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  1. #1
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    bench press very low compared to squat/deadlift

    Hii..

    Currently I weigh 178 lbs. I have be lifting weekly two days a week for the past 6 months..gradually adjusting my diet and schedule. I started out with SS, but had multiple set backs..so I am doing it slow this time.

    My squats and deadlifts are ~ 300x5, but I can only do 155x5 for my bench press and ~105x5 for overhead press. Some of the guys in the gym cant even do 200x5 on squats and deadlifts, but can a lot of them can lift much more on bench press compared to me, at similar bodyweights.

    I wonder if I should stop increasing the weight on my squats and deadlifts, and start pushing more on my bench press. I am sure I can increase more on my squats and deadlifts, but both my bench press and overhead has been stagnating. I have been stuck at the same weight for the past 3 weeks.

    I wonder if its time to stop increasing on my deadlifts/squats and incorporate more upperbody exercises. I am ok with having a 300 squat and deadlift, but want a better upper body.

    As far as diet goes I take ~160 gms of protein primarily from chicken/brown rice. I dont take supplements, because of cost. I sleep around 8 hours a day.
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  2. #2
    oldballs oldballs's Avatar
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    Your strength is very impressive on all your lifts.
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  3. #3
    Bulking to 220 cjowns76's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 3ZxY3RsB View Post
    Hii..

    Currently I weigh 178 lbs. I have be lifting weekly two days a week for the past 6 months..gradually adjusting my diet and schedule. I started out with SS, but had multiple set backs..so I am doing it slow this time.

    My squats and deadlifts are ~ 300x5, but I can only do 155x5 for my bench press and ~105x5 for overhead press. Some of the guys in the gym cant even do 200x5 on squats and deadlifts, but can a lot of them can lift much more on bench press compared to me, at similar bodyweights.

    I wonder if I should stop increasing the weight on my squats and deadlifts, and start pushing more on my bench press. I am sure I can increase more on my squats and deadlifts, but both my bench press and overhead has been stagnating. I have been stuck at the same weight for the past 3 weeks.

    I wonder if its time to stop increasing on my deadlifts/squats and incorporate more upperbody exercises. I am ok with having a 300 squat and deadlift, but want a better upper body.

    As far as diet goes I take ~160 gms of protein primarily from chicken/brown rice. I dont take supplements, because of cost. I sleep around 8 hours a day.
    The reason why they can't do 200x5 on squats or deadlifts is because they don't train them frequently enough (or as frequent as they train bench). Your bench/squat/dead ratio isn't that off the norm (if at all). Don't stop progressing your squats and deadlifts, keep pushing everything. Go to the nutrition forum and figure out your TDEE and figure out if your eating enough.
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  4. #4
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    My nutrition is fine right now..I was consuming half the amount of protein recommended, and not enough calories at one point, but I corrected them based on the nutrition forum guidelines, and am gaining around 1 lbs per week. I found out from various posts here that a gain of 1-2 lbs/week is good. I am sure I am building muscle, but I am wondering why my strength on my squats/deadlifts are going up so fast and not enough on my bench press/overhead.

    Maybe this rate of growth is normal.

    Originally Posted by cjowns76 View Post
    The reason why they can't do 200x5 on squats or deadlifts is because they don't train them frequently enough (or as frequent as they train bench). Your bench/squat/dead ratio isn't that off the norm (if at all). Don't stop progressing your squats and deadlifts, keep pushing everything. Go to the nutrition forum and figure out your TDEE and figure out if your eating enough.
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  5. #5
    Registered User justinvb_657's Avatar
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    Welcome to lifting.... as said above they probably don't dead or squat and you probably only bench 1/10th as often as said gym people
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  6. #6
    Registered User Kadri43fan's Avatar
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    On that program bench and press will definitely be your "weakest" lifts.

    I just started madcow, but am currently cutting for the next 6 weeks as I'm trying to rid myself of moobish like things and the bit of a gut I have. I then plan on bulking at about .5 pounds a month. So I programmed madcow to be at my max 1x5 weights in 6 weeks time. It is still hell running a program like ss, sl or madcow while cutting but I think this is the best way.

    Anyways my maxes (1x5 never tried a 1rm before) are

    Squat 295
    Deadlift 300
    Rows 175
    OHP 125
    Bench 170

    And I'm telling you right now it took me a good few months to increase from 150-170. Just keep at it, it will come. I hope this time next year I am closing in on 2 plates..
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  7. #7
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    doesnt sound like your bench and ohp are bad, sounds more like your squats are just really good. My ohp is 100 and bench is 155, but squat is only 195 and deadlift is 240. My squats are kind of lagging because I pulled my groin like 2 weeks into this bulk; so I had to take 3 weeks off and am probably 35-40lb lower then where I should be. So it seems like your lifts are coming along well. My upper body strength kind of sucks as well, it usually takes me 2 workouts to up the weight 5 lbs, so maybe I'm not the best person to compare to.
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  8. #8
    Registered User UgotAniceSNATCH's Avatar
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    i would consider this a good thing op

    genetically you're just gonna progress faster and easier with some lifts/body parts than with others
    i jerk, you clean.

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  9. #9
    Registered User Complex89's Avatar
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    I'm one of those people you're talking about.
    My max on squats just recently hit 225 lbs below parallel where a few months ago, I struggled like hell to get 175 at parallel. But still, my bench max is 255. Smh.
    I'm focusing on getting my squats up to par. The main reason that happens is because like the others say, people don't work their legs enough. Another reason is because people don't realize how important the back and abdominal muscles are in doing squats. I use to do leg press a lot and a few isolation exercises that worked my hams and quads, so my leg mass matches the rest of my body, but my glutes, abs, and lower back were behind and couldn't keep up when it was time to do barbell squats. Though my deadlift is pretty decent in comparison. 1 rm is about 280. Btw, I weigh 156 now. I just haven't updated my profile lately.
    Still, I'm shocked that your squats are so f**king high but your bench is only 155. I'm jealous, man. Lol.

    What I suggest is just keep doing what you're doing. Maybe use Starting Strength to get your bench up. At 165, your bench will go up quickly if you continue hitting your macros and getting enough rest.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Complex89's Avatar
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    Just noticed you said you said you started out with SS. What were the set backs? I mean obviously you plateaued to some extent. But do you know why?
    SS is helping my squats, despite the fact that I work 16 hrs a week stocking sh** and pulling pallets. And I'm lucky to get 7 hrs of sleep a night, lately. With that being said, I stall more often because of that. But when I had a week off of work, I gained an easy 15 lbs on my squat reps.

    Maybe you use your arms too much throughout the day? Or your form is messed up.
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  11. #11
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Complex89 View Post
    Just noticed you said you said you started out with SS. What were the set backs? I mean obviously you plateaued to some extent. But do you know why?
    SS is helping my squats, despite the fact that I work 16 hrs a week stocking sh** and pulling pallets. And I'm lucky to get 7 hrs of sleep a night, lately. With that being said, I stall more often because of that. But when I had a week off of work, I gained an easy 15 lbs on my squat reps.

    Maybe you use your arms too much throughout the day? Or your form is messed up.
    My form is a bit messed up...I think form doesnt have significant effect when the weight is low, but may have a much more important effect at higher weights. For example I realized, I was not pushing with my leg during my bench press. Also I try to keep my arms parallel to the scapular during the bench press while Rip suggests that the forearms should be at a angle.

    During overhead press, I overarch my back, and the pain in my back due to overextension, added to the CNS fatigue may be causing me to give up. I read that my shoulder flexibility maynot be high, so I will try to do shoulder dislocation exercises.

    My squat form is ok I think.

    My deadlift has a lot of problems. My lats hurt like hell after 3 sets, I think my starting position is approximately correct. I have to have my shins a bit closer to the bar, and possibly visualize the hip extension first and then the knee extension. Also my arm has to be at a slight angle with the bar at start. I feel my back gets round, even though I try to squeeze my shoulders and keep my back as straight as possible during the start of the movement and during the movement.

    Its a bit weird why deadlifts hurt so much while squats seem so much easier in comparison, because squats recruit similar muscle groups to deadlifts. Maybe because I do deadlifts last after heavy squats, and overhead press.

    I have found that trying to correct all the problems simultaneously causes too much stress with my already mentally strenuous job, which is why I try to focus on a single thing at a time and progress slowly. My main mistakes before were trying to improve very fast, and cause injuries due to poor form. I injured my wrist when I tried going back to my previous overhead press weight after a break.. I crushed and almost lost my right hand ring finger while doing a PR 315 squat, using new squishy tennis shoes. I lost control and my finger got caught between the bar and the pin. I didnt realize how bad an imbalance they would cause. I used to wear hard soles before. I took a 2 year break, because I literally was scared to come back. I have been trying to get into serious weightlifting for a while, but my impatience has been an issue, I think.

    Some people use pre-workout drinks to help workouts if you have a long day at work, but lack of sleep does hinder progress. Maybe more knowledgeable people maybe able to answer how you can improve, but I think it maybe more beneficial to go slower. If you are not getting enough sleep, your muscles are probably not properly recovering, and it doesnt make sense to break them down further when they havent healed. Maybe a larger number of rest days will help. For me, I get enough sleep and proper diet, so I can definitely go harder, but I am taking it a bit slow.
    Last edited by 3ZxY3RsB; 01-17-2014 at 09:10 PM.
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  12. #12
    Registered User BORCH94's Avatar
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    No worries about that difference. I had similar differences when I started and pretty much maintained them while I progressed. I played hockey so I had super strong legs to begin with and I think it really played a big part in the difference. It's not that your arms are weak, your legs are just strong.
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  13. #13
    On dat DL rehab time... Meatros's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 3ZxY3RsB View Post
    Hii..

    Currently I weigh 178 lbs. I have be lifting weekly two days a week for the past 6 months..gradually adjusting my diet and schedule. I started out with SS, but had multiple set backs..so I am doing it slow this time.

    My squats and deadlifts are ~ 300x5, but I can only do 155x5 for my bench press and ~105x5 for overhead press. Some of the guys in the gym cant even do 200x5 on squats and deadlifts, but can a lot of them can lift much more on bench press compared to me, at similar bodyweights.

    I wonder if I should stop increasing the weight on my squats and deadlifts, and start pushing more on my bench press. I am sure I can increase more on my squats and deadlifts, but both my bench press and overhead has been stagnating. I have been stuck at the same weight for the past 3 weeks.

    I wonder if its time to stop increasing on my deadlifts/squats and incorporate more upperbody exercises. I am ok with having a 300 squat and deadlift, but want a better upper body.

    As far as diet goes I take ~160 gms of protein primarily from chicken/brown rice. I dont take supplements, because of cost. I sleep around 8 hours a day.
    I'm not seeing your reasoning behind stopping increasing your deadlifts/squats. That doesn't make sense to me.

    If you want a bigger bench, maybe do another day of benching. What program are you doing?
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  14. #14
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Meatros View Post
    I'm not seeing your reasoning behind stopping increasing your deadlifts/squats. That doesn't make sense to me.

    If you want a bigger bench, maybe do another day of benching. What program are you doing?
    Well, first trying to set PRs on squats and deads every week, causes a lot of CNS fatigue. Its recommended by Rippetoe that you do the squats first to warm up the muscles, so I do the Benchpress, Overhead press second. So I wonder whether I would be able to push harder on the Benchpress and overhead press, if I stop trying to increase my Squats regularly, since my CNS will be less fatigued. Second, assuming that I stop trying to increase the muscle growth in my quads/glutes etc by increasing my squats and deads, there will be more macros/nutrients left for repairing muscle for my upperbody, assuming that I am consuming the same amount of nutrition over time.

    I am doing the Starting strength regimen, twice a week. I replaced the powerclean with wide grip pullups, because I wanted wider lats. These are the Workout A and B.

    Workout A
    Squats
    Bench Press
    Wide Grip Pullups

    Workout B
    Squats
    overhead Press
    Deadlifts
    Last edited by 3ZxY3RsB; 01-19-2014 at 03:05 AM.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Complex89's Avatar
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    Have you considered dropping the overhead press? And maybe hit the gym 3 times per week as opposed to only twice.

    As far as your nutrition goes, eating and resting enough will repair everything. If you aren't healing fast enough, its probably because you're doing too much of a workout for the muscle group, slacking on nutrition or rest, or you just heal slower than others in that area.
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  16. #16
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    Yeah..I will be starting to hit the gym 3 times a week starting on March 1st.

    Also it turns out I am not really doing parallel/ATG squats, which is why I was able to go up to 315 lbs in squats. I used to look at the mirror in the front, and it seemed like I was doing parallel squats, but from the videos it seems it way off. I think my nutrition is at maintainance right now..I suddenly gained 14 lbs or so, primarly from fat IMO, when I started increasing my carb intake..now I have decreased imy carb intake a bit..and my weight has remained stable at 180 lbs.

    I will be working on my form for the next few months and into my cut, starting on March 1st
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  17. #17
    Registered User Complex89's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 3ZxY3RsB View Post
    Yeah..I will be starting to hit the gym 3 times a week starting on March 1st.

    Also it turns out I am not really doing parallel/ATG squats, which is why I was able to go up to 315 lbs in squats. I used to look at the mirror in the front, and it seemed like I was doing parallel squats, but from the videos it seems it way off. I think my nutrition is at maintainance right now..I suddenly gained 14 lbs or so, primarly from fat IMO, when I started increasing my carb intake..now I have decreased imy carb intake a bit..and my weight has remained stable at 180 lbs.

    I will be working on my form for the next few months and into my cut, starting on March 1st
    Good luck, bro!
    The parallel squat confusion gets a sh** ton of people. It got me for a while too. Lol
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  18. #18
    Registered User Epal23's Avatar
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    I don't think your bench is lacking rather it's actually progressing at a normal rate. What I think is happening is that it's harder to use poor form to increase your bench weight as opposed to the squat where poor form allows you to put up a lot more weight for beginners at the risk of injury.

    What you may be doing is increasing your deadlift and your squat before you're able to do the given reps with good form, giving you the false impression that you are getting significantly stronger in those lifts.

    What you may need to do according to the videos you posted up critiquing your form is:
    -Drop the weight on the squat and maybe the deadlift (you didn't post a form video for your deadlift) and work on your form for them and all your major lifts will grow proportionally to an extent.

    Your Squat Video


    Your Bench Video


    Edit:
    -In the bench video it looks like your feet are shifting around a lot mid rep/between reps. You need to keep them planted to give yourself a strong base and to provide some leg drive into your press.
    -You may also want to arch your back a little more. It looks like your entire back may be making contact with the bench. By arching your back a little more, you'll be able to dig your traps into the bench allowing you to use your legs more efficiently.

    Tip: What seems to help me is thinking of pushing my body into the bench rather than the weight up.
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    Start doing dumbbell bench presses, if you don`t already do it. Also, on your warm up sets, as well as your heavy sets, lift as fast and explosively as you can, and also arch your lower back for more leverage, make sure your shoulder blades are pulled together, as well. Squeeze the bar as hard as you can, and basically keep your whole body tight. You should have an immediate increase in your bench.
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  20. #20
    Registered User artvandelay02's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about it too much OP. Look at my totals, my bench is s*** compared to everything else imo and my deadlift is like 150lbs more than my squat haha. Just have to keep training hard and you'll get that bench up.
    Deadlift: 565x1
    Squat: 425x1
    Bench: 260x1


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  21. #21
    Registered User 3ZxY3RsB's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Epal23 View Post
    I don't think your bench is lacking rather it's actually progressing at a normal rate. What I think is happening is that it's harder to use poor form to increase your bench weight as opposed to the squat where poor form allows you to put up a lot more weight for beginners at the risk of injury.

    What you may be doing is increasing your deadlift and your squat before you're able to do the given reps with good form, giving you the false impression that you are getting significantly stronger in those lifts.

    What you may need to do according to the videos you posted up critiquing your form is:
    -Drop the weight on the squat and maybe the deadlift (you didn't post a form video for your deadlift) and work on your form for them and all your major lifts will grow proportionally to an extent.

    Your Squat Video


    Your Bench Video


    Edit:
    -In the bench video it looks like your feet are shifting around a lot mid rep/between reps. You need to keep them planted to give yourself a strong base and to provide some leg drive into your press.
    -You may also want to arch your back a little more. It looks like your entire back may be making contact with the bench. By arching your back a little more, you'll be able to dig your traps into the bench allowing you to use your legs more efficiently.

    Tip: What seems to help me is thinking of pushing my body into the bench rather than the weight up.
    Thanks for the feedback..yeah..I changed my technique a bit and as a result my benchpress has become a bit unstable..probably because my stabilizer muscles are not that well built yet. I used to try to keep the weight directly over my shoulders thinking that would be the most stable position. I learnt by reading the starting strength book that that technique could result in rotator cuff damage..so I try to hit just below the nipple line..The first time I tried this modification, my bench press was so unstable I couldnt even do 135. But the next time, I could do 155 with some instability. I do try to keep my feet firmly on the ground, with a 80 degree angle as suggested by Rip, but I am not yet there. I dont know why, but towards the end, when the reps get hard, my full body tends to contract in order to lift the weight, and then my legs come off the ground. I have to conciously put it on the ground I guess.

    Originally Posted by Boldchamp View Post
    Start doing dumbbell bench presses, if you don`t already do it. Also, on your warm up sets, as well as your heavy sets, lift as fast and explosively as you can, and also arch your lower back for more leverage, make sure your shoulder blades are pulled together, as well. Squeeze the bar as hard as you can, and basically keep your whole body tight. You should have an immediate increase in your bench.
    yeah..I know about this technique..I will try to incorporate that into my bench press.

    Originally Posted by artvandelay02 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about it too much OP. Look at my totals, my bench is s*** compared to everything else imo and my deadlift is like 150lbs more than my squat haha. Just have to keep training hard and you'll get that bench up.
    thanks will do...
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