What have you guys found works best when you hit a wall around a certain weight on bench? I made pretty consistent progress for about 5 years, until I started approaching the 475 range. I've been injured 3 times in the past couple years, and I've been able to come back every time but I always seem to lose steam once I get up to a 470 - 475 raw bench.
Right now I'm by far the strongest I've ever been overall and I feel good physically, but I still can't seem to get those last 20 pounds or so and hit a damn 500 bench. I just barely missed 480 yesterday and I'm frustrated because I know I'm much stronger now than when I could hit 475 about a year ago. I'm also about 20 pounds heavier now, so gaining weight hasn't made the difference I thought it would.
My lockout has always been a weak point, but though I've brought up my close grip a ton, it still hasn't seemed to help my absolute max strength.
Last edited by Invain; 06-17-2014 at 09:01 AM.
It took me 4 years to get back to 500 plus raw after I tore my shoulder up so I feel your pain. I tried everything. Gaining weight, losing weight, lock out work, reverse bands, boards, bodybuilding, dumbells etc. I went every way and no matter what direction I went the results were similar. After my shoulder healed up I used 531 for a while and was able to go from 475 in my first meet back to 490 over the course of 6 months. After that it took me another 3.5 years to get a new pr bench of 510. I literally took me all but 4 years(3 years and 11 months) to pr again.I asked josh Bryant for some tips and he gave me a bunch of ideas. I also picked up his bench book and that was also an eye opener. The big change for me was adding in cat work, lots of singles, and dead benches. Each training cycle I would hit 3 and 5 rep PRs but come meet day I would hit a second attempt of 470-485ish and then be buried by 500. I cut out the reps and did singles every week with rest pause work, or lots of singles based on percents 90, 92.5 and 95. I added in heavy speed /cat work and dead benches and my bench moved again. Mi also added in a 4 week deload cycle prior to the meet to full rest up for meet day. I did the same thing with a few guys I help out with online meet preps and one guy went from 335 to 405 in less then a year with these types of methods. Vincent, Hooorstra, Wilkerson and many other huge benches use them with great results too.
Last edited by ScottYard; 06-17-2014 at 07:23 PM.
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Thanks Scott, great info. I think I'm going to start doing lots of heavy singles again like I used to. When I was in college I would literally max out every week and I would consistently go up 5 pounds almost every time. I did very little volume back then, just a couple drop sets after the max effort single.
I have put a ton of size on since doing a lot more volume and gaining body weight lately, but it's had zero carry over to my max strength. Just as you said, my 5 rep max has gone up, but anything over 470 feels like a million pounds.
That happened to me with my first run to 600. First, I kept gaining weight. I think it ultimately helped. The confidence from hitting 600 the first time really helped me to hit it in two other classes.
I think more importantly for the first time was programming. I continued with conjugate programming. I just really looked at each exercise. I stopped throwing crap at the wall and just stuck with basic movements. I planned an entire 16 week cycle and never deviated. I just worked harder than I ever had.
Lastly, I make sure to do the little things outside of the gym. Nutrition, recovery, sleep, etc go a long way in reaching your goals.