The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness
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The Five Biggest Contradictions in Fitness

It’s no secret that when people contradict themselves, it has the effect of making the flaws in their actions or statements seem glaringly obvious. But what about when WE ourselves get caught contradicting ourselves by someone else?

By: Nick Tumminello Added: January 6th, 2014
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  1. #1
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Opinions of switching my bench routine up

    Awhile ago I got stuck at 245lbs in my 5x5, so I switched to doing a 5x3 routine instead. I got up to 295 but I've yet to hit 300 for my 5x3. I seem to stall out at this number, though I did hurt my RC in my left shoulder so that may be this week. I'll give it one more shot next week, then I'll change it if I can't get a full 5x3. I had a week off not long ago and worked back up to 295lbs from 280lbs, thinking I'd blow by this time. Last week 290 wasn't bad at all, then I threw the two 35s on and it all went to hell.

    So my question is, what should I try next to get my numbers moving again? Should I switch back to 5x5 and start at 250 and work my way up, or do something totally different? I seem to be lacking the endurance lately in benching, the first two sets aren't bad but after that I stall halfway up.

    I also do heavy weighted dips with 110lbs for my triceps along with the benching, and the rest of my lifts are still fine.


    I don't want to change my whole routine, just the bench portion.
    Last edited by berfles; 07-21-2009 at 04:04 PM.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

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  3. #2
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    I think you should leave flat bench the heck alone for a few weeks and work on some heavy variations. Floor presses, DBs, Incline..... just something to take your mind off it. Also, what assistance work do you do? Youre one stubborn sumbitch which is the reason you have progressed as far as you have and its a credit to you but you are torturing yourself over this 300lb bench. 5x5s and the like can really only take you so far.

    You could sub any program/template for your bench only though and continue with the 5x5 for sq and dl.

    GL man! You'll work it out.

    Edit: youre shifting a lot of weight on sq and dl. They could be just too taxing at those loads in a 5x5. That could be killing your bench significantly.

    Time to start packing 8k cals away each day.........kidding.
    Last edited by -JM-; 07-21-2009 at 12:20 PM.
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy - George Bernard Shaw

  4. #3
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn View Post
    I think you should leave flat bench the heck alone for a few weeks and work on some heavy variations. Floor presses, DBs, Incline..... just something to take your mind off it. Also, what assistance work do you do? Youre one stubborn sumbitch which is the reason you have progressed as far as you have and its a credit to you but you are torturing yourself over this 300lb bench. 5x5s and the like can really only take you so far.
    Ahh, but this is a different 300lb bench issue Before I was pissed I couldn't max at 300lbs, now I'm sure I'm good for at least 320lbs. I just kind of wanted to be able to hit 300 in my 5x3 before I started to cut.


    You could sub any program/template for your bench only though and continue with the 5x5 for sq and dl.

    GL man! You'll work it out.

    Edit: youre shifting a lot of weight on sq and dl. They could be just too taxing at those loads in a 5x5. That could be killing your bench significantly.

    Time to start packing 8k cals away each day.........kidding.
    Thanks. I'm actually not doing a 5x5 with deads at the moment, I'm doing what Tom outlined for me here. Tonight is my last week in that routine so after that I'll have to switch deads up as well, but no more 5x5s for them either.

    I agree with squatting though, I was thinking of dropping those down to something else too because the volume is getting a bit much at these weights.

    And 8k calories? Wash your mouth out with soap
    Last edited by berfles; 07-21-2009 at 12:37 PM.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  5. #4
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    You’re making progress man; think about the size of your chest muscle compared to the rest of your body. It’s Just a slow progress. 3 months ago you were complaining that you couldn't hit 300 for a max and now you're saying you can hit 320. It’s a long haul dude.

    I'm always checking to see if you have a journal and what not, but I know you don't. Louie Simmons had a great quote which went something along the lines of, the bench press doesn't stall, a muscle group does. Just asses what's weak on your bench and work on it. I'm sure with a bench of 320 you're more than capable of assessing what you need to work on.

    Another thing, this is the bodybuilding section, if you really want advice post this in the powerlifting section. I'm sure if Chris Mason read this he'd tell you do try the 30 day bench program again if you've already done it. He mentioned that you can keep using it over and over, assuming there's a period of a few months rest inbetween.
    Last edited by Cards; 07-21-2009 at 01:13 PM.
    H: 5'7" W:185
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  6. #5
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cards View Post
    You’re making progress man; think about the size of your chest muscle compared to the rest of your body. It’s Just a slow progress. 3 months ago you were complaining that you couldn't hit 300 for a max and now you're saying you can hit 320. It’s a long haul dude.
    I know, I just like getting feedback before my short stall turns into a long one I can't stand feeling like my workouts are wasted time and effort so I need to get my thoughts out here or I go over them in my head non stop.

    I'm always checking to see if you have a journal and what not, but I know you don't. Louie Simmons had a great quote which went something along the lines of, the bench press doesn't stall, a muscle group does. Just asses what's weak on your bench and work on it. I'm sure with a bench of 320 you're more than capable of assessing what you need to work on.
    I'm always strong off the chest, I stall about halfway up and thought it was my triceps, but when I can strap 110lbs onto myself and do dips, it confused me.

    Another thing, this is the bodybuilding section, if you really want advice post this in the powerlifting section. I'm sure if Chris Mason read this he'd tell you do try the 30 day bench program again if you've already done it. He mentioned that you can keep using it over and over, assuming there's a period of a few months rest inbetween.
    True enough, I always forget about the powerlifting forum because I tend to just see the "Weight lifting" portion here since I subscribed to this forum in my UserCP.

    I really don't want to change my whole routine though, so I don't want to do the 30 day bench one. My other lifts are still fine aside from needing their usual rep tweak, just wanted some other ideas for my bench.

    I may just switch off from flat bench for a few weeks and do as Flynn said. After this coming Monday I'll see how I do (hopefully my damn shoulder is 100%, that probably has a lot to do with it) and come back to this thread and make my mind up.
    Last edited by berfles; 07-21-2009 at 01:30 PM.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  7. #6
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    The dips thing is weird, I've strapped 145 on before and been able to crank out 2 dips, but I struggle putting up 275 on bench.
    H: 5'7" W:185
    Goals: 495 -315 -585

    “Persistence Persistence.” - Calvin Coolidge.
    "I'm so pissed at how dumb this thread is that I think I'll go kick my cat. Again"-Belial
    "I mean, it's kind of like neutering your cat, hoping that'll stop your dog from humping your leg." - Belial
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  8. #7
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Yep, I really thought my triceps were weak until I saw I could do BW+110x5x5 no problem. I don't know what else the stall at halfway could be. I use a hell of an arch now, leg drive, and squeeze the bar extremely hard. I read about trying to pull the bar apart but that's hard with a lot of weigh on, I guess it takes awhile to get used to.

    I don't think it's my shoulders because they're strong, but I forget where lats and shoulders come into play with benching.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  9. #8
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    Just out of interest....what (briefly) is the outline of your routine? It might be easier to make suggestions that way. Sorry if you have posted it before?
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy - George Bernard Shaw

  10. #9
    Squat Heavy, Squat Often Cards's Avatar
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    Do you do any variations of bench? Chains, bands? 2 board press? If you're strong off the chest but have trouble about half way up, try a 2 or 3 board press which targets the area where you stall? Weighted Chin-ups? I know lats help with the initial drive and stability and shoulders also help with stability.

    It would be nice to get Travil Bell or someone in here to comment as well, toss him a PM or something.
    Last edited by Cards; 07-21-2009 at 02:10 PM.
    H: 5'7" W:185
    Goals: 495 -315 -585

    “Persistence Persistence.” - Calvin Coolidge.
    "I'm so pissed at how dumb this thread is that I think I'll go kick my cat. Again"-Belial
    "I mean, it's kind of like neutering your cat, hoping that'll stop your dog from humping your leg." - Belial
    Journal

  11. #10
    Getting un-streamlined Progress's Avatar
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    Three words: Ascending wave loading.

  12. #11
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flynn View Post
    Just out of interest....what (briefly) is the outline of your routine? It might be easier to make suggestions that way. Sorry if you have posted it before?
    I think I posted a version of it here somewhere in one of my threads, but I'll type it up again when I get home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cards View Post
    Do you do any variations of bench? Chains, bands? 2 board press? If you're strong off the chest but have trouble about half way up, try a 2 or 3 board press which targets the area where you stall? Weighted Chin-ups? I know lats help with the initial drive and stability and shoulders also help with stability.

    It would be nice to get Travil Bell or someone in here to comment as well, toss him a PM or something.
    I was going to make boards but got busy helping with remodeling. I'll definitely make some soon and try that, totally slipped my mind again. I bet working with those for a few weeks would get me moving again.

    I do weighted chins and pull-ups as well.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  13. #12
    Resolute -JM-'s Avatar
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    Now its moving towards what I was thinking. Periodization. I mentioned that the 5x5 linear progression can only get you so far and there are only so many times you can successfully deload and move further at those kind of loads.

    Even WS4SB or something along those lines but you had mentioned about not wanting to alter the rest of your routine.
    This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy - George Bernard Shaw

  14. #13
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    I'd set the pins at your stalling point and push from there.
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  15. #14
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Don't forget that lats and shoulders play a big part in your bench pressing.
    For my weak point - about 3" off the chest, I've done some 2/3 board presses. Pause on the board, explode up.
    You really should post this in the PL section, you'll get some help from the big boys.
    Give chalk a chance.


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  16. #15
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    Well, lets move it over there and see what they have to say.

    Guys?

  17. #16
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Was just going to ask to have it moved
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  18. #17
    Moderator joey54's Avatar
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    I figured you were, so I just went ahead. These guys will help you out.

  19. #18
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    Didn't you start cutting recently? That could be it.

  20. #19
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    No, I didn't start my cut yet, I wanted to get my numbers up to where they were prior to my week off before I started. They're to that point now, but I wanted to at least get to a 300lb 5x3 before cutting.
    Last edited by berfles; 07-21-2009 at 06:02 PM.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  21. #20
    Super Moderator vdizenzo's Avatar
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    You either need to change exercises or your rep scheme. I recommend either going with Westside or 5/3/1.


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  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    You either need to change exercises or your rep scheme. I recommend either going with Westside or 5/3/1.
    yes. what he said.

  23. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by vdizenzo View Post
    You either need to change exercises or your rep scheme. I recommend either going with Westside or 5/3/1.
    Quote Originally Posted by barbell01 View Post
    yes. what he said.
    Yup.

  24. #23
    Senior Member berfles's Avatar
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    Alright, looks like I'll be researching those two over the next few days.
    22 - 5'10@236lbs!
    Bench - 325 (old)
    Squat - 455x2 (old)
    Deadlift - 500(old)

    Total: 1280lbs 100% raw




    The key to my exercise program is this one simple truth: I hate my body.

  25. #24
    Senior Member mikesbench's Avatar
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    Some form of conjugate training will help; you can't just bench all the time to bench more. You need some other variations thrown in, floor press, bands, chains, boards. Maybe go 3 weeks on a variation of bench, then try our 5x3 again at 300. No harm in throwing in some partial wok as a second exercise instead of your weighted dips too. Maybe 3 Board, ideally with chains or bands (board height will vary with arm length / sticking point). A video would help a ton too, it helps to see "how" you miss, along with where.
    Current PR's 198 - 220
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    Deadlift - 567 - 584
    Total 1929 - 1973

  26. #25
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    I did Chris's 30 day 30 lbs. bench routine then went w/ the 5/3/1... I havent plateaued since!!!

    Give it a shot. Good luck man!

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