T Nation

How to Break a Bench Press Plateu?


#1

I’ve been switching around my compounds like my Squat is now a Zercher Squat and my Deadlift is now a Sumo Deadlift, I tried to switch my Bench to a Pin Press and it just doesn’t seem to be going up I’ve been stuck at 75kg for a year now, any ideas what I could do?


#2

When you push the weight up where do you stick?

Targeting weak points could be the simplest way to break an early plateau.

i.e long pause bench press if you stick off the chest, Floor press / close grip press if you stick at the mid point.

Personally, my best results came from simply taking benching more seriously.

High volume from 2-3 sessions a week, low reps, 5 x 3 on variations of the bench 3 times a week, or 10 x 3 one or twice a week worked well.

Taking your set-up more seriously can also make a big difference, working on getting full body tension, getting your upper back, lats and abs braced, glutes tense with feel planted on the floor, a real tight grip on the bar and the common cue of ‘spreading’ the bar and ‘bending’ the bar to create shoulder torque.


#3

Pause reps, partial reps from chest to half way up and gain weight, slingshot work. Bench twice per week. Heavy fives, three’s and singles. Just be consistent in the work you put in.


#4

Not to be a dick but if your bench is 75kg you just need to get stronger. Mostly accessory or rep work vs max work given your strength. You don’t have a sticking point, you’re just weak.

Also, very few people notice much of a carryover from pin press unless they’re shirted lifters.


#5

What sturat said.

Train w purpose and ferocity and eat.


#6

Not sure if your strategy of swapping out exercises and hoping is the best one.

What does your program look like?


#7

https://www.t-nation.com/training/10-secrets-to-building-mass this but instead of Romanian DL I do Sumo, Zercher instead of Squat and Pin Press instead of bench I might do this plan instead
https://www.t-nation.com/training/nonlinear-periodization-for-size-and-strength


#8

Lift more, eat more, and follow a coherent program that doesn’t replace the competition lifts with assistance exercises.


#9

Assuming you’re a powerlifter, I have no idea why you are doing zerchers over squatting. Unless you have put on weight or only been doing them a short time or had a rubbish squat to begin with then I’d be stunned if your squat hasn’t gone backwards.


#10

Ah ok I just thought I should replace to increase my squat but do you think that plan is good?, I think my power is the issue and that programme has a day for it (Non Linear plan)


#11

And I wouldn’t call myself a powerlifter with a 75kg bench lol


#12

The best way to increase your squat, is to squat.

If zerchers address a specific weakness (relative term here) then do them AS WELL. But I dont see the logic in thinking your squat will increase without doing squats.


#13

What’s your body weight? And 75kg once I assume?
I would suggest a LP program. 5x5; SS; Texas.

Just start low and add slow. It’s a hit to your ego taking weight off the bar. But if you want to get bigger and stronger.
I also checked your training log. You like AMRAP. Check out 5/3/1. I’ve gone from a bench of 97.5x5 to 95x11 in 1 1/2 cycles.


#14

Did 5/3/1 and Linear Plans similar to 5x5 so I think I am going to go concurent and try that then may switch back to 5/3/1 It did take my deadlift struggiling at 100kg for 1 to being able to do 140kg for 1, just didn’t do much for my bench, only dumbell press, I’m around 71kg.


#15

So here’s your issue. Just pick a damn program and run it for 8 months. I’d personally stick with 5/3/1 since it’s awesome. I’m a westside style guy, I love my conjugate training but again if you want that style of training then hit up Tate’s 9 Week Basic Training and follow it loyally and through to completion.

There’s nothing wrong with zerchers as assistance, they’re a great exercise but at this stage it’s not your specific weaknesses holding you back, you’re just weak. So pick a solid program with big basic movements and follow it for at least a solid 3 months. Picking a program with built in testing (weather 1, 3, or 5 RM) is even better since it’s built into the program.

Also eat more. Then eat more. Then when you think you’re done eating, get some fucking food in you.

When you’re bulking properly and putting on good size the question people should be asking is not “are you on juice?” or “what’s your program?” it’s “are you ever not eating?”

When guys ask me how to get big and strong I tell them to eat, when they tell me they eat a lot (skinny guys always say they eat a lot) I tell them to show me the food in their pocket right now. They always give me a look like I’m insane then I pull out a protein bar and either start eating it or give it to them and tell them if they don’t have food in their pocket for the moment they’re not explodingly full they’re not eating a lot.

STU


#16

This is amazing. Thank you.

I have some skinny friends and I needed another way to tell them that they eat like birds when they say it’s impossible for them to put on weight.


#17

My conversations usually go like this:

“You need to eat more”
“I already eat a lot, I ate a whole pizza on Thursday”*
“I’m certain you do. I didn’t say you needed to eat a lot, I said you needed to eat more”

*Why is it always a whole pizza? Always!!!


#18

It’s pretty simple. Can’t gain weight = not eating enough, can’t lose weight = eating too much. If you are trying to gain muscle with minimal fat gain (and you can gain easily) or you are trying to cut weight and maintain/increase strength at the same time then it requires a bit more precision, but generally that’s all there is to it.


#19

The “start eating it” bit got me… that’s a pretty crazy scene there man haha


#20

Yep, it is always some specific point in time where they ate a significant amount. They don’t realize this is something that needs to happen daily!

Same. I’m going to do this to my one buddy next time I see him.