T Nation

Need Help. Bench Program?


Ok i have been running 5/3/1 for over a year with a lil time off while i ran westside for a coupe of months..I really enjoy 5/3/1 due to its simplicity and i dont always have a spotter..i have hit 420 on th bench and feel like im kinda at a standstill getting past this point. I want to continue running the 5/3/1 for squat and dl but am looking for something diff with my bench. Im thinking a little volume might due me some good..

Cananyone suggest a good simple bench program that may benefit me. I have looked at ed coan and smolov jr but when i plug in my max i fear that i may not be able to handle the weight they call for at the amount of sets/reps due to my body not being accustomed to doing more then 5 reps and usually 3...

I like the way ws looks but itis sometimes diff espicially on me days when no spotters around


You could try sheiko if you want. It isn't the best for bench, but might work as a bit of variety for you. You could probably start with a true 1RM but it will likely be a bit easy so increase it week by week. You could try one of the bench program... though you may die on first try. So you could try running just the bench from 29, 37 and then 30 perhaps.


You could also add in some accessory movements to supplement. Where is your sticking point?


Honestly, no sticking point really.. Just at th point where its too heavy


The question is where do you fail, when you fail? Are you not getting off your chest when you fail? If that's the case, then chances are you need more pec work. Are you failing around a 2 or 3 board area? Chances are more tricep/front delts.


Pec work for failing at the bottom??? I thought it was lats for weak out of the hole.. I guess it would b at the bottom but i dunno if its past midway because it doesnt get there.. If i fail its usually just off my chest


This is what I would do. Not sure if its the best advice but this is usually how I train lol. When I plateau on an exercise I drop it COMPLETELY for a few months. I put a similar lift in its place and when that exercise plateaus I go back to the original exercise.

When my bench stalls I stop benching and focus on either incline bench or military press. I don't even think about flat bench. When I get back to flat bench I'm weaker at first but in a few shorts weeks I gain back all my previous strength and than some. I put 90 pounds on my bench in a year all natural just by cycling back and forth from incline to flat.

Hope this helps.


You got to a 420 bench becuase of 5/3/1..why change it? You can't progress continually. I could see some value to adding a little more speed work but other than that 5/3/ is a effective a program as your gonna find. I train with the same principles year round with little changes to minor details.

Truth - in 8 months I gained 5kg, and then in 2-3 months I gained 30kg to my bench. Sometimes you have to stick with things through the "bad". Strength comes in bursts (provided trainers aren't beginners - which someone who benchs 420 isn't). If your patient then you allow time for injurys to heal, technique to improve, stength gain etc..I personally see no value in you changing your approach.


Lats stabilize the weight, and in newer lifters chances are it's one limiting factor, if you're failing to get off your chest, go figure you should get your chest stronger....Might need some speed work as well if you've been running 5/3/1, you could just be too slow off your chest.