T Nation

Rippetoes - Bench Press Wall

Basically, I started working out at the end of September. I got to 50kg bench press at the start of November (albeit with terrible form, half reps). Fixed my form and my diet, on NYE I got to 57.5kg 3x5 without a problem. Today, I tried to lift 60kg and I managed 2 reps on the first set. And then on the second set I just couldn’t lift it past the 1st rep. Then I was ushered out of the gym because it was closing.

I just want to know, what the hell is going wrong with this lift? I just can’t seem to really improve that well on it…

I had the same problem on SS. What are your other lifts? Having said that if you got 3 x 5 at 57kg then you should be able to get more than 2 reps at 60kg. Maybe just had a bad day, try the same weight again next workout otherwise its a deload.

move on -SS good for the first couple of months to learn the main lifts but after that will build imbalances and especially leave arms lagging

[quote]stinger70 wrote:
I had the same problem on SS. What are your other lifts? Having said that if you got 3 x 5 at 57kg then you should be able to get more than 2 reps at 60kg. Maybe just had a bad day, try the same weight again next workout otherwise its a deload.[/quote]

Hi, are you on TSR by any chance?

Yeah, i think genetically this is just a weak area of mine. I managed 105kg 1x5 squat with weak form (i’ve deloaded to 95kg now to work on technique) and my deadlift is at 110kg. . . so not too bad.

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
move on -SS good for the first couple of months to learn the main lifts but after that will build imbalances and especially leave arms lagging[/quote]

Hi, you said this on another thread of mine and I am considering this. Do you think that it might be too early though? People say that it is way too early for me to change.

[quote]renatus wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
move on -SS good for the first couple of months to learn the main lifts but after that will build imbalances and especially leave arms lagging[/quote]

Hi, you said this on another thread of mine and I am considering this. Do you think that it might be too early though? People say that it is way too early for me to change. [/quote]

Not too early, there’s loads of threads about the limitations of SS…

A standard 3 way split with the first compound lift done 5x5 (the rest for 8-12 reps) is a good option or 5/3/1 beginners template

some more food for thought…
http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/02/12-months-with-531-a-beginners-insight/

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:

[quote]renatus wrote:

[quote]RampantBadger wrote:
move on -SS good for the first couple of months to learn the main lifts but after that will build imbalances and especially leave arms lagging[/quote]

Hi, you said this on another thread of mine and I am considering this. Do you think that it might be too early though? People say that it is way too early for me to change. [/quote]

Not too early, there’s loads of threads about the limitations of SS…

A standard 3 way split with the first compound lift done 5x5 (the rest for 8-12 reps) is a good option or 5/3/1 beginners template

some more food for thought…
http://www.jimwendler.com/2012/02/12-months-with-531-a-beginners-insight/

[/quote]

Wow, the 5/3/1 sounds really good. This Paul Sutton guy sounds like he started where I am right now. . .

Do dips and LOTS of push-ups. I’ve had similar problems with you on benching; then I started doing dips and realized that I had poor bench numbers because I lacked fundamental arm, most notably tricep, strength. After a week or two of doing dips, I basically made a jump from 135 to 160lb max on the bench.

Dips will greatly strengthen most of the muscles involved in the bench and teach you pure will. The same is true for push-ups if you just do them slowly and methodically instead of the stupidly fast pace most people do them at. I’ve always had a much harder time just willing myself through the bench because failure sort of means you’re fucked, and the will required to push out the last reps near the last couple of sets for dips and push-ups help, I think.

I think a lot of beginners have a mental fear of failing on the bench and find it difficult to just PUSH themselves on it. If you fail a rep on the squat you (hopefully) have the safety bars to drop it on, and failing on the dead-lift just means you make a lot of noise. But if you fail on the bench you’re stuck under 100+lb of weight, and that’s either embarrassing or potentially dangerous.

If getting to an easy 5-6 rep/set on the dips doesn’t improve your bench numbers, then look to greatly improve the # of pull/chin-up you can do and your BB/DB rows.

a good SS mod posted my someone else on another website

workout A
squat 3x5
bench press 3x5
pull ups 15-20 reps
barbell rows 3x5
optional: cable rows 3x8, bicep work 3x8, face pulls 2x10-20

workout B
front squat 3x5 (you could just stick with back squat)
MP 3x5
deadlift 1x5
abs 2x10-20
optional: dips 15-20 reps tricep work 3x8

takes care of alot of imbalances often caused by vanilla starting strength.

[quote]renatus wrote:

Hi, are you on TSR by any chance?

Yeah, i think genetically this is just a weak area of mine. I managed 105kg 1x5 squat with weak form (i’ve deloaded to 95kg now to work on technique) and my deadlift is at 110kg. . . so not too bad. [/quote]

no im not lol. I totally agree about genetically weak bench, and SS doesnt have any assistance work built in to help with it, so you just repeatedly fail. People say you are afraid to push yourself but i wasnt, and i’ve dropped 50-60kg on my chest plenty of times while trying to get that last rep, much more sensible to use a spotter though!

SS is a good program for teaching the basic compound movements and creating a good strength base. It will give you more muscle mass over time but it is not a body building routine.
If you are struggling to bench less than 80% of your body weight and you have been following ss properly then it will be an issue of technique rather than anything else

I’m going to guess you were rushing to get as much done as possible before they closed, and if you were rushing I’m going to guess you didn’t take much time to rest between the warmup and worksets…

Just a word from another person with 100kg squat and DL but only a 60kg bench. I do think pushups hasve been helping though; I’m tryi to do a few sets before I shower each morning

[quote]renatus wrote:
Basically, I started working out at the end of September. I got to 50kg bench press at the start of November (albeit with terrible form, half reps). Fixed my form and my diet, on NYE I got to 57.5kg 3x5 without a problem. Today, I tried to lift 60kg and I managed 2 reps on the first set. And then on the second set I just couldn’t lift it past the 1st rep. Then I was ushered out of the gym because it was closing.

I just want to know, what the hell is going wrong with this lift? I just can’t seem to really improve that well on it… [/quote]

Nothing is wrong.
You progressed from 50 kg to 60 kg in 2 months.Thats 20 % of increase of maximal strength in 2 months in this lift.Thats a GREAT progress.Keep doing what youre doing.

Building muscle & strength means remodeling body tissues- muscle,ligaments,bones and supporting internal organs as well as training & adapting your nervous system(brain,nerves and neurotransmiters).
Building serious muscle,strenght and power takes a decade of dedicated hard and smart training,healthy nutrient-rich diet and sleeping well.

Be patient…

Bench and OHP are the 2 exercises where my progress is very slow too. Well it was fast until something like 40 / 45 kgs then it s very difficult.

Like said here :

  • mental failure anxiety
  • arms building up strength slowly
  • shoulders adapting slowly too

In beyond brawn, author said that after 100 pds on BP, progression became very slow and he aimed at the next 10 % (in pounds, that means the next 4.5 kgs)…

BP is a full body lift performed mainly with chest, shoulders, arms, which are weaker muscles than back & legs… So the progression is slower, I guess ?