T Nation

Building Back Bench After Injury

Hello everyone, so a brief summary on my issue. I had stopped working out for 6 months due to multiple injuries. I tore my TFCC (wrist cartilage) and had herniated my lower back. I was unable to workout for 6 months and in between those 6 months I got sick for about a month. Lost 15lbs and a lot of strength. I’ve been back in the gym for maybe two months now and just recently been getting in at least 4 times a week. But my bench is still suffering a lot since being back.

I do one heavy bench day where I do higher weight lower reps and then drop the weight down after to either do paused spoto or feet up bench. Then a second bench day out of the week where I do lighter weight and more reps. I also do a heavy close grip day as well.

The thing is my bench isn’t climbing back up the way I thought it would. Is there any tips or anything that you guys would recommend to help get it back? If there are any questions that you would like to ask that could help out please go right ahead.

Thank you everyone, Chris

So how has it progressed the past 2 months?

I never really tested out where my max is at but if I was to give some type of answer to that I’d say I came back at around 185lb bench for anywhere around 2-3 reps to now about 3 maybe 4 reps of 205. It’s honestly really hard for me to be accurate on it. To give an idea I was at around 8-10 or so reps with 205 before getting hurt. Also I was able to hit 225 paused for 2 on close grip before now I’m at 205 for 1 tap and go. I have a problem with changing my grip too much but have decided I’ll go back to the grip I was at before getting hurt. Hope that helps I know its kind of scattered

That’s perfectly normal, just grind on and work on form and you’ll get even stronger than you were : )

I wouldn’t rush into more specific training, just do what you are doing. That way you can rebuild your base so that you can get stronger later on.

5x5 or 5/3/1 is a staple.

Thanks appreciate the help. And ya it seems my form and just being comfortable on the bench has gone away and I don’t feel as stable as I use to, I’m sure as I get stronger it’ll come back.

And ya I actually was doing 5x5 but I got to a sticking point. I do jump up by 10lbs total when I do hit a 5x5, would it be smarter for me to jump up by only 5lbs total? I know majority of 5x5 go that route I just based it of the Pavel which has you jumping up 10lbs

jumping by 5 lbs you guarantee your success. I mean, when you add a little weight you’ll be able to literally PR every week for twice the time, which is good - physically and mentally.

Do more upper back work and lats. You’ll feel the difference in just a couple of weeks.

Don’t forget to pull twice the amount you bench lol

Get after it!

Cool I’ll get back to 5x5 next week and do it that way. And gotcha, my back, especially my lats are the strongest muscle group for me.

Yes when I get my lower back and my foot(which my have a disconnected tendon) fixed I will be getting back at it lol

Thank you I appreciate the help and advice

Just bench press w/ a full range of motion varying 5/3/2/1 rep ranges. You don’t need a bunch of extra accessory work so don’t buy into the hype. You don’t need Spoto press, legs up, inclines and other nonsense. All that stuff just hinders recovery. Other than hammer curls, there is no exercise that will work the upper back, triceps, delts and pecs and harder than the bench. Keep it simple if you wanna see results.

With all due respect sir, I personally see a benefit in accessory work. Remember its not a recover for a pec injury just haven’t been able to bench for 6 months and so I’m trying to build it back up. Also I’m not strictly powerlifting if thats what it seemed like to you. But thank you for your input

Make sure you lockouts are even. Try before top set unrack 50 to 100 over top set hold it for 20 secs you will need to negotiate sets as far as one side locking out quicker .

I misunderstood your purpose since this is a powerlifting forum. Maybe the bodybuilders will be able to help.

But if you are trying to increase your bench, powerlifting or not, it works very well if the goal is to increase the bench press. Let all other goals take a back seat, including nonessential accessory work.You might “see” a need but experiencing the benefit of accessory work is another conversation.

The bottom line is: if you want to increase your bench, then make that your goal and eliminate the nonessentials, which accessory work is nonessential to increase a bench if you’ve been off for six months or whatever else you said was the issue.

I’ve always found that when you’re coming back from injuries, you just have to be patient as it takes some time. I like going back to the basics and doing 5x5 for a few weeks, with as much weights as I can, without pain. The 5x5 always helps me gain my strength back pretty quick.

I think that’s what I am going to get back into except this time I won’t base it off of the Pavel method of adding 10lbs each week to bench (if I hit all sets of 5 of course) but instead I’ll do jumps of 5lbs total seeing as that seems to be the best way to build back up.