T Nation

Heavy Singles


I know there have been articles and discussions regarding heavy singles but I need more information. Some background on myself, Im 17 and my best raw bench press has been 315 at a 200 pound bodyweight about 1.5 months ago. Currently I have been performing bench presses like this


My goal is to bench 325 beggining of novemeber. My question is should heavy doubles and singles greatly increase my max and is my volume satisfactory for strength increase. I also do inclines and close grips. So far Ive increased my max double from 285x2 to 295x2 in about 1.5 weeks. I bench twice every 8 days so every forth day.





If what you say is true you are doing 8 reps above 90% twice in 8 days? That is a bit too much and may be overtaxing your CNS. Prilpin's chart usually recommends 3 to 5 reps at or above 90% of one's max for increasing strength. If you're hitting it like this every fourth day then you're not giving yourself any time to adapt. Try working up to a 3 rep max or a heavy double once a week. More is not always better.

If you're able to handle this kind of volume now, why not try for a new max? Why wait until November?


You added 10 pounds in a week and a half, I think that's pretty good... keep going until it stops or you feel like crap, 2 weeks is not long enough to tell anything anyway.


I think you need to do reps. 20-22 reps every 8 days seems a little low on the volume if you ask me.

BTW, it's been said that training in a 3-5 RM rep range lets you gain strength faster than doing heavy singles for the same number of sets.


Where does it say that?


I'm not sure, but I think I saw CT mention it in his thread.


Just so that I am clear. Do you mean doing 8-10 singles in your 3-5 RM range, or doing your 3-5 RM for 8 sets of 3-5.


Huh? He said that 315 was his best max. That means he's doing a lot of reps very close to his max. Volume may work well for building muscle but doing too much volume too close to your max can burn you out fast (been there, done that).


I was thinking more of 5 sets of 3-5, but he can actually do up to 10 sets w/o much trouble, given that he has no more assistance exercise for his chest. I do 10 sets of 3-5 for my chest, but I do 5 sets of dips then 5 sets of bench press. I seem to have no problems as far as CNS fatigue is concerned.


i do inclines as well as colsegrips. bench and inlines are done in the morining close grips at night. thx for the advice.


If you were really working with your 3 or 5 RM max there is no way you could get 10 sets or even 5. It might be possible if you waited 10 mins between each set, but otherwise you are not using your 3 or 5 RM.