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Jen Thompson is 5 inches shorter than you, weighs 25 pounds less, is almost three times your age, and benches nearly twice as much as you. Motivated yet?

Your wrists and shoulder girdle aren’t to blame for your plateau. You need to train smarter and, probably, gain some size. What are your current maxes? What has your training looked like?


I dont know my maxes right now, I haven’t tried in months.
The weights i use are:

120kg 5x5 pause squat highbar
190kg 1x5 deadlift
82,5kg 5x5 pause bench press
30kg 5x5 weighted pullup

Bodyweight 75 kg

My lifts have gone up a lot the past few months, but not my bench press.

This is the routine i use right now:


Pause Bench Press 5 x 5
Pause Squat 5 x 5
Weighted Chinup 5 x 5
Barbell Row 5 x 5
Overhead Extension 3 x 8-15
Dumbbell Curl 3 x 8-15
Lateral Raise 3 x 8-15
Rear Delt Raise 3 x 8-15


Pause Bench Press 5 x 5
Pause Squat 5 x 5
Deadlift 1 x 5
Weighted Pullup 5 x 5
Overhead Extension 3 x 8-15
Hammer Curl 3 x 8-15
Lateral Raise 3 x 8-15
Rear Delt Raise 3 x 8-15


Just move on to texas method or madcow 5x5, similar but better


This is all you do? You don’t vary sets and reps on bench, squat, deadlift, rows or pull ups at all?


Those is your problem, for me if I’m not always pushing for higher weight or more reps I will notice I haven’t gotten anywhere.


If you do 5x5 at those weights all the time, thats your problem. Theres got to be some kind of overload session to session, in the form of either more reps, or more weight, or both.

Each session has to be harder than the previous of the same session in 1 way or another or the body wont keep adapting and improving.


Why do you pause all your squats?

You are doing a lot of accessory work, maybe too much, but nothing that will help the bench except overhead extension (tricep extension?). Try adding some other exercises like close grip bench, dumbbell bench, flys, maybe dips and overhead or incline press. Just don’t add all of them on every day. You don’t have to train only pause bench either, touch and go bench will help just as much and will also train the stretch reflex.


thanks for the suggestions
I’m going to change up the reps and sets for all my lifts. I will vary between sets of 8, 6, 5, 3 ect. Will that work? I wanted to do 5/3/1 but that doesn’t have weighted pullups/chinups that i really enjoy


I don’t know where to start.


I saw this earlier and was waiting for your reply!! :laughing:


Great, start today.


I’d just quit now if this is the mentality you are going to have.


Then I highly suggest to start looking for programs that have what you need rather than what you want.


Some advice for you:
-pick a 5/3/1 template that has you doing the competition lifts/variations at least twice a week. 2nd deadlift can be RDL or SLDL.
-for upper body assistance, choose mostly pressing movements in the horizontal plane. They will have the most carryover to your bench. Dips, incline and OHP are good too, but don’t get carried away with those if you want a big bench.
-Wendler advises doing tons of chin-ups, I have no idea what you were talking about earlier.


Also, you can try rest-pause sets for bench. One of the options given by Wendler, they are very good for hypertrophy - which I’m sure you need. In case you don’t have the “Beyond 5/3/1” book, this is how it goes - after your AMRAP set, rest a few minutes and then do an AMRAP set with the weight for the first work set (“first set last”) stopping about one rep short of failure, wait 30 seconds or 10 deep breaths if there is no clock or watch around, another AMRAP set, rest 30 seconds, and then do the final AMRAP set. That’s it, 3 sets in 1. I’m not doing 5/3/1, but I’m actually about to do some rest-pause benching in about 15 minutes.


Looks like OH press is same volume as bench. For PL you should bench more than OH normally.

Tuesday you could throw in another bench accessory (or even do another bench day on Saturday instead).

Something with good range of motion for hypertrophy, like Close grip incline bench press, or Dumbbell incline bench press.


That’s what I was trying to say. OHP might help bench somewhat (it also might not), but it certainly doesn’t help more than actually benching.


You’ll definitely find disagreement out there about the effectiveness of OHP for building the bench press. I know Dan Green swears by the OHP, and I’m sure there are others. Eddie Hall obviously has a monster OHP, and even though he’s not a powerlifter, benches more than almost every human on the planet anyway. Not a coincidence. I think both movements support each other.

When I ran 5/3/1, and I knew on a given week that I was going to have to miss a day, I always skipped OHP. And I regret it immensely. I really, really, wish I had given more time to the movement. I wish I had pressed as much as I benched. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I’d overhead press MORE than I bench pressed (which is what I do now). UNLESS you’re a high level competitor in powerlifting, meaning elite or better, I think overall joint health, range of motion, and variety of movements should be valued. I see way too many low level lifters get obsessed with the big 3, and develop serious imbalances that can affect quality of life.

Look at this guy’s numbers. I know he posted this in the PL section, but do any of you guys REALLY think that, at this point in his lifting career, he should be throwing in his whole lot with powerlifting? I wouldn’t. I would stay as well rounded as possible for as long as possible.


Excellent quote, will steal.