T Nation

Struggling With Bench


So im new to this,three months in, and im struggling with bench. I cant seem to make any gains. im 5'11" 195, and all I can put up is 190lb 6/4/2. Ive been benching twice a week. Trying to focus on the big 4 like ive been reading about on here.
DL : 300, 4 x 6
Squats : 205, 3 x 12
Pull ups: 3 x 8

All of these have pretty well doubled in the three months that ive been going, but my bench just hasnt seen gains. I had a guy there help me out with form so I think thats good now. Any suggestions, from what I understand being a newbie like I am I shouldnt be hitting a wall like this.


What's your bench routine now?


Twice a week, trying to keep it heavy enough that reps are under 6. I typically do bench first in the chest routine, follow up with dips, incline db, and finish with fly's.


Try working different rep ranges for a while. I think the best thing would be to start higher like 10-12 and work your way back down to 1-5 after a few weeks.

Do you use a powerlifting setup with leg drive and whatnot?

You could also look at a program like 5/3/1 which works well for a lot of people.


I was stuck at my bench for quite some time (a couple months). I began eating more. My bench is consistently getting better again every workout.


Rocky2's got a point, making sure you're properly fueled for workouts can make a big difference.

Check your nutrition.
Check your form (do you know how to set up for a bigger bench? If not, look it up).
Get a routine, any Tom, Dick, or Harry can make-up some half-assed workout plan and get decent results, but why re-invent the wheel? Pickup 5/3/1 and just follow it, don't over think shit.
Get a spotter, seriously makes a big difference, even if they don't touch the bar. Helps with confidence in knowing you won't get pinned, lets you be more aggressive. Most folks who don't look like emaciated little girls are willing and able to spot you, just tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Once you do all that and if you're still not making progress then you're just a puss and you're not trying hard enough. I suggest knitting as an alternative.


I found better progress doing closer to 8-10 rep sets (at least for the first set, 3rd set I might get 4-5). I think bench is the easiest lift to max out on (do 1-5 RM to failure) so people get carried away with it and never do anything but low rep sets. Whereas with squats for example it is a huge effort and pain in the ass to go for a 3 rep max set, and you probably aren't doing this Every leg workout


If you are busting your ass lifting HEAVY bench 2 days a week you may be over doing it. Sounds a little off but 1/3 of this game is Recovery, and if you arent fully recovered (actually, more than fully) you wont be progressing.

Pick one day and go heavy, and 3-4 days later work out hard but use 8 sets of 3 reps(research Dynamic Effort if you dont get this) with about 50% of your max for speed, or do sets with 12 reps to hit different muscle fibers.


Thanks guys, I will try to use the suggestions. I have already bumped up the food intake and will try some rep and intensity variations. Ill come back in 6 weeks and give some feedback.



Good Luck man,

For a while I had the exact same problem... I couldn't get past 210, and now I'm at 240. Just try the suggestions from above and you'll pull through.