And by the way, every lift will have a sticking point. You do special exercises to build your main lifts, not to build other special exercises.
What the hell just happened!
Cantankerous Chris has become Conjugate Chris!
The first place I would look is technique. Get onto youtube and look up bench press video clips by Dave Tate, Mark Bell, Eric Spoto, Scott Mendelson. They all have sliht differences in their approaches, but what you need to do is look for their similarities and start from there.
Regarding the overhead press, It has helped me in the past but now I’m not so sure. I’m now leaning towards dumbbell presses and a ton of upper and mid back work.
With a few exceptions (Gant, Mike McDonald) the great majority of big bench pressers have been mass monsters (Jim Williams, Kaz, Pacifico, Arcidi, Ken Lain, J.M Blakely, Ken Patterson, Spoto, Sarychev,etc.). At 6’-2" a world class bench presser weighs in the neighborhood of 300lbs. A world class bencher at a bodyweight of 198-205 is likely to be shorter than 5’-5".
Hell must be freezing over right now, as this is the second post I’ve agreed with Chris in just one day. I would stop looking so much into special exercises and start looking into programming first, as it is very bare bones like you said. Start manipulating volume and intensity first. If you just got 3 reps on your 531, then you are up there in intensity and due for a reset. Cycle back down and up your volume. Use pause presses or spotos and start working on your speed/momentum off the chest w/ FSL multiples.
If you already own the slingshot, then since you are virtually in a high intensity/low volume phase, try it for a few jokers for a cycle or so if you feel that the weight is just a mental block, but ultimately you are going to have to cycle back down soon and focus on more volume, building speed out of the bottom and possibly technique. I’m not saying using the slingshot won’t work, but if you’re going to use it to overload you need to know your comp press to SS press ratio, pick your target goal and work backwards from there with a solid plan of progression. A few singles here and there won’t cut it.
I’ve benched over 2xbw while being 6’-6’1" and skinny. Overhead work makes my benching worse. Like my overhead max was probably 130-140 when at my best bench.
Wide grip, lat work, pec work, building/increasing your arch, and practice. At least that helped me get from suck to not horrible.
how did overhead pressing make your bench worse?
Moreso no noticeable carryover. But trying to strict press on top of benching 2-3 times a week led to some pain and discomfort which would screw with my bench eccentric.
Just curious, what did you bench at what weight? Do you have short arms?
365 at 175-180. Wingspan is 74-ish"
OP if you posted a video it would make it way easier for us to help you!
If you only got three reps on your 1+ week, your training max is too high. Jim strongly recommends being able to do 5 strong, fast reps with your training max when you start a cycle. You should NEVER not be able to get five reps on any set. You won’t be doing five on every set with every template, but you should definitely be able to.
Isn’t your training max supposed to be 90% or your 1rm or estimated 1rm? I’m pretty sure most people can’t do 5 reps with 90%, I certainly can’t.
The 1+ week on 531 is done at 95% of TM, so if your TM is 90% of your 1rm, then the 1+ week is done at 0.95*0.9 or 0.855 of your 1rm. In addition, in many of the newer programs Jim suggest you start with a TM of 85% of 1rm.
Not so, as long as getting above the minimum reps its fine. he never said how many cycles he’d done.
Learning to churn out heavy singles/triples etc has a lot of benefits not to mention generating mental fortitude in the gym
He said training max, not 1+ week. If it’s different in newer programs then that applies to newer programs only. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with doing low reps and in fact that is a good way to train if your goal is to get stronger rather than simply add more mass.
Jim has said it numerous times on the forum. The 5’s, 3’s and 531 weeks are base programming. If one wanted to do low reps, that is what jokers are for. He has stated on his tnation forum that you should be able to get 5 strong reps on your top set during any week as far back as “Beyond”.
If Jim has changed his recommendations then I won’t contradict him, but if I remember correctly he said that you should be aiming for 5 reps on the 1+ week at the start of the cycle (as in new training max) and to reset once you can’t get the required reps (1 rep in that case). Anyway, heavy triples are not a bad thing if you are trying to get stronger. The issue with the OP is that his volume is very low and he is making no progress so he definitely needs to change things up, resetting his maxes could be part of it but if anything he could probably use more heavy work if his main goal is to get stronger. Joker sets sound like a good idea.
Here’s the issue. You hit 1 hard rep in your final week, probably with questionable form. You have gone an entire cycle with your training max equal to your actual max. You then increase the weight and you go another cycle probably with a training max above your actual max.
You fail in your 1 week and reset the weight and are probably still at your actual max.
This is how people stall out for 5 cycles.
Yea, in all honesty the program could have further evolved away from this for all I know, as I haven’t followed his forum that close in the last 7,8,9 months. It has seemed to get even more conservative as far as the TM from that, that I did read on the forums, but I haven’t read “Forever”, so I can’t really say. I agree his volume is really low. The top 3 worksets and one FSL isn’t much at all and we could all use a little more volume and intensity, but both can’t be pushed indefinitely. I’m not saying that both can’t be persued or even pushed concurrently, but programming gets a little more complex, than 531. It doesn’t take long to run into problems, while simultaneously pushing volume and intensity from session to session, not to mention if he’s pushing his overhead press as well. This has been my experience anyways.