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Upping My Bench 3RM & 5RM

I am trying to turn my 3-rep max into a 5 rep max.

Workout from yesterday

bench
135x10
155x5
185x5
205x5
225x5
235x3
255x3 (failed 4th rep)

Anybody been here? Or have anysuggestions?

My approach is to keep on it until I get all 5… simple huh.

2nd time with 255x3 by the way. Week before I did 250x5.

Warm up with two lighter sets.

The move on to 3 working sets of 255.

Keep trying to hit a rep pb every week till you have 255 as your new 5RM.

Where is here? What are you trying to accomplish? I guess you are attempting that every week? Is that your whole bench workout?

You’re going to find it harder and harder to increase a max every week doing the same thing.

I would suggest cycling of some sort. either percentages, volume, or exercises for at least some variety.

If you just do less heavy sets leading up to your 255 attempt you will more than likely be able to do it. Just warming up and then doing it will give you a much better chance of success.

[quote]IrishMarc wrote:
Warm up with two lighter sets.

The move on to 3 working sets of 255.

Keep trying to hit a rep pb every week till you have 255 as your new 5RM.

[/quote]

Thanks for the reply man.

But, do you mind giving me an example, like how the workout would look? with poundages and reps…

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
Where is here? What are you trying to accomplish? I guess you are attempting that every week? Is that your whole bench workout?

You’re going to find it harder and harder to increase a max every week doing the same thing.

I would suggest cycling of some sort. either percentages, volume, or exercises for at least some variety.[/quote]

Thanks, man. Do you have any specific suggestions I should use? I’ve been lifting heavy for a long time. So…?

[quote]VikingsAD28 wrote:
If you just do less heavy sets leading up to your 255 attempt you will more than likely be able to do it. Just warming up and then doing it will give you a much better chance of success. [/quote]

This is what I’m thinking about doing. I think if I took out 235x3 and just skipped it I’d have more energy for 255x4 or 5… It’s hard finding the right weight and sets.

Doing things like rotating in boards/bands/chains.

Focusing on weak muscle groups for isolation/variation work.

If I’m going for a max, my lead up looks like
35% x 5
60% x 3
70% x 1
80% x 1
attempt

I do much better when the volume of my warm-up is pretty low.

[quote]alocubano1110 wrote:
IrishMarc wrote:
Warm up with two lighter sets.

The move on to 3 working sets of 255.

Keep trying to hit a rep pb every week till you have 255 as your new 5RM.

Thanks for the reply man.

But, do you mind giving me an example, like how the workout would look? with poundages and reps…[/quote]

as a rule of thumb warm ups are 60% + 80% of working weight.

so

155 x 5
205 x 5
255 x what ever
255 x what ever
255 x what ever

Untill 255 is your 5 RM.

As already mentioned you need to change rep/load schemes every once in a while. (general rule of thumb 4 weeks)

But I wouldn’t get too caught up in that shit just yet.

Just keep trying to set new PRs in each exercise eat your food and get your rest.

While reading and learning so when you do decide to start switching shit up you have some clue what your doing.

Alternatively look at a good programme (shelkio, Wendler’s 5,3,1 and run that add nausem) no thinking involved just effort and getting stronger.

look into 5/3/1. theres a big thread about it going on, you can probably get the whole jist of it from the thread.

its a great program, and in my experience youd smash that 255x5 within a few weeks of 5/3/1.

honestly, you said you did 250x5…which for most people is going to be harder than 255x3 (your most recent effort). its probably just a mental thing dude.

[quote]alocubano1110 wrote:
VikingsAD28 wrote:
If you just do less heavy sets leading up to your 255 attempt you will more than likely be able to do it. Just warming up and then doing it will give you a much better chance of success.

This is what I’m thinking about doing. I think if I took out 235x3 and just skipped it I’d have more energy for 255x4 or 5… It’s hard finding the right weight and sets.[/quote]

I’m not a fan of pyramiding weights like that, I find sets across with the same weight more useful, so in your case trying for something like 240x5x5 followed in the next heavy bench day by 255x3x3 and another rep scheme for the next workout. You really need to switch it up in weights sets and reps to not have your training go stagnant.

yea, id like to add that i disagree on the bands and chains and stuff like that, at this point.

certainly they are valuable training tools, but i dont think you need them at this point. i would add about 100lbs to your max before considering them. at your level, you really just need a tried and true program. 5/3/1 will work great, seriously.

my max is about 345lbs right now, and im nowhere near considering bands and chains.

…people tend to have varying opinions on that

Bands and chains are all well and good with a sub 400 bench I wouldn’t bother my arse.

I hit 410 a few weeks ago and wouldn’t even think to use bands or chains.

Even then if I did it would be for a block just for something different.

Plenty of people in the world with fuck off benches have never seen a giant elastic band or chain in the weights room never mind used them.

They can be used with great success I’m sure but I would say they are hardly a staple. That NEED to be used.

Wow, excellent advice guys. I’ve made the decision to drop a working set and less volume with the warm up sets.

If I cannot get 255x4 in 2 weeks then I will try what you all have suggested. I’m looking at that 5/3/1 program now =]

[quote]IrishMarc wrote:
Bands and chains are all well and good with a sub 400 bench I wouldn’t bother my arse.

I hit 410 a few weeks ago and wouldn’t even think to use bands or chains.

Even then if I did it would be for a block just for something different.

Plenty of people in the world with fuck off benches have never seen a giant elastic band or chain in the weights room never mind used them.

They can be used with great success I’m sure but I would say they are hardly a staple. That NEED to be used. [/quote]

x2. My bench went up when I started using straight weight exclusively.

alo,

Not bad lifting, remember to warm-up not wear out! You could easily have dropped the 225x5 and 235x5 and had a shot at your 255x5. If you want more volume do a drop set or two after your 5RM. The 5x5 system, if that’s what your doing, is a good one. It’s drawback is most people plateau quickly. I would recommend alternating another set/rep scheme with the 5x5. Good luck.

x2 wendler 5/3//1

I agree on looking at the 531 program, I’m just finishing my 3rd cycle with it and love it.

But I totally disagree on NOT using chains and bands.

If you have a weak point, then you can adress it. Obviously I don’t mean that if you can’t bench 135 to use bands…if your bench is super weak then you need overall progress and muscle growth.

I used straight weight for my 1st cycle of 531, and then added chains for my 2nd cycle and from the start of my first cycle to just last week I went from a 290lb 1RM to 315lb 1RM. Could I have done that without chains? Who knows! But I was having issues with the lock out; and now I don’t.

You can also work weak point by pin-pressing and floor pressing.

Telling someone not to take advantage of bands, chains and boards is pretty ignorant IMHO. Not everyone has an easy time hitting big numbers on bench. It took me about 18mo to go from 245 to 315 and I used all the methods that I’ve talked about in this rant.

OP, figure out what you want and if you have access to other equipment…give it a try; it can only help.

[quote]B rocK wrote:
I agree on looking at the 531 program, I’m just finishing my 3rd cycle with it and love it.

But I totally disagree on NOT using chains and bands.

If you have a weak point, then you can adress it. Obviously I don’t mean that if you can’t bench 135 to use bands…if your bench is super weak then you need overall progress and muscle growth.

I used straight weight for my 1st cycle of 531, and then added chains for my 2nd cycle and from the start of my first cycle to just last week I went from a 290lb 1RM to 315lb 1RM. Could I have done that without chains? Who knows! But I was having issues with the lock out; and now I don’t.

You can also work weak point by pin-pressing and floor pressing.

Telling someone not to take advantage of bands, chains and boards is pretty ignorant IMHO. Not everyone has an easy time hitting big numbers on bench. It took me about 18mo to go from 245 to 315 and I used all the methods that I’ve talked about in this rant.

OP, figure out what you want and if you have access to other equipment…give it a try; it can only help.[/quote]

I agree. Many people also continue to use straight up standard exercises and develop weak points. You do have to use a little more thought when choosing alternatives, but if you are developed enough to note weak points I see no problem using them. But many people also use variations to concentrate on strengths (most people like to do what they are good at), so you have to think about what you’re doing.

The other thing I was pointing out is that if he seems determined to continue lift heavy indefinitely, rotating exercise variations is an alternative to alternating weights and frequency.

monster mini bands to improve your bench.

google: powerlifting bands