T Nation

Please Critique My Bench Press Routine


#1

So I bench twice a week and my weakness is at the top. Tuesday is a repetition bench day and Saturday is a low reps, heavy bench day. Also I have been powerlifting for only 1 year and my max Bench Press is 242 lbs ( 110kg ).

Tuesday:

Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Floor Press: 3-4 sets x 3-5 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

Saturday:

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 1-3 reps
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets x 3-6 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

I organized this program by reading Dave Tates article on accessory exercises.


#2

Whilst I’m definitely no expert on the bench I would do my incline work before my triceps work but if your numbers are going up your program is working for you as it is then stick with it.


#3

That’s a lot of exercises you have there. Which ones are you planning to hit hard and which ones do you plan to keep light? Have you ever used so many exercises for building your pressing muscles in the past? How do you intend to make progress?


#4

Being weak at the top might also mean you need to be faster/stronger off the chest. With that max, you’ll be better served focusing on getting stronger in general. I wouldn’t worry too much about focusing on the top end. If you can get more off your chest, you’ll be able to lock out more.

Way too much stuff in there, particularly if you’re benching 2x weekly. It would be really hard to hit many of those with any real intensity and make it through the whole workout. If you want to build a better bench, I’d hit Bench hard then follow with some DB work and one triceps exercise. I don’t personally do any direct triceps work and can lock out anything I get off my chest with reasonable inertia. Bench, Overhead Press, dumbbell work and some push-ups are all I do.


#5

[quote]TheChosenOne98 wrote:
So I bench twice a week and my weakness is at the top. Tuesday is a repetition bench day and Saturday is a low reps, heavy bench day. Also I have been powerlifting for only 1 year and my max Bench Press is 242 lbs ( 110kg ).

Tuesday:

Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Floor Press: 3-4 sets x 3-5 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

Saturday:

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 1-3 reps
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets x 3-6 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

I organized this program by reading Dave Tates article on accessory exercises.

[/quote]

You’re in a very similar place to me. I’ve been powerlifting for about the same time and my max is around 115 kg in meet, 112.5 kg last tested in training (247/252 lbs). I weigh in around 210ish lbs (96-97 kg).

For a consider while my bench just didn’t move. At all. Not just my max, but anything over 85% for reps was something I couldn’t guarantee I could hit for more than a single. I tried varying grip, setup, different accessory work. Nothing.

Two months ago I got some good technique advice and found my optimal set up. This took a couple of hours with a PL coach. That was step one.

Step two was benching more. I decided that every time I trained, I would bench competition style. On non-bench days this ended up as 3x5 at 75% (this is to get in volume and groove technique); a speed (8x2 at 60%, then 65% next session, then 70% the next against bands or chains) or repetition (3x6-8 at 75% then 80% then 85% each session) day depending on the cycle; and a heavy day (4x3 and 1xAMRAP at 85%, 4x2 and 1xAMRAP at 90%, then 4x1 and 1xAMRAP at 95%). After the first cycle which has the speed day, add 2.5% to the heavy loads and go back to 4x3 and replace speed with repetition. The 3x5 on non bench days goes up to 80%.

I’m in the final stages of the second cycle and I’ve never been happier benching. Last week I hit 231 lbs for five, a couple of weeks before that 245 lbs for three. I’m also much more confident under the bar for grinds.

The only bench accessories I do are weighted dips and incline presses, and those I only do maybe once a week (so dips one week, incline press the next). Both are in the 6-8 rep range.

I also do a fair bit of rowing but that’s for all the lifts and not just bench.

This averages out to benching in some form three times a week. For me it actually means one week benching four times and one week twice, but that’s just how I train.


#6

[quote]TheChosenOne98 wrote:
So I bench twice a week and my weakness is at the top. Tuesday is a repetition bench day and Saturday is a low reps, heavy bench day. Also I have been powerlifting for only 1 year and my max Bench Press is 242 lbs ( 110kg ).

Tuesday:

Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 6-12 reps
Floor Press: 3-4 sets x 3-5 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

Saturday:

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 1-3 reps
Close Grip Bench Press: 3 sets x 3-6 reps
Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 6-10 reps
DB Lying Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 12 reps
V-Bar Pressdown: 3 sets x 12 reps
Incline DB Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Cuban Press: 3 sets x 12 reps

I organized this program by reading Dave Tates article on accessory exercises.

[/quote]

Bench using your normal competition grip. Add 2 assist lifts to compliment the training.

You only have 1 year in. There is no need for all the variety. Focus most of your assist lifts on the shoulders and triceps.

Focus on good execution of the lift.

You have no pulling exercises listed. Do some type of rowing also for the traps/upper back.


#7


Try this program. The most important thing is consistency. Stick with it, give it at least 12 weeks. Good diet, if money is not issue throw in there some supplements.


#8

as others have suggested, this is way too much assistance work. There’s no way you’re lifting with a reasonable degree of intensity if you’re doing so much stuff, unless this is taking you 3 hours to complete.

Also, your rep ranges are confusing. you listed 4x6-12 as what you’re bench pressing. Which means you’re doing anywhere from 24 reps to 48 reps on this day. There’s an enormous volume difference there. It’s hard to assess what is working for you and what isn’t because of this.

It’s also really incredible that you have 7 different assistance movements, and none of them are dips. Dips are the absolute best assistance lift for the bench press. Why aren’t you doing them? I don’t even know what a cuban press is, but I can assure you it’s not better than dips.

I seriously doubt Dave Tate would approve of this garbage, particularly for a guy with a 250 bench press max. Take it back to basics.


#9

Why dont you try an actual Dave Tate program…