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  1. #1
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Bench press plateau

    Hey there,

    first of all: I know you guys say it's impossible to plateau when you're <225 lbs, but I just can't get it up. I'm at 140 lbs and can do about 6-8 reps with it for the first set, after that it's straight to failure after 5 reps and I'll rep it out with a spotter for 1 rep extra.

    Should I just increase the weight even though I can only complete my reps (6-8 reps is my aim) for one set, or should I just continue pushing myself until I can do 4 full sets of 6-8 reps?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Oh and btw: my form is (99%) correct, my benching form is pretty much the best form of all my lifts.
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  3. #3
    Tanned Tyler31622's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Oh and btw: my form is (99%) correct, my benching form is pretty much the best form of all my lifts.

    @ 6ft 178lbs, and your bench isn't going up, You gotta be doing something way wrong, switch to dumbbells for a bit, and eat more... but Honestly, I have no idea how your stuck @ 140lbs. I know a girl @ my Gym who's like a solid 120lbs who can Bench 135lbs for reps.

    Keep lifting I guess...
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  4. #4
    Registered User DavieBanner's Avatar
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    You add more weight... and go down one or two reps next session....than the session after that you go down one rep....than the session after that bam your 5lbs heavier at the same reps...whys this hard lol?
    Bench Press: 205x5[x] 210x5[x] 215x5[x] 220x5[x] 225 x 5[x] 230x5 []

    ^^Scratched the 5x5 program. Lifting BP 255 x 10, do not know max as I could care less.
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  5. #5
    Registered User repsandsets's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Hey there,

    first of all: I know you guys say it's impossible to plateau when you're <225 lbs, but I just can't get it up. I'm at 140 lbs and can do about 6-8 reps with it for the first set, after that it's straight to failure after 5 reps and I'll rep it out with a spotter for 1 rep extra.

    Should I just increase the weight even though I can only complete my reps (6-8 reps is my aim) for one set, or should I just continue pushing myself until I can do 4 full sets of 6-8 reps?
    I'd experiment with rest pauses and partial reps - to see if either of these approaches help you past the plateau. Would also introduce dips if you're not already doing these - hitting your chest and tris from a different angle may help fix weaknesses that are holding you back on your bench.
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  6. #6
    STFU and train Jasonk282's Avatar
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    gain weight...srs.
    I'm here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum.

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  7. #7
    Hammer time... Smelly bull's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jasonk282 View Post
    gain weight...srs.
    Pretty much this. The only thing I would add is where do you fail? Off the chest? Lockout?

    And while you think your form might be 99% on, a video would ensure it.
    “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training… what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates

    My journal...mostly focused on losing weight and maintaining mass

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=159539181&p=1192452511#post1192452511
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  8. #8
    Registered User Kabanstva's Avatar
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    How much are you looking to bench? If you want to increase your max, stop working in such a high rep range. Doing 140X6 or whatever amount you can do with that weight will NOT get your max up.

    If you are doing 140X6, I'd assume your max is about 170-180lbs give or take.

    Do a ME (maximal effort) type routine where every monday you work up to your one rep max. Take long rest periods (as long as you need to fully recover) between the last few sets.

    Do something like
    45 X 10
    95 X 5
    115 X 5
    135 X 3
    155 X 1
    170 X 1
    180 X 1

    And every week try to increase that max number. So on week two try to hit 185lbs.

    If you remember anything, remember this. You have to feel the weight in your hands before you can lift it. Your body and tendons are not used to holding 185lbs or higher weight so you might want to start looking at doing rack lockouts and negatives (with a spotter) just to get the feel of how that much weight feels.

    If all you are doing is 140x6 and 135X8, it's kind of like trying to become a faster sprinter by running longer distances every day. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't work.

    Good luck.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Kabanstva's Avatar
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    I felt like responding here because this thread reminds me alot of when I started lifting years ago. I was stuck doing 140X10 as a teenager and maxing around 205-215 in my first year or so and it sucked.

    Do a Westside routine like I told you and your lifts are going to skyrocket. I guarantee that if you put your effort towards it, you'll double your max in a year or two easy.
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  10. #10
    Registered User TBU720's Avatar
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    Are you eating?

    How often are you benching?

    What exercises are you doing before? And whats the rest of your routine?

    What are your warm-up sets?
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  11. #11
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tyler31622 View Post
    @ 6ft 178lbs, and your bench isn't going up, You gotta be doing something way wrong, switch to dumbbells for a bit, and eat more... but Honestly, I have no idea how your stuck @ 140lbs. I know a girl @ my Gym who's like a solid 120lbs who can Bench 135lbs for reps.

    Keep lifting I guess...
    Well honestly: i started at like 65 for 4 reps, so yeah. And the reps i do are bodybuilding reps, so focussing on the chest and making each rep count. I think i could rep out 155+ with less form.

    I Dont really get why you need to be a dick about It lol, but still thanks for the advice guys!
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  12. #12
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Kabanstva View Post
    How much are you looking to bench? If you want to increase your max, stop working in such a high rep range. Doing 140X6 or whatever amount you can do with that weight will NOT get your max up.

    If you are doing 140X6, I'd assume your max is about 170-180lbs give or take.

    Do a ME (maximal effort) type routine where every monday you work up to your one rep max. Take long rest periods (as long as you need to fully recover) between the last few sets.

    Do something like
    45 X 10
    95 X 5
    115 X 5
    135 X 3
    155 X 1
    170 X 1
    180 X 1

    And every week try to increase that max number. So on week two try to hit 185lbs.

    If you remember anything, remember this. You have to feel the weight in your hands before you can lift it. Your body and tendons are not used to holding 185lbs or higher weight so you might want to start looking at doing rack lockouts and negatives (with a spotter) just to get the feel of how that much weight feels.

    If all you are doing is 140x6 and 135X8, it's kind of like trying to become a faster sprinter by running longer distances every day. It doesn't make sense and it doesn't work.

    Good luck.
    Although i am looking to build muscle and powerlifting is something that comes second, i can definately See where youre coming from. Thanks!
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  13. #13
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Jasonk282 View Post
    gain weight...srs.
    Is 82 kg at 1, 83 m that bad? Im still one of the heavier ones in the gym of my proportion lol. What weight do you recommend to strive for?
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  14. #14
    Registered User truffles's Avatar
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    For me, the best way to get out of plateau is to switch it up. Use dumbbell or dips or flys or even push-ups for a bit.
    POOR ASS BRO CREW

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  15. #15
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by truffles View Post
    For me, the best way to get out of plateau is to switch it up. Use dumbbell or dips or flys or even push-ups for a bit.
    Great tip, ill do do some incline dumbbell presses. But i may add some weighted dips
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  16. #16
    I am the Jones 71Avido's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Is 82 kg at 1, 83 m that bad? Im still one of the heavier ones in the gym of my proportion lol. What weight do you recommend to strive for?
    It's not as bad as some but you could afford to pack some meat onto your frame.
    6'0" is a big frame to fill out, don't be afraid to eat.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 71Avido View Post
    It's not as bad as some but you could afford to pack some meat onto your frame.
    6'0" is a big frame to fill out, don't be afraid to eat.
    Oh, I am not afraid to eat haha! I'm eating my brains out, I'm putting on several pounds per month with some of it being fat yes; but still, rather have a bit of fat and cut than gaining no muscle (and yeah, I know about fatcells; so I'll keep it at a minimum). Like I stated in my bodystats: goal is around 200 lbs before I'm going to cut a little, maybe even going to 210 lbs
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    Registered User TBU720's Avatar
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    I still don't fully understand what your main goal here is. It sounds like you are worried about how much you can bench, but then you're also talking about building mass.

    What EXACTLY do you want from your bench press? What goal are you trying to achieve?

    Without a goal in mind, it is impossible to get stuck, so you are not plateu'ed.

    "Get bigger and stronger" is not a specific goal btw. Way too broad, not enough focus.
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  19. #19
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TBU720 View Post
    I still don't fully understand what your main goal here is. It sounds like you are worried about how much you can bench, but then you're also talking about building mass.

    What EXACTLY do you want from your bench press? What goal are you trying to achieve?

    Without a goal in mind, it is impossible to get stuck, so you are not plateu'ed.

    "Get bigger and stronger" is not a specific goal btw. Way too broad, not enough focus.
    Bigger.

    Bigger bench with good form = bigger chest when being in the 6-8 range. They are connected very closely yet sometimes very far away.
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  20. #20
    BIG ASS TITTIES JmanTheJuiceman's Avatar
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    What does your routine look like OP?



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    Registered User TBU720's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Bigger.

    Bigger bench with good form = bigger chest when being in the 6-8 range. They are connected very closely yet sometimes very far away.
    It is basically asinine to hope for strength gains if you are training as high as 8 reps. Will they come? Sure. But are you gonna work your way up to 315 bench by doing 6-8 reps? Hell no. Not anytime soon at least.

    The most you can do to REASONABLY develop your goal of moving more weight is 5 rep sets. The MOST. I recommend lower, somewhere between 2-4, depending on the rest of your programming. This is the only way you are going to add real weight to the bar.

    Any time you go above 5 reps with a heavy weight, your form WILL SUFFER. It is pretty much humanly impossible to do 8 perfect reps with a weight you can only do 8 reps with. THIS is why you are stalling. You're done with your noob strength gains (which could come from doing any damn program you pick) and now you need a real, science-based routine if your goal is to put up steadily increasing numbers on the bench.

    Think of the biological reasons that this is due to. When a human being is in nature, is he going to need to lift multiple times his bodyweight for 8 repetitions?? No. So it is very hard to try to develop that type of strength once you get to a certain point. Your body simply uses two different types of biological systems to do heavy short lifting versus lighter sustained lifting. When you try to do heavy sustained lifting you are gonna end up just training neither of those systems.
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  22. #22
    Registered User darthmactis's Avatar
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    If I can ask a ? On same subject I mainly do db presses 4 sets 55x10 55x10 60x8 60x6. Is this good for increasing chest mass?
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  23. #23
    Banned MassiveKent's Avatar
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    my biggest issue was always trying to add weight EVERY workout.
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  24. #24
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by darthmactis View Post
    If I can ask a ? On same subject I mainly do db presses 4 sets 55x10 55x10 60x8 60x6. Is this good for increasing chest mass?
    Well, if you are able to do 6 reps at the last set; you should be increasing the weight by just one heavier. So maybe do 60, 60, 60, 60 or even 60, 60, 65, 65 (I don't know if this is one heavier, here we use the metric system). Just keep on pushing yourself. When you are able to do all your reps just perfectly; your body will not see a need to improve (:
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  25. #25
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MassiveKent View Post
    my biggest issue was always trying to add weight EVERY workout.
    Yeah, I have a friend like that. I've just increased the weight and still did 7 reps; so next week increasing it with 5 lbs for 6 reps and then keeping it on that weight until I can do about 8 reps again (:
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  26. #26
    STFU and train Jasonk282's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Bigger.

    Bigger bench with good form = bigger chest when being in the 6-8 range. They are connected very closely yet sometimes very far away.
    Like TBU said..lower your reps to 2-5 reps.

    Do 3 heavy sets in the 2-5 range then hit 4-5 sets in the 10 reps range at 50-60% your heavy set.

    So say 140x8 is your max. You'll do...
    140x5 140x5 140x5
    85x10 85x10 85x10 85x10 85x10.

    You'll never build a big bench fast messing around with 6-8 reps
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  27. #27
    Registered User jmccauley1229's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    Bigger.

    Bigger bench with good form = bigger chest when being in the 6-8 range. They are connected very closely yet sometimes very far away.
    so if this is your mindset, why are you working in a bodybuilding rep range before a power lifting rep range? get your bench up, then add reps. if you know this and aren't doing it, how is anyone supposed to provide advice?

    find a strength-based, linear progression routine for a couple months. get strong, then get big.
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  28. #28
    Registered User Manebb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jmccauley1229 View Post
    so if this is your mindset, why are you working in a bodybuilding rep range before a power lifting rep range? get your bench up, then add reps. if you know this and aren't doing it, how is anyone supposed to provide advice?

    find a strength-based, linear progression routine for a couple months. get strong, then get big.
    I'm a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter. But I know that for your body to grow, it has to adapt to higher weights. I don't care about lifting 405 lbs for reps, I just wanna see some progression you know.

    I did do a 5x5 program before, but I didn't like it. I didn't grow and my numbers weren't going up as fast as when I went with 6-7 reps, weird I know.

    But you guys are probably right, maybe I should just give a strengthroutine another try
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  29. #29
    Registered User ironman4life89's Avatar
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    If you want to increase the weight without plateau's you should be aiming at the 1-5 rep range almost exclusively for now. Pushing it to your limit and having your partner assist you on a rep or two once you fail. Don't be afraid of assisted reps or partial reps at the end of your set, when utilized properly they will allow you to work your muscles harder than if you simply stopped at failure. Keep up with that until you are at the 180-200 range and then you should be prepared for some higher intensity techniques to severely limit plateau's.

    After you have built a solid foundation of true strength, then you can effectively stimulate your muscles to grow by training for size after that.
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  30. #30
    Registered User TBU720's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Manebb View Post
    I'm a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter. But I know that for your body to grow, it has to adapt to higher weights. I don't care about lifting 405 lbs for reps, I just wanna see some progression you know.

    I did do a 5x5 program before, but I didn't like it. I didn't grow and my numbers weren't going up as fast as when I went with 6-7 reps, weird I know.

    But you guys are probably right, maybe I should just give a strengthroutine another try
    You don't need to have either a strength routine OR a hypertrophy routine. You can mix and match some aspects that highlight both worlds.

    The main thing you need to learn is that if you are doing heavy sets of 8 reps, you shouldn't expect the weight on the bar to go up very fast. Stalling for weeks at a time will be normal, because sets of 8 simply aren't designed to give you strength.

    There are other options out there. Have you checked out Layne Norton's PHAT routine? I havent done it myself but I plan to when I start bulking in 3 months. It incorporates a mix of exercises for strength gains and size gains. You do low rep and high rep work in the same week. Perhaps thats just the thing you are looking for
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