T Nation

Help Get Past Bench Plateaus


Today i was working out with my friend who has been benching 300 since i joined the gym, but today i passed him by and benched 310 twice we worked out toghter and do the same exercise

im 6 foor 220 pounds
hes 6'3 270 pounds and i was wondering if you guys could give me adivice that i can share with him bc i can tell hes pissed off that i have passed him and that hes been peaked at 300 for now 7 months. I think his trouble area is 3 inches of his chest so any adivice would be nice


Sorry, but not with that kind of information.


I was plateaued at 290 for five months until I finally broke through and benched 300. What helped me was doing a lot of board pressing... lower boards (1,2) to help with the sticking point and higher boards (3,4) to help with lockout.
Also, do a ton of tricep assistance work.


Give us some details of his training, rep ranges, any speed work? does he squat? For now have him drop his benching and instead do 2 board presses letting sink in good while on the boards, let him do this for 3 weeks, first week have him work up to a 5RM, 2nd week up to a 3RM and 3rd week up to a 1RM, after that have him try his bench again and let us know.


were doing the critical bench program really works on shoulders triceps and of course chest.
we do legs every tuesday he can squat 405 for a few reps not as strong as me but hsi dead lift is 405 to 450 depending the day.

todays chest work out was
warm up
270 pounds 5 to 6
280 3 to 4
310 1 to 2
burn out set at 185 we do these for speed.
then incline dumbells
and cable cross overs
he achieved 5 reps for 270 3 reps for 280 just barely.
and 300 he dropped around 5 mintue rests.
ive followed this program and i do every rep just fine but i guess it just works for me.
if some one could give me some reps and weight for him to do his max bench is 300 ive seen him put it up on many times. and a good website that explains board presses in good detail i would be very gratefull.

p.s i love this forum you guys really do help this is a site that all weight lifters who wanna be serouse should visit


yeah, this is hazzarddude's friend who's bench has been stuck for 7 months or so. I do the same exact thing as him and his has gone up drastically and mine sucks. I need something to do that will get me over the plateau.
One question is, I have been startign with flat bench mostly at the beggining of my workout. should i do something else and if so... what?



Yeah, more info here is really necessary. What does his training look like? Where does he miss? When was the last time he took an unload week?

With more info I'm sure we can help him out!

Stay strong


we had a ligth chest week last week.
we train 5 days a week
chest 3 exercises almost always flat bench press then other two change up according to the program
tuesday legs squats, leg press, ham string extension and the one where u straighten your legs out and one calf exercise.
wendsday back deads, row , pull down and now to be good morning
thursday shoulders miltary press, db press,shrugs and two sumplements lift ussually power cleans and something else
friday triceps and biceps
we do dips, close grip bench press, skull crushers or rope pull downs
bicep preacher curls, db curls, and straigh bar curls
as i have said before i think is problem area is 3 inches of his chest or a little higher


OK with a sticking point at 3 inches and probably long arms I would say:

1) A real focus on the upper back and lats to stay tight through the ROM

2) Doubled jump stretch or Iron Woody's bands. This will imporove speed at the start and still work the lockout. Doubled #2 bands with around 225 bar weight for 5-6 triples one workout, Double #3 bands with 175-185 for 5-6 triples the next workout, and 255-275 bar weight only-no bands on workout three.

3) Lockouts or High board presses-the week before a max, but with a stick at 3 inches, that doesn't sound like the problem, and doubled bands take care of a lot of the lockout.


Oh yea, and lots of external rotations. I think the around the midpoint you can get stuck in no-man's-land where your initial push fades and your triceps can't take over yet. Strong external rotators help you keep the push up to the tricep zone. That's why I don't think lockouts will help immediately.


And give your triceps a break, you're hitting them 3x/week, and two days in a row (Th and Fri).

As well, I would think he has accumulated a ton of fatigue from training 5 days in a row. Some planned down-time could be just what the Dr. ordered!

Stay strong