T Nation

How Can I Increase Max Bench, Deadlift and Push/Strict Press?


Which set/rep scheme is, according, to you the best for strength?


Ummm…there are lots of ways.

  1. Pick any good program written by an established coach with a track record of success.

  2. Follow said program.

  3. Eat properly. Quality protein, quality fats, quality carbs, eat your vegetables.

  4. Sleep properly.

  5. Don’t do things that are destructive to progress. At least not too much. You want to be a social drinker, fine. You want to smoke an occasional joint, probably not going to kill your gains. But use common sense.

Sorry if you wanted a more specific answer, but there are literally dozens of answers that can be given, and unfortunately it’s not that clear if there is one superior answer.

Read about…

Mark Rippetoe’s Texas Method
Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1
Joe DeFranco’s Westside for Skinny Bastards
Dan John’s One Lift A Day
Dan John’s Mass Made Simple
Christian Thibadeau’s many programs on this site
(others may chime in here as well)

…to give yourself a rounding of what’s out there. Then pick one that sounds best to you, and do it.


Two questions or you are not sure what to ask?


Set/rep scheme isn’t super important. Consistency, sensible exercise selection and progression is, as well as good technique.


The push press is almost entirely technique and timing. So it is something you should simply practice often to get better at (imo), keep reps low at 1-5.

Strict press takes forever to improve and takes a lot of patience and banging your head against a wall.

Bench, the most important thing is finding the right set up for you on the bench. Then choose a good template that you believe in (like the ones ActivitiesGuy mentioned).

Deadlift, the easiest lift in the world to train, is all about just pulling heavy weight and not being scared to do it. You could do singles, doubles, 5s, 20s, 980s… doesn’t matter. Just pull heavy weight. The only trick is figuring out how much you can do it, which will vary from person to person, so you aren’t banged up for a long time so you can train your other lifts intensively.


I’m not saying your wrong about deadlifting, but just to play devil’s advocate there are many that say the best way to improve the deadlift is to build the DL with everything but deadlifting and only deadlift with light weights for speed to practice and very occasionally heavy to keep the movement grooved.

This could be something like picking barbell rows, front squats, carries, and good-mornings throughout a variety of rep ranges and rep techniques.

Mainly, my point for the OP is that there is enormous variety in the way to build a particular lift and you just have to put in the time and work to figure out what works best for you both physically and mentally.

Personally, my joints don’t put up with doing the same lifts day in and day out and it bores me to tears to do that anyway so I use a lot of variety and get the best results that way.


I think the caveat for that approach is it works, but only if you already know how to deadlift for you. If you’re still learning the DL - and IMO this can take a few years to reach the point where you just know it - this may not work as well.


The quickest way is max effort singles, doubles or triples IMHO.

You basically have to use some max effort training.


Yeah. That is the one way.

But the most sure way (for a start) is just to deadlift. I have been deadlifting a lot in the past year since I can not go too aggressive with my squat and wanted to push my lower body strength. I got my estimated max for DL from 390lbs to 470lbs in 9 months. I just deadlifted 1-2 times a week with changing the rep schemes for different 5/3/1 cycles (hig rep/rep PR’s/Heavy work/submax work). Only assistance I did was abs, db rows and swings.

I’m not saying the way you gave does not work. Just gave the example for much simpler approach (and used change to brag), which should be tested first before going towards more complicated way. There is ton of good DL programs/progressions to choose.


Take a look at Alpha’s log.He has goals very similar to these


I can agree with that. Now that I think of it, the first couple of years of serious training for me was spent actually doing the lifts I wanted to get stronger at. I still go through periods of a few to many weeks grooving lifts with the actual lift or a very close variant that focuses on a weakness.

You’re asking for a particular rep range, but you might want to try either block or linear periodization to some degree or another.

Here’s an awesome thread for linear periodization based on the way Ed Coan trained. If you don’t know who he is look him up.

Here’s a thread on Westside type training:

There’s also block periodization. You might start with a 4 week block with higher volume, then move to block focusing on power, then one focusing on heavy weight.

And when you see the word power or speed as it related to strength, think of Fred Hatfield’s view on power and compensatory acceleration.


I would say that is more of realizing strength(being able to demonstrate what strength you already have) rather than actually building it.

As for what my advice would be, it’s pretty simple. Get strong. There, done. As for how to get strong? There is a shit ton of resources on T-Nation, read 'em.


I would cover as many rep ranges as i could:

1-3, 4-6, 6-12 and 20. (Fuck 12-19 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:)

I’d probably half thise reps for the PP.