T Nation

Novice's Road to a 225lbs Bench


I think that every novice trainee's goal is to bench 2 plates per side for a single. This is the line that divides the novices from beginners. From that point the next goal is a 3 plates bench but this is another story.

This thread is dedicated to every novice trainee with this goal in mind. Especcially for those which started from a non-athletic backgrond or started as skinny untrained noobs.

Let us share our current personal bests, plans how to reach the 225lbs bench, deadlines, assistance work, sticking points and tips and cues. Diet, recovery, rehab tips, videos are welcome.

My current 1 rep max is 200lbs. I started training lifting the bar only, one year ago i benched 135lbs. Progress is slow paced but existing.

From my humble experience i can say that novice trainees can benefit from high frequency benching - 3 times a week. This could be incline, flat or close grip benching. or a mix of these like incline + close grip or incline + flat.

I can't say if dips or db presses help to bench because i rarely do these exercises.

I can say that alternating bench with rows/face pulls is a good idea. In my case it makes my torso more stabile on the bench. A belt helps me brace my abs and i wear elbow sleeves for warmth and injury prevention.

My goal is to bench 225 untill new year. The earlier the better.

Share your thoughts.


watching the "So You Think You Can Bench" elitefts series helped me a lot in terms of learning how to set up correctly, and press with a strong, safe foundation.

I have recently dominated 215 on the flat bench for 10 reps. the last time I flat bb benched regularly was about two years ago, and 225x4 half reps dominated me.

I agree that a strong row and focused rear delt work can help the novice better identify these areas for activation during the bench press. I've saved many reps simply by re-tightening those muscles, re-solidifying my foundation and pushing myself deeper into the bench.


Nice thread!

I started the stereotypical 125lb skinnyfat weakling and am slowly plugging away making progress. I'm a long way off benching 225lbs right now for sure. I've flat bb benched 135lb for a double previously, but due to lack of a good bar/bench setup, safety and trying to feel it in my chest more I'm using dumbells.

Currently training my chest/shoulders together and twice weekly.

My best effort so far on the flat db press has been 110lb (55lb per hand) for 4 reps.......


if you do transition back to bb bench, keep in mind that it's a totally different movement. you can bench press db's almost vertically but unless you're bb benching with elbows flared out, bb bench will travel in an arc.


I only recently passed the 225 mark as benching has always been my weakest point. I'm now at 240. I started from a nonathletic skinny position.

What worked for me:
1. Watch the 9 part EliteFTS video series by Dave Tate
2. Wear wrist wraps - I have tiny wrists
3. Eat more to get bigger
4. Follow a program and be consistent.

I hated benching so I would look for excuses not to bench, would listen to too much advice from too many people, do band pressing, pin pressing, db pressing.... Guess what ultimately worked for me? Bench Pressing.

Now I'm following Ricky Dale Crain's Bench Methodology. It's very very high volume but I really think its working well. The volume is not only making me stronger but also getting kinks out of my form. I also like that the entire bench day is benching - Bench Press / Board Press / Decline Press / Cambered Bar Bench Press. No variation on different accessory work, no testing max reps and reprogramming, no anything. I just walk in, do the work exactly how I programmed it off of his percentages, and go home.


Cool thread, I join in on the goal to a 100kg benchpress.

My all time best is 70kg x 4rep and 60kg x 10rep, but am at the moment a bit under this.

I got 8reps on 62,5kg this week.

Right now I run 5,3,1 and it seems promising, but have tried alot of stuff before that. everything from
gvt-tbt-hit etc.

I second that facepulls and rows are important for pressing from both a stability perspective and a prehab
perspective. I have the last year done some form of row as my warm up on my bench days.

My short term goal is 80kg x 1 and after that its 90kg, so I guess it will take some time before I do
2 plates. Maybe around june next year if I am lucky.

And finally pushing my BW up would probably help alot to :P, I am roughly 60-63kg as of now.


Get you tris strong, your back strong and your delts strong. Then watch your bench shoot up :slight_smile:


Would like to get my bench up to 100kg/225lbs without much increase in BW. Have done a 77.5kg/170lb x 4 at 68kg BW.


nutrition was the key to getting my bench to 254. my program didnt matter because before i wasnt giving myself the nutritional backing to support growth and strength increases. eat eat eat!