i just starting to train for my local gym's bench press contest which will be held 3 months from now. This is my first ever contest I will be competing in. My problem is I am currently stuck at benching about 275 for my max and was wondering is it possible I can boost my max to mabe 325 by december? Any advice or tips on training that can help me prepare? Anyone's help is highly appreciated!!!

  2. The thing you can do to add pounds the quickest is to get your technique dialed in. Go to the elitefts website and in the article section find the "So you think you can bench?" video series and watch them all. It will cover just about every aspect of how to bench correctly.
    There are a number of programs that could work for training. A number of programs could work well including Westside, 5/3/1, or some 5x5 derivative. What is your training background and what have you been doing lately?

  3. My training background is I have been lifting for about 4 years now. I workout 5 days a week working out a different muscle group each different day. This is how my bench workout day looks:

    flat barbell bench press- 4 sets
    incline dumbell press-3 sets
    close grip flat bench- 3 sets
    weighted dips
    skull crushers
    cable push downs
    dumbell kickbacks
    tricep extensions
    I end my workout with pushups to failure, then close grip pushups to failure

    Is this an alright routine?

  4. In order to bench more you must train your bench, not necessarily your chest.
    Like mentioned before, make sure your form is SPOT ON. This will make sure all your force will be driving the bar up, and not being lost else where, and let you lift max poundage.
    Your best bet is to train using a power routine, like said above, westside is my personal fav, something similar. Liftings like squating and deading will also help with your bench.
    Also, recently discovered the Sling Shot. I seen it at my buddy's gym, someone using, says it helped them add 20ibs to their raw bench. Check it out at

  5. You're training more like a bodybuilder than a powerlifter. I would probably recommend a Westide type of template as well. This will allow you to go heavy on the main exercise but still keep some assistance work for the pecs, shoulders, and triceps. Go do an internet search for the standard Westside template and you should be able to get an idea of what the template looks like. You will end up doing less volume than you are doing now, but it should improve your strength and still has enough volume to gain or maintain size. Go read about the standard template and come back with questions if you need help filling in specific exercises into the template.

  6. thanks for the advice guys. Westside looks like a great routine that im goin to have to definitly try. If anyone else has good routine that increased their bench press feel free to share!!!

  7. When I was in high school I did a few lift offs for the foot ball team, I competed in bench. I put up 325 at 180.

    I found strengthening my dumbbell incline and flat bench help shoot my bench numbers way up. I was also running a pyramid 12, 10 , 8 , 6 , 3 on my lifts, starting out light fishing heavy.

  8. I was able to add 60 pounds to my bench using westside! You also might want to check out Joe Defranco's westside for skinny bastards routine (not a westside barbell workout that people above were talking about but still very similar).

  9. nice man i currently weigh 180 pounds. Im really hoping that I will be able to put up around 325 by december at this weight. I currently do the pyramid method for each set also.

  10. i weigh 153lbs and can raw bench 320lbs..the thing that has helped me most is speed bench,push ups,and chin ups. im 5'9 31yrs old and hope to get 350lbs by april for my next meet..dont have to do a many sets either..same days i just do one set for one rep...just go by how you feel

  11. What do you guys thinks of the pyramid routine for increasing strength?

  12. im a big fan of 5/3/1 method. Once you got a technique down Id say opt for that type of progression, keeps gains going slow n steady
    Serious Nutrition Solutions

  13. Technique:
    Shoulder blades should be squeezed together and on the bench
    Slight to moderate arch in the back
    Pushing pressure into your shoulders with your legs
    Pulling the bar out of the rack not pressing it out
    Bring the bar down to below nipple level
    Press up in straight line

    Muscle weaknesses to work on:

    Tricep, tricep, tricep...
    Use close grip bench with and without boards
    JM press
    DB ext.
    Bench dips
    Close grip pull downs
    DB rows
    Tbar rows
    Pull ups
    PEc ISolation:
    Incline and or flat db fly
    Machine fly
    Or cable fly
    Front delt raise
    Rear delt raise
    Face pulls


    Max effort day
    Bench press variation(flat bench, board press, floor press, incline press, band press)Rotate weekly
    1x5 2x3 2x2 3-4x1
    JM Press 4x8-10
    DB ext 3x10
    rope ext 2-3x15-20
    Pull ups 4x10
    DB row 4x10
    Face pulls 4x12
    front raise 3x10

    Ex. Speed or rep day

    40-50% of max for 10 sets of 3 with chains or minibands for speed work or

    Flat or incline db press for 4-5 sets of 10-20 reps

    Close grip board press 4x8-10
    db ext 3x8-10
    Bench dips 3x20+ reps
    Close grip lat pull down 4x10-15
    Tbar row 4x8
    Military BB or DB 4x6-8
    Rear delt raise 3x10-15
    Laterals 3x10
    Pec isolation:
    DB fly 3-4x12-15

    I like to break up my Max efford and DE/RE by no less than three days
    So tuesday friday or monday thursday

  14. 325 is a realistic goal, just get the right workout (which is posted in this thread even yours isn't too bad I like pyramids) and eat right
    Bench - 355
    Squat - 405
    Deadlift - 600

  15. board presses, floor presses, speed work with percentage of 1RM, bands are awsome, close grip floor presses, speed pin presses. these all helped me increase my bench by 90# in 4 months.

  16. If your competeing raw westside mite not be the best way to go because u do alot of top end work.. I was able to 3 board 285 and couldnt even bench 250... I would do full ROM work then go realtively heavy on a assistance exercise almost to a max..


    Bench to 3 singles at 90% bench max

    Assitance work
    Pause wide grip bench
    4 x 3 working up to a heavy last set

    Tricep movement
    3 x 10

    4 x 10

    Rear delt work.

    another day id do assistance work if your weak of chest or have weak shoulders id do push press, shoulder press, incline press if you have weak triceps then do chain bench board bench band bench etc..

    After this you gotta figure out whats the weakest to strongest outta back,shoulders triceps. and whatever is weaker train it harder and first with more sets...

    I had a hard time realiziing this doing westside is so much fun when u do max effort on movements that your real strong on... You should be max efforting your weaknesses which will increase ur total!

  17. I find that the best way to increase my bench numbers is benching. I've done 10 sets of 1-3 reps and that would be it for chest. Then id make sure to eat big and rest well. There is a lot of great info in this thread. Good luck!

  18. jus subbing to copy mongos ideas for later
    Serious Nutrition Solutions

  19. Quote Originally Posted by liftallday123 View Post
    i just starting to train for my local gym's bench press contest which will be held 3 months from now. This is my first ever contest I will be competing in. My problem is I am currently stuck at benching about 275 for my max and was wondering is it possible I can boost my max to mabe 325 by december? Any advice or tips on training that can help me prepare? Anyone's help is highly appreciated!!!
    Bench 2 x week

    Max Effort x 1/Dynamic or Repetition Effort x 1 (3 days after)
    1. Flat Bench up to 90% - 95% of 1RM using 7-8 sets to get there.
    2. Pick another supplemental barbell excercise ie. floor press, incline bb, decline bb, etc.
    3. Heavy tri's x 3 sets x 2 excercises-----4-6 reps should be all you can do
    4. Heavy back x 3-4 sets----6-10 reps (lat, middle back work)
    Warm up shoulders WELL
    1. Flat Bench 135-155 x 3 x 8 sets
    2. Lock Out Work - 3 or 4 board reps of 3-5 HEAVY! Pin presses are also ok but can upset the shoulders some.
    3. Blood flow work for the triceps x 1 excercise
    4. optional blood flow work (sets of 10-12 reps) for the back
    5. Shoulder work - front delt/laterals/rear. DB work here.

    Vary the accommodating resistance (bands, chains) every week for the max effort excercise. We vary on dynamic day also but you can wave this excercise if you wish.

    Good Luck!


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