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Thread: Bench been stuck for about a year =(

  1. #1
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Bench been stuck for about a year =(

    In regards to my Bench Press I've been stuck at about 1rep-3rep 65kg max for about a year (that's my body weight, well... just above).

    Does anyone have any advice?

    I typically do:

    Monday:

    Barbell Bench
    1 x 8 60.0kg,
    3 x 5 62.5kg
    3 x 3 65.0kg

    Flat DB Bench
    3 x Max Reps (aim for 15-20 reps)

    Thursday

    Flat Barbell Bench
    3 x Max Reps (aim for 20+ reps @ 60% max)

  2. #2
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    How long have you been doing that? What have you previously tried to break this plateau?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Well originally I used to bench one a week then I did it twice a week, then I started this 4 weeks ago. My DB Bench (weight and reps) and my max effort bench (reps) have done up loads but bench still not moved, lol.

  4. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Do something different...

    Use a different set/rep scheme.
    Cut back the weights and ramp back up using micro loading.
    Switch to Bar Dips.
    Change the angle or hand placement.
    Work on your weak points.

    There are tons of options. The important thing is to do something different.
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  5. #5
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    So you're trying to do your 3RM for 3 sets every week and you aren't making progress. This is where you need a reasonable progression scheme. You've proven you simply can't work at your max every week and make progress. I would look at a program like 5/3/1 in your case. It will take the guesswork out of how much weight to use each week and it also has a built in progression scheme.
    Also, if you weigh less than 65kg, you need to gain some weight (disregard this if you are female).

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean S View Post
    So you're trying to do your 3RM for 3 sets every week and you aren't making progress. This is where you need a reasonable progression scheme. You've proven you simply can't work at your max every week and make progress. I would look at a program like 5/3/1 in your case. It will take the guesswork out of how much weight to use each week and it also has a built in progression scheme.
    Also, if you weigh less than 65kg, you need to gain some weight (disregard this if you are female).
    In addition to what Sean said, 2/3 of your work is in the 20 rep range.

    I assume based on your 3RM you can't be lifting much more than 40kg, if that, for that number of reps. Higher reps have their place, but not for you clearly, they're not working.

    Now that it's in black and white, is it more obvious, that if your goal is to get stronger in the 1-3RM range that spending 60% of your time on 20RM is a bit silly?

    Another point is that you don't actually give us any indication of whether any of your other lifts have progressed or whether you have gained any weight in that time either. Now assuming you're male, I suspect you haven't progressed on your other lifts because you're not doing any or you're focused on improving your bench.

    Your problem lies in your diet, and your programming, which is the double whammy. Give us a bit more to go on and we might be able to help.

    If you're a female, then ignore the bodyweight aspect, but your programming still sucks!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Sorry, I keep a pretty detailed blog on here so thought (naively) people would check it. As a result I only posted up what I considered relavent to the bench press (my lifting experience is very, very minute).

    Basically I have been doing weights on and off for about a year, I have always done Bench about once a week but for the last 5 weeks I have been doing WS4SB III (The version with 4 days a week - 2 upper & 2 lower).

    I can't gain too much weight sadly as I'm a Mixed Martial Artist who fights at 62kg... I've actually gone up to about 66/67kg from 65kg since doing ws4sb. My DB Bench and my reps of max rep bench have both gone up pretty drastically in 5 weeks but bench has remained the same, which confuses me.

    First week of January:
    Barbell Bench Press: Max 65kg
    Flat DB Bench Press: 15 x 12kg, 12 x 14kg
    3 x Max of 40kg Bench Press: 23, 13, 10

    Four weeks later
    Barbell Bench Press: Max 65kg
    Flat DB Bench Press: 18 x 20kg, 12 x 20kg, 12 x 20kg
    3 x Max of 40kg Bench Press: 29, 18, 14

    --------------

    Just got back from the gym, did some close grip bench today for 3 sets of 10 @ 50kg and found that quite difficult (failed on the final set)... not done it before. I guess the fact I found them difficult was a good sign :P
    Last edited by Reala; 02-02-2010 at 09:21 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member skinny99's Avatar
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    Reala in addition to weight training how many days a week do you train for MMA? How long/intense are those sessions? Are you doing any cardio on top of that also?

    How tall are you?
    "The deadlift is more functional in that itís very hard to imagine a more useful application of strength than picking heavy *h*t up off the ground" Rip

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  9. #9
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Just so you guys know what you're working with, I really can't gain anymore weight. At 65kg I'm pretty lean and even in this picture below I had 3kg to lose:



    Also, I had an Ultra Sound, CT Scan and MRI Test done quite recently due to a lump in my chest cause due to an injury sustained about 5 years ago. Even though I'm right handed, my right pec is about 1/3 smaller than my left. Probably doesn't make much difference, but is there a possibility that the imbalance is causing progress to be so slow? I.E. My right arm is stronger than my left arm but my right chest muscle is weaker than my left chest muscle?
    Last edited by Reala; 02-02-2010 at 09:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ah ok. You've got me a little confused though. Do you want to focus on getting the bbell bench up, or are you just commenting that it hasn't? You ask for suggestions, so I'm assuming you want answers that you can implement?

    My point still stands and I still agree with what Sean S wrote that

    a) you're benching your 3 rep max for 3 sets once every week. You also mention your 1RM is the same as your 3RM, which means you're a long way off being as strong as you can get.

    b) your then spending the rest of the time benching with a weight you can lift between 20 and 28 times.

    Start spending time in the 5-8RM range and ignore the rep ranges you've been working in.

    You've been training at the extreme ends of the spectrum - your heaviest and your lightest. At the one end, the weight is too light to be a growth stimulus and at the other, you've got no room to move i.e. you can't add any weight or reps because it's the heaviest thing you can lift.


    Sean mentions 5/3/1, look it up, there's a few guys here doing it and logging it, or better yet, buy the ebook, I highly recommend it and it will explain how you should progress.

    Why 5/3/1? Wendler does a great job of explaining progression in it.

  11. #11
    Soilwork addict.
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    I must applaud your persistance if you have honestly made it to the gym every week for the last year while still doing the same weight.

    To reitterate the advise that has already been given, you need to find a program that focuses in rep ranges below 8.
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  12. #12
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    If you're doing a bunch of MMA training and really trying to keep your weight down, it will impair your strength gains.
    Again I would suggest 5/3/1 as it has a built in progression scheme and keeps your reps in the 3-10 range most of the time. You can also use that program with minimal assistance work, which I would suggest in your case if you are doing a bunch of MMA related training.

  13. #13
    Senior Member RichMcGuire's Avatar
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    You look like a stick figure. Why cant you bulk a bit and then cut down for your weigh ins for events?
    First Bulk pics VS Starting pics, take a look!! http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...=1#post1616109

    Progress pics of a cut using bodyweight only movements http://www.wannabebig.com/forums/sho...45#post2405745

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  14. #14
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    Did anyone mention form to him? yeah he is skinny, but he should still be able to bench much more than his body weight. One of his drawbacks might be more than his lack of food or bad routine and be how he benches.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Roberts View Post
    Ah ok. You've got me a little confused though. Do you want to focus on getting the bbell bench up, or are you just commenting that it hasn't? You ask for suggestions, so I'm assuming you want answers that you can implement?

    My point still stands and I still agree with what Sean S wrote that

    a) you're benching your 3 rep max for 3 sets once every week. You also mention your 1RM is the same as your 3RM, which means you're a long way off being as strong as you can get.

    b) your then spending the rest of the time benching with a weight you can lift between 20 and 28 times.

    Start spending time in the 5-8RM range and ignore the rep ranges you've been working in.

    You've been training at the extreme ends of the spectrum - your heaviest and your lightest. At the one end, the weight is too light to be a growth stimulus and at the other, you've got no room to move i.e. you can't add any weight or reps because it's the heaviest thing you can lift.


    Sean mentions 5/3/1, look it up, there's a few guys here doing it and logging it, or better yet, buy the ebook, I highly recommend it and it will explain how you should progress.

    Why 5/3/1? Wendler does a great job of explaining progression in it.
    Both really... I understand that as a martial artist my main goal is functional strength. I.e. why I choose a program designed for athletes (Westside). However I do believe that over a year I really should have gotten stronger.

    I understand what you are saying I probably train MMA between 15 and 20 hours a week as well as my four x 1 hour weights sessions. I do train a lot :P

    I will look into under 8 rep programs, any recommendations?
    Last edited by Reala; 02-02-2010 at 03:28 PM.

  16. #16
    The Flyfisher rbtrout's Avatar
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    Unless you're willing to jump up a weight class and gain some size (or gain weight and trim it off before weigh in), you might not be able to get too much stronger. MMA training is not only for functional strength, but for longevity, as well - being able to keep that strength level for prolonged periods of time. Training like that is completely different than 1-3 rep maxes.
    Give chalk a chance.


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  17. #17
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    and the bench press is kind of a poor excuse for a functional strength lift
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  18. #18
    THE 800 QUEST NickAus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    and the bench press is kind of a poor excuse for a functional strength lift
    Not so sure about that, everyone says it but im not convinced.

    I have done VERY little in the way of overhead pressing yet I can press overhead 225, this is because of benching and all the other things that go into building a big bench.

    Just my thoughts.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RichMcGuire View Post
    You look like a stick figure. Why cant you bulk a bit and then cut down for your weigh ins for events?
    I walk around 65kg and cut down to 62kg mate (58kg day before). 3kg at such a low body fat (3.9% when close to a fight) is already pushing it in terms of maximal performance.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Due to the time I lift weights I don't have a spotter when I bench, do you think getting one would make a big difference? I'm thinking perhaps it is why I've lacked progress lately. Definitely going to lower my reps and add in the tricep work after this phase of WS4SB is complete.

  21. #21
    Get Some! KoSh's Avatar
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    4% bodyfat? Is it that you can't compete at a higher weight class or don't want to? 4% bodyfat gives you room to gain some pounds and still be a lean guy.
    "Donít fall for the crap that people are peddling on message boards, in magazines or on TV. Get your **** in order, and get your training in order. Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnít matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? **** you. Iíve got scars and blood and vomit."
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KoSh View Post
    4% bodyfat? Is it that you can't compete at a higher weight class or don't want to? 4% bodyfat gives you room to gain some pounds and still be a lean guy.
    I have a title at 62.5kg that I would like to defend at least a few more times before jumping up in weight that's all. I will probably move up to 65kg where there are more matches in the second half of this year though.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Reala's Avatar
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    last night bench 72kg for 8 reps... HUGE improvement
    MMA: AFL's UK Bantamweight Champion (AKA: AFL UK Skinny Bastard Champion)

  24. #24
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    great progress man!

  25. #25
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reala View Post
    last night bench 72kg for 8 reps... HUGE improvement
    Nice improvement. What made the difference?
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