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  1. #1
    Registered User Skinnyguy4's Avatar
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    Why can I only bench 25kgs?!

    I'm a healthy 25 year old guy who has been going to the gym regularly for the past 3 months. I'm 184cm tall and weigh 67kgs.

    And yet I can only bench 25kgs! I've tried increasing the weight to 30kg but it's just too much. I can barely even do 3 reps of 30kg.

    When I bench press, my arms shake and wobble. I can't hold the bar straight. And often I "rest" by holding the bar extended up in the air. I find I can hold the bar in that position for ages, no problem, but it's tough for me to push it back up once it goes down.

    Is this normal?
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  2. #2
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Are you doing a well known routine like Fierce 5?

    Are you eating enough to gain weight - including at least 120g of protein per day?

    If no to either of the above, sort that out first. Your bench press will improve along with the other lifts in your routine.
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  3. #3
    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    your 184 and 67kg, you're probably very lanky which adds range of motion and makes bench harder
    on top of this there is every chance you have no idea how to set up tightly, any lack of tightness will add instability and make it harder

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  4. #4
    Registered User LMS62's Avatar
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    “going to the gym regularly”, whether it is 3 months, or 3 years, will not make you stronger, or result in hypertrophy. What matters is what you are doing while you are at the gym. I see many of the same people everyday at my gym, some for a few years now...and they have made pretty much zero progress. The reason......because they are so busy either playing with their phones, or socializing, their workout is basically a joke.

    I’m not saying this applies to you OP, but it is something to keep in mind. When it comes to training, the amount of progress someone gets from it, assuming proper nutrition, is a direct result of the effort they put in.
    Last edited by LMS62; 01-10-2020 at 10:09 PM.
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  5. #5
    Age 58 MajorTendonitis's Avatar
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    A video may help determine if your form is proper. How often are you benching ?
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  6. #6
    Registered User UnworthyRhombus's Avatar
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    You're going to have to get comfortable with weighing more and upping your intensity. You need to eat probably 500+ more calories per day, and if you can make that all protein (lean or not doesn't matter) then your strength should go up if youre really focusing when you're at the gym.
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  7. #7
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    You don't eat enough and probably don't eat consistently. It's not just your muscles that need to adapt and grow, but your gut, skinny guys have weak guts.
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    Are you new to lifting? Have you tried benching with dumbbells or dips to improve your stability? That's one of my biggest downfalls when I was starting out, the balancing aspect.
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  9. #9
    Registered User snailsrus's Avatar
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    Op you should be able to bench way more, your BMI is higher than mine, male and have almost 50 lbs on me, and I bench quite a bit more, I think you need to evaluate your training routine and form. With your weight alone not changing 40kg-50kgs shouldn’t be an issue. Also how much protein do you eat a day?
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  10. #10
    Replies in 1/2 hr - 3 day GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    Yeah I bet it's form more than diet or routine.
    You eat where you're at.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Skinnyguy4's Avatar
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    Thanks for your responses everyone.

    I think there's a good chance that I'm just doing the form wrong. I learnt to bench press just by watching YouTube videos. Never had anyone show me how to do it irl and I'm very shy when it comes to asking people irl for help.

    I have been eating lots of protein for the past 3 months. I have a protein shake after every gym session and I try to eat lots and lots of meat every meal.

    I feel like I'm making good progress with my legs and my biceps. I'm leg pressing heavier and bicep curling heavier each week. But I seem to be making very little progress with my chest and shoulders for some reason. I'm still bench pressing and shoulder pressing the same amount I started with.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by Skinnyguy4 View Post
    I'm a healthy 25 year old guy who has been going to the gym regularly for the past 3 months. I'm 184cm tall and weigh 67kgs.

    And yet I can only bench 25kgs! I've tried increasing the weight to 30kg but it's just too much. I can barely even do 3 reps of 30kg.

    When I bench press, my arms shake and wobble. I can't hold the bar straight. And often I "rest" by holding the bar extended up in the air. I find I can hold the bar in that position for ages, no problem, but it's tough for me to push it back up once it goes down.

    Is this normal?
    im guessing its too early in your routine to start doing negatives
    it helped me something serious
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  13. #13
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    Stuck on 25 kg, never making progress once is not a form issue. If it was bad form, he'd keep going up with the same ****ty form. It's a twink issue, harsh but true.
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  14. #14
    piss-weak HYMENATOR's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's 25kg, because the bar alone weighs 20kg. Maybe you mean the bar+25kg?
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by BenMcLeodNZ View Post
    Stuck on 25 kg, never making progress once is not a form issue. If it was bad form, he'd keep going up with the same ****ty form. It's a twink issue, harsh but true.

    Yeah, I kinda have to agree with this. I was too stubborn to even start that light.

    Unless your form is so ****ed that it isn't a bench press anymore, it's not that. I could see getting sick at 25kg if you are trying to bring it to your stomach.
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  16. #16
    Age 58 MajorTendonitis's Avatar
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    I also started at 25 years old . Weighed 150 pounds , and it took 1.5 years to bench 225 pounds .
    I gained 30 pounds upper body weight , as I never did legs back then . I had a terrible time gaining weight and took weight gain powder . My metabolism is so fast that when I quit pumping iron, I lost 25 pounds in 3 months .

    But don’t expect to bench big numbers for a while . Your numbers do sound ridiculously low,and I wish I could remember what I was doing back in the day . I believe it was a lot more than what your doing .
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by Skinnyguy4 View Post
    I'm a healthy 25 year old guy who has been going to the gym regularly for the past 3 months. I'm 184cm tall and weigh 67kgs.

    And yet I can only bench 25kgs! I've tried increasing the weight to 30kg but it's just too much. I can barely even do 3 reps of 30kg.

    When I bench press, my arms shake and wobble. I can't hold the bar straight. And often I "rest" by holding the bar extended up in the air. I find I can hold the bar in that position for ages, no problem, but it's tough for me to push it back up once it goes down.

    Is this normal?
    I'm 20 yo 72kg and just started benching, although I have done dumbbell presses in the past with terrible form and found it hard to increase my strength, as soon as I started going to the gym with some experienced people they taught me the importance of packing my shoulders, keeping my chest higher then my shoulders making it the prime mover and keeping everything tight including my core and legs maintaining a solid arch I was able to go from benching 15kg dumbbells for 8 reps to pressing 22.5kg for 12 reps in a month, try learning to use dumbbells that way you'll learn to strengthen your stabilizer muscles and your form will become better when using a barbell.. atleast from my experience
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  18. #18
    Kiwi Battler BenMcLeodNZ's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by WakingOp View Post
    Yeah, I kinda have to agree with this. I was too stubborn to even start that light.

    Unless your form is so ****ed that it isn't a bench press anymore, it's not that. I could see getting sick at 25kg if you are trying to bring it to your stomach.
    I started at 25kg now that I think about it, I was 13 though lol
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  19. #19
    Registered User Skinnyguy4's Avatar
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    Sorry I meant 25kg of weight + the bar itself. Idk how much the bar weighs though. I'm usually doing 3 sets of 12 reps.

    I don't think I'm that weak. I managed to do 20 pullups today, which I read on the internet is a lot more than most people can do.

    Why am I so good at pullups and yet so bad at bench pressing?
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  20. #20
    pay the iron price SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    The bar is 20kg

    If you are skinny, it's common to be good at pullups because you don't have to pull as much weight as a bigger guy

    My son is probably a little heavier than you, he can only bench 45kg about 10 times. He can do over 10 pullups though.
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    The plot thickens. Next we'll learn it's actually 25kg on each side of the bar, plus the bar. 70kg!
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    Cool

    Originally Posted by HYMENATOR View Post
    The plot thickens. Next we'll learn it's actually 25kg on each side of the bar, plus the bar. 70kg!

    Wait...so the OP is actually putting 25kg on each side of the bar and the bar weighs 20kg...so the OP is actually benching 70kg, not the 25kg he thought?

    OP, if you are benching 70kg and your bodyweight is about 67kg, benching your bodyweight is not considered awful. Many folks have different body types. A top NBA basketballer or Usain Bolt probably can't lift heavy weights but they would thrash us in their sports. A marathon runner probably can't lift much, but they'd wipe our asses with the floor in running events.
    If it's 70kg you're benching, then that isn't dire.

    About a year ago, I was barely benching 80+kg, but then I realised I wasn't really trying and I improved my nutrition and strength and bench has increased by 45+kg. Folks may mistake that for steroid abuse, but I wasn't really trying before it would appear. So don't be fooled when you see some folks lifting light weights in the gym because at another time, you may see them lifting two to three times what they were lifting before and you'd be like WTF
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    Gingers are human too HannoCometh's Avatar
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    Cool

    Originally Posted by Skinnyguy4 View Post
    Sorry I meant 25kg of weight + the bar itself. Idk how much the bar weighs though. I'm usually doing 3 sets of 12 reps.

    I don't think I'm that weak. I managed to do 20 pullups today, which I read on the internet is a lot more than most people can do.

    Why am I so good at pullups and yet so bad at bench pressing?
    OP, 3 sets of 12 reps?

    Have you tried doing higher weights for 3 sets of 6 reps?

    Or even higher weights for 3 sets of 4 reps?

    Or even more higher weights for 3 sets of 3 reps?

    3 sets of 12 reps is like Usain Bolt running a 100 metres in 11.5 seconds.

    3 sets of 6 reps is like Usain Bolt sprinting a 100 metres in 10.5 seconds.

    3 sets of 4 reps is like Usain Bolt sprinting a 100 metres in his 9.9 seconds.

    (I use Usain Bolt analogies because I assume that everybody, including you, know who the sprinter is... Hope this helps.)
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  24. #24
    Registered User Skinnyguy4's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HYMENATOR View Post
    The plot thickens. Next we'll learn it's actually 25kg on each side of the bar, plus the bar. 70kg!
    No LOL. I put 12.5kg on each side of the bar, so only 25kg total. And the reason I didn't include the weight of the bar is because I honestly had no idea how much it weighed.

    I was told that 3 sets of 12 reps is the perfect amount for any exercise if you want to gain muscle. Is this wrong?

    I am doing an upper body workout tomorrow, so I'll see if I can increase the weight to 30kg + the bar then.
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    Originally Posted by Skinnyguy4 View Post
    No LOL. I put 12.5kg on each side of the bar, so only 25kg total. And the reason I didn't include the weight of the bar is because I honestly had no idea how much it weighed.

    I was told that 3 sets of 12 reps is the perfect amount for any exercise if you want to gain muscle. Is this wrong?

    I am doing an upper body workout tomorrow, so I'll see if I can increase the weight to 30kg + the bar then.
    If your goal is to increase your bench weight, change up your programming to be conducive to strength. 12 reps is a lot of volume for bench pressing in a set. It has it's place, but it's not going to be easy to increase the weight at those rep levels.

    Maybe try doing 5x5. Start with your current bench press weight, if you do all 5x5 with success. next session try 5lbs more. if you fail here to complete all the reps and sets do it again until you do, then add 5lbs. I was able to linearly progress bench like this from basically the bar to 315 when i was a teen/early 20s.

    once you are stronger, you'll gain the stamina to do more reps at lower weights than you can even do now. like when I first hit 1plate bench, i could barely do 5x5. Now I can put 135 on the bar and do 15+ reps with ease. My point is you don't need to train in a certain rep range to be able to do that rep range, a huge part of lifting is developing your nervous system to handle the stresses and activate the muscles more efficiently, and has less to do with overall musculature.

    You might benefit from reading up on rep ranges, because doing 3x12 for everything is going to get you no where fast, certain exercises and certain muscle groups respond different to heavier/more intense workouts versus lower weighted high volume and the inverse is true as well.
    Last edited by LFAesthetics; 01-13-2020 at 08:46 AM.
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    Originally Posted by Skinnyguy4 View Post
    I'm a healthy 25 year old guy who has been going to the gym regularly for the past 3 months. I'm 184cm tall and weigh 67kgs.

    And yet I can only bench 25kgs! I've tried increasing the weight to 30kg but it's just too much. I can barely even do 3 reps of 30kg.

    When I bench press, my arms shake and wobble. I can't hold the bar straight. And often I "rest" by holding the bar extended up in the air. I find I can hold the bar in that position for ages, no problem, but it's tough for me to push it back up once it goes down.

    Is this normal?
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    Well that's significantly better.

    It very well could be a form issue. I got stuck at something like that until I learned to set myself up properly. You gotta dig them shoulders in or you won't be able to translate force very well
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    Train chest twice a week and you'll improve. When you do 30 kgs, get a spotter so you don't get stuck under the bar.
    Soon you'll be able to do 60 kg and then you'll be able to do even more. Keep at it. We all start somewhere.

    If you want advice on form, post a video (you can blur out your face)
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    I started do reverse pyramid style workouts and gained massive strength over a year. It is staying consistent of ofcourse. Start off with a weight that you can do about 4-5 reps with and drop the weight as you move through sets. Why I believe this works well for me is because my body is lifting its heaviest weight with out being already fatigued. I also like to take 3 minutes between sets. Just something I do and I have experienced incredible strength spikes with.
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    So... the OP is actually benching 45kg for what, 12 reps.

    Whilst not brilliant, that's probably not too bad for a 145 pound manlet that's fairly new to lifting.
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