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Critique My Bench Routine

Hi Christian. Here is what I’m currently doing for bench and want to know if this looks like a good plan for my goals. My goal is to increase strength and add a little extra muscle in the process. My current max is 235 @ 150lbs. Here’s my current routine

Warm up: short neural charge consisting of 2x4 med ball chest throw, 2x4 overhead med ball slam followed by a 6-8 set of 3 ramping up to working weight for the day.


Monday: 4x5 @ 87-90% of max (heavy strength day)

Sticking point/weakness: mid-range

Accessory work for sticking point: Top half bench: 3x3 superset w/ kettle-bell skull crusher: 3x6

Thursday: 8x3 @ 75-80% (dynamic/explosive day)

Accessory work: plyometric push ups: 5x3 & KB skull crushers: 3x6

My goal is go stick with the 4 sets of 5 and add a rep each time until I’m doing 4 sets of 6, then switch rep schemes again. I’m trying to go as high into the rep ranges as I can go (without sacrificing strength gains) since I’m also trying to gain a little muscle in the process. I also do some random tricep work through out the week (usually on bench days) for hypertrophy but nothing to extreme that would interfere with performance. I also do 6x6 for overhead press once a week

Few people can get 5 reps at 87%, much less 90%…especially not for multiple sets

  1. I don’t think its enough volume to solve a weak link.

  2. if the top half bench is from pins, as I suspect, it wont work well as the transfer is fairly low. Instead I would just do half bench presses (doing a regular bench but only lowering halfwaydown)

Hard for me to say if this is appropriate or not. It depends on what you are lagging in… if it’s muscle mass then a volume day might be a better option. But if you are muscular but lack power, explosive work might he.

I wouldnt waste my time with plyo push ups except for activation purposes.

Thats fine, but in that case you would be better served by an heavier sessions (heavy triples) and a volume day where you can do sets of 5-8.

And I don’t think you are doing enough work to build the muscles involved in the bench press. Unless you already have all the muscle you need, you will need focus on making the triceps, delts, upper back and pecs larger. Lifters focusing on strength should still do 60-70% of their volume on muscle building work for the important muscles in the bench.

As it is, your plan will not give you great results

That makes sense. Suspected some of that. What purpose would the top half bench from pins serve then? I actually was doing the version you mentioned before (only going half way down) but switch over to the pins recently. I used to use the top half from pins as an activating exercise and it worked really well for that. For correcting my weakness, how many sets/reps should I use for the top half press?

[quote=“Grant_fowler10, post:8, topic:220099”]desensitize
What purpose would the top half bench from pins serve then?

First, don’t EVER repost a question (I saw that you deleted your post and reposted it to bump up the thread. I find thit to be highly disrespectful and will stop answering you if you ever do something like that again.

It is good to make the triceps, especislly long head, stronger. But the transfer to actual bench press performance is low. It can also be a good confidense builder and a safe way to desensitize yourself to very heavy weights. So it’s not useless, but it’s not a goodprimry assistance lift.

That is a good use for it.

There is no magical sets/reps scheme when trying to build strength. Too many people fall in love with sets/reps schemes whereas in reality it doesn’t really matter provided that:

  1. You do your assistance work for strength at 75-80% or more
  2. Train hard on all your work sets
  3. Perform a total of 20-25 reps

For example…
3/2/1 3/2/1 3/2/1
5/4/3 5/4/3
6/4/2 6/4/2
2 reps EMOM for 10-12min with 80-85%

I would pick one, do it hard for 3 weeks than pick another one.

I did NOT repost my question to bump up the thread or whatever that means. I reposted it because I didn’t reply DIRECTLY to you and figured the post might go unnoticed.

Thanks for the imput. I’ll definitely be adding in a little more volume and will post back to let others know how well it pans out in a few weeks.

Fair enough, might have jumped to conclusíons because I’ve been annoyed by that for years