Okay, let me preface this by saying I am not strong. I’m trying to change that.
That said…my problem:
apparently I suck at bench pressing. I train westside style, but with an RE instead of DE day (ala Joe Defranco).
My ME upper rotation has been…
3 weeks floor press
3 weeks incline press
just started doing flat bench for a few weeks today.
Last week I pressed 165 for 1 on the incline press. Today I barely got that on flat bench. I did 165 for 1 as well.
It seems my sticking point is half way up. I’ve been trying to hit the arms (tris) hard, but I’m not sure what the problem could be.
I do tuck my elbows. I stay tight throughout the lift (probably not as tight as I should stay, but I’m working on it).
Ideas? Solutions? Thoughts? How wide should the hands be? I usually take a wider grip because it feels like I can actually lock my back in tight at a grip just inside the rings.
Thanks in advance.
My other lifts have come along great in the past few months. Up some 30lbs on squat and deadlift.
Other things that may be important:
imho your ME cycles are too long and you never mix in a rep day or backoff into the ME cycles. Yes, newbies can milk a ME exercsie for 2-3 workouts, but after 3 weeks of ME, you need to change either to a back off and/or a rep day. I would recommend high rep db floor presses for 3 sets of reps 15 or higher or a mini nfl combine, maybe using 95 or 115 for an all out rep set, shooting for 20, then finish with a close grip set shooting for 2/3 of the reps of the previous set.
You also need to stop doing all singles for a while, do mainly triples on ME day. On your RE day, what volume are you doing? You need to be doing at least 25 reps of bench. What about lockout and lats? Plates raises for front delts will help that transition sticking point, as will rear delt work for stability.
Food? Rest? Stress? Activity outside the gym? Bench press is a high maintenance mistress.
I didn’t really intend to do a single on 165. I’ve done it before for 5 reps (last time I did WS4SB in the fall). I was shooting for three. I usually start ME cycles with a 3-5RM then move to single or triples depending on how I feel.
For RE day I’ve been sticking with push up variations for the past few weeks. Like Defranco recommends: 3xmax reps with 90 sec rest.
I was thinking of just dropping ME stuff to one week. I made amazing progress on squats last time around just switching every other week: back box squat, free front squat, back box squat, free front squat. There was never a week I didn’t add at least 5 lbs to a 5RM sometimes ten on those lifts.
For lats I’ve been focusing a lot of chins because I suck at them. So I got a measly 5x5 with body weight last week and was fried, so I dropped the volume this week. Not sure what do here. I think I probably need more volume, but the chin is such a basic exercise that I have trouble dropping it completely in favor of using less weight with more volume on the pull down.
I’ve been doing rear delt work every upper day in the gym. Not much front delt work as I always feel pretty friend in them after pressing. Should I incorperate more front delt work? Iso exercises or compound movements?
As far as the other stuff: I live a pretty low stress life. I eat well and at about 2500-3000kcal a day (above or at maintenence for me). I’m a former fatty, and my metabolism seems crazy slow. The most strenuous activity I do outside the gym is practice my guitar (I’m finishing up my B.Music in guitar performance).
I think the guys above may be right: I just need to forget about this shit for a while and do a more basic program. Like rippetoe’s or a 5x5.