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  1. #1
    Registered User odelayih's Avatar
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    bench press tips -- I've hit a plateau

    I seem to be stuck at my current bench press weight, which is 225 for 7. I have tried everything to go higher, high reps, low reps, with little result. was hoping someone here could help. some more info that might be pertinent:

    1. my left arm is weaker than my right and is the one that gives out first.

    2. i feel a lot of strain in my shoulders when I'm approaching failure. is this normal?

    3. i've seen advertisements in M&F for this contraption that promises to improve your bench by 20% through strengthening your rotator cuffs. anybody have experience with this?
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  2. #2
    Registered User n2lifting's Avatar
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    n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500) n2lifting is not very helpful. (-500)
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    have u tried switching to dumbells
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  3. #3
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    i felt i plateaued on bench a while while ago. I tried switching to lower reps and higher weights and even pyramiding. nothing seemed to work for me. i recently started doing dumbbell bench press and ive been making gains again! maybe try switching it up if you haven't tried that already?
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  4. #4
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    Originally Posted by odelayih View Post
    1. my left arm is weaker than my right and is the one that gives out first.
    Switching to DBs will help even this out.

    Originally Posted by odelayih View Post
    2. i feel a lot of strain in my shoulders when I'm approaching failure. is this normal?
    As you approach failure form is going to get worse, you're probably using more delt than chest at this point. Are you benching with an arch and shoulders blades pinched?

    Originally Posted by odelayih View Post
    3. i've seen advertisements in M&F for this contraption that promises to improve your bench by 20% through strengthening your rotator cuffs. anybody have experience with this?
    You dont need this contraption. You can perform rotator cuff exercises with cables, dumbbells etc. (remember, slow and controlled movements with very light weight) I prefer cables for RC work, and yes it may help your bench.

    Overall, switch to dumbbell bench for a while, once you start to plateau there, switch back to barbell... you'll find it a lot easier.
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    Everybody fails to see how to really increase your bench. You can switch up reps, change to dumbbells, etc....What you really need to do is keep benching and work on your assistance lifts that support the bench press. Lifts that strenghen your triceps and shoulders will help get a bigger bench. Dumbbell presses will work as they hit your triceps alot which translates into a bigger bench...but you still need to train the bench.
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    Thumbs up

    Good info here so far. Dumbbells have made a huge difference for me.

    Completely dropping flat bench and hitting incline/decline bench and overhead presses for shoulder strength is another alternative.
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  7. #7
    Registered User wendell80's Avatar
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    Just keep at it. Play with different rest times. Also do timed reps 30 sec in wieght ranging form 50 to 60% of 1 rep max. As your timed reps increase it will show you the progress in speed with that wieght. It will increase your overall power. Good luck
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  8. #8
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    How is your diet looking? Sometimes when I have hit platues I just upped my calories abit along with switching to a different chest press for a month or so. Good luck.
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    Its programming and diet.

    Try something like this.

    Plan on benching a couple times per week.

    Workout 1- 80% of your 3rm for 5x5

    Workout 2- 50% of your 5rm for 2 x 5

    Workout 3- New 5rm

    The next week on workout 3 set a new 3rm, the following week a new 1rm.

    Keep doing this and eating alot and it will increment up by at least lbs per week on all your rms.
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  10. #10
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    Switch it up, do rack lockouts, floor press and other assistance exercises.

    Adjust your diet and sleep.
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  11. #11
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    Accessory movements and powerlifting techniques.
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  12. #12
    Registered User odelayih's Avatar
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    thanks everybody for these tips. sounds like i haven't been switching it up enough. also, if I'm serious about this I should probably quit drinking so much on the weekends.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Power_11's Avatar
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    Also, I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but work hard on your triceps and delts. Even if your chest strength is the same, there's no way you'll stay lifting the same weights on the bench press if your triceps are stronger.
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  14. #14
    Registered User wendell80's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Power_11 View Post
    Also, I don't know if anyone's mentioned this, but work hard on your triceps and delts. Even if your chest strength is the same, there's no way you'll stay lifting the same weights on the bench press if your triceps are stronger.
    That should be a part of your routine anyway.
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  15. #15
    Banned Paumen's Avatar
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    If you can hit chest twice a week. Dumbells one day and barbell the other. Also try adding in some medium close grip barbell bench press but, don't lock out at the top unless of course your a competitive bench presser.
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  16. #16
    Banned Bobby_Flay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by n2lifting View Post
    have u tried switching to dumbells
    This. Seriously, do this now.
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    Try taking a week off. Sometimes we need a little extra rest to come back stronger. Every couple months, I take a week off and I always come back alot stronger.
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    This helped me get through my plateau:

    Workout 1: 3 sets 8 reps
    Workout 2: 8 sets 3 reps
    Workout 3: 3 sets 8 reps
    Workout 4: 8 sets 3 reps
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    Originally Posted by MWZ90 View Post
    This helped me get through my plateau:

    Workout 1: 3 sets 8 reps
    Workout 2: 8 sets 3 reps
    Workout 3: 3 sets 8 reps
    Workout 4: 8 sets 3 reps

    this looks interesting. can you go into more detail. when you say workout 1 do you mean 1 day or 1 exercise. Im gonna give this a shot
    http://www.freewebs.com/nibblesfly/index.htm

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    Originally Posted by odelayih View Post
    I seem to be stuck at my current bench press weight, which is 225 for 7. I have tried everything to go higher, high reps, low reps, with little result. was hoping someone here could help. some more info that might be pertinent:

    1. my left arm is weaker than my right and is the one that gives out first.

    2. i feel a lot of strain in my shoulders when I'm approaching failure. is this normal?

    3. i've seen advertisements in M&F for this contraption that promises to improve your bench by 20% through strengthening your rotator cuffs. anybody have experience with this?
    How often do you work out your chest in a week? Do you go heavy every time? For a while i was stuck at 315x1 for almost a year no matter what i did. Every time i would bench my i would feel like my shoulder was fatigued before my pecs, even on my warm up. Then i talked to a trainer and he gave me some RTC exercises and told me not to go heavy every week. Since ive done that i've added 35lbs to my bench in 4 months.
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    I'm stuck at 275 x2. I do chest twice a week. On Monday I start off with flat barbell, incline dumbbell, decline (barbell or hammer strength) and then flyes (dumbbell or pec deck). At the end of the week I start off with incline barbell, flat dumbbell, and then dips. I'm still stuck at 275 x2. The dumbbells at the gym go up to 100lbs, and I can do about 9-10 on my last set for flat db. Could this be a reason why my bench isn't going up, or does the weight of the db's not matter?
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