Bench press max

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  1. Bench press max


    Hey, I'm 19 years old and weigh right about 150 with 6% bf and I have been training consistently for a year now and I'm progressing in weight in every excersise except for the barbell bench press. I have been stuck at the same max for months! But the weird thing is that I can lift more doing dumbbell bench press and I'm progressing using dumbbells but my max using the barbell is staying the same. I'm just looking for some tips on how to increase my barbell bench press and an answer to why I can lift more on dumbbells but my max on the barbell stays the same.
    Thanks


  2. Yes, for the next 3-4 weeks do Incline Bench Press exclusively for chest exercises. Also, for shoulders do seated military presses with the barbell under a squat rack. And finally, make sure you are doing more dead lifts and squats in general.

    Also when you do Incline Bench press, do several variations like normal grip, wide-grip, and Smith machine wide-grip as well. It is probably your shoulders and upper chest that are the problem. Target them for several weeks and continue to lift heavy in deads and squats. You should see gains then. Remember, anything from 3-7 reps would be good for strength gains.
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  3. What is your chest and shoulder routine like?

    Dumbbell bench isolates the chest. Compared to barbell bench it's more compound.

    Something that may help with this it decline bench it will take alot of the stress of your shoulders.

  4. Ok that makes sense because my incline press has always been my weakness chess exercise. And I have just recently started emphasizing my workouts on deads and squats. So I will definitely Try more incline presses.
    My chest wo
    Barbell bench press 3 sets 8 or till failure
    I do every exercise 3 set or till failure
    Db incline press
    Db Incline flys
    Cable cross over
    Chest dips

    Shoulder wo
    Db shoulder press 3 sets 10 reps then 8 or til failure
    Upright row
    Front raise
    Side raise
    Rear raise
    Shrugs
    I alternate the raises with db and cables

  5. Oh and my decline is my strongest barbell bench press
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  6. Quote Originally Posted by amcartxs View Post
    Oh and my decline is my strongest barbell bench press
    alright then i would go with barbell inlcine press and dumbell military press. To strengthen the front delts.

  7. So many recommendations on exercises and not one mention of technique. Most people have crap technique on the bench press and think of it in terms of a muscle when it is a movement that should encompass te entire body from the toes to traps.

    Go to YT and look up the "So you think you can bench?" series by EliteFTS.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  8. Regarding form - it comes with experience. Sure, u can get some tips and try some suggestions out but usually form gets better with training experience. Form isnt always bad due to lack of knowledge alone but also with mind/muscle communication. I have impeccable form on just about every routine I do but when I jump to a new workout or a workout that I do not perform very often I tend to display significantly less control over the weight. This is not a reflection of my lack of knowledge but rather my mind/muscle transmission of information and muscle strength. This is only curable with time.

    I also had a lagging chest just last year but since have seen amazing results for a number of reasons. For Incline Bench presses I would do two variations which have helped me tremendously:

    -3 sets 6-10 reps (to failure each time) on standard grip Incline Barbell presses and

    - 3 sets 10-12 reps on wide-grip Incline BB. Make sure u go as wide as possible on the grip. It isolates the upper chest very well.

    - I would also train this muscle group twice a week. One day is BB training the other is DB training. Both are needed when ur chest is the lagger.

  9. gotta agree if you can bench more with D/B (which is usually slightly lower than B/B) there is something going on with your form more than likely on the bb bench.

    take a look at some of the rippentoe Youtube guides. great stuff, and definitely helped increase my still horid bb bench just by changing up my form a tad.

  10. Yeah it may be form, I'll check those out but it makes a lot of sense to do the incline press more to strengthen the upper chest muscles because the incline press is my weakest bench.
    So Im going to emphasize more on incline press but with my schedule I can only hit the gym 4 days a week so I can't really do chest twice a week so should I alternate incline and flat bench every week?

  11. yeah that can work, and also sub out bb or db ever few weeks.

    you could (depending on your split) do both incline and flat benches on the same day, and do either every other week or every two weeks bb / db.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by fueledpassion View Post
    Regarding form - it comes with experience. Sure, u can get some tips and try some suggestions out but usually form gets better with training experience. Form isnt always bad due to lack of knowledge alone but also with mind/muscle communication. I have impeccable form on just about every routine I do but when I jump to a new workout or a workout that I do not perform very often I tend to display significantly less control over the weight. This is not a reflection of my lack of knowledge but rather my mind/muscle transmission of information and muscle strength. This is only curable with time.

    I also had a lagging chest just last year but since have seen amazing results for a number of reasons. For Incline Bench presses I would do two variations which have helped me tremendously:

    -3 sets 6-10 reps (to failure each time) on standard grip Incline Barbell presses and

    - 3 sets 10-12 reps on wide-grip Incline BB. Make sure u go as wide as possible on the grip. It isolates the upper chest very well.

    - I would also train this muscle group twice a week. One day is BB training the other is DB training. Both are needed when ur chest is the lagger.
    The bench press should be treated as a movement and not just trying to work out the pecs. The OP asked about getting his bench up and the number one question should always be how is his technique. At 19, I can make a safe bet that he hasn't been shown how to properly bench (e.g. scapula retracted, tuck the elbows on the descent/flare at the top, bring the bar to lower chest, tight glutes/lower back, etc.). This has nothing to do with muscular strength as the CNS is what determines the actual "strength" of a person and not the muscle.

    Even if his technique is solid, the next question should be where he fails. At the chest? Lockout? Loses the arch/tuck?
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  13. Ok I like the all dumbell wo or the all barbell wo I'm goin to alternate those...
    But why are my bd bench presses greater than my bb presses? Simply form on bb?

  14. Well when I struggle it is right after I touch my chest and on the way back up I get stuck..if I have a spotter barely lift up maybe a inch or two I'm good the rest of the way...if I just do reps half way and not touch my chest then I can do like 8 ( i do not do this, i just tried it one day because i was wondering how many i could do without touching my chest).... so is that form or do I need to strengthen some other muscles to execute the full rep

  15. Quote Originally Posted by amcartxs View Post
    Well when I struggle it is right after I touch my chest and on the way back up I get stuck..if I have a spotter barely lift up maybe a inch or two I'm good the rest of the way...if I just do reps half way and not touch my chest then I can do like 8 ( i do not do this, i just tried it one day because i was wondering how many i could do without touching my chest).... so is that form or do I need to strengthen some other muscles to execute the full rep
    It is most likely form and not engaging the lats into the initial 2-3" off of the chest. Where does the bar land? Top of the abs? Around the nipple?
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  16. Yes at the nipples or even a little above sometimes

  17. Any suggestions for when you fail out at the top of lift like the last few inches before you rack?

  18. Quote Originally Posted by amcartxs View Post
    Yes at the nipples or even a little above sometimes
    That's way too high. Increases risk of shoulder damage and decreases the strength/leverages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bolanrox View Post
    Any suggestions for when you fail out at the top of lift like the last few inches before you rack?
    Do you keep your elbows tucked and then flare at the lockout?
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  19. I try to keep them tucked the whole way should I try flaring them out at the top?

  20. Quote Originally Posted by Bolanrox View Post
    I try to keep them tucked the whole way should I try flaring them out at the top?
    Yes, but keep the bar in the same plane. By that, I mean that you shouldn't be bringer the bar closer to your head. Once you master this, things like floor press and 2-board presses help to overload this area.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  21. Thanks!

  22. Quote Originally Posted by Bolanrox View Post
    Thanks!
    No problem.
    M.Ed. Ex Phys


  23. Rodja cleaning up this thread.

    Sorry, I don't really have anything to contribute Just follow what Rodja suggests.

  24. Damn rodja nailed it pretty much.
    Bench is all technique. Chest is not the primary mover in the bench press.

  25. Just to add a few things, and no disrespect to those who have suggested these things as there are many ways to get our goals accomplished but I caution against a few suggestions. I would tell you not to lift to failure for multiple sets. 3 sets to failure done for prolonged periods of time is a pretty solid recipe for overtraining and regression as you are probably not on gear and your diet is more than likely not optimal. I also caution against going "as wide as you can" on any form of bench press as you are really putting yourself into a disadvantaged position and also stressing the wrist by loading it in that compromised position.

    Agreed that if DB press > BB press it is a technique issue, however. Great advice from Rodja
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