I have been lifting for almost two years and I’ve gotten serious about it over the past year. Since day one, I’ve struggled mightily with bench pressing. (I have rather long arms and a flat chest, so the range of motion is insane). I have never neglected bench press training, but it still lags way behind my other lifts.
At a bodyweight of about 185lbs, my max bench is estimated to be anywhere from 180-190lbs, depending on the day. Meanwhile, I can probably squat 315 to slightly below parallel now (since I recently did 250x6 and I squat lower than anyone else in my gym), and I have deadlifted 405 with relative ease. (I use chalk ad a mixed grip, but no belt or straps).
I started Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 a few months ago, and it has been going pretty well. I am only deadlifting once a month, however, since my lifts are already out of proportion. (I do 3 sets of 3-5 rep deadlifts after my final set of squats on the 5-3-1 week, and yes, this surprisingly maintains my deadlift strength. Actually, it’s still increasing by a little each month).
I would really like to compete in power lifting one day, but I am afraid that my bench press will never be good enough. What advice do you have for me? I’d like to stick with 5/3/1 for a while, and eventually, I plan on shifting over to the 3/5/1 for Power Lifting (with heavy singles on weeks 1 and 3). I am just wondering if you guys have any advice of encouraging words. I don’t need to be the best bencher in a contest, but I don’t want to get laughed at, either. (Also, I’m confident that I could have the biggest deadlift, if I ever focused on that).
Last note - I think that I may have weak triceps, because I can strict curl with 20lbs more than I can strict skull crush (for the same number of reps). However, I can CGBP nearly the same that I “wide bench.” My wide bench is actually more of a medium grip, because my arms are so long that my front delts get rocked if my pinky fingers are out on the rings. For me, the most challenging part of benching is getting it the bar off of the chest. If I clear the first few inches, it goes up, so does that mean that it’s more my pecs that are weak?