T Nation

Help Understanding What's Going On?


#1

Here is my problem: I am one month out of a cut and I've been starting my lean mass phase one month ago. I regained a little bit of weight so far, my squat is going up, overhead press too, everything goes up and i'm almost back to the weights I was using before the cut.. except for the damn bench press in wich I made no progress at all in one month (Incline and flat).

The thing that frustrate me the most is that I used to be pretty neuro efficient on every lift inclunding the bench press, but since about 2 months (it started by the end of my cut) every time I bench press, warm ups feels light, even my last warm up of one rep wich is 10 pounds less than my regular set of 4, feel light, but it seems like every time I go over a certain % of my max, the bar feels like 100 pounds heavier than it is and and I can't explode on the way up, the weight move really slowly and the reps looks hard as hell.

In short, I'm lost. I don't know why I transformed into a damn slow twich guy but only on this lift. I hate myself right now because I used to be able to increase the weight and always lift it fast and not feeling it that much heavier even if it was. Anyone have a clue? Thanks.


#2

Even though it is counterintuitive, the bench press is by far the lift that is the most influenced by fluctuations in body weight. Even if your muscle mass is the same, if you lose weight the bench will go down more than other lifts.

And that is true even if you only lose water… for example a few years back I was bench pressing twice a week. On tuesday I hit 425. Then on friday night I took a long hot tub with my wife and didn’t have time to rehydrate. Woke up saturday feeling good and energetic, but couldn’t hit more than 365 on the bench press!

And in the past, I noticed that my bench is directly related to my weight. At 200-205 I can hit 365-375, at 215-220 I can hit 395-405, at 225-230 I can hit 415-425 and at 235-240 I can hit 435-445. And that is true even if each individual muscle in the bench press (triceps, chest, delts) are just as strong at 205 then at 230.

My guess is that since in the bench the shoulder is doing a fairly dangerous action, the body protects itself when it loses some cushioning from the water retention or fat.

When you look at raw powerlifters, it is not rare to see a light man deadlift just as much as a big guy, but it is very rarely true for the bench.

Now, you regained some weight, but you might not have the same shoulder joint “cushioning” and as a result the body protects itself.

The fact that your other lifts are back tell me that you are not turning into a slow twitch bitch. The body is just protecting it’s shoulders.


#3

Wow! Really nice answer CT! But it kind of discourage me since I don’t want to get fat again haha!


#4

[quote]shark39 wrote:
Wow! Really nice answer CT! But it kind of discourage me since I don’t want to get fat again haha![/quote]

You’ll eventually build your strength back up, but if you stay lean you will need to have stronger muscles to bench the same amount as before. Id like to tell you something more pleasant to ear, but I’m honest.