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  1. #1
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    Anyone have experience with benching 4+ times a week?

    Probably a stupid question but has there any one that have done this? What were your outcome?

    In my gym, most of the strongest benchers are dudes I see who do their sets on flat and the chest machines almost every single day. I do Lyle Mcdonald's GBR (upper/lower) and on my off days I just do cardio or abs and yet there they are.

    I'm in the middle of a cut right now and for some reason this makes me wanna try it out. I know this probably isn't optimal considering my dietary goals but could I potentially progress from such a plan assuming I frequently hit back and rear delts after the workout?
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    Registered User WolfRose7's Avatar
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    yes plenty, all my best progress including my current run of fairly linear gains came from 4x benching. (also on a very slow bw loss)

    I'd advise different variations each day and a mix of higher intensity moderate-low rpe low rep work, and higher rep, higher rpe hype assistance work as well.
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    yes plenty, all my best progress including my current run of fairly linear gains came from 4x benching. (also on a very slow bw loss)

    I'd advise different variations each day and a mix of higher intensity moderate-low rpe low rep work, and higher rep, higher rpe hype assistance work as well.
    Alright cool, guess I'll try it out during my cut and see how it goes. I'm still benching 155 lbs at this point so hopefully I can do this.

    By different variations, do you mean like switching to close grip, incline, paused, etc? Do dumbbells also count?
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Alright cool, guess I'll try it out during my cut and see how it goes. I'm still benching 155 lbs at this point so hopefully I can do this.

    By different variations, do you mean like switching to close grip, incline, paused, etc? Do dumbbells also count?

    yes, yes.

    Day 1
    Regular Pause

    Day 2
    CLose Grip

    Day 3
    3ct Pause

    Day 4
    Db Bench

    Or something similar. I personally don't count incline as bench assistance as I don't find it a useful variation for the goal of increasing bench numbers
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    Originally Posted by WolfRose7 View Post
    yes, yes.

    Day 1
    Regular Pause

    Day 2
    CLose Grip

    Day 3
    3ct Pause

    Day 4
    Db Bench

    Or something similar. I personally don't count incline as bench assistance as I don't find it a useful variation for the goal of increasing bench numbers
    thx mane, will try this out and see if I can progress on my cut.
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    Same with me as Wolf said. Except do touch & go bench instead of DBs, it's more specific to barbell paused bench.

    As you bench more you'll see where your sticking point is. Choose a variation or two to strengthen that sticking point.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Same with me as Wolf said. Except do touch & go bench instead of DBs, it's more specific to barbell paused bench.

    As you bench more you'll see where your sticking point is. Choose a variation or two to strengthen that sticking point.
    Not sure I agree that dumbbells aren't beneficial as a bench accessory. At best, it’s individualized. I just broke through a several month plateau by doing a two month dumbbell block.
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    To answer the op...

    Maybe? 4 times a week would be too much for me but I’m in my 40’s. Apart from that, Wolf already gave you some pretty good advice. Train the movement you want to improve once a week, then train that/those muscle(s) with cooperating movements using a frequency that works for you.

    I’d add that a solid, strong, well-developed back will assist your bench more than you may think. I train back 2-3 times per week. Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Same with me as Wolf said. Except do touch & go bench instead of DBs, it's more specific to barbell paused bench.

    As you bench more you'll see where your sticking point is. Choose a variation or two to strengthen that sticking point.
    My sticking point is absolutely the bottom of the press so I definitely need to focus on paused reps.

    You think I should quit doing all my push accessories due to the increased frequency of benching? I normally do seated DB presses (gym only has a single pair of microplates for barbells) and either pushdowns or extensions. I am definitely gonna do lat and rear delt work every time I step in the gym.
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    Originally Posted by Mortar34 View Post
    Not sure I agree that dumbbells aren't beneficial as a bench accessory. At best, it’s individualized. I just broke through a several month plateau by doing a two month dumbbell block.
    DBs are beneficial for sure, they're just less specific to barbell bench than other, barbell, variations. Training leg drive, arch, grip, and back tightness under the barbell is the overall goal IMO.
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    My sticking point is absolutely the bottom of the press so I definitely need to focus on paused reps.

    You think I should quit doing all my push accessories due to the increased frequency of benching? I normally do seated DB presses (gym only has a single pair of microplates for barbells) and either pushdowns or extensions. I am definitely gonna do lat and rear delt work every time I step in the gym.
    My last program cycle I did zero push accessories, only ~5 types of bench press 4 days a week. The extra benching will hit your triceps hard, and doing more triceps would impede your recovery. If me, I wouldn't do much shoulder press, but once a week might be ok.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    My last program cycle I did zero push accessories, only ~5 types of bench press 4 days a week. The extra benching will hit your triceps hard, and doing more triceps would impede your recovery. If me, I wouldn't do much shoulder press, but once a week might be ok.
    Whenever I fail on the bench, it is rarely (if ever) beyond the bottom portion so I think I'll stick to frequent pause benching.

    I know this dude is very controversial (personally find him funny but YMMV) but Vegan Gains managed to put on some weight to this lift in a matter of weeks just by doing this sort of thing and managed to get to 315 lbs.
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Whenever I fail on the bench, it is rarely (if ever) beyond the bottom portion so I think I'll stick to frequent pause benching.
    Pin press or board press would also be good options. I've seen people use a yoga brick with notches cut into it stuck to the barbell instead of wood boards.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    ...Training leg drive, arch, grip, and back tightness under the barbell is the overall goal IMO.
    If you're doing these things differently with dumbbells vs a barbell you're doing it wrong.
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    Originally Posted by Mortar34 View Post
    If you're doing these things differently with dumbbells vs a barbell you're doing it wrong.
    How do you keep the exact same grip width throughout a DB bench arc, in the same way you keep the same grip width in a BB arc? The DBs move together towards the top of the movement, so your grip width changes. You don't get the chance to experiment with different grip widths because the DB grip is inconsistent during the rep.

    How do you set up with the same back arch if you have to lift the DBs from the floor? And if your arch is off, your leg drive is off.

    DBs are fine for chest work, they're just not ideal for perfecting your BB bench.
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    Ok so I've always been a big believer on the claim that your muscles need at least 48 hours of rest to progress.

    I plateaued on my bench even while bulking (only started dieting recently) and could normally only get in sets of 3-4 reps on the 135 lbs bench. Was able to do sets of 6-7 this morning. Decided to fall victim to my ego and add 5 lbs per side yet I was able to do 3 sets of 4 at 145 lbs.

    Some of those reps were touch and go yet I never pressed this much before
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    15-20 sets a week per body part is optimal for hypertrophy.

    If you're benching 4x a week and trying to add weight and set personal records every time you would be better off taking a few rest days occasionally to recover.
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    Arrow

    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Probably a stupid question but has there any one that have done this? What were your outcome?

    In my gym, most of the strongest benchers are dudes I see who do their sets on flat and the chest machines almost every single day. I do Lyle Mcdonald's GBR (upper/lower) and on my off days I just do cardio or abs and yet there they are.

    I'm in the middle of a cut right now and for some reason this makes me wanna try it out. I know this probably isn't optimal considering my dietary goals but could I potentially progress from such a plan assuming I frequently hit back and rear delts after the workout?
    believe it or not, it’s possible to increase max from day to day four days in a row. However you will eventually need to incorporate a day of severe muscle breakdown in order to increase your overall “max”.
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    Originally Posted by WHITEqpDIESEL View Post
    believe it or not, it’s possible to increase max from day to day four days in a row. However you will eventually need to incorporate a day of severe muscle breakdown in order to increase your overall “max”.
    The hell is a day of severe muscle breakdown
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    Originally Posted by WHITEqpDIESEL View Post
    believe it or not, it’s possible to increase max from day to day four days in a row. However you will eventually need to incorporate a day of severe muscle breakdown in order to increase your overall “max”.
    Is "a day of severe muscle breakdown" reaching a point where your sets become junk volume? I was able to do sets of 4 at my working weight but stopped when I did a set involving a single sloppy rep.

    Isn't it better to "stimulate" rather than annihilate?
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    Originally Posted by Mortar34 View Post
    If you're doing these things differently with dumbbells vs a barbell you're doing it wrong.
    If you press dumbells the same as a bar, you are doing it 'wrong' by which I mean you're missing out on many many beneficial aspects a bar gives you.

    You cant bend, spread or torque into dumbells or apply any lateral pressure into Dbs like you can a bar.

    Obviously dumbbells have certain benefits over a bar too.. They just aren't the same.


    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    How do you keep the exact same grip width throughout a DB bench arc, in the same way you keep the same grip width in a BB arc? The DBs move together towards the top of the movement, so your grip width changes. You don't get the chance to experiment with different grip widths because the DB grip is inconsistent during the rep.

    How do you set up with the same back arch if you have to lift the DBs from the floor? And if your arch is off, your leg drive is off.

    DBs are fine for chest work, they're just not ideal for perfecting your BB bench.
    For technical gains. 10000% agreed.

    For just building size and adding to your bench that way? Dbs sure are great supplemental work. Especially when you are at the point that you straight up just need more mass, the stimulus:fatigue is likely in a higher ratio for everyone.
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    Originally Posted by metallick View Post
    Is "a day of severe muscle breakdown" reaching a point where your sets become junk volume? I was able to do sets of 4 at my working weight but stopped when I did a set involving a single sloppy rep.

    Isn't it better to "stimulate" rather than annihilate?
    Yes.

    "Severe muscle breakdown" isn't the best term. Nobody wants rhabdo. "A day of hard sets" might be better.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Any muscle group can be trained 4x per week as it comes down to volume and intensity on a weekly basis. Recovery will be the factor that will dictate what you can and cannot do.
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    "focusing" bench 4 times a week with focus can make it really hard to equally balance your back/pull development. It took me a while to learn "balanced programming" is not just doing x sets of pulls but also which exercise you do first in the workout (and therefore prioritize the most energy/effort wise).

    If you get a "push" developmental imbalance it can trash your posture, and make side sleeping extremely painful on your shoulders.

    By contrast, my preferred max chest workout might incorporate 60-100% of your 4 day volume into a single day. 2 of those in a week is really hard but the A/B weekly split makes it slightly more sustainable. I like the more focused days so you can optimize gains via recovery.
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    Just my opinion, but 4 times a week is excessive. Maybe 2-3 days a week max. Your body needs time to heal and tear, and use those DBs. That always helps increase straight bar
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    Originally Posted by MIKES3 View Post
    Just my opinion, but 4 times a week is excessive. Maybe 2-3 days a week max. Your body needs time to heal and tear, and use those DBs. That always helps increase straight bar
    Yeah i agree. I decided to do some DB shoulder presses during my lower body workout (haven't trained shoulders in a while) and my shoulder joints were very uncomfortable during these reps. No pain but outside the gym I get a a minor ache when I move around too much
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    you can also drink an additional complex of vitamins to strengthen cartilage before training could also be useful
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    benching 4 times per week. Here is a few things from my experience. One. Folks who emphasize chest are usually noobs, young ignorant dudes. I see them even through their clothes. No arms, big butt and sharp chest with missing upper part or it. Because those are same folks who completely avoid incline bench. Two. Those other ones, who manage a balanced resistance training, they need to train twice a day with their split so organized that there is time to train biceps, forearms, calves, neck - the whole works gets turned over four time a week. And this is not easy.
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    You can do any exercise 4 times a week. Weekly volume and overall intensity will dictate what is possible as well as your recovery capabilities. You can't work everything 4 times a week at the same time however it works when attempting to bring up a lagging body part and you can't do it consistently over time..

    With this thread context matters
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    You can do any exercise 4 times a week. Weekly volume and overall intensity will dictate what is possible as well as your recovery capabilities. You can't work everything 4 times a week at the same time however it works when attempting to bring up a lagging body part and you can't do it consistently over time..

    With this thread context matters
    Didn't know this thread was still active lol

    I can only bench twice a week max since I have to go to a far gym now as my city closed down all indoor gyms. Got passed a plateau I've been struggling for months even though I just started cutting a few weeks back (down 7 lbs). I guess I wasn't recovering properly when I benched several times a week.
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