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  1. #1
    Barred dtlc445's Avatar
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    Seriously, how do you improve on bench press.....without a spotter?

    I can do deadlifts and squats easily but one compound exercise I'm struggling with is the bench press.

    It's sad, I can't do 20 lbs.

    I have no spotters. Nobody I know goes to my gym. I'm kind of shy to ask some folks to spot me because I'm weak

    So, I'm wondering, how can you improve on it? Without a spotter
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  2. #2
    Registered User BirdDaKillA's Avatar
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    Dumbell bench press. when i go to failure it feels good knowing i can drop the bells to the side and GTFO the way. Good luck in the future.
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  3. #3
    'Defiant to Injuries' Ironlife's Avatar
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    I train at home man and have for the last few years,

    My bench has gone from doing the bar to now 200-205lbs for 6-8 reps all without a spotter, so im here to tell you it most certainly can be done.
    Just focus on doing one more rep than your last workout and /or more sets.
    ~~~~~~~~~~
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  4. #4
    Registered User CharH06's Avatar
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    Hint: u dont need to go to failure to improve strength/mass.
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  5. #5
    Banned -LJ-'s Avatar
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    Lighter weight for more reps. Concentrate on power and speed you press up. But the best thing is what others have said, use dumbbells.
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  6. #6
    Barred dtlc445's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ironlife View Post
    I train at home man and have for the last few years,

    My bench has gone from doing the bar to now 200-205lbs for 6-8 reps all without a spotter, so im here to tell you it most certainly can be done.
    Just focus on doing one more rep than your last workout and /or more sets.
    You're lucky brah

    I wish I can do it at home.

    If you can remember, how many years has it been since you've bench without a spotter? That's impressive brah and you've got me motivated
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  7. #7
    'Defiant to Injuries' Ironlife's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dtlc445 View Post
    You're lucky brah

    I wish I can do it at home.

    If you can remember, how many years has it been since you've bench without a spotter? That's impressive brah and you've got me motivated
    Pretty slow process for me to be honest, i have been training at home since i was 18 and training pretty hard to get my weight up from 128lbs as well..lol but consistancy and time all adds up.

    With the bench press, i usually dont go all the way down for the last rep or two, in order to prevent be from getting buried under the bar lol.
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  8. #8
    Live.Laugh.Love 1quick1's Avatar
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    Change rep schemes, rest intervals, and time under tension.
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  9. #9
    Maui bound evedder08's Avatar
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    I am struggling with increasing my strength on this as well.
    Where you from?
    Want a spot?
    Haha.
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  10. #10
    ']['{[]}{[]}[[_ flangmasterj's Avatar
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    You can't do 20lbs??

    You can't even lift an Olympic bar?
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  11. #11
    destroys balloon knots derekk1's Avatar
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    im pretty sure he meant 200 lbs
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  12. #12
    Registered User lift4today's Avatar
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    You don't need a spotter (of course it's safer) or need to go to failure to get strong at bench press.

    One thing you could try that really worked great for me...I used to add 10 lbs after each set but noticed a big jump in strength when I went to adding 20 lbs to each set...try adding more weight to each set to shock the muscles. My reps had to go from 12, 10, 8, 6 to 12, 10, 6, 4, but after about 2 weeks, I was up to 12, 10, 8, 8.

    It made a big difference that my last set was 60 lbs (instead of 30 lbs.) heavier than the first set
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  13. #13
    capsaicin junkie kittyboy's Avatar
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    I usually lift alone at home. The key to benching alone is knowing when you can't finish the next rep, and then racking the weight. There were a few times where I got the bar stuck on my chest. I had no choice but to slide the bar down my torso and onto my legs, and then onto the bench. I don't recommend this, though, especially at higher weights.
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  14. #14
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    I'm starting to just 'go for it' so to speak and within reason. I'm really starting to learn that most of it is purely mental. Not having a spotter can cause a self-consciousness that can prevent you from lifting the weight you physically can. I do realize that my last working set is light at 205 compared to a lot of guys here, so at much higher weights I probably would be even more cautious. Another good point is what kittyboy said, I think it's really important to know when you are nearly finished physically and racking it before that happens.
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  15. #15
    Registered User JOHN GARGANI's Avatar
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    way way back....in the early seventies, when I was first lifting, in my craziness, I did a benching workout at midnight, and got stuck under the weight!

    so, I had to do the old "let one side slide off" , to be followed by a quick exit from the other side.....BA BA BA BOOM!

    at 12 o'clock at night!!!!!

    miraculously, I don't know how, the neighber below me didn't say a thing......


    anyway, the lesson, if any, is that when you are benching alone do NOT put collars tightly on the bar...leave them off...if you have proper balance, that shouldn't be a problem....

    this way, if you have to do a quick "dismount", and especially when training home and alone, you can do it......
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  16. #16
    Hi Friend! obesebeast's Avatar
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    i also don't use a spotter, so i generally switch from DBs to BBs week to week....it's improved, slowly, but I attribute that more to my diet since I'm a former fatty and always perpetually cutting....hard to make significant strength gains when you're consistently on a hypocaloric diet
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  17. #17
    Original Neanderthal theapexxxx's Avatar
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    pre-exhaust and the power rack, all you need
    If you haven't tried a Million things, you haven't tried everything!

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  18. #18
    Polski Bro mobikwa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theapexxxx View Post
    pre-exhaust and the power rack, all you need
    The truth. I always bench in a rack, too many idiot spotters who are too eager to pull the weight up. If the bar is moving up, no matter how slowly, I WILL get it, you dont need to help.
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  19. #19
    Hi Friend! obesebeast's Avatar
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    i'm not quick to help raise the bar but i'd rather mya spotter be on the safe side than gawking at some chick or waiting for me to completely hit failure and drop the bar on myself
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  20. #20
    Registered User ranmalsl's Avatar
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    try it using smith machine so u won't need a spotter, and low rep range will increase the strength.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by CharH06 View Post
    Hint: u dont need to go to failure to improve strength/mass.
    This

    I haven't used a spotter in years
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  22. #22
    Registered User lowkey9's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ranmalsl View Post
    try it using smith machine so u won't need a spotter, and low rep range will increase the strength.
    this is a great example of what not to do
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  23. #23
    Does too much cardio JetJaguar's Avatar
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    +1 on benching in a power rack. I workout at home and usually alone, so I bench in my rack.
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  24. #24
    Go Zips Diablomeister's Avatar
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    you should either bench in a rack, or just use DB's. i personally hate spotting people because everyones different, and most poeople get pissed when you help them when they look like they cant get it up. i dont want some douche i dont know breaking his neck while im spotting him, if it looks like your gonna fail, im gonna help out.
    Originally Posted by Tiffany Wantsmore

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  25. #25
    Polski Bro mobikwa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Diablomeister View Post
    you should either bench in a rack, or just use DB's. i personally hate spotting people because everyones different, and most poeople get pissed when you help them when they look like they cant get it up. i dont want some douche i dont know breaking his neck while im spotting him, if it looks like your gonna fail, im gonna help out.
    I guess the thing with me is I dont bench much, like 225x5 or so. So even if I fail bad and my chest gives out I think I could rest the bar on my chest for a bit without serious damage/pain.

    But if I cant use a rack and am benching I will ask a random guy for a spot but I make sure to give detailed instructions on what to do. "Hey, can you give me a spot? Im going for x reps, don't touch the bar unless I say so." Then if I know I cant get that last rep up I can struggle for a moment before I give the ok to grab it.
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  26. #26
    I'll Rest When I'm Dead ironwill2008's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CharH06 View Post
    Hint: u dont need to go to failure to improve strength/mass.
    ^^^^This is one approach.

    Another is to set up in a power rack, so the rack spots you.

    Another is to use dumbbells (for bodybuilders).

    Another is to just ask someone for a spot; how tough can that be?
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  27. #27
    Squats traps to grass Defiant1's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by dtlc445 View Post
    I can do deadlifts and squats easily but one compound exercise I'm struggling with is the bench press.

    It's sad, I can't do 20 lbs.

    I have no spotters. Nobody I know goes to my gym. I'm kind of shy to ask some folks to spot me because I'm weak

    So, I'm wondering, how can you improve on it? Without a spotter
    you can't bench 20 lbs?



































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  28. #28
    Wat J.L.C.'s Avatar
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    Power rack?

    Or just do pushups
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  29. #29
    Registered User ForceFan27's Avatar
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    I hadn't used a barbell in in over a year. Today, I set it up in a power rack. On my sixth set, I couldn't get it back up on the 4th rep...just slowly lowered to the pins and slid out. Felt good.
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  30. #30
    Registered User drummerguydw's Avatar
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    I agree with dumbells, I have had a few bad experiences while first starting off on incline bench while trying to gauge the weight I should be using, I have used a smith machine for this but I would recommend the dumbell approach, and I havent tried in a power rack, maybe I will one day to switch it up lol
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