T Nation

Unbalanced Bench press


I have been training for a year. Made pretty gud progress in my bench went from 225 to 300 even. in december i started 5/3/1 and im now on my 2nd cylce. After maxing out at 300 about two weeks ago i couldnt stop thinking about 315 because i had set that pR after my workout so was gassed so i wanted to try it fresh.

So i came to the gym and did a thorough warm up with 3 sets of 6 pull ups very light tricep pull downs (10lbs) 2 sets with the bar 2 sets with 95 135 x5 185x3 225x1 275x1 and then i went for 315. My right arm passed my sticking point but my left side didnt and it got uneven and i missed the lift. This has never happened to me before so i was trying to think about how to fix it.

Should i use dumbell presses as my assistance excercises for the next few weeks? or will there always be just a slight difference in the strength of both sides and i need to just get stronger. im 6-1 and weigh 215 if that helps, unsure of body fat levels.


One arm must be stronger than the other, or has a better lock out. Not sure.


Are you left handed? The reason I ask, my right shoulder has more wear and tear than my left, do to playing alot of softball, and doing stupid stuff like throwing hard before it was warmed up.

Lifting heavy will reveal every injury you have ever had.


Sometimes my right side will sputter before my left despite being equally strong on most unilateral and db pressing variations. The reason for me is that I have RC issues on that side that only show up when I go really heavy on pressing exercises if I don't take great care to keep it healthy and mobile.


Something is bound to break down eventually on a max attempt. I personally don't worry too much about asymmetries like that. I'm right handed, so naturally I started out stronger on that side. Then I broke my right arm, and my left was stronger for years. Just today benching, my left lagged behind a bit on a heavy lift. If you just continue to lift heavy and equally it's bound to shift around some, but generally stay pretty close.

There might be some merit to training a weak side more (single arm DB presses?) but I just don't like the idea of it.


Usually, the arm you use the most will be stronger than the other naturally.


99.9999999% of the time, uneven pressing is a form issue. Your technique has to improve as the weight on the bar inreases. As you progress through training, new strengths and weaknesses will be developed. Say your form has been spot on until you attempted 315 and then you all of a sudden pressed uneven? Sounds like an upper back weakness and a lat activation/involvement porblem. Work the shit out of those.


I definitely think ima do that because i know that my pulling strength is not up to par when compared to my bench. My pull ups are ok i can do about 15 but i would like to c them more around 30 and my BB row sucks. I think ima add more back work as my assistance for 5/3/1


As always STB is spot on. I had this same problem and did all kinds of stupid shit to try to fix it. What finally worked was doing a bunch of rows with more sets focused on my left side. I'd do DB rows and seated rows with a D handle to really beat up the left Lat. I also did more work on the left rear delt and that helped also.