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  1. #1
    Registered User MisterNoGains's Avatar
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    Bench got even worse

    I made a thread about a week ago (https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1645695623) about my stalling bench. 4 weeks ago I hit 170 lbs for 3 sets of 8, then the following week I hit 175 lbs for 3 sets of 8. The week after (so 2 weeks ago) I did tried 180 lbs and got 7x3x5. It was my first time doing this weight so I was okay with that and tried 180 lbs again last week I got 7x3x0.

    After making the thread I took everyone's advice and started eating a bit more and sleeping better. I just went to hit the bench and as others suggested I lowered the weight to 170 lbs. To my surprise the first set was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated and on the second set I got only 5 reps. For my last set I went down to 145 lbs and only got 8 reps, the last rep was a grinder too. I was weaker on my accessory lift (machine press) as well and after that I called it a day.

    I'm so frustrated because I'm watching my diet, getting enough protein (200g+ a day), sleeping enough and it's just not working. All my pressing movements seem to be suffering, DB bench press, DB shoulder press...etc.

    I don't want to up the calories any more because I don't want to risk gaining fat. One thing to note is the first rep on every bench set feels very weird on the negative, it feels jerky and unstable.

    Should I switch routines? Any advice? I'm getting tired of putting in all this effort and seeing no results for it. My main goal is hypertrophy, but I had set a goal in April to bench 225 for 1 rep by the end of August but at this point I can barely even get a set of 170 for 8 (which I was doing over a month ago).
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  2. #2
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    I made a thread about a week ago (https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1645695623) about my stalling bench. 4 weeks ago I hit 170 lbs for 3 sets of 8, then the following week I hit 175 lbs for 3 sets of 8. The week after (so 2 weeks ago) I did tried 180 lbs and got 7x3x5. It was my first time doing this weight so I was okay with that and tried 180 lbs again last week I got 7x3x0.

    After making the thread I took everyone's advice and started eating a bit more and sleeping better. I just went to hit the bench and as others suggested I lowered the weight to 170 lbs. To my surprise the first set was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated and on the second set I got only 5 reps. For my last set I went down to 145 lbs and only got 8 reps, the last rep was a grinder too. I was weaker on my accessory lift (machine press) as well and after that I called it a day.

    I'm so frustrated because I'm watching my diet, getting enough protein (200g+ a day), sleeping enough and it's just not working. All my pressing movements seem to be suffering, DB bench press, DB shoulder press...etc.

    I don't want to up the calories any more because I don't want to risk gaining fat. One thing to note is the first rep on every bench set feels very weird on the negative, it feels jerky and unstable.

    Should I switch routines? Any advice? I'm getting tired of putting in all this effort and seeing no results for it. My main goal is hypertrophy, but I had set a goal in April to bench 225 for 1 rep by the end of August but at this point I can barely even get a set of 170 for 8 (which I was doing over a month ago).

    What is the most you can handle for three reps?

    225x.9= 200

    You’d need to do around 200x3-4 reps to hit 225x1


    Secondly- what are you eating exactly?


    Third- I’m curious about how long you are resting between sets?

    Fourth- how many days rest between your push sessions?
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  3. #3
    Registered User MisterNoGains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    What is the most you can handle for three reps?

    225x.9= 200

    You’d need to do around 200x3-4 reps to hit 225x1


    Secondly- what are you eating exactly?


    Third- I’m curious about how long you are resting between sets?

    Fourth- how many days rest between your push sessions?
    I'm not sure, I've never tried 3 reps before. Though 2 weeks ago when I did 180lbs for 7x3x5 I was able to do a rep of 190 lbs afterwards. If I were to take a guess maybe 190-195 lbs? Something in that range.

    My main protein sources are eggs, whey, chicken, and cottage cheese. I rest anywhere between 2.5-4 minutes per set. And I have 2 push days a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Let me guess, you’re running a PPL?
    Age: 29

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    -Sir Isaac Newton
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  5. #5
    Registered User MisterNoGains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    Let me guess, you’re running a PPL?
    Yeah P/P/L/Rest/P/P/Rest repeat.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    Yeah P/P/L/Rest/P/P/Rest repeat.

    Any idea what you are really eating? Cals?
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    I made a thread about a week ago (https://forum.bodybuilding.com/showt...post1645695623) about my stalling bench. 4 weeks ago I hit 170 lbs for 3 sets of 8, then the following week I hit 175 lbs for 3 sets of 8. The week after (so 2 weeks ago) I did tried 180 lbs and got 7x3x5. It was my first time doing this weight so I was okay with that and tried 180 lbs again last week I got 7x3x0.

    After making the thread I took everyone's advice and started eating a bit more and sleeping better. I just went to hit the bench and as others suggested I lowered the weight to 170 lbs. To my surprise the first set was a lot more difficult than I had anticipated and on the second set I got only 5 reps. For my last set I went down to 145 lbs and only got 8 reps, the last rep was a grinder too. I was weaker on my accessory lift (machine press) as well and after that I called it a day.

    I'm so frustrated because I'm watching my diet, getting enough protein (200g+ a day), sleeping enough and it's just not working. All my pressing movements seem to be suffering, DB bench press, DB shoulder press...etc.

    I don't want to up the calories any more because I don't want to risk gaining fat. One thing to note is the first rep on every bench set feels very weird on the negative, it feels jerky and unstable.

    Should I switch routines? Any advice? I'm getting tired of putting in all this effort and seeing no results for it. My main goal is hypertrophy, but I had set a goal in April to bench 225 for 1 rep by the end of August but at this point I can barely even get a set of 170 for 8 (which I was doing over a month ago).
    180x8=223 max according to at least one max rep calculator….you’re just a few big weeks of eating big n sloppy n you’ll smash 225.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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  8. #8
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    This might sound dumb, but have you tried wearing a belt when you bench? Might get a little more glute drive wearing one.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    Yeah P/P/L/Rest/P/P/Rest repeat.
    I’m more than willing to bet you’re doing entirely to much “push” vs your “pull” volume. I’m also willing to bet that is entirely too much volume overall for your level of development.
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  10. #10
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    Try big but bold, to get stronger do fewer reps with higher weight.
    Why lift when it's all about the jawline ©
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    I’m going to bet he’s not taking in enough calories. Should be EATING.

    Real eating for big gains…
    Not precontest diet food.
    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

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    You're not going to get good at singles doing sets of 8.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I’m going to bet he’s not taking in enough calories. Should be EATING.

    Real eating for big gains…
    Not precontest diet food.
    If you’re gonna run a PPL, you better be in a pretty big surplus.
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    Registered User MisterNoGains's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Any idea what you are really eating? Cals?
    3 months ago I was about 190 lbs. My goal was to slowly lose some weight then go on a long slow bulk (don't want to risk getting soft again) and for the past month I have been a steady 179-182 lbs. My guess is I eat around 2400 calories a day, maybe a little more. I track everything except for lunch as I'm not the one that cooks it.

    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    I’m more than willing to bet you’re doing entirely to much “push” vs your “pull” volume. I’m also willing to bet that is entirely too much volume overall for your level of development.
    What would be better than, hitting everything just once a week?

    Originally Posted by BeginnerGainz View Post
    If you’re gonna run a PPL, you better be in a pretty big surplus.
    Why is that? I would like to do that but last time I tried to bulk it went terribly and ended up getting fat haha, scared of repeating that.
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  15. #15
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    3 months ago I was about 190 lbs. My goal was to slowly lose some weight then go on a long slow bulk (don't want to risk getting soft again) and for the past month I have been a steady 179-182 lbs. My guess is I eat around 2400 calories a day, maybe a little more. I track everything except for lunch as I'm not the one that cooks it.


    What would be better than, hitting everything just once a week?


    Why is that? I would like to do that but last time I tried to bulk it went terribly and ended up getting fat haha, scared of repeating that.
    You need to eat more than 2400 cals. Nobody will ever get huge and strong barely eating.

    My guess is that if you are consistent with both training and eating big, getting fat is NOT going to be the result.

    Bump up your cals by 500 a day for a month, stay disciplined in your training, train hard, push sets to the limit, get solid volume, sleep….reevaluate after a month.

    See you in Oct. I would bet you’re celebrating hitting 225x3 right about then.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    You need to eat more than 2400 cals. Nobody will ever get huge and strong barely eating.

    My guess is that if you are consistent with both training and eating big, getting fat is NOT going to be the result.

    Bump up your cals by 500 a day for a month, stay disciplined in your training, train hard, push sets to the limit, get solid volume, sleep….reevaluate after a month.

    See you in Oct. I would bet you’re celebrating hitting 225x3 right about then.
    Thanks I guess I will try upping the calories and see how that goes. Do you think my routine is fine? Strangely enough I feel like my back is progressing fine, it's just the push movements. Especially the negative of the bench press on the first rep.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    Thanks I guess I will try upping the calories and see how that goes. Do you think my routine is fine? Strangely enough I feel like my back is progressing fine, it's just the push movements. Especially the negative of the bench press on the first rep.
    Try a couple of better warmups

    Maybe 95x6
    135x3

    Then your 180
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  18. #18
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    OP how has your bodyweight been recently on your calories? Are you losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight?

    If you are losing or maintaining - that's your problem. It's very difficult to progress in the weight room on a maintenance-or-lower calorie count. Best you can hope for is to maintain your strength/size.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Try a couple of better warmups

    Maybe 95x6
    135x3

    Then your 180
    Yeah that's why I've been doing, I do the bar for 12, 95 for 6-8, then 135 for 3-5 then start my working set

    Originally Posted by sunsean View Post
    OP how has your bodyweight been recently on your calories? Are you losing, gaining, or maintaining your weight?

    If you are losing or maintaining - that's your problem. It's very difficult to progress in the weight room on a maintenance-or-lower calorie count. Best you can hope for is to maintain your strength/size.
    I've been maintaining for the month or so. I guess what I'm worried about is excessive fat gain on a bulk since I feel I'm already too heavy for my height (6'0/6'1 and 181 lbs) given my current muscle mass.
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    Yeah that's why I've been doing, I do the bar for 12, 95 for 6-8, then 135 for 3-5 then start my working set


    I've been maintaining for the month or so. I guess what I'm worried about is excessive fat gain on a bulk since I feel I'm already too heavy for my height (6'0/6'1 and 181 lbs) given my current muscle mass.

    Youre
    Not too heavy! Pile on some
    Muscle and your resting metabolism will actually increase! Youll burn more calories just sitting around.

    3500 EXCESS calories builds a pound of fat….if you are training hard, you’re not likely going to have alot of excess cals at say 3200 a day. You want gains…the best proof of quality muscle gains is in getting stronger- if you’re gaining wt but no strength, probably water and fat…

    Do what you enjoy but Ill tell you this , you gotta pick something….stay lean, weak or start eating and building some muscle….they take cals to get bigger.
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    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    Youre
    Not too heavy! Pile on some
    Muscle and your resting metabolism will actually increase! Youll burn more calories just sitting around.

    3500 EXCESS calories builds a pound of fat….if you are training hard, you’re not likely going to have alot of excess cals at say 3200 a day. You want gains…the best proof of quality muscle gains is in getting stronger- if you’re gaining wt but no strength, probably water and fat…

    Do what you enjoy but Ill tell you this , you gotta pick something….stay lean, weak or start eating and building some muscle….they take cals to get bigger.
    I'll up the calories then and see how that goes, I'll use the mirror as a gauge after a month or two. While we're at it, what do you think of swapping BB and DB rows for weighted pull ups? I injured my back a month ago doing BB rows and so any bent over movement I've swapped with weighted pull ups for the time being. My back is just about good to go but I quite like the weighted pull ups, wonder if it's worth going back to it? I know it'll help for width but worried that I won't be getting any thickness.
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    I'll up the calories then and see how that goes, I'll use the mirror as a gauge after a month or two. While we're at it, what do you think of swapping BB and DB rows for weighted pull ups? I injured my back a month ago doing BB rows and so any bent over movement I've swapped with weighted pull ups for the time being. My back is just about good to go but I quite like the weighted pull ups, wonder if it's worth going back to it? I know it'll help for width but worried that I won't be getting any thickness.
    Swap your username, seriously. See if that helps.
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    I'll up the calories then and see how that goes, I'll use the mirror as a gauge after a month or two. While we're at it, what do you think of swapping BB and DB rows for weighted pull ups? I injured my back a month ago doing BB rows and so any bent over movement I've swapped with weighted pull ups for the time being. My back is just about good to go but I quite like the weighted pull ups, wonder if it's worth going back to it? I know it'll help for width but worried that I won't be getting any thickness.
    Db rows and pull-ups is a great pair. The low back issue is or should be helped by putting same side hand and knee on a flat bench for db rows . If you have access to a chest supported seated row that would do the trick.

    My advice is to focus on two compounds for the big muscles….

    Bench and incline for chest
    Rows and pull-ups for back
    Shoulder press and upright row for shoulders
    Squats and leg press for legs. Front squats and deadlifts can be subbed for leg press.

    Keep increasing training weights and train in rep ranges from 3-12 as your joints allow and your motivation and recovery allow.
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post

    I've been maintaining for the month or so. I guess what I'm worried about is excessive fat gain on a bulk since I feel I'm already too heavy for my height (6'0/6'1 and 181 lbs) given my current muscle mass.
    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    I'll up the calories then and see how that goes, I'll use the mirror as a gauge after a month or two. While we're at it, what do you think of swapping BB and DB rows for weighted pull ups? I injured my back a month ago doing BB rows and so any bent over movement I've swapped with weighted pull ups for the time being. My back is just about good to go but I quite like the weighted pull ups, wonder if it's worth going back to it? I know it'll help for width but worried that I won't be getting any thickness.
    You don't need to "dirty bulk" and eat everything in sight. Try to aim for weight gain of 2lb/month. That's enough to fuel muscle growth but will minimize body fat accumulation.

    Or if you think you're already too fat (subjective), then go all in on a cut until you're lean enough for your liking before switching to a lean bulk. Worst thing to do IMO is trying to do both fat los and muscle gain at the same time. Usually you just end up spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere.
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    1. You're not going to get stronger while in a serious caloric deficit.

    2. YOU'RE NOT GOING TO GET STRONGER WHILE IN A SERIOUS CALORIC DEFICIT.

    3. Start tracking your calories thoroughly.

    So, you have one of two choices here:

    1. Keep cutting and stop worrying about your bench numbers.

    OR

    2. Bump up to maintenance calories.
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    Thanks for all the help guys, looks like I'll have to up my calories and report back in a month or two. I think I'll keep the routine the same with the weighted pull ups, once my back is better I'll throw DB rows back in there but probably stay away from BB rows for a while.
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    Little update, hit bench again today and tried 170lbs again. I got 8x8x7, with a large rest before the last set and it still felt a little shaky. I'm starting to think my triceps and what's failing me, also my horrendous forward shoulder/hunched posture probably isn't helping much either. My back is stiff as a board so it's hard keeping my shoulders pinned back.

    Overall I feel like my progress on push has stalled no matter what I do and feeling pretty demotivated honestly. My last deload week was about 7-8 weeks ago, is it time to take another? I'm thinking of switching my routine and doing 3x5 for bench, is that too few reps for a middle ground between strength and hypertrophy?
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    Originally Posted by MisterNoGains View Post
    Little update, hit bench again today and tried 170lbs again. I got 8x8x7, with a large rest before the last set and it still felt a little shaky. I'm starting to think my triceps and what's failing me, also my horrendous forward shoulder/hunched posture probably isn't helping much either. My back is stiff as a board so it's hard keeping my shoulders pinned back.

    Overall I feel like my progress on push has stalled no matter what I do and feeling pretty demotivated honestly. My last deload week was about 7-8 weeks ago, is it time to take another? I'm thinking of switching my routine and doing 3x5 for bench, is that too few reps for a middle ground between strength and hypertrophy?
    If your goal is a 1RM of 225 why are you training like this?
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    If your goal is a 1RM of 225 why are you training like this?
    My main goal is mass, but as a side goal it would be nice to hit 225, it would be a huge milestone for me.
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