T Nation

Can't Progress w/ Bench


#1

I think I already know the answer to this but I thought I?d ask the question to see if anyone has a (mythical) magic bullet.

My problem...well one of my problems is that I can't bench, that?s to say I can bench, I just can?t make any progress.

I can increment weight on every other lift, all be it slowly but not bench...and ideas?

I currently break my split into
Chest / bis
Hams /quads
Back tris
Shoulders traps and calves
and have been working on a 8,6,6,4 range..

And yes I know its one of those magical "can anyone fix me please" questions but someone may have some interesting ideas on how I can kick myself in the ass (Metaphorically speaking) and get this sorted, really getting on my nerves ...

thanks for reading

J


#2

First of all, eat more. When you say “incrementing” weights on other lifts, it sounds like “making a little bit of progress” on the other lifts.

If you’re eating enough, your bench will move accordingly.

Also, try dumbbells. They’re real shoulder-savers. Use barbell benching occasionally, but it just can’t compare with dumbbells in terms of size and strength gains… (for me, anyway.)


#3

x2 on DB.
Don’t touch the flat BB bench for 2 months, use DBs, come back and I’d put money on that ur BB bench will have gone up.


#4

[quote]
Also, try dumbbells. They’re real shoulder-savers.[/quote]

I’d never heard this before. What’s the reason for it? This is of particular interest to me, because I have a full-thickness supraspinatus tear I have to have surgically repaired.

Thanks!


#5

[quote]ubadboy wrote:
I think I already know the answer to this but I thought I?d ask the question to see if anyone has a (mythical) magic bullet.

My problem…well one of my problems is that I can’t bench, that?s to say I can bench, I just can?t make any progress.

I can increment weight on every other lift, all be it slowly but not bench…and ideas?

I currently break my split into
Chest / bis
Hams /quads
Back tris
Shoulders traps and calves
and have been working on a 8,6,6,4 range…

And yes I know its one of those magical “can anyone fix me please” questions but someone may have some interesting ideas on how I can kick myself in the ass (Metaphorically speaking) and get this sorted, really getting on my nerves …

thanks for reading

J [/quote]

the bench press is one of those moves where 5lbs in 6 months is great progress… at least for me.

it’s really hard to determine what your weaknesses are without seeing a video of attempting a max lift.

typically ones form on the bench can limit their increases. i see tons of people at the gym flopping down on the bench, no setup and benching with their elbows flared way out to the side. then they wonder why they can never bench more than 225. if you are one of those guys then, first you need to learn what proper form is and then the tricky part is finding a setup that works for you. not every setup works for everyone.

then there’s the whole muscular weakpoints to address. you can bench using full ROM forever and not make any substantial gains. You need to determine what areas are weak and then you focus your attention on bringing up those weak areas.

i could go on and on.

if you hav specific questions, feel free to ask.


#6

This is almost always a technique issue. Diesel crew has a good video about proper bench technique.

Watch it and practice on every (EVERY) set.


#7

[quote]SSC wrote:

Also, try dumbbells. They’re real shoulder-savers. Use barbell benching occasionally, but it just can’t compare with dumbbells in terms of size and strength gains… (for me, anyway.)[/quote]

Amen!


#8

[quote]ubadboy wrote:
I currently break my split into
Chest / bis
Hams /quads
Back tris
Shoulders traps and calves
and have been working on a 8,6,6,4 range…
[/quote]

If you’re concerned about strength maybe do a powerlifting-centric routine? Or at the least occasionally work in the 1-3 rep range.

I’ll also echo what other say and note that if you post a video of your form and follow people’s recommendations you’ll add a lot of weight onto your bench.


#9

I would supplement BB bench with DB’s, but unless you’re overtraining or are a beginner, I doubt your bench will go up without benching.


#10

[quote]patricio2626 wrote:

Also, try dumbbells. They’re real shoulder-savers.

I’d never heard this before. What’s the reason for it? This is of particular interest to me, because I have a full-thickness supraspinatus tear I have to have surgically repaired.

Thanks![/quote]

For most the reason why it works is because you end up progressing on DB Bench and since you don’t know the actual conversion to flatbench it takes out alot of the mental issues that hold one back from progressing on flat bench. Basically allows the lifter to concentrate on the lift and technique vs what’s on the bar.

My advice to the OP is sit down and right down exactly what you do for every body part you work from foods you eat the day before and the day of your lift, to your activity level prior to lifting. Also pay attention to your rest in between sets. It may be something small such as finding out that before Squats or Back day you’re actually more rested than you are before you do chest.

The other thing I’d have to ask is if you use a spotter on Bench. Some of the times when I’ve seen my bench progress slow down it mainly ends up being due to me not being comfortable with using a new weight because I don’t have that safety net there in case I struggle.


#11

I have not done regualr BP since busting my AC joint (shoulder) about 1.5 years ago.

However, I think there is a time and place for BP if you can do it. I also think you may want to work on wide grip, close, and narrow grips. Changing it up will keep your muscles guessing and should use more muscle fibers in turn.

Also, I would try switching tris with chest and back with bis. That way you have a pull and push day and any carryover or cheating will be with muscles you have or will use later in the workout.


#12

[quote]patricio2626 wrote:

Also, try dumbbells. They’re real shoulder-savers.

I’d never heard this before. What’s the reason for it? This is of particular interest to me, because I have a full-thickness supraspinatus tear I have to have surgically repaired.

Thanks![/quote]

Well, I can’t actually give you a physiological reason why they’re shoulder savers, (someone more qualified than me should explain that,) but this articles touches on things a little bit. http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/shoulder_savers_part_i

I can say from personal experience, barbell benching simply destroys my shoulders, specifically the rotator cuff. I do have a bad rotator cuff from overtraining my chest with barbell benching for a good year and a half, and doing it incorrectly. The days after a barbell benching working, the only real pain I have is in my anterior delts and rotator cuff.

I’m not totally sure, either, if dumbbells would would be less straining on a supraspinatus tear. Seems like the motion itself would still be similar. Again - Don’t take that as fact or fiction, just a guess.


#13

[quote]SSC wrote:

Well, I can’t actually give you a physiological reason why they’re shoulder savers, (someone more qualified than me should explain that,) but this articles touches on things a little bit. http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/shoulder_savers_part_i

I can say from personal experience, barbell benching simply destroys my shoulders, specifically the rotator cuff. I do have a bad rotator cuff from overtraining my chest with barbell benching for a good year and a half, and doing it incorrectly. The days after a barbell benching working, the only real pain I have is in my anterior delts and rotator cuff.

I’m not totally sure, either, if dumbbells would would be less straining on a supraspinatus tear. Seems like the motion itself would still be similar. Again - Don’t take that as fact or fiction, just a guess.[/quote]

OK, thank you, I’ll check the link out!


#14

Incline bench man

or

Flat Bench Negatives, add 50lbs over your max and bring the weight down nice and controlled, yet make sure you have at leats 3 spotters.

Also dumbells are nice too, but i dont use them anymore cause the gym i go to only has 120s and i can bang them out 15 times.


#15

[quote]maraudermeat wrote:
ubadboy wrote:
I think I already know the answer to this but I thought I?d ask the question to see if anyone has a (mythical) magic bullet.

My problem…well one of my problems is that I can’t bench, that?s to say I can bench, I just can?t make any progress.

I can increment weight on every other lift, all be it slowly but not bench…and ideas?

I currently break my split into
Chest / bis
Hams /quads
Back tris
Shoulders traps and calves
and have been working on a 8,6,6,4 range…

J

the bench press is one of those moves where 5lbs in 6
[/quote]

lol 5’lbs for you is practically record breaking.

OP you should problaby increase your frequency. You seem to be following a general bodybuilding split, which is cool for building all around muscle and strength. But when you see theres a weakness its a good idea to spend some time say 3 months on a routine built around Benching since that what you want to improve upon.


#16

Sheiko really helped improve my bench. Went up something like 15kg after 8 weeks. The increased frequency really helped.


#17

Sheiko really helped improve my bench. Went up something like 15kg after 8 weeks. The increased frequency really helped.


#18

[quote]Steel Nation wrote:
This is almost always a technique issue. Diesel crew has a good video about proper bench technique.

Watch it and practice on every (EVERY) set.[/quote]

Thanks for the link.

That’s the best bench instruction I have seen.

I never really understood the elbow placement issue. But I think I do now.


#19

[quote]masonator wrote:
I would supplement BB bench with DB’s, but unless you’re overtraining or are a beginner, I doubt your bench will go up without benching. [/quote]

This is definitely right. Ignoring the lift will not improve it.

Before considering an advanced solution to your problem, are you:

-Setting up properly?
-Making your whole body tight, squeezing your glutes?
-Driving your heels into the floor?
-Squeezing the bar as hard as possible?
-Driving your head back into the bench?
-Driving the bar back toward your head and flaring hard halfway up?
-Spreading the bar apart with your hands?
-Retracting your shoulder blades, keeping your upper back tight, and pinning it to the bench?
-Holding a big belly full of air throughout the lift?

If you are consistently doing these things (as in every rep, from 45lbs. on up,) then you should consider different assistance exercises, training programs, etc… Until you have made these things habit, that should be your focus.

Best of luck


#20

[quote]Rippemanewone wrote:
Incline bench man

or

Flat Bench Negatives, add 50lbs over your max and bring the weight down nice and controlled, yet make sure you have at leats 3 spotters.

Also dumbells are nice too, but i dont use them anymore cause the gym i go to only has 120s and i can bang them out 15 times.[/quote]

Let’s see, 120lb x 2 dumbells = 240lbs,~ near 300 lbs or so barbell. And you can do this 15 times…all at 5’10" 175 lbs. That’s quite some inflated e-muscle. You’re such a sack of shit ever since you joined this community with your stupid poser pictures with your cell phone in Rate my Physique.

This isn’t the first time you made up some bullshit either. All your posts and replies are just a bunch mindless parroting and inflated drivel. No one cares about your imaginary numbers. Pull up your pants ffs, and then leave this community.

And to the OP, ignore this dumbass’s advice about 50lbs over max negatives, unless you are trying to injure yourself. There are many programs out there that can help address your weaknesses whether it is in your setup, lockout, etc. Post a video if you want some personal help, many people will help here. Or do some more research on some bench programs as you know yourself better than anyone, and which one has the potential to take you to the next level.