Glad I found this site. A little about me. I am 6ft even and weigh in at 258 pounds at 30 years old. Max bench is 375 to 380 but have been at this point for a long time and just can't seem to break it. I have switched up my training from repping 275 for 4-5 sets of 10 to doing 315 for 5 for 4-5 sets along with doing incline bench, dumbells and cables. I still just can't seem to break past that point. Am I to a natural max point? I don't squat heavy because I grew up at a ski resort where I would ski in the summer and mountain bike in the winter, so the legs and butt are something I would prefer not to put any size on. Do I need to be squating heavy to get better gains, or can I just stick with light weight and high reps.
Have you tried heavy weight and lower reps? The best thing to do is usually what your not.
I work up to heavy weight, but have never just thrown on like say 335 and did 4 sets of 3 or something. Do you think that would be a better approach. Or when you say lower reps do you mean like maybe 345-355 for like 2. I want to get a good workout and try to lean up while still getting a bigger bench, but I know its hard to do both at the same time. I was at about 248 and decided to bulk a little so I put on 10 pounds, but still no change in the bench....
Id try a 5x5 program. I'm not the most experienced lifter here though so id wait
for a few more opinions but a 5x5 might work out if you can handle the volume
Ultimately you are going to have to use a program that has some sort of built in progression over time. Just going in and doing the same weight for the same reps is going to cause you to plateau.
I would recommend you go into the members journal section and look at some of the pro's journals over there to see what they are doing just to get some different ideas.
no harm in trying. I have tried alot of different programs. I use to pyramid down, I would start heavy and work my way down to light. Now I start light and work up to heavy. Back when I first started lifting I did they 4 sets at 5 reps, but haven't tried it since. I'll watch out for other opinions, but no harm in trying. I just want to make sure I haven't gotten to my natural max. I been stuck for a while.
Out of curiousity, your pyramid scheme worked well than for most of your lifting career?
^^ yeah you'd look mean if you went on a cut and maintained strength. That's my vote
i had that problem to but i found this site called criticalbench.com try typing increace bench press program and there is a great artical that will help
Are you really sticking to one program.....honest with yourself? What I mean is some people claimed they tried 5x5,, 8x3 etc but if you could look at their training logs, every week a new rep scheme is being done and progression isn't being applied.
So are you really sticking to a program that adds weight to the bar? I myself was stuck trying to bench press 300lbs for the longest. Some weeks I would hit 275 a couple of times, other weeks 290, or 3 set of 8 with 225. Heavy lifting but I wasn't sticking to a program that added weight. I trained like this for a very long time.
Then one week I decided to do a 6 weeks program.... where I added 5lbs to the bar every week... After those 6 weeks I hit 300lbs.
6 weeks of progression training beat out my 5 months of heavy lifting.
I've actually never gotten into the logs and everything like I should. Back when I first started and was doing the 4 sets of 5 we stuck with that program, but to tell you the truth the partner I have been lifting with is kinda spuratic. He just left, so I'm kinda glad that I can go back and dial in my program and stick to a schedule. Only bad thing is now no spot, so that's never a good thing, but I'm fine repping 315. I think monday I'll try to do the 5x5 with 315 and see how that works. The way I use to do it is pick a wieght that I just couldn't quite finish the 5x5 and stay there until I could then move up some weight. your 5lbs a week is pretty impressive if you can keep doing that every week. My partner did that to me a few months back, I was so mad because this fool was jumping up 10-15 pounds a week. I always outpressed him when we had lifted before until that point. When he hit 420 on his bench he told me he was taking deca. I could have strangled him, I was killing myself to keep up with him and he was roiding out. Oh well, at least he wasn't passing me up like that natural lol
Last edited by LuNa; 11-14-2009 at 04:00 PM.
Coupla years ago I was stuck at around 385#. Now I am older so some may not make sense for you. Some changes I did included...
1. Switched to a 4 day lift week (was five). You get stronger away from the gym.
2. Ate more protein. Well, drank it more. But more protein.
3. ditched the IPOd and put myself on a "rest clock". This keeps me from screwing around with the IPOD and to focus 100% on the task at hand. Every two minutes I start the next set. The IPOD was a huge distraction for me.
4. Move the workout times from 1:20 to about an hour. Abs, back are done seperatly (at the office).
5. Every once in awhile, deload.
6. Squated a lot more. Alot. This fired up my entire system. Still does.
Hope some of this may help.
For you, I would recommend doing the 5/3/1 program since it has set percentages to lift at each week and has a logical progression so you gain strength over the long-term. Go to the elitefts website and buy the e-book.
You're already very strong so its easy to hit the gym, bang out reps with 315 that will look impressive to everyone else but your nervous system probably isn't impressed. It takes discipline because week 2 or 3 you might feel the need to bench something heavier but you will be better off in the long run going from 315 week 1, 320 week 2,325 week 3, etc.
Last edited by blackboard; 11-14-2009 at 08:55 PM.
Getting your entire body stronger will help your bench press, so yes, squat heavy and deadlift heavy. You might also look into Wendler's 5/3/1.
Give chalk a chance.
49 years old
Quick update. I only had a quick chest day today, but I did get a baseline on my 4x5 start. I threw on 295 and was able to pump out 4 sets of 5 with no spot. The last set was pushin hard, I doubt I would have completed with 315. Since that took all I had to muster out that last set of reps for 5 should I do the same next week or bump it up 5 pounds? I normally do a light chest day on Friday's to. Like 225 and rep out 4 sets, cables, and dumbells. Anybody else hit chest twice a week?
Yeh, I am right now but I'm just phasing in and started my 5x5 yesterday evening. I'm certainly no professional though and I'd just take my reply for what it is (an answer to if I do chest 2 times a week). I'm just like you I do very little squats and no deadlifts, minimal leg press as well. My routine has been active a month from which I'd not lifted since jan thru june of 2007 of which I'd had little results besides adding a little to my bench press routine. I usually split things up though and worked 2 certain areas each day but I usually go 6-7 days a week. Yep I know it's over-training but I'm just wanting to shed some fat and get stronger while doing so.
I'm considerably weaker than you though my 5x5 today was with 145lbs. My highest bench press was 235lbs so I'm not sure how the 5x5 translates to what my 1rep max is now but my last 2 sets were grunts and I had trouble but managed to muster them out.
I also had the same ? about that too. Should I move down from the initial 5x5 as I think I've read before or should I add 5 more lbs. I'd imagine move down to 140 5x5 then next chest day 145 5x5 and add 5 on if I can each week.
btw ill post in the new member section later on when I've got the time....