T Nation

Weak Bench Press


Is a 225 lbs bench press weak compared to a 315 squat and 400 deadlift raw?? I've been stuck at 225 for months now so I'm thinking about changing my program.

Do you guys have any suggestions on how I can improve my bench press?

I'm 6'0", 180 lbs, 1 year of training.


haha i guarentee your going to get "eat more" for advice. Whats your current chest workout? what exercises do you do? how many times a week? If 225 is your max what is your sticking point, getting the bar off your chest or you cant lock it out?


When I first started training, I did Bill Starr's 5x5. I've been at Starting Strength for a while now. I don't do anything else besides the given program (not even cardio). I can completely lock out 225 (getting to chest, lock out, and rack) if I go any higher to let's say 230, I completely fail. This is also goes for my squat... I can go below parallel with 315, but cannot even do 320 at parallel.

As for eating, you are right about that I do understand I need to eat more because 180 (I started out at 158!) for my height is very small. heh.


i dont know your workout situation, whether you go to a gym or workout at home, but either way i would invest in 1.25LB plates. Besides the eating it might be a mental barrier that your suffering from. Benching is really mental. I mean if you think about it you can fully lift 225 but you cant lift 230. I mean think about that. Its only 5lbs. Just to remind you how little 5lbs is and go pick up a 5lb dumbbell.

That is where the 1.25lb plates come in. If you can lift 225 you can lift 227.5lbs. Also try to get 2 reps of 225. If you can get 2 reps of 225 you can get 1 of 230. as i said its a big mental game and 230lbs might seem mythical or out of reach but really its only 5lbs heavier. To quote 40 yyear old virgin, you're puttin the pussy on a pedestal.

So eat some more, invest in those plates cause they are great for busting through sticking points, and get your mental game straight.

Good Luck


eat more!

..had to be said. For real though, 180 at 6 foot is pretty light. Your lifts are decent for your size; put on some more weight.


Your big 3 are proportional. If you said you had like a 175lb bench, then yeah, uh, something would be up with your bench.

Don't do starting strength. You're too strong for it and won't recover. Search the web for madcow's 5x5. Download the spreadsheet; follow the advice on starting low. You will progress on this.


Agreed. While following a good program that has a plan for progression, eating more (good foods!) will build some muscle and help with strength.

Oh, and his deadlift is decent. That's it. :wink:


Its probably partially psychological if you are able to do 225 but the completely fail on 230. You could change the program to 3x5 or 5x3, but thats up to you.

Also, you just need to get more reps in the 185-215 range. These can be singles, doubles or triples.


I think it's within range of being proportional.


I am pretty much in the same situation as you.

In 3 months, my Bench has decreased from 225*4 to 230*2 while my squat and deadlift number blowed up. I am upset about this.

Don't have any advice sorry

Is that you on your avatar?


@phish - I workout at a gym so the smallest plate increments are 2.5 lbs.

@goochadamg - Thanks, I'm going to try the madcow workout after I get over this flu bug I have right now.

@jasmincar - Yes, that is me on my avatar. :slightly_smiling:


Well maybe you just don't know how to fuckin' bench!
People need to quit fuckin' askin' "What exercises should I do?"
Why don't they just learn how to fuckin' bench?
Check out this fuckin' link, you might learn some shit to increase your bench :slightly_smiling:


Thanks a fuckin' lot Dre!
I'm fuckin' checking this out right now!



First, make sure your form is alays spot then when you have that pegged down you have to get the weight out of your head. Find the weight you are "weirded out by" and skip it. I have a thing for 315 it "feels" heavier to me than 335 for some stupid reason so guess what I just skip the 3 wheels and do a little more. I know that sounds crazy but it's true.

Another Jedi mind trick is to not think "I'm pressing 230#. Think "this is 5 lbs more than last set-that I just smashed... it's only 2.5 lbs PER ARM..I can lift 2.5 lbs damn it! Then smack that shit up!! If you think you can you will..If you can't visualize yourself doing it you won't.

Maybe try adding some board presses to your routine. You'll be able to handle heavier weights with the lessened range of motion and build confidence and get used to handling heavier weights. Then when you go back to your chest you've done weight heavier than that so you'll think it's easy. For example I can do 425x3 off a 2 board so when I go for a max with say 380 it feels lighter because I've done so much more with the boards.

Whatever you do don't neglect your general training and nutrition regimen. Shitty training = shitty results and a certain size muscle will only be able to do so much work or else everyone would have 500# benches. Like Tate says..." you can't flex bone", Good luck.


SWEET!! 4 sentences...4 "F" Bombs"..ha


You've been at Starting Strength for awhile, so it would probably be beneficial to switch up your training.


You're fine.