T Nation

BenchPress Blues

In the past few months I’ve just recently gotten serious again about lifting and since starting my bench skyrocketed up about 50%, dropped back a bit then stagnated for the last four or five weeks without budging. My other lifts deadlifts, squats etc are still making consistant progress.

First of all my chest seems to grow a fair bit quick then everything else and is always the first thing to pack on some muscle. Which got me to thinking that maybe its some sort of muscle imbalance holding me back (i won’t pretend to know what i’m talking about here). Are there any checks I can perform to see if this is the case? different strength ratios i should have etc…

Secondly, i know its probably hard to offer advise with the above limited information but is there anything else someone can suggest that might help. I’ve had a read through some benching articles i’m just not sure where to start, or even if they really apply here.

Lastly, am I over analysing things too much? should I quit my whinging, get back to lifting and everything else will work itself out in time.

a few months ago, after breaking pr after pr on the benchpress it stagnated with me for like 5 weeks.
Benchpressing became a whole lot less fun, so i traded the benchpress for the dumbell press were I’m making good progress with now. I can DB press more than i could bench press when i switched, so i guess my bench will have gone up by now.

so try switching to DB press for a few weeks.

Your right its much less fun when you lift the same weight every week, but thanks i’ll give it a go.

Try close grip for a while to build your triceps more. Depending on how much you lift, it could be worth trying accessory stuff like JM presses.

CT might have what you’re looking for in these:

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do;jsessionid=7F8B01E1BCD558EB1B6088D328B1D2EE.hydra?article=06-013-training

http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do;jsessionid=7F8B01E1BCD558EB1B6088D328B1D2EE.hydra?article=06-033-training

Good luck.

Am not lifting much at all atm, which is what makes it worse. But now that you mention it, it may be an issue with tricep strength. I might swap to close grips and see how that goes.

I found when my bench started to stagnate, I focused more on my breathing, form and visualization. You would not believe how much form, breathing and the power of the mind will increase a bench.

Are your supporting muscles at even par with your chest? (I.e. tricep, front deltoid) Are your feet planted firmly on the floor? How is your body arch? How is your grip? Is your grip the same from set to set? How often are you working chest? Could you be overtraining it or not allowing sufficient recovery time for the secondary muscles?

Ask yourself these questions, fix those issues and come back in a couple weeks and let me know again. If these arent the problem we can try other ways to fix it.

what are you rowing? It is very likely your chest/front delts
have stopped growing because they are too devolped compared to your back/rear delts. look in the mirror standing normally are your shoulders pulled back or are they rounded forward? try holding a pencil in each hand down by your side - if the pencils point straight forward u are fine if they point inwards you need to focuse more on rowing e.r. srtength etc. check out the neanderthal no more series

[quote]pitbull314 wrote:
what are you rowing? It is very likely your chest/front delts
have stopped growing because they are too devolped compared to your back/rear delts. look in the mirror standing normally are your shoulders pulled back or are they rounded forward? [/quote]

I agree. stole my thunder. If the appearance is off and or the strength levels are to different, start rowing your brains out. Get away from bench for a while, correct what needs to be corrected, accept the drop in the ab ility to bench as “to be expected” and forget what you once were able to do, just enjoy the pseudo-noob like gains once you come back to them. Any reason you have to keep benching and can’t give it up for a while?

I did the pencil test and they seem to be pointing straight forwards. I’m just supposed to hold the pencil loosely in my hand?

My rows are about equal to my bench. At this stage i suspect it may be my triceps that are the problem, so i’m going to try and work on that and get back with an update.

That neanderthal series looks pretty interesting though. I might have to look into it a bit more when I’m not actually supposed to be studying.

I wouldn’t agree with stop benching to do rows, cause that will suck when you get caught up and bench again. I’d just say hit the rows harder than bench, but keep doing it, and that is also assuming that you haven’t been doin enough rows.

Another thing is that pullups will help your bench if you have good arch. When I realized that i was going to have shoulder problems if i didn’t start doing some back work, my bench went up after I started doin pullups. I still can’t do a lot of pullups, but my shoulders definiatly feel better. If you’re already doing rows and pullups and such, then I would say either change your routine, or add to it.

[quote]ChickenSalad wrote:
I did the pencil test and they seem to be pointing straight forwards. I’m just supposed to hold the pencil loosely in my hand?

My rows are about equal to my bench. At this stage i suspect it may be my triceps that are the problem, so i’m going to try and work on that and get back with an update.

That neanderthal series looks pretty interesting though. I might have to look into it a bit more when I’m not actually supposed to be studying.[/quote]

You posted right before my first post. If your rows are equal to you bench then you shouldn’t have a muscle imbalance. Where is the sticking point at on your bench?

What does your entire training routine look like?