Thread: Why does my bench suck so much
05-30-2002, 04:35 PM #1
Why does my bench suck so much
Well in fact all my lifts suck. Funny thing is I look pretty big at over 200lbs and 7-8%bf. My chest especially stands out as the best part. Not actually certain what it measures but compared to 16.5' arms (probably the part that lags behind most) it looks disproportionately big. Anyway, I cant bench to save my life. I see people much smaller than me benching near 300lbs. I can only do about 250lbs max and even that is after 4 weeks of my current cycle when weighing myself at almost 220lbs.
I have a suspicion it is perhaps down to the triceps and delts not being on par but then again my shoulders are by no means small. Triceps are smallish. I do notice however that I feel the bench most in my delts and not the pecs. Im quite tall (6'1) with longish arms so that might be another problem.
Anyway, could some knowledgeable bros advise me what to do? I don't really want to switch to a PL type workout for numerous reasons, but I would be more than happy to concentrate more on particular muscle groups.
05-30-2002, 04:54 PM #2
Well if you are not looking to switch to a PL routine (which would blast your BP through the roof), the muscles that make a big bench are:
4. Lats/Upper Back
If you have a PL at you gym, ask him or her to help you with form: usnig the lats to lower the bar, bringing the bar to the upper abs, pressing in a straight line, and using leg drive Form is worth as much as 40lbs on the bench.
Last edited by Ermantroudt; 05-30-2002 at 06:13 PM.
05-30-2002, 05:16 PM #3
Ive had the form shown to me a few years ago when I first started. I know it. But why do you say it would blast through the roof if I switch to a PL routine?
At the moment my chest day is something like this:
Flat Bench: stretching and warmup for 10mins, then 50kg for 12, 100kg for 5, 105kg for 2, 110kg for 1, then dropping 10kg every set. Every set till failure. Usually do about 5 more sets down to 60kg.
Incline: start with as much as I can and keep taking 10kg off. 4-5 sets.
Flys: 4-5 sets
Straight Arm Pullovers 3-4 sets.
Get 1-2 chest days a week. Alternate every 2 weeks or so between DB and BB. Also the workout itself. Sometimes do declines instead of inclines or start with incline/decline and then do flat.
Basically the bottom line is that I do vary it a lot. I am not overly concerned with the poundages but it is kinda embarrassing to be pressing so little.
05-30-2002, 05:21 PM #4
Reason I dont want to go to PL routine is that I have had a few bones broken (forearm) over the years and when I start lifting very heavy it lets itself known to an extent that I cant do any curls even with an ez bar for at least 2-3 weeks.
05-30-2002, 06:24 PM #5
Originally posted by Anabolik: "...But why do you say it would blast through the roof if I switch to a PL routine?"
We focus on 1 RM. If you were to switch to a PL routine, it stands to reason your 1 RM would go up, as you would be addressing: speed, strength, General Physical Preparedness, form, and special exercises designed to raise your 1 RM on the BP.
My BP Routine looks like this:
Sunday (Dynamic Training)
Hammer Curls: 4x8
1. Flat Bench @45%of my 1 RM and a set of Jump Stretch Mini-Bands for 8 sets of 3, with the grip no wider than pinkies on the rings.
2. JM Press: 4x3
3. Pressdowns: 4x12
4. Barbell Rows: 4x8-12
5. Side and Rear Delt Raise: 3-4x10-15
6. Ab Work: 4x5
Wednesday (Maximum Effort Training)
Hammer Curls: 4x12
Shoulder Horn: 2-3x10
I. Work up to a 1 RM on a movement which mimics the flat bench, usually a floor or board press.
2. Tate Press: 4x8-12
3. V-Bar Pressdowns: 4x12
4. Chest Supported Row: 4x10
5. Face Pulls: 3x12
6. Ab Work: 4 sets
This is more how Powerlifters train.
08-12-2002, 07:23 PM #6
I got the same problem. Back in 96', I got on gear and everything, especially my bench, skyrocketed. When I got off of it in 99', everything but my bench stayed the same. My bench went back down to Sucksville.
Needless to say, I'm back on the gear to (hopefully) increase my bench again.
08-12-2002, 07:35 PM #7Associate Member
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- Jul 2002
The biggest reason IMO that bodybuilder types have trouble with max bench is SPEED. You train with the mindset that you have to get X amount of reps. For example, if you trained with 185 on the bench, would you exert your maximum force on each rep? NO. Maybe not till the last few reps would you feel you need to 'push harder'. So the problem comes when you try to take a max attempt. You have to explosion. You still try to 'rep' the weight up. Plus looking at your workout, you constantly go up to a single on the bench. Why? You are burnt out. If you keep maxing out week after week, your max will go nowhere but down. Ermantroudt is right about the muscle groups to hit, but this will be useless without bar speed. Talk to PLjay about bar speed, its your best friend when you want to hit a big bench number.
08-12-2002, 08:52 PM #8Junior Member
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- Aug 2002
- Tampa Fl
I'm with these guys. You don't have to switch to a PL routine but basically your just doing a pyramid routine and then burnouts. I would say trian to a weight that you can get say 8 times for 4 sets. next week go up 6 reps with heavier weight for 4sets and then 4 reps for 6 sets or something like that. THen hit yoiur tris harder. and back. You could also move your grip out farther. it looks like you are switching the exercises form BB to DB and all but if the rep scheme is the same than that needs to change as well. It could be as simple as eliminating the drop sets at the end and jsut recovering more. Its tough to say. Eliminating going to failure every set might also help. Save a rep in the tank for every set except maybe the last one. Just a few tips that could provide usful.
08-13-2002, 08:21 AM #9
"Ermantroudt is right about the muscle groups to hit, but this will be useless without bar speed."
I spend too much time talking to other PL'ers. I wrote "1. Flat Bench @45%of my 1 RM and a set of Jump Stretch Mini-Bands for 8 sets of 3, with the grip no wider than pinkies on the rings." and refered to it as Dynamic Training, but failed to explain it BTW, Chad T, I really like your site, it is very informative.
08-13-2002, 08:48 AM #10Member
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- Jul 2002
First off form plays a huge role in making your bench go up, it will go backwards at first when your form changes but in the end it will go way up. Second off, going to failure sucks. Always keep gas in the tank bro, I never train to failure except when I miss a max or something. You dont have to change to a powerlifter routine to get a big bench. I know several powerlifters that train like bodybuilders. I for one train more like a bodybuilder and had a 350lb competition bench and hit a 365lb bench in the gym at a 165lb bodyweight. Teen Myth who posts on this board trains a lot like a bodybuilder and benches over 500lbs, Donald Robbins who lifts at my gym and has been to the Arnold Classic and benched 541lbs at a 181lbs bodyweight trains like a bodybuilder, Ed Coan one of the best powerlifters ever trains similar to a bodybuilder as well, the list goes on and on. You dont really have to train Westside or any other strict powerlifting routine to get big numbers. You just have to learn what works best for you and work it into your routine. Some things that helped my bench were: using periodization on my bench press and not going to failure, closegrip inclines, doing some sort of row as my first exercise on back day, closegrip lat pulldowns, elbows out dumbell tricep extensions, heavy tricep pushdowns with a strait bar. Also, I only do 1 or 2 sets on all my assistance exercises and change them up every two to three weeks.
08-13-2002, 10:28 AM #11Associate Member
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- Jul 2002
how much is your b/f?the reason i ask cuz if you have large b/f and couple that with being tall its no surprise that somebody at 5'8 180lbs with small b/f will lift more than you so dont feel too bad about that my brother
08-14-2002, 05:54 PM #12
Whoa, solidj55 that bench you did (365 pounds) at a 165lb. bodyweight is 2 1/2 times your bodyweight! That is quite strong!!
08-14-2002, 06:11 PM #13Member
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- Jul 2002
Thanks for the compliment French Curler, I appreciate it, I couldnt do that right now if my life depended on it lol, and I weigh about 180lbs right now, damn injuries!!!
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