T Nation

Will Bench Progress on Starting Strength?


I'm 14 and I've been working out on and off for the past 2 years, but fairly consistently for the past year. The thing is I've pretty much only been training bench and pretty much neglected my lower body. I know realize that the squat and deadlift are extremely important.

I'm planning on beginning Starting Strength in about a week. Anyway my question is: Do you think my bench could still progress from Starting Strength, considering that I've been benching once a week for the last year?



Yeah I wouldn't personally take any lifting advice from that guy.


seems like you don't know who he is.


first off whats your bench at?

secondly, eat enough and you can add weight to the bar every week. start conservatively, it may seem easy the first few weeks but trying to add weight to the bar twice a week, even just once a week, gets very difficult once you catch up to your normal 5 rep max


I wouldn't be surprised at all if your bench went up. You'll be getting stronger overall. Never a bad thing. Glad you decided to join the good side of the gym.

What are you going to do with all your leftover hair gel reserves though?


Best of luck. Squat deep and pull hard!


My bench max is 210lbs BTW. Height- 6' Weight- 150lbs. I already eat a ton but have a really fast metabolism. I'll start eating even more and I think I can definitely gain 10-15 lbs.


Yeah, you need to gain some weight.


If you pretty much only train bench that leads me to believe that your back muscles are lagging. (read muscle imbalance) know that starting strength is infamous for causing muscle imbalances. So for you I would recommend you find a program that calls for adequate upper back exercises.look for a body building or powerlifting template and stick to that.

and one question: when you say you bench 210 is that a half rep or are you lowering the bar low enough to touch your chest?


Actually I do many pull/chin ups, rows, and kroc rows for back. I also train shoulders so pretty much I've only trained upper body. And yes, I went all the way down with the 210. I have a video of it I my cell phone, plus I think a friend of mine might have already put it on youtube. I'll see if I can upload it.


At 14 y/o I think starting stress will do you justice.


Lets see if this works...


Is Starting Strength really "infamous" for creating muscle imbalances? If you are strictly a bodybuilder, then maybe you should add direct bicep and calf work. But as someone who is 6 feet tall and 150 pounds, the OP doesn't need to worry about muscle imbalances right now.

Besides, Starting Strength is actually "infamous" for correcting strength imbalances. If your bench is 210 and you never squat or deadlift, Starting Strength will bring your squat and deadlift up above your bench, which is much more balanced.


You probably don't eat as much as you think. Try calculating your daily caloric intake on fitday.com. Then, if you aren't gaining weight, you should add more each week.


One final thing. Mark Rippetoe recommends that skinny teenagers drink a gallon of milk a day (GOMAD) when they are doing Starting Strength. This is along with three solid meals. It's not required, but it is a good way to ensure adequate calorie and protein intake. It is a little extreme though.


yeah genius starting strength along with some bicep and calve work will send his bench through the roof.

I have tried starting strength and It didn't really make my lifts increase.
to the OP:
I still recommend you use a different program. and here's what you can do to get past your plateau: check you form, make sure your secondary muscles are as strong as you chest (triceps, lats, and shoulders).


Obviously curls and calf raises won't make his bench increase. That's not what I was saying. I was addressing the comment on muscle imbalances. Next time read the whole thread before you make a snide remark.

Starting Strength probably isn't the best program just to make his bench increase. But, Starting Strength will make him stronger all over if he eats enough food.


Thanks for all of your advice guys. IMO I think Starting Strength is definitely the right program for me. It'll bring my squat and deadlift way up, which is my main priority. My question just was, would my bench go anywhere during the program considering that I'm not a complete beginner at it and adding 5 lbs a week to my bench sounds unrealistic.


Sorry for not answering your question, Brian. :slightly_smiling:

Look up something called the Texas Method (try this website http://startingstrength.wikia.com/wiki/Starting_Strength_Wiki). You can do the regular 5 pounds a session to your squat and deadlift, but do the Texas Method for the bench. In the Texas method, you only add weight once a week, not every session. It should work for you for at least a while.

Again, remember the most important thing is to eat enough. If you aren't doing that, your gains on all lifts (especially bench) will suffer. Good luck!


Start low, I would start with a weight you could do for at least 10 reps, maybe a bit more, and add 5 pounds each week. Your bench could very likely go up because of the fact your total body strength will be a lot better.


Never tried SS, but don't worry about what amount of weight you add every week. Lift hard, eat well and you will get stronger. Maybe it's 5lbs a week, maybe it's 5 a month. Either way you're progressing.