dont’ do higher reps. that’s just plain retarded if you are trying to build strength and power.
Rotate reps of 5-3-1 each week. Wendler has a program where you do 1 exercise for 3 weeks working your way up to a 5 rep max, then 3, then 1 in that same exact lift. 4’th week is a deload.
what helped me get my shitty bench up was rotating the following in that 5-3-1 method.
So I’d pick one of the following and stick with it for 4 weeks before trying another movement:
-Bar bench with 3 boards on your chest
-Bar bench in power rack and set the pins up so that they are 3 inches above your chest. lift off and then pause on the pins and then quickly explode off of the pins
-Bar bench with chains (this worked amazing for me!!)
And for an accessory exercise choose 1 of the following for 3 sets of 6-8 and rotate them each week:
-Dumbell flat bench press (70%-80%) of one rep max
-Single arm Dumbell flat bench (same %)
-Incline Dumbell press (same %)
Then for assistance exercises rotate a tri movement related to benching. Choose only 1 of the following exercises but rotate them each week.
So you could do 3 sets of 6-8 of:
-Close Grip Bar bench
-Close grip bar bench in power rack with a pause on pins and then explode off
-Skull crushers, but use dumbells instead of a bar.
For Shoulders (I train them on a different day than bench but leave 2 days recovery before my next benching session)
choose one of the following
-Standing bar Militry Press 5-3-1 too
-Dumbell shoulder presses either single or both arms
Make sure you are including some heavy rows and pulls for your back. You can’t bench big numbers if you don’t have a back to support the weight.
Hope that helps man. It helped me a lot.
Also, when you are training, do not worry about walking out of the gym with a huge pump. The goal is to stimulate through heavy lifting but not annihilate your muscle groups.