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Thread: Bench Press Problems

  1. #1
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    Bench Press Problems

    Does anyone know a good way to keep progressing in weight if you can't seem to go up on bench press? I've been trying to stick to 3 sets of 8-10 reps and go up 5 pounds once I can do 10 in all 3 sets but lately I've kind of stalled at 185lbs. I've been told by many people to eat ungodly amounts of protein to speed up the process but really I can't afford to have 2-3 protein shakes a day, though the food that I normally eat gets me up to 100-110g a day and sometimes higher when I eat a Met-RX protein bar after workouts which has 32g in it (They are sometimes for sale at Kroger 3 for $5, the only good thing in their "natural" section). Also, I'm still doing bicep curls, butterfly press, and whatever the one is where you keep one leg and one hand on the bench and lift a freeweight from the floor to your torso. In all those exercises I'm at 60lbs or above and still rising constantly as I have been for months. But when it comes to the bench press I guess I'm kind of stuck for now...

    Codeguru

  2. #2
    Senior Member tom183's Avatar
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    What does your entire routine look like? What have you tried doing to break this plateau?

  3. #3
    Iplan Iplan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codeguru View Post
    whatever the one is where you keep one leg and one hand on the bench and lift a freeweight from the floor to your torso.
    That would be a One Handed Row..

    I think you need to put a lot more information up before people will be able to help you.

    1. What does your entire workout look like?
    2. Do you have a "B" workout?
    3. How many days rest between workouts with the same muscle group?
    4. How long have you been on the routine you're currently using?

    etc.
    Last edited by Iplan; 08-15-2010 at 06:39 PM.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Some tips to get lifts moving again (in general):

    Eat more - increase your overall calories, in some cases increase it by A LOT. Your body needs food to grow.

    Rest more - Have more rest days in your schedule than work days. Your body needs rest to grow.

    Cut the overall volume of the routine - Cut out a lot of the redundant exercises. Don't be doing three different kinds of bench press plus three different kinds of overhead presses and other crap thrown in. Focus on the main lifts plus a select few accessory lifts.

    Use the "cycles" method of progression - beating your head against the wall with double progression can burn you out. You need to spend some time with lighter weights and have a good ramping-up phase. Build the momentum.

    You could also try some quality supplements - Increasing protein has helped a lot of guys, try getting some Nitrean from At Large Nutrition. Much better stuff than those MetRx bars you are spending your money on now and will cost about the same.
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    Yeah about those shake powders, 23g per serving, 70 servings. That seems to be around the norm for everything I look at. To make any difference at all I'd have to use double servings right? So that's like 6 servings a day again to make any protein gain over what I normally eat because 100g compared to like 120g is making the powder last but not doing anything. So maybe 6 servings per day to get it up to around 160-170g of protein. That's less than 2 weeks per $50. This is why I don't see the purpose. I can buy a good bread and meat combo as food and get the same results for around the same price as long as I keep eating it, the turkey slices I use right now have 25 calories and 5g of protein. I guess powders are more calorie controlled and if you make a habit of replacing meals with them constantly they are like buying food, but I'm just not that rich at the moment. I only use the Met-RX bars after workouts with a glass of milk to get a good 50g of protein fast, so they just serve that purpose and don't really give me a per day increase in protein that matters. I guess it comes down to the fact I'm only gaining muscle mass for the purpose of losing fat, and no other reason. Maybe slow results is all I have to look forward to strength wise...

    Codeguru

    PS- Right now I usually just go until my body gives out with all my cardio, walking, ab training and weight lifting and then I take a rest day as I am today. I can last about 5-6 days until everything starts getting exhausted. I don't really have some set full body workout, I do bench press/incline and butterfly press on Mon/Wed/Fri after my Tae Kwon Do classes then every 4-5 days I do my bicep curls and "one arm row" as someone called it. As I said I'm just going for the biggest muscle groups to get as much as I can added on in order to lose weight, hopefully getting some secondary muscle group exercise in the process but it's not a priority. I guess at some point I'll have to change to a body building workout but until I can get my abs in and keep myself totally defined, I don't want to change much. I've gone from 228 lbs to 170 lbs this past year and I hope I'm going for the last 10 now to reach my goal because it's not my intention to become a lightweight.

    EDIT- Oh yeah and my eating schedule is just basically 8 meals a day, around 100-250 calories each, but that's just what I shoot for because I'm more than sure I fudge it enough to go over 2000 calories. I suppose I could add more protein if I didn't replace 2 of those meals with an apple and a banana respectively, but it seems to keep the calories under control and lose the weight, plus the health benefits of eating those. And since I've only been going up in weight level since I started I have to assume none of that weight loss is muscle related. Jeez, I can not wait until I reach a maintaining layer of fat, maybe I'll have more to work with.
    Last edited by Codeguru; 08-16-2010 at 02:20 AM.

  6. #6
    Westside Bencher Travis Bell's Avatar
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    I would dial back the cardio big time. You are getting plenty of cardio with your martial arts training.

    Make sure you are hitting your triceps, shoulders and upper back in addition to your bench work.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codeguru View Post
    Yeah about those shake powders, 23g per serving, 70 servings. That seems to be around the norm for everything I look at. To make any difference at all I'd have to use double servings right? So that's like 6 servings a day again to make any protein gain over what I normally eat because 100g compared to like 120g is making the powder last but not doing anything. So maybe 6 servings per day to get it up to around 160-170g of protein.
    What you need to do is raise your total daily protein intake, not necessarily drink protein shakes. You're acting like people are telling you that your only source of protein should be supplements, which is certainly NOT the case.

    You say you're at 170lbs and only getting 100g of protein per day. To make real strength gains, your muscles need at least 1g per lb of bodyweight per day TOTAL, and that's on the low end. I'd go for closer to 1.5g/lb. Whether you do that with food or supplements is up to you.

    2000 calories/day for your level of activity sounds awfully low as well. I don't know how you aren't eating other people in your classes...

  8. #8
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Ya, I never said to replace all your protein with a powdered supplement. I said to replace you one MetRx bar with a Quality powder instead.

    And with all the working out and exercising you do, no wonder your bench is stuck. You need a plan, otherwise you will remain stuck.

    Also, one last thing...
    It would have been helpful if you had mentioned that you were on a reduced calorie diet and trying to lose fat. That right there is enough to make your lifts stall. Now you have to decide if you want a big bench or a low fat percentage. You aren't going to have both right now.
    Last edited by Off Road; 08-16-2010 at 07:35 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travis Bell View Post
    I would dial back the cardio big time. You are getting plenty of cardio with your martial arts training.

    Make sure you are hitting your triceps, shoulders and upper back in addition to your bench work.
    Yeah I guess I could but the thing about my cardio is basically the only real one I do is the daily walking. My other "cardio" workouts are as you say the Tae Kwon Do, and then on off days I do a series of kicking drills which has seemed to really increase my fighting ability the harder I work at it. It's hard to quit something when you're getting results from it, but I guess if that's something that's holding me back from benching more it's something to think about...

    Codeguru

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    Quote Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
    Ya, I never said to replace all your protein with a powdered supplement. I said to replace you one MetRx bar with a Quality powder instead.

    And with all the working out and exercising you do, no wonder your bench is stuck. You need a plan, otherwise you will remain stuck.

    Also, one last thing...
    It would have been helpful if you had mentioned that you were on a reduced calorie diet and trying to lose fat. That right there is enough to make your lifts stall. Now you have to decide if you want a big bench or a low fat percentage. You aren't going to have both right now.
    Yeah, I guess I was afraid of that. I could definately get more protein if I ate more but yeah my main priority is to get as defined as possible first, and have visible abs. I wish they would sell trial packs of these high quality powders at walmart or something, I know they have plenty of ones they sell but I'm guessing no one uses them. I suppose I'll just keep trying to push it as is for now, hopefully using a quality shake after workouts will make some difference...

    Codeguru

  11. #11
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    The protein powder will help to keep calories low while you increase your protein consuption. WalMart protein is not going to be as high quality and taste as good as Nitrean. I know, I've tried.

    I still think cycling intensity will help you get past your current numbers.
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    Is 22-23g of protein going to do much after a workout? What is normal for an after workout shake? I assumed people used multiple servings because the protein amount is lower than I thought it would be, even if it is a high quality powder. And that's where I get into the whole issue of pricing it, 70 uses would be a great price if it actually worked but 35 starts being a bit much...

    Codeguru

  13. #13
    Moderator Off Road's Avatar
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    Think of a protein supplement like a vitamin. It's not required if you are covering your bases with your regular meals. But it's cheap insurance to make sure all the holes are plugged up.

    And you are spending more time talking to us about the protein than you are about the more important things like progression schemes, exercise selection and recovery.
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    Ok fine, thanks for the tips...

    Codeguru

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