T Nation

Can't Add Weight to Bench, Advice?


#1

So I've used the search and read all the articles about defective benchers and what to do. I drive with my feet, have a slight arch in my back, and can bench all of 135lbs for 12 reps. and 155 for around 6 reps. But I'm not adding any weight for the last few, well months. I'd hardly consider myself strong on other lifts but I know my bench is a joke, but I cannot seem to put any weight on it.

Any advice?


#2

I think they sell weights at models, sports authority and dicks. Try to start light otherwise you might not be able to handle it. Just make sure you breath before you give it a good push.


#3

You have a limiter. What do you row? Deadlift? Pull ups?

Reason I ask is that without a strong back your bench will stall. Balance is the key.

Also do you have any shoulder issues? How is your external rotator strength? Do you do a lot of tricep work? How often do you train bench?

The list of questions can go on and on. You will have to be more specific.


#4

Are you eating enough to gain weight?
Are you working your back enough?
Do you do any isolation work for your triceps or pecs?
What does your training schedule look like?

I don't think anyone will be able give you much useful advice without more information.

EDIT: looks like someone already beat me to the punch.


#5

whoops, wrong section or else I would have responded sooner, didn't even notice it posted, sorry.

Im rowing 120lb dumbbells for 6 reps, not currently deadlifting (I know, I know), and can usually do around 5-8 pullups, used to do around 12 but I stopped training for a bit.

No shoulder issues, occasionally they'll get sore, but thats the same for my knee's, nothing serious that any doctor has seen when I bring it up. And I isolate my tri's a good bit, I do cable pushdowns anywhere from 120-170lbs, depending on the tower, my gym just swapped over to a new building and changed everything. After those I can still manage to do 12 dips, though there isn't a chain for strapping weight on. I train chest/tri's every third then fourth day, and it used to be a little less often 5/6 days but a guy I saw a lot at the gym said I needed to do it more often for any gains.

I eat a pretty good bit, I've added about 10lbs in the last probably 6 weeks, added an inch to my arms and an inch and a half to my chest. But heres my chest/tri schedule, note: 4 sets each.

Bench 8-12 rep
Incline dumbbell bench 10-12rep
machine Fly 10-12rep
Tricep pushdown 12 rep (i use the small metal v bar)
Dips, 8-12rep
Skullcrushers (10-12)

I don't really feel like I'm overtraining, because all my other lifts are adding a lot of weight, I've added about 35lbs to my machine fly in 3 weeks, about 40lbs to my bent over row, I'm even using 60lb dumbbells for the incline press after the bench, when I started with 45's. Everything else has gone up too but that's just a few examples.

On a side note a few months back when I trained alone at 2am after I got off work on my old job I worked my way up to using 95lb dumbbells at my heaviest for incline THEN flat bench. One day I hopped over to the barbell and felt that 135 was going to crush me because I couldn't control it, now that I'm getting back into lifting more seriously with a partner I'm just having a hard time with this press.

Sorry about the wall of text, just trying to give everyone an accurate example of whats going on. Any other questions I'll be glad to answer in a few hours when I get back on.


#6

Your reps are too high if you want to get stronger. I'd recommend doing reps between 2-6. Eat more and sleep a lot.


#7

So just to be clear, you are doing one armed bent rows with 120 pounds for 6 reps? With good form? And how many reps did you get at 95lbs incline? Something isn't right here.


#8

back when I was using the 95lb dumbbells for benching I was aiming for 6 reps. And I miss typed that 120lb for bent row, I can do the 120's but my form gets a little, well, questionable, I recently dropped to the 110's to keep better form.

So should I swap my reps for benching over to 2-6 for just flat? Or include that in incline and all my other chest exercises?


#9

Wait. Just to be clear...you can dumbbell bench with 95lbs dumbbells for about six reps but can only barbell bench press 155lbs for six reps?

Unless that's 155 per side, I call total bullshit on those numbers.


#10

Are you tall? If so you probably don't know how to utilize your lats properly. I'm just now realizing that i have shitty tall guy bench issues and trying to fix it.


#11

Do you mean 255lbs?


#12

95lb Dumbell bench pressing, much less incline pressing, equates to a 275-300lb bench press. The numbers can't be right. I'm with Gone Heavy on this. BS Flag.


#13

Look, like I thought I stated, a few months ago when I only did dumbbell bench I got up to 95lb dumbbells by six reps on incline, then I tried to do a barbell bench press and still couldn't get past 135lbs.

I'm not lying here, I have nothing to gain, I'm coming here for advice, not to be a troll or anything like that.

Note though, I really doubt I could do 95lb dumbbells anymore, I trained chest yesterday which made me come make this thread because I feel so pathetic in the weight room, and after benching 135x12, 145x7, 145x8, and 155x7, and I needed some assistance on the last two reps on that 155.

And im only 6'1" jahall


#14

that's a bit overboard. i can throw up the 100s for 5 tough deep reps and my bench is barely 250lbs


#15

Tyrant,
could you list the sets/ reps you used for your bench for all the sets?
I'm just wondering if you are doing too many reps with lighter weights and your tired when you get to the last sets. Other possibility is that you're not adding weight each set and jumping in at 135lb for all sets, sorry if I seem to be calling you a newb, but you havent given enough detail.


#16

It sounds like a mechanics issue that is undiagnosable without video of both. My bench sucks compared to the rest of my lifts. So much so that I am going to start working with someone to change it.


#17

No hijakc here (il start a new thread)

but my bench still goes up but my row has stalled big time and I don't know what to do lol!!!


#18

I can do about the same weight on Dumbbells as with a barbell bench, which is 90 kg X 10 ish reps if I am rested, and two 45s for 10ish reps. It's really just a matter of your build and what you focus on. Most people don't work on the dumbbells fully rested either.

At any rate, at this stage I doubt technique is the limiting factor, rather it is focusing on the lift and eating more food that needs to be done.


#19

I wasn't trying to be a dick earlier but it seemed like there was a typo somewhere in your earlier posts.

Anyway, I think this is definitely part of your problem. As people suspected your volume is WAY too high. Use 135 as an additional warm up point. Hit that for 3-5 reps, not 12.

Personally I wouldn't even do 145, I'd go straight to 155, but if you like to, again no more than 3-5 reps. This will help with the strength a lot, I wouldn't be surprised if you could put 185 with a lower warm up volume like this.


#20

Stab in the dark - you are doing the incline dumbell press using your delts a LOT, when you go flat bench you are also using your delts mostly and not your pecs, and hence you are stalling. Coz delts don't want to grow much more.

This accounts for the big dumbell press and terrible bench press.

This is just my guess though. But, do you have underdeveloped pecs? and relatively bigger shoulders? does this sound right to you?