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How to improve my strength with flat bench?


Best Answer wegs, 24 August 2013 - 10:34 PM

Soo...how goes it Wegs?

It's been much improved. I have been lazy with keeping my journal up but plan to get back on it tomorrow.
The 5x5 was a bench lifesaver.
If it could help me it could help anyone.
:) Go to the full post


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#1 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:56 AM

Highest PR I have had is 100 lbs. :(

Lately it's a struggle to get 90 lbs for reps.

Can u teach me how to improve?

Right now, I bench once per week. I do incline and some db work as well and I try to max bi weekly.

I improve slightly here and there maybe with reps etc but my numbers just don't go up much.

TIA for your thoughts to this.

#2 Shane

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:11 AM

What worked for   me  is starting with a lower % of my max and  just  adding  weight to that every week

Like for instance. I would use  like  75%  x  10 and then add 5 lbs and do 8 add 5 lbs  and  do 6 add 5 and do 4 add 5 and do 2 and then add 5 lbs  to each set the next week.I did that  for a while and it  really  helped me.



#3 Potato

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:21 AM

I've just made some awesome gains and continue to make gains even whilst cutting running a simple 5x5 texas method-ish setup twice a week..

Monday
5x5 bench

Use the same weight for all 5 reps, do something heavy but dont go to failure..

I'll use the same weight on this day for up to 4weeks or if the weight gets reeeeally far behind your 5RM on the friday and everything starts stalling on friday, i'll go for a few 5x5 PRs and just maintain fridays 5RM for a couple of weeks..

Friday
1x3-5 or 2x2 or 5x1

This is basically a PR day, you go for a new 5rm and keep going each week until you stall, then move to 1x3 until that stalls.. then back to a 5rm or if you want, 5 singles or 2 doubles and milk those..

You can also do something like..

Week 1: 5RM
Week 2: 3RM
Week 3: 2x2RM
Week 4: 5 singles (or a new 1RM every now and then)
Week 5: repeat weak 1 and etc..

You can throw in 3x8 dips or DB bench/inc/ohp after your main sets, but keep it short and sweet and dont go heavy as fuck and try to push PRs on it.. PR the same way you would on the monday, keeps things flowing better.


I wont be offended if you dont want to do this but feel pressured because I wrote a long ass post :D It is pretty mundane, but it worked and continues to work well for me!
 


Edited by Potato, 16 July 2013 - 06:22 AM.


#4 anonymous_burn

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 07:42 AM

Something people don't always appreciate is your back's role in the bench press. It might seem counter intuitive but I know when I focused on strengthening my back my bench and overhead press shot up like they never had before. What's your back work look like?



#5 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:14 AM

I've just made some awesome gains and continue to make gains even whilst cutting running a simple 5x5 texas method-ish setup twice a week..Monday
5x5 bench
Use the same weight for all 5 reps, do something heavy but dont go to failure..
I'll use the same weight on this day for up to 4weeks or if the weight gets reeeeally far behind your 5RM on the friday and everything starts stalling on friday, i'll go for a few 5x5 PRs and just maintain fridays 5RM for a couple of weeks..Friday
1x3-5 or 2x2 or 5x1
This is basically a PR day, you go for a new 5rm and keep going each week until you stall, then move to 1x3 until that stalls.. then back to a 5rm or if you want, 5 singles or 2 doubles and milk those..
You can also do something like..Week 1: 5RMWeek 2: 3RMWeek 3: 2x2RMWeek 4: 5 singles (or a new 1RM every now and then)Week 5: repeat weak 1 and etc..
You can throw in 3x8 dips or DB bench/inc/ohp after your main sets, but keep it short and sweet and dont go heavy as fuck and try to push PRs on it.. PR the same way you would on the monday, keeps things flowing better.
I wont be offended if you dont want to do this but feel pressured because I wrote a long ass post :D It is pretty mundane, but it worked and continues to work well for me!

 I'm going to follow this; thank you so much! Nothing else is working so I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. No pun!
Tonight is chest so stay tuned. :)


 

Something people don't always appreciate is your back's role in the bench press. It might seem counter intuitive but I know when I focused on strengthening my back my bench and overhead press shot up like they never had before. What's your back work look like?


My back work is my strongest of all my lifts. I keep it all logged in my journal here if u find time to check it out.
I continue to improve with squats and deads. But bench has always been an issue. :-/

#6 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:16 AM

What worked for   me  is starting with a lower % of my max and  just  adding  weight to that every week
Like for instance. I would use  like  75%  x  10 and then add 5 lbs and do 8 add 5 lbs  and  do 6 add 5 and do 4 add 5 and do 2 and then add 5 lbs  to each set the next week.I did that  for a while and it  really  helped me.



If I'm honest, every week I wing it. No real plan. With deads and squats and other lifts..,more if a plan albeit not a strict one.
This is why bench sucks for me I guess.
Appreciate the help!

#7 Shane

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:27 AM

If I'm honest, every week I wing it. No real plan. With deads and squats and other lifts..,more if a plan albeit not a strict one.
This is why bench sucks for me I guess.
Appreciate the help!

No problem. I keep my stuff simple. lol



#8 Brandon

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:06 AM

Whatever you do, at some point I'd give barbell benching twice weekly a shot with a fair bit of volume each session. Bench is fairly technical requiring frequent practice, and it requires a lot of "brute strength" which, IMO, requires a lot of volume and repetition.

 

Things like 5x5's and others have treated my bench well in the past as well as other manipulations. The bits that were the magic for me boiled down to practicing a couple days weekly (this helps technique and coordination), and enough volume and reps to build up the muscles for continued progress.
 
You may also want to check out SJSolie's bench training and how it is set up. If its overseen by Clutz, safe bet she's doing something right!



#9 JoeD

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:22 PM

Women tend to do better with higher reps and more volume. Also consider if you are a beginner you will do better on higher reps as well as you are not neurologically efficient yet as opossed to someone who is strong and been at it for at LEAST 5+ years.

 

 

With that said, a really simple routine using sub-max weights and using that flat barbell bench each week will probably work really well for 6-8 workouts. Don't be afraid to utilize awesome strength building tools as well like pausing at the bottom for a 1-2 count and slower eccentrics. This may lower your weights at first, but substantially improve your #s in the long run.

 

Lastly, all your assistance work, the closer it mimics the flat BB bench , the more likely it is going to transfer to your flat BB Bench



#10 Brian

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:23 PM

So back work has already been covered, and I know you squat & DL, so that covers the posterior chain. So that really leaves 1 of a few possibilities:

 

 - proper rest & effort

 

while this might sound elementary, so many fail to really ensure they are both WORKING while at the gym and RESTING when theyre not.

 

 - diet (self explanatory, but ensuring your are feeding yourself to make gains)

 

- change things up

 

Not trying to stir the pot & create an argument, but if what your doing isnt working for you and you are certain all other aspects are accounted for, then maybe its time to alter your routine. Personally, I feel this has worked wonders for me, both in terms of motivation as well as gains. However, let me be VERY clear - IMHO, changing your routine can be as minimal as sets/reps/rest, to switching from a 2 day split to the 5/3/1. Whatever floats your boat.

 

 

Also, keep in mind, we all have lifts that we suck at & progress the least in  -for a variety of reasons. SO, if bench is the only thing your uscking at, and your are progressing nicely in pretty much everything else, then thats just the way it goes sometimes.



#11 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 12:50 PM

You know what's funny Brian?

The last three bench sessions, I slept like crap the night before. It's like I'm cursed when it comes to bench! Lol

Last night...again. Didn't sleep well and going to bench today. I normally sleep well but being tired will kill ones best intentions.

Hey I'm gonna try hard tonight. I will buck up and give it my best. Stay tuned peeps.

You guys are awesome. :)

TY!

Edited by wegs, 16 July 2013 - 12:51 PM.


#12 hastalles

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:44 PM

Good luck wegs! Kill it!



#13 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 02:35 PM

@ potato - so I'm at the gym right now looking at this thread and it just dawned on me that u mean 5 sets of 5 reps ...lol
I don't know what I thought. :D IM TIRED!

I will need help with the rest of your schedule suggestion because I don't understand what some of it means.
Thank u!

And thanks hastelles :D

#14 wegs

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 05:29 PM

I followed 5x5 for bench, and I thought...why not do it for the whole workout. (except bicep curls)

This is an awesome program, and I'm going to stick with it on certain days!

Thanks potato for recommending this.

:)



#15 Potato

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 08:23 PM

Tell me what parts you're confused about and I'll break it down as best as I can for you. I'm not really sure what you're asking right now, it's real simple though, maybe the simpleness of it has you confused!



#16 wegs

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:51 AM

Tell me what parts you're confused about and I'll break it down as best as I can for you. I'm not really sure what you're asking right now, it's real simple though, maybe the simpleness of it has you confused!


Lol yep, reread and I see that I should stay at what I did last night for four weeks. I may test a 1rm for the heck of it next week.
Got it :)
Thank u for the help!

#17 wegs

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 03:53 AM

Whatever you do, at some point I'd give barbell benching twice weekly a shot with a fair bit of volume each session. Bench is fairly technical requiring frequent practice, and it requires a lot of "brute strength" which, IMO, requires a lot of volume and repetition.

Things like 5x5's and others have treated my bench well in the past as well as other manipulations. The bits that were the magic for me boiled down to practicing a couple days weekly (this helps technique and coordination), and enough volume and reps to build up the muscles for continued progress.

You may also want to check out SJSolie's bench training and how it is set up. If its overseen by Clutz, safe bet she's doing something right!

Thx Brandon...I did this last night including the bench.
Willing to try anything to improve even if I hate it :D (I hàte barbell work with bench gah!)

Edited by wegs, 17 July 2013 - 04:09 AM.


#18 Potato

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:04 AM

Lol yep, reread and I see that I should stay at what I did last night for four weeks. I may test a 1rm for the heck of it next week.
Got it :)
Thank u for the help!

Wouldn't be a bad idea to start off with one, get a 1RM noted down before you start so you can assess how well it's working later down the road when you test your 1RM again!

Eventually when you get into the flow of the routine, you'll know when it's time to up the 5x5 weight or back off the 5RMs and go for 3RMs etc.



#19 Matt Phelps

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Posted 18 July 2013 - 09:31 PM

I've also had to remind myself that progress seems to come slowly and incrementally.  It takes a long time to see the results when youre stuck at a plateau.  Thats why i try not to max more than once a month, as i think it plays with the mental side of the game when youre maxing often and don't seem to be progressing.



#20 wegs

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 02:16 PM

I've also had to remind myself that progress seems to come slowly and incrementally.  It takes a long time to see the results when youre stuck at a plateau.  Thats why i try not to max more than once a month, as i think it plays with the mental side of the game when youre maxing often and don't seem to be progressing.

hey -- yeah, gotta be patient. at the same time, gotta challenge ourselves too.

it's a balance.

 

i'm gonna think positive and wish for a PR with bench next week. i feel it comin :D




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