T Nation

What to Focus On?

I’m currently 22yrs old, 160lbs. Squat-350, bench-305, and deadlift-385. I was sort of a bro-lifter for a while so that explains my bench in comparison to my other lifts. What would your approach be if you were me? Should I be backing off on the bench and focusing on my other 2 lifts, or just keep riding it out? Not really on a specific program at the moment, recently moved from a bodybuilding/aesthetic approach to a powerlifting one and unsure where to put my focus. Thanks in advance.

Focus on building your total, as that’s how you’ll win meets.


Lifter A lifts 460/270/490,so he totals 1220
Lifter B lifts 390/400/430,so he totals 1220

Who wins?
(Yeah I know I know the one that weights less)

Just get as strong as you can.Squat pounds don’t count more than bench ones on your total

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But with this said its far easier to add lbs to squat and dead than bench. I out benched a kid by 85lbs but he ended up beating me cause he had a bit more in the squat and dead.

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Totally agree on that

Train all equally. Add three sets of five starting at 65% of your weakest lift to every session you don’t train it. When you can do every set with three reps in the tank, add 5-10 lbs.

That said, if you have a 110kg bench but a 260kg squat you likely have more potential to increase your total in your bench.

His squat is 350 his bench is 305. Which one do you think will go up easier. But unless someone trains legs more often than chest which usually isnt the case in beginners the squat will be easier to put on lbs. You gave highly unrealistic numbers. No one looks like this

But the important question is: does that influence how he should train? Probably not. Assuming that his goal is being a competitive powerlifter, he should strive to get as strong as possible on all three lifts.

Is it likely that his squat will go up easier? I guess. But how does that influence your recommendation for his training?

If he wants to be more competitive then he wants a high total. His bench is decent at his weight. The squat and dead are behind. My total was 1390 three years ago. I just hit 1500 in the same weight class (181) and weighing in just .75 of a lb more. My benches were identicle though this time 350 was my second attempt. I added 110lbs through squat and dead since my bench was already decent. He asked what to focus on, I say not to slack off on bench but I added squatting daily and went up 50lbs in two months when I was already at 500

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I think you should do everything you can to get your bench up (while training the other lifts regularly as well). That’s a decent lift at your bodyweight, and it may be your best chance of beating other lifters as so few people have a truly impressive bench (in my experience, a great competition bencher is rarer than a great squatter or deadlifter). Squats (and deadlifts) are brilliant though, so do them often; just not at the expense of your bench. Work on your weaknesses, but always maximize your strengths.

Thanks for the replies. It definitely makes sense that 5 lbs on bench or 5 lbs on squat both add the same to my total. I was more concerned with how my training should be oriented, so I’ll keep focused on all 3 and just try to climb as high as I can. Appreciate the input.