View Full Version : Bench Plateau
02-22-2001, 03:47 PM
My bench sucks badly and recently I've hit a plateau, in one month my bench press has gone up 4kg. Any suggestions guys?
02-22-2001, 03:47 PM
There is a good program on musclemedia's website, in the training section.
02-22-2001, 04:33 PM
sorry but that musclemedia program sucks.
Not flaming you, flaming musclemedia : )
give that routine a try, it worked to raise all of my lifts.
5 lbs a week on squats and dls and usually 5 a week on bench, but some weeks I couldn't move up.
02-22-2001, 05:11 PM
Some very good ideas in that post, but also some flaws. If you performed all of the exercises recommended, you would experience overtraining quite quickly. There is way too much overlapping of muscles in the "big" lifts as the author defines them. Between squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk, stiff legged deadlifts, and barbell rows on different days, your lower back would never get a chance to recover. Every one of the exercises listed heavily involves the lower back. Most of the exercises strongly involve the legs. I think that sort of routine is a good idea, but you need to reduce the redundancy.
02-22-2001, 07:32 PM
Your bench has gone up 4kgs in one month? And that's a plateau? Hmm.. Think about it, if you can make 4kgs every month on your bench, you'd be a killer soon enough. Or were you saying that you made that gain BEFORE hitting the plateau?
You just answered your question in saying "my bench has gone up 4kg in the past 4 months". Your body has adapted to that lift so much that you're not going anywhere. The best way to go at this is by asking yourself, "am I going anywhere with all my lifts?" If you aren't then you'll want to check out your diet, but if you are still gaining lean body mass, then I would suggest changing your routine. Try something different. It's tough to stop doing bench for a while trust me it was for me, but when it was time for me to make a change again, I didn't want to go back! You not "shocking" the muscles, you're just working them in a different way. Try using DB's, they make a big difference. Good luck
02-23-2001, 01:53 AM
Think you need to look at your other bodyparts. Maybe it's not your chest thats hit the plateau ... maybe its your tris or even your shoulders. Doing weighted dips will help your bench ...... but are you training your Tris and shoulders as hard as your chest ??
02-23-2001, 02:35 AM
I donlt think 4 kg's in a month is so bad.......
thats 10 lb's a month which if gained consistently even for 4 months would be 40 lb's !
Whats your routine ?
02-23-2001, 06:20 AM
my routine's posted on my journal page.
reading buff's reply has made me think, could it be because i'm not getting enough protein?
02-23-2001, 10:29 AM
KG- I don't know how much protein you are currently eating, but it may be your total calories. Carbs and fats are important also, not just protein. In the last 2 months I have been raising my total calories and my strength has gone up.
It's not all about protein. You should up your cals with something like carbs or fat like Lats said because a sure fire way to get into a plateau is to not eat as many calories as your body is putting out., or of course your body has adapted to doing the same lift. Change it up.
02-25-2001, 01:20 PM
Originally posted by chris mason
Between squats, deadlifts, clean and jerk , stiff legged deadlifts, and barbell rows on different days, your lower back would never get a chance to recover. Every one of the exercises listed heavily involves the lower back.
As a part-time Olympic-style lifter, I have to disagree with that statement about the C&J. The spinal erectors are involved only minimally in the execution of a *proper* clean--- same goes for the jerk.
02-25-2001, 01:41 PM
From your statement, I'm assuming you want to increase your max bench-- that falls under the category of strength development, not hypertrophy training, so you'll need to train a little differently.
According to Dr. Vladimir Zatsiorsky, there are three ways of increasing muscle tension for strength development:
1) Maximal- simply using weights ranging from 90%+ of your 1-Rep Max (1RM) for triples, doubles, and singles.
2) Dynamic- using sub-maximal weights, from 50 to as high as 75% of your 1RM, for lifts to be performed explosively, no more than 3 reps, at a *high* volume.
3) Repetition-- using a sub-maximal weight and performing high reps.
The maximal and repetition methods should be obvious-- the dynamic method isn't familiar to most, though, but it is deceptively important. Including a little physics lesson, Force (F) = Mass (m) x Acceleration (a). Greater strength is the same thing as greater force applied in the lift; the dynamic method stresses the "a" component to a high degree, training the neural aspect of the movement (greater motor recruitment, faster firing frequency, etc. etc.)
What all this long-winded discussion boils down to is that to develop higher strength, you need to concentrate on lifting in those three ways-- I would direct you to Westside Barbell, but their methods are kinda harsh for the "uninitiated"...... But I'll give you my suggestions.
Train the bench twice a week-- one day for dynamic work and one day for maximal/repetition work. Following Westside's approach, I'd recommend doing dynamic on Monday and maximal on Friday. However, my recommendations for the maximal day are different from what Westside advocates-- I'm not going to suggest that you train with only 3's, 2's, and singles, and I do suggest that you stick with the bench as your main exercise.
My approach for this day is to use a wave cycle across 4 weeks for the loading--- do a max 8 one week, the next week do a max 5, the next week do a max triple, and the last week drop back and hit 12 for your top set. The reason I do this is that the weight is high enough for overload while not nearly as taxing on the mind and body.
On both days after the main lift, you need to concentrate on the triceps, front delt, lats, and grip if you need it. Again, volume becomes an issue here-- to minimize problems from that, I recommend cycling the loads each workout-- do high reps one session, lower reps the next.
Now, keep in mind that this is directly taken from a powerlifting program, and as such its not really designed to make you *bigger*. I also don't know what your goals are. However, if done correctly along with proper nutrition and recovery, it *will* improve your bench in a short time.
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