This may be a stupid question but how linked, if at all, is your bench press with your overall back strength. I have been training for several years now and I have always noticed that I tend to break a benchpress plateau very close to breaking a plateau of a major row such as a bentover row or tbar row.

Could it be that at those times I was just growing in general, so my chest and back both broke plateus because of the extra mass or is there something else going on. Does a strong back provide extra stability and control on the way down which could give you a better drive on the way up?