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View Full Version : So perhaps I'm just too thin to bench more.



Mad Max
05-01-2007, 11:21 AM
I've been unable to improve on bench whatsoever in the past 3 months or so. In reality it's more than this, but given the setbacks I've experienced, the past six months have amounted to the equivalent of three. The past 2.5 years have amounted to the equivalent of about 1.5 given the huge 4 month lay offs I've had. But no more lay offs.
After coming back from a back injury I realised that it was time to get serious about leg training, having been an above parrallel infrequent squatter for so long.
I now do olympic style ATG squats, and I'm loving them.
I have a rather haphazard bastardized hypertrophy/pl style routine routine in which I'm trying to improve on my deadlift and bench numbers (I want to improve on Olympic squats as well, but only as much as hypertrophy training will allow), whilst adding mass, particularly in the legs and shoulders.
My routine looks like this (All squatting is close to failure):

Monday: legs and light upper

Squats (Oly style) 5 x 8

Lunges 3 x 12-16

Speed bench 8 x 3

Standing millitary press 5 x 5

Pull ups 5 x 5-8

Some light chest work supersetted with lateral raises

Calf raises

Wednesday: Deads and back

Deadlift 5 x 3

Lunges 3 x 12-16

Rows 3 x 8

pull ups 3 x 8

Calf raises

Abs

Thursday: Max effort upper

Bench 4-6 sets of 1-3 reps

Some form of auxillary heavy pushing movement (Pause reps, incline press/ standing milly), my gym is very commercial so no boards or chains till I leave uni in a couple of months.

Skull crushers 3 x 8

Light back work, usually pull ups.



Friday: Squats and back

Squats (oly style) 5 x 8

Rack pulls 3 x 8

Lunges 2 x 12-16

Rows or chins 3 x 8

Calf raises

That's roughly how it looks, although I don't stick to it 100%, I just make sure I leave enough rest days before working the muscle again, and make sure my legs are being hit hard with frequency.

Numbers on squat and dead are improving great given my relative inexperience. But due to my past as a bit of a bench jockey my upper body pushing work is in Plateau central. I've been pushing 235lbs for a few sets of 3reps for quite some time, I can just about make a 5 x 5 with 225lbs. My milly press has stalled as well.
I'm also bulking on 4-5000 cals a day, and am seeing decent gains.

The trouble is I'm 6'3.5", but only weigh 190lbs at present (180lbs before my bulk a couple of months ago), at a bf of about 10%-11%. I aim to get up to a 200lbs at about 8%, but given my current rate of increase, I can't see that doing much for my bench
I was thinking that maybe I should ditch the PL style low rep and speed work for now, and just work on increasing mass in my upper body with higher rep schemes. Then once I've reached my size goals, return to PL.

I know progress in this game is slow, but there must be something I can do to improve the situation.

Thanks for reading, and any help would be appreciated.

Chubrock
05-01-2007, 11:28 AM
Heck man, I'm 5'11 and 164. If you feel like your height/weight is screwing you up, do something about it.

Sleepy Guy
05-01-2007, 11:43 AM
I would say your work out is the stalling point. Change it up.

Might want to add some different frequency to the lifts, change the order putting bench first and or last. When I seem to be stuck I find a different approach often does the trick.

I am a fan of shocking the muscles by throwing something unexpected into the mix.

Guido
05-01-2007, 02:38 PM
If you're not making progress on your current routine, change it. It doesn't have to be a huge change, perhaps just a change of rep scheme, intensity, or assistance work, but a slight change can help you bust through a plateau..

Mad Max
05-02-2007, 07:56 AM
Well I've been working in the sub 5 rep rangeon bench for the past year. Whilst in the beginning, it's what helped me break 225lbs, it may just not be what I need right now. I'm gonna switch things up with the following push exercises:

1st push day
Bench: 5 x 8 (215lbs to start with)

Arnie press: 3 x 8-10

Skull crushers: 2 x 8-10

2nd push day:
Standing millitary press: 5 x 8

Incline db press: 3 x 8

cable pushdowns: 2 x 8-10

If this feels like too much I'll drop the tricep work.

I aim to work up to 225lbs for 5 x 8 in ten weeks. If I haven't then I'll just switch back to some pl style bench stuff.

Chubrock
05-02-2007, 08:00 AM
Make sure you hit up a lot of solid back work. Your back can play a huge role while benching, so make sure you don't neglect it.

joseph83746
05-02-2007, 08:07 AM
It's tough to maintain mass and strength gains especially if you have a high metabolism, it just burns off. If you eat a lot it raises your metabolism as your inner muscles get a workout with digestion. Try a steady routine and the right nutrition for your body's needs and your strength can improve. Also try maxing out only while you bench to focus on lifting more.

vdizenzo
05-02-2007, 09:08 AM
Rear delt work?

Mad Max
05-02-2007, 11:32 AM
Thanks for the advice everyone.


Make sure you hit up a lot of solid back work. Your back can play a huge role while benching, so make sure you don't neglect it.


Rear delt work?


I's still be doing plenty of rows and chins, as well as deads and rack pulls.


For the life of me I just can't see my bench improving much with the adition of just the right amoutn of asistance exercises. From my limited experience, and what I've read, I'd say changing rep ranges can have the biggest impact when trying to shake things up a bit.

dude34
05-02-2007, 01:26 PM
Am I missing something? Increase your tricep work!! Whenever I get stuck I add 2-3 extra sets per workout for my triceps. I do lock-outs, close-grips with and without boards and chains. I sometimes do this workout when I'm stuck: Close grip bench 1 x 50, 1 x 40, 1 x 30, 1 x 20, 1 x 10. Sounds crazy doesn't it? This isn't my core workout but let me tell you, when your triceps stop throbbing, about 1 week from the workout see how much lighter everything feels... trust me.

RhodeHouse
05-03-2007, 10:35 AM
If you think you're too skinny, gain weight. I know it sounds crazy. Check out the PL logs and read the bench training. That'll let you know if you're on the right track

Mad Max
05-03-2007, 02:41 PM
Am I missing something? Increase your tricep work!! Whenever I get stuck I add 2-3 extra sets per workout for my triceps. I do lock-outs, close-grips with and without boards and chains. I sometimes do this workout when I'm stuck: Close grip bench 1 x 50, 1 x 40, 1 x 30, 1 x 20, 1 x 10. Sounds crazy doesn't it? This isn't my core workout but let me tell you, when your triceps stop throbbing, about 1 week from the workout see how much lighter everything feels... trust me.

Well I added skull crushers about 2 months ago, and they haven't really helped much. Like I said, I can't see the addition of 'just the right amount of accessory work' doing the trick.


If you think you're too skinny, gain weight.

That's the idea at the moment. But I'm wandering whether high rep work is the best way to do this at the moment.

I wander whether PL stuff for the upper body just is for the more advanced lifter. I've seen a few young guys around here who within a few years of training can put up decent numbers on squat and dead, put can't even put up half the amount on bench that they can dead. I know that's hardly unusual, but maybe a good bench just takes much longer to develop.