T Nation

Stalled Bench Press

Using a basic 5x5 program I increased my bench from 165 to 195 in 6 weeks, but in the last 5 weeks its only gone from 195 to 205 and I think my working on technique is to thank for that 10 pounds. I’d like to start powerlifting next summer (yes, I realized I’m not that good, but it will give me something to strive for), but my bench is way behind my deadlift and squat as both will probably break 400 in the next few months. If any of you have any advice please help.

[quote]brownab wrote:
Using a basic 5x5 program I increased my bench from 165 to 195 in 6 weeks, but in the last 5 weeks its only gone from 195 to 205 and I think my working on technique is to thank for that 10 pounds. I’d like to start powerlifting next summer (yes, I realized I’m not that good, but it will give me something to strive for), but my bench is way behind my deadlift and squat as both will probably break 400 in the next few months. If any of you have any advice please help. [/quote]

Well, what did you do the past 5 weeks? If you havn’t done the 5x5 in the last 5 weeks then go back to that and try it again, see where you are.

This routine might sound nuts but it worked for me when I was starting out in my first year. Some old powerlifter told me this so anyway heres the plan:

Gotta bench monday and friday. Do between 120-150 reps, that includes the warmup. So 10 reps with the bar gets added into that.

Warm up a bit, this should take ya like 20-30 reps. Jump in at a weight that you’ll be able to do 6 sets for 10 reps at. Thats up to 90 reps. Then move up to a weight you can do for 7, then up again for 5, then up again for 3. Lastly, drop back down to a weight even lower then your 6x10 weight and do 1 or 2 sets of 10, “speed bench”. “Speed bench” means just throw it up as quick as you can and forget about everything else.

Thats 125 reps. We never did 150 so I would shoot for around 120. If we could complete all the sets with that weight we’d move up 5-10lbs the next week. If we failed, we’d repeat that weight until we could hit it. After this routine, take a week off from benching and get back into it by doing heavy singles once a week. You should be able to do 3-5 sets of single reps which will help with your powerlifting.

This routine helped me out alot. Additionally, even if you don’t follow this routine, I would add in once every 2 weeks rack lockouts with a real heavy weight just to work your CNS.

Good Luck.

day 1 of bench:

ME, bench press,
3x3, with maximum weight, then two singles with a higher weight, try not to miss lifts

close grip incline, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2
should press of some sort 3x12
side laterals 2x10
barbell skull crushers 3x10
tricep rope extension 1x20-40 (goodburnout)

do back on ur dl day and hit it hard

seond bench session:
close grip flat bench: 8x3
incline or decline bench 4x10 (helps pack mass on)
dips 3x6-10
different should pressing variation 3x8
rear laterals 3x10
rope extensions 1x20-40

10 pounds in 5 weeks is good progress. In reality that would be about 100 pounds added a year. Treasure those “newbie gains” while you can because if you stick with this long enough you’d be happy with 10 pounds every few months let alone each month.

switch to dumbbells.

I have ordered a pair, but until they ship I’m stuck with a barbell.

[quote]brownab wrote:
Using a basic 5x5 program I increased my bench from 165 to 195 in 6 weeks, but in the last 5 weeks its only gone from 195 to 205 and I think my working on technique is to thank for that 10 pounds. I’d like to start powerlifting next summer (yes, I realized I’m not that good, but it will give me something to strive for), but my bench is way behind my deadlift and squat as both will probably break 400 in the next few months. If any of you have any advice please help. [/quote]

It sounds obvious, but also make sure you are eating enough. Has your body weight changed at all in the past five weeks?

You will be much less likely to plateau when gaining weight.

eat more, yes!

floor presses help

where is your “sticking point”?

off the chest?

1/2 way up at the transision point?

one technique that worked for me is the 20 mins bench. Basically clock yourself and do as many reps as you can in a 20 minute period. They say 3 is the most reps you can do without muscle fatigue kicking in, so I ended up doing 8-9 sets of 3 pretty darn close to my 1RM, then a few sets at the end with just 1 or 2 reps. I would do this once a week and once I could get 28-30 reps in 20 mins I would increase the weight by 5lbs. I read about this technique in an article here, but can’t remember who it was by or when i read it.

My weight is stuck at 185 for the past few weeks, and my sticking point is coming off my chest.

The 20 min bench is a part of EDT (Escalating Density Training) by Charles Staley.

[quote]brownab wrote:
My weight is stuck at 185 for the past few weeks, and my sticking point is coming off my chest.[/quote]

That is what i figured. Start increasing those calories and gaining weight, and I can almost guarantee your bench will start increasing again.