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  1. #1
    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Bench Press Plateau 95lbs

    Hello. I've been training pretty seriously since last april or so but up until this summer I was doing a very bad program as well as was in a calorie deficit for most of the time so I understand why I didn't make much progress at first. However now I'm in a surplus and doing StrongLifts 5x5, seeing progress on most exercises except my bench press really. I was doing 95lbs for reps even before starting stronglift (this spring or so) so I've been stuck around this weight for a really long while and I genuinely dont know why. I've got decent form, I'm eating in a surplus and gaining weight, eating plenty of protein, sleep 8h a night, not dehydrated etc. I do however do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu twice a week, but I'm not sure how much that could impact my training since it's just twice a week and I make sure to not go super hard during those sessions. I'd love to get some advice as this is really demotivating and frustrating. Thanks. For reference I am a 6'2 180lbs male 16 y/o if that matters.
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  2. #2
    Moderator SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    Did you start at a lower weight and ramp up over time? Or have you just been trying the same weight every session?

    Sometimes, just retying the same weight over and over will not work because you are adapted to the stimulus and it's not enough to make you stronger or grow muscle. You may have to take a week or two off from benching and then restart this process. After taking time off, the stimulus is fresher and you can get it from using well below your maximum weight. So hopefully when you reach 95lbs again, you will sail past it.
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Did you start at a lower weight and ramp up over time? Or have you just been trying the same weight every session?

    Sometimes, just retying the same weight over and over will not work because you are adapted to the stimulus and it's not enough to make you stronger or grow muscle. You may have to take a week or two off from benching and then restart this process. After taking time off, the stimulus is fresher and you can get it from using well below your maximum weight. So hopefully when you reach 95lbs again, you will sail past it.
    Yes I started at an easy weight and added weight every session I got 5x5 like the program tells you to. I've done deloads in the past, going down 10% but it always stops at around 95lbs so that doesn't seem to fix it. It feels weird if I have to go down to just benching the bar or something like that
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    Yes I started at an easy weight and added weight every session I got 5x5 like the program tells you to. I've done deloads in the past, going down 10% but it always stops at around 95lbs so that doesn't seem to fix it. It feels weird if I have to go down to just benching the bar or something like that
    Post a video if you can. 95 lbs is a bit low for you to constantly get stuck. What you think is “decent form” might be able to be improved or adjusted, especially if you have a gangly body type.

    If you stay stuck then switch to a different novice program to see if a different rep range might work better for you. Or even an intermediate style progression of increasing reps just for BP.
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Post a video if you can. 95 lbs is a bit low for you to constantly get stuck. What you think is “decent form” might be able to be improved or adjusted, especially if you have a gangly body type.

    If you stay stuck then switch to a different novice program to see if a different rep range might work better for you. Or even an intermediate style progression of increasing reps just for BP.
    Before doing stronglifts I was doing a program with around 6-12 reps and my bench sucked back then too so the rep range isn't the problem. I might be able to post a video but its gonna take a while for that. I also highly doubt it's my form since people can lift a lot more with way ****tier form. What else could it be?
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    Do you get any shoulder pain? Benching doesn't suit everyone, I got stuck for a long time because it was basically tearing up my shoulders trying to bench to chest so it was probably just my body trying to prevent an injury.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    Before doing stronglifts I was doing a program with around 6-12 reps and my bench sucked back then too so the rep range isn't the problem. I might be able to post a video but its gonna take a while for that. I also highly doubt it's my form since people can lift a lot more with way ****tier form. What else could it be?
    Well if you feel you’re qualified to eliminate potential reasons and feel your programming and form can’t be adjusted in any way that would help, then it’s probably sheer lack of determination and effort.
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    I've never seen a male 95 lb bencher that didn't have poor form.
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    Do you get any shoulder pain? Benching doesn't suit everyone, I got stuck for a long time because it was basically tearing up my shoulders trying to bench to chest so it was probably just my body trying to prevent an injury.
    Nope no pain at all.
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  10. #10
    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    Well if you feel you’re qualified to eliminate potential reasons and feel your programming and form can’t be adjusted in any way that would help, then it’s probably sheer lack of determination and effort.
    Of course there could be ways to adjust my form but my point is that it's not bad enough to have me stuck at such a low weight. And my programming should be fine since it's a very common program many people have seen success with. It's not lack of determination since I'm in a surplus every day and never skip workouts
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by TolerantLactose View Post
    I've never seen a male 95 lb bencher that didn't have poor form.
    What do you consider poor form? I see lots of people having decent form benching under a plate. Do they have the perfect hand positioning and maximum leg drive? No. But still standard form
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    Han shot first! TolerantLactose's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    But still standard form
    That's usually poor form. Do you want to progress the bench or continue using "standard form" and stalling?

    There's no such thing as perfect hand position.
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    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    What do you consider poor form? I see lots of people having decent form benching under a plate. Do they have the perfect hand positioning and maximum leg drive? No. But still standard form
    What do other people have to do with your 95 lb bench? It's like saying you shouldn't have to practice to get better at basketball because Allen Iverson didn't. I really don't think someone with your BP should be so certain it can't be your form or programming.

    And there's no "standard" form if you're eternally stalled. You make adjustments to get around it.
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    I was 5'8", 136 pounds, 14 years old. The most I could do for a working set was 65 pounds. 8 years later I could do 225 pounds for reps without a spotter. Just keep at it.
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    I was 5'8", 136 pounds, 14 years old. The most I could do for a working set was 65 pounds. 8 years later I could do 225 pounds for reps without a spotter. Just keep at it.
    Yeah maybe I just haven't given it enough time
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    Yes I started at an easy weight and added weight every session I got 5x5 like the program tells you to. I've done deloads in the past, going down 10% but it always stops at around 95lbs so that doesn't seem to fix it. It feels weird if I have to go down to just benching the bar or something like that
    It's shouldn't feel weird to be benching the bar. Your first warm up set should be the bar.
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    Originally Posted by radrd View Post
    It's shouldn't feel weird to be benching the bar. Your first warm up set should be the bar.
    I didn't mean it like that, I do warm up with the bar. What I meant is that it would feel weird to cut the weight in half and start doing working sets with the bar just to ramp up to 95lbs like I'm currently at since that'd just be way too easy. And I've tried deloading around 10-15lbs and it hasn't done anything so that's why I don't think a deload is gonna fix it.
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    Originally Posted by BusterBossJR View Post
    Before doing stronglifts I was doing a program with around 6-12 reps and my bench sucked back then too so the rep range isn't the problem. I might be able to post a video but its gonna take a while for that. I also highly doubt it's my form since people can lift a lot more with way ****tier form. What else could it be?
    Good form means you can actually progress. The difference between the people you’re talking about is that they’re bigger, are better coordinated, and/or used good form when they were where you’re at. What they’re doing now is irrelevant to you.
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    I'd consider changing to a similar bench variation (close grip, paused bench, larsen press, etc.). Start fresh and go until you plateau, then change back to a standard bench press.

    The movement pattern would be close enough that you can still make technical improvements and have them carry over to your standard bench press. There should also be some strength carryover.

    I'm mostly suggesting it to help get you back in a positive mindset though. It's clearly resulting in some frustration (understandably). This is the kind of thing that I've seen people get demotivated and quit over, and it would be a shame for that to happen. There's really no reason to keep grinding away on any specific lift when there are other suitable alternatives.
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    Registered User BusterBossJR's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CW47 View Post
    I'd consider changing to a similar bench variation (close grip, paused bench, larsen press, etc.). Start fresh and go until you plateau, then change back to a standard bench press.

    The movement pattern would be close enough that you can still make technical improvements and have them carry over to your standard bench press. There should also be some strength carryover.

    I'm mostly suggesting it to help get you back in a positive mindset though. It's clearly resulting in some frustration (understandably). This is the kind of thing that I've seen people get demotivated and quit over, and it would be a shame for that to happen. There's really no reason to keep grinding away on any specific lift when there are other suitable alternatives.
    Yeah I think I might switch my hand positioning a bit. I could try close grip but I might also try a bit of a wider grip since I think I have longer arms so that could be holding me back
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