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Boosting Bench Press from 300 to 315 in Two Months

Dear CT,

I’ve been stuck at a 300 bench press for my 1RM for a year now (however I have been more focused on hypertrophy as of late).

I’m planning on undertaking a strength oriented program for the next two months and I was hoping to improve my bench press max by 15lbs.

I feel that my bench is lagging behind my squat and deadlift and also I just wanted to finally say that “I can bench press 3 plates”. I have quite long arms which has been a great asset on my deadlift however it has hindered the bench press for me.

I was wondering if you could give me some advice as to how to structure my training week to emphasize strength gains on the bench press.

I was considering bench pressing 2-3x / week for low-moderate volume (3-4sets each workout) and putting my other lifts on maintenance (1x/week for low volume).

I would appreciate any other information or advice that you could lend on this topic.



Simple use Thibs 915 workout, done!

if you pick the correct assistance exercises to address your weakpoints you should hit your goal with eating goals to match

Where are you weak? off the best , mid point or up the top. A light band might work well on your dynamic effort days or as part of your warm up.

As much as I appreciate the kind words, the 915 program is an overall strength program. I would use a different strategy to peak only one lift (more in an upcoming post).

He didn’t mention even doing a dynamic effort day. You make it sound like having a dynamic effort day is a given when you want to get stronger. It isn’t. I might write an article on it in the future but while it can be very effective for a specific portion of the population, for most it is a waste of time.

That is the right idea… you might even go up to 4x a week if you want to specialize only on one lift. When I trained to take my high pull from 125 to 180kg in a bit more than 3 weeks I basically only did explosive pulls 4-5 days a week.

When I first took my bench press from 365 to 405 I bench pressed 4x a week.

Something like this:

DAY 1 -Eccentric overload (have a partner push down on the bar during the eccentric and release during the concentric), use a bar weight of around 70-80% and do sets of 3-5 reps with a 5 sec eccentric. Do 3 work sets

Also work on triceps, deltoids, rotator cuff (bodybuilding work in the 6-8 range)

DAY 2 - Bench press rep work
1 set of 10 (easy effort)
1 set of 8 (moderate effort)
1 set of 8 (hard effort)
1 set of 8 + rest pause reps (all-out effort)

Also work on upper back, rear delts, traps, biceps (bodybuilding work in the 6-8 range)


DAY 4 - Technique bench press work … EMOM sets of 3 reps with a moderate weight (around 80%, something you could lift for 6 reps)… do the EMOM for 12 minutes

Also work on pectorals, rotator cuff and triceps (bodybuilding work in the 6-8 range)

DAY - 5 Lower body

DAY - 6 Bench press heavy
Week 1: ramp up to 3RM with 2 sec pause on chest
Week 2: ramp up to 3RM
Week 3: ramp up to 2RM with 2 sec pause on chest
Week 4: ramp up to 2RM
Week 5: ramp up to 1RM with 2 sec pause on chest
Week 6: 3 sets of 2 with 90% with 2 sec pause on chest
Week 7: ramp up to heavy (not all-out) set of 2
Week 8: ramp up to 1RM

Also work on upper back, rear delts and traps


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Dear CT,

Very much appreciated for the detailed response and outline. I will definitely undertake this program for the next 2 months (after my deload for this week) and let you know how it turns out.

I have two questions with what you’ve outlined here fore me:

  1. If I cannot get a reliable partner every time I need to perform day 1(eccentrics), what would an alternative perhaps be?

  2. In the interest of following your advice as precisely as possible, what sort of volume should be performed on the bodybuilding accessory work each day? I don’t want to overdo it so I was thinking 1-2 exercises per area for 2-3 sets?