourself in the right mind set and strive to not be average.


It stuns me to hear that people at 17 can bench over 350lb, at school in Britain we dont do much weight training(at least in my school). Makes me wonter if school equipment are in kg :). Never mind 400, my goal is 315 and I've been training about 7 years. Kinda humbling hearing about school/college people lifting so much.