T Nation

Military Press & Bench Relationship


#1

I bench around 295 without a shirt and am trying to a 300 lb. bench press. After looking through some of the training logs here I noticed that many guys who bench similar numbers as me have much higher working weights with a military press than I do.

My bench has been stuck at this 290-295 mark for awhile now (meaning 3 months or so.) For the longest time, if I tried to max out on the military press, I could only do 135 for a couple a of heavy singles.

For whatever reason now, my working weights with the military press are really starting to move up. The other day, I tried to work with 135 to see how many times I could do it (since I use it as an assistance exercise I had been noticing that my working weights have been going up...) and I did it for 5 times and then 4,3,3 and 2.

Thing is though my bench press isn't moving along with it...

I actually enjoy doing the movement; I have long arms so both the bench and military press don't come easy for me, so I consider them a challenge, BUT, now the fact that one is going up while the other one is not has me wondering is military presses are actually a worthwhile assistance exercise to improve ones bench press. What do you think? Is there much of a correlation between the two? Kind of like how when your deadlift goes up your squat follows or vice versa?


#2

Maybe try letting your shoulders fully recover before testing your bench max again.


#3

There could be a number of reasons why your bench isnt going up. Your shoulders do seem fairly weak.

What's your routine like? Diet?


#4

Id def keep working on your military press, but dont max out on it. Try some middle rep ranges like 6-10 and use a narrower grip to keep your shoulders good for bench. Its been helping mine quite a bit.


#5

My routine is basically a Westside Barbell one that I modified for a raw lifter. I try for a 3 or a 1 rep max one day a week, followed by assistance exercises on Sunday; on Wednesday I do a DE workout (usually with chains or bands) and then assistance work. Mondays I do lat work. Tuesdays shrug work and Thursdays lat work. One day a week or more I also have arm workouts (usually supersetting bis with tris-chicks).

I do the anabolic diet. I can't train my legs because of back problems.


#6

A long time ago I used to do military presses as a max rep movement, but nowadays I usually use it as an assistance movement in the 5 to 12 rep range.


#7

I've been wondering this exact thing. Especially since my shoulders NEED work.

Answers appreciated!


#8

One question though.... If it was my shoulders, why is my working weights with the military press going up but the bench isn't following?


#9

Ask Jim Wendler in the 5/3/1 section. The king of the military press :wink:


#10

push press will allow you to use more weight (and that is a good thing). Milt press I can do more seated than standing but I think the biggest variation is how far you come down. Some people only come down to the top of their head, others only go to 90 degrees, I always go to upper chest/clavicle region and that means my numbers look a lot lower than some asshats who like to do half reps (or worse).

Blast your upper back and I would be suprised if your bp doesn't take a jump.


#11

How much has your military gone up since your bench stopped moving? Where are you failing on the bench, 1-2 inches off the chest? Lockout?


#12

IMO I would just do 5/3/1. Get off westside.


#13

The shoulders might not be the whole problem.


#14

you max out too damn much, get back to the speed work and such


#15

I max out benching with different boards (1bd.2bd.3bd,4bd,etc.) and throw in full ROM sometimes.
In Westside you never max out on the same exercise more than 2 or 3 weeks in a row.


#16

I was doing 85 for 3 sets of 10, now I can almost get 115 for 3 sets of 10. When I bench, if I fail its usually a few inches off of the chest or off of the chest.


#17

Westside really works well from my bench. I took it from 255 to 295. Now I just can't break this plateau.


#18

He should only be doing speed work if he doesnt have good bar speed.


#19

If you wanna stick to Westside, then take out the DE day. Replace it with a Repitition day, doing higher reps, (id say 8-12). You can use a bar, dumbbells, or both. Do that for a month or so, or until your bench goes up, and report back.


#20

wow... I don't know about the correlation, but I do remember seeing the Bench Press video of EliteFTS with the guy saying shoulder presses help him break 500lbs.

However, I would like to see how you are shoulder pressings. Those numbers 295lbs (bench press single) vs 135lbs (shoulder press 5times) look too far off.

I don't bench regularly anymore, last time I max out for shits and giggles after my regular workout I did 225lbs x3. But I can do standing shoulder presses with 135lbs for 5reps easely.

I haven't tried maxing out on barbell presses recently, but yesterday I maxed on dumbell shoulder press. I hit a single with 75lbs dumbell with my left arm, and 75lbs double right arm. (Major torso bending on those btw)