T Nation

Help with Bench

Hello all,

      Looking for some help on my bench press, currently I've been benching 185 as my max (can only do this one time/ pathetic). I have never been able to go higher then this and just started lifting hard again 4 days a week in late August this year. I am 5'11 approx. 202lbs about 14% body fat. 

My deadlifts is at 365 3x and squat is at 205 about 6x for my max. I cannot seem to get a grip on my bench i have switched to dumb bells for couple weeks and then back to bench (still no improvment). Also i never deadlifted or squated since i started lifting again this past August (dont know if this makes a difference).

I have seen improvements in both the deadlift and squat, but hardly anything in bench. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Bench Form:

  1. Hands about shoulder width
  2. Feet planted on ground
  3. Slight arch in back
  4. Shoulder blades pinched together

Bench Movement:

  1. Elbows IN along sides as much as you can
  2. Touch mid-chest/rib cage
  3. Controlled down, explode up

Ways to help your bench strength:
More bench work (DB’s, incline, decline etc.)
More Tri work (dips rock!)
More Shoulder work (Military presses, OHP)
Floor presses
Partials in a power/squat rack

Eat more, gain more weight/muscle. Don’t focus too hard on the little things.

Get pumped and move some fucking weight!!!

hypertrophy, still with the bench for longer than 3 weeks.

Go back to 180 and try to do as many reps as you can, once you get to ten you’ll probably be able to go beyond 185 and remember don’t let your elbows fly away and press hard on back and shoulder for extra help.

You haven’t really talked about what routine you’re using but Google 5x5 or WS4SB and start with one of those imo.

I think you’re training routine might be off. If you bench 2x per week, try doing a 5x5 on monday and a 1x5 on friday or go for a new 1rep max. You may need a different type of programming to progress further. 185 is about where I had to change my routine to reflect my level of performance. You may too.

I would look into Mark Rippetoe’s Practical Programming for Strength Training. Best book on training I have ever read. Basically if you cannot add weight to the bar each WORKOUT, you need to start trying to put weight on each WEEK.

I have been using 5x5 program for shoulder press, incline bench,and on and off on flat bench. Usually when i do dumbells on the flat bench and the incline i will do 5 reps with each arm seprate and then 5 reps together.