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  1. #1
    Registered User Temple90's Avatar
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    Making no progress with bench. Looking for suggestions

    I am making very little progress with my bench press. (Flat and incline)
    On flat press I am constantly between 185 and 205 for reps going to 225 x 1.
    Recently I have really struggled with flat bench and am having a hard time at 195 for reps.
    I am looking for some advice on how to progress my bench.
    Right now I am doing push/pull/legs and lifting 5x a week.
    Any advice on how to break through this rut is appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Temple90 View Post
    I am making very little progress with my bench press. (Flat and incline)
    On flat press I am constantly between 185 and 205 for reps going to 225 x 1.
    Recently I have really struggled with flat bench and am having a hard time at 195 for reps.
    I am looking for some advice on how to progress my bench.
    Right now I am doing push/pull/legs and lifting 5x a week.
    Any advice on how to break through this rut is appreciated.
    What's your complete program? Sets, reps, intensities, frequencies...

    Bench responds well to volume and to bodyweight gain. So increasing calories and frequency is one way to try to increase bench.
    2020 maxes
    Squat 185
    Bench 137
    DL 205
    bw 88.5 age 43

    Workout Journal: https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=175647011&p=1630928323&viewfull=1#post1630928323
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  3. #3
    Fatter than last time ezra76's Avatar
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    I've been progressing with 4x6 on flat. Once I can get it switch to 3x8 same weight next workout. Get that then move up 10lbs.. back to 4x6

    3x8 db low incline (weight I can handle with 1-2 rir)
    3x8 Close grip bench (pause reps)
    3x8 skullcrusher superset into cgbp

    Setup and form. Worked on this and helped a lot.

    Shoulders. I do an entire workout that is shoulders/abs. Increasing shoulder strength/stamina plays a big part for me as it has always been the weak link.

    I've been doing
    3x8 80degree BB
    3x8 90deg DB (weight I can handle with a rir, slow descent, fast push)
    3x8 on rear delt (lying facedown on like 15-20degree incline)
    3x8 standing side and front raise delts
    Usually will drop set the rear/side delt raises from 15lb db to a 10lb. plate to fail

    So in a nutshell with flat bench bench I'm not trying to see what I can 1rm every workout. Master a weight, which I feel like being able to 3x8 it all 24reps shows, then move up. Trying to pyramid up to a 1rm every workout is not going to be consistent at all.
    Last edited by ezra76; 01-14-2021 at 03:48 AM.
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  4. #4
    CEO 10k/year Ironface's Avatar
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    Gain weight.

    Up volume/frequency. Maybe program singles in addition to your volume work.

    Widen grip - that can often give you a few extra lbs. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be stronger - but you can usually lift a little more weight with a wider grip.

    Work on bar path. I often see people bringing the bar down too high with flared elbows, letting the bar basically freefall and then bouncing it off their chest. Use a nice, controlled descent down to the sternum with elbows semi tucked, then explode up.

    Gain weight. (Seriously)
    *Deadlifts pants after taking a chit crew*
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  5. #5
    Registered User GeneralSerpant's Avatar
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    That's around where I was at before I started getting into back arching.
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  6. #6
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    Got a video?
    Bench for pecs crew
    .
    FMH crew - couch.
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  7. #7
    Registered User dandogg's Avatar
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    We use to say the only to bench press 200lbs is to bench 220lbs...
    be patient, and keep working, Rome was not built in a day or a month or a year...
    These things take time
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  8. #8
    Registered User WulfgarVonNord's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ironface View Post
    Gain weight.

    Up volume/frequency. Maybe program singles in addition to your volume work.

    Widen grip - that can often give you a few extra lbs. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be stronger - but you can usually lift a little more weight with a wider grip.

    Work on bar path. I often see people bringing the bar down too high with flared elbows, letting the bar basically freefall and then bouncing it off their chest. Use a nice, controlled descent down to the sternum with elbows semi tucked, then explode up.

    Gain weight. (Seriously)
    As our guy here says, chances are you've stalled because you're not getting enough calories.

    That being said, you've left an awful lot key information out. Your form may not be as good as it could be. Starting Strength do an excellent breakdown of the Bench Press form. The SS book by Rippetoe is worth buying just for the form guides in the BP and Deadlift.

    Oh, and remember to 'breath and brace', just as you would in the squat - this means take a big breath at the top, filling your entire torso, before pushing the air back out from when the bar is about halfway back up. A lot of bodybuilders insist on breathing in on the way down, then begin breathing out again on the way up, but this doesn't work for big barbell exercise if you want stability when pushing up your numbers.
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  9. #9
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Get fatter.

    “But.....”

    I SAID GET FATTER.
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  10. #10
    Registered User jaxqen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Get fatter.

    “But.....”

    I SAID GET FATTER.
    Well, true!


    If not enough money for food, eat the puny weaklings that are in the gym at the present moment.
    I would stay away from atomweight boxers, though. They might look small, but they can pack a punch.
    "Reminds me of the good ol' days back in 03-04 when ripptoes/5 by 5/hit/doggcrap reigned supreme and you did not need direct arm work for big biceps. Rows and chins were it. "Ever see a guy rowing 300+lbs with chicken arms?". Ah yes those were the days. God bless amusclehead and his twisted one dimensional views along with the rest of the former flock."
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  11. #11
    Registered User Temple90's Avatar
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    Thank you for the advice everyone! I have made some progress adding some singles into the mix with heavier weight. Was able to do 225x1 and then dropped to 205 x 4.
    I think this along with additional shoulder work as mentioned above will help me build up my bench.
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