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New Personal Best Bench Tonight

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    New Personal Best Bench Tonight


    185 lbs.



    Hey, it's a personal best. Yeah, I know you guys can bench that with your pinkies, but cut me some slack. I'm working my way there. Look at my chest in my avatar, it's pathetic.

    Question: Does doing 1 rep max lifts have a place in my routine when I'm trying to become stronger? Or should I be focusing on multiple rep max lifts instead of one rep max lifts? I was also able to do 4 175's tonight. Which would be better to do for strength gains? I normally do 6x 155 for 3 sets.

    -Blesum

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    Nice working bro.. once u get to 225 its a breeze ... Just keep training hard and for strength I like pyramiding my bench. ex: 5-4-3-2-3-4-5 -> those numbers repesent reps... every one is different and has different techniques.. hopefully more people will chime in
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGH1982
    Nice working bro.. once u get to 225 its a breeze ... Just keep training hard and for strength I like pyramiding my bench. ex: 5-4-3-2-3-4-5 -> those numbers repesent reps... every one is different and has different techniques.. hopefully more people will chime in
    This seems like too many reps/sets... atleast it would be for me. It really depends on you and how you react to different numbers of reps. For me, 6 is the magic number. I prefer to actually pyramid up and down like MGH but with fewer sets.
    I think that 1 rep sets do have a place (although I prefer negatives) but are best used to break plateaus then for regular routines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum
    185 lbs.



    Hey, it's a personal best. Yeah, I know you guys can bench that with your pinkies, but cut me some slack. I'm working my way there. Look at my chest in my avatar, it's pathetic.

    Question: Does doing 1 rep max lifts have a place in my routine when I'm trying to become stronger? Or should I be focusing on multiple rep max lifts instead of one rep max lifts? I was also able to do 4 175's tonight. Which would be better to do for strength gains? I normally do 6x 155 for 3 sets.

    -Blesum
    Hey man, if it's good for you that is all that matters. I personally think you should always sacrifice weight for form. I don't even do flat bench these days b/c every time I do I get into a pissing contest with myself and end up having to back of b/c of RC pain

    Trying to go too heavy is the surest way to put your training on hold. Try TUT; it is great for hypertrophy, and it is much kinder to the joints.
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    Personally, I do ONE and ONLY ONE set of flat bench per workout session (not including warm ups). I just get my ego set out of the way, lol. From there I do a lot of smith incline.

    But, these days I prefer to stick between 6 and 8 reps for my flat barbell bench and gaining strength. If I hit 10 reps, its time to add weight FOR SURE.

    185 is a good 1RM, tha's when it looks like ur starting to get some heavy weight on there! I think that's probably the first big benchmark for most people, so you're on your way. Next thing you know, you'll be benching 315 and be bummed you only got it twice, lol.
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    Great work, congrats and keep it up
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum

    Question: Does doing 1 rep max lifts have a place in my routine when I'm trying to become stronger? Or should I be focusing on multiple rep max lifts instead of one rep max lifts? I was also able to do 4 175's tonight. Which would be better to do for strength gains? I normally do 6x 155 for 3 sets.

    -Blesum
    1 RM maxes have a place in your routine if you train for a 1 RM (i.e. powerlifting). Even if you are more of a BBer, I still think every 6 or so weeks its good to max out to gauge your progress.

    In general though, if you're looking to beef up your chest with strength gains as a side effect, I would look into DC training.
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    I am an ex-power lifiter and I found I increased strenghth the most when i used the Buckeye Chart
    http://www.criticalbench.com/chart.htm
    The number to your extreme left is the amount of weight you choose, and then follow the top number across to see what max you should be at. According to the info you gave you should be maxing out at 188lbs, which is almost dead on, so good job on that.

    Bench press is a decent exercise, you will see a greater gain in your bench if you keep the bench-press a "B" exercise and replace it with flat-bench dumbells and more french presses and tricep extensions. The bench press is comprised of primarially 60-40 ratio, chest and triceps respectivly.

    Keep training hard and hitting the gym, good luck bro.
  9. Maestro
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    TUT, DC, Buckeye...

    Okay, I'll look into all of these charts and methods.

    Many thanks for the input and the postive encouragements. I was kinda expecting to get flamed for being so weak compared to you guys though.

    Ive been dreaming of benching 235 for years now. Someday, someday...

    -Blesum
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    TUT, DC, Buckeye...all great to read up on, but, you can't leave out the good 'ol fashioned: eat, sleep, and just freggin' lift method either

    Some people increase bench by finding weak spots, tris, delts, chest, etc and doing more exercises with those bodyparts. Or, look for overtrained bodyparts and give them a break. I'd say one thing that tends to help everyone--a very simple thing--in increasing bench would be to start doing some pause benches. Slow eccentric, pause on the chest (no momentum) and them explode up. That simple.

    The most important thing is just to get in there and do it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    TUT, DC, Buckeye...all great to read up on, but, you can't leave out the good 'ol fashioned: eat, sleep, and just freggin' lift method either

    The most important thing is just to get in there and do it.
    best advice anyone can ever give anyone when it comes to lifting weights
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    Congrats man, and like they were saying it will get easier after a while but definitely use good form, my weights actually increased faster once my form was really good. And the TUT is great thats what I do, I use 3-1-3, and I have my weekly power bench day which I use the same TUT cadence and do 10 sets of 3 reps, pyramiding the like last weeks looked like this, 225-245-265-275-295-305-295-295-275-265 were the weights I did. I was off though, I should have been at 315, but wasn't feeling super great. When I first started 4 years ago 135 was the top of my pyramid. When you first start doing this though start low in weight and get your form and timing down, and make sure you have a spotter whenever you are close to your max. Good luck.

    WannaGro
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    I can remember 10 yrs ago when I couldn't even do 185....and I was in college at the time..........now I'm throwing around almost 5 bills......Keep at it and remeber NUTRITION is 60% of your training.
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    Hey great job bro! I remember when I first started working out, I tried to bench 95lbs and it dropped on my chest like it was 500lbs lol Now I am glad to say I am part of the 300lb club. Work hard but smart, leave the ego at home or you will pay dearly. Good luck!!
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    Congrats on the on the lift, bro. Pretty soon 225lbs!
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    Yea just with lifting remember one thing:
    KISS- Keep it simple, stupid.

    When you walk in the door of the gym, check your ego there and just lift for your body, not for the people watching. I forgot to check the ego one day and dropped 315 on my chest because i told my buddy i didnt need a spot. Fifth rep and my hand slipped (doing reverse grip) and boom....broken sternum. Now im struggling with 285 once, so just listen to your body and not anyone else. We can throw you tons of information but ultimately you have to listen to your body.

    Good luck man, 225 will be a thing of the past in no time. Youll be set on 3 bills before you know it
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    There is some awesome advice in here. I just want to add a couple of stories of encouragement for ya to think about...

    I am only 21. When I was 18 I was stick thin. At 6'0+ I was only 160 lbs. I had already been lifting for a year or so and got my bench up to a pathetic 135x1. Think about that one for a second.

    Today (3.5 yrs of college later) I am almost 200 lbs, and still naturally cut. Ok great so I put on some bodyweight....What you also need to know is that I just stuck 335x1 last week on bench. That means I gained almost 40lbs of lean muscle and increased my bench 200 lbs!! (no needles needed either)

    If you put your dues in, the results will come. What you put in is what will come out. Good luck!
  18. Maestro
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    Cool


    Great posts again, everybody. Looking very much forward to 225 some day soon. Going to start putting my feet up on the bench to keep my back from arching. I read that by doing this, the pecs will get more simulation and a better workout each time.

    -Blesum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum
    Great posts again, everybody. Looking very much forward to 225 some day soon. Going to start putting my feet up on the bench to keep my back from arching. I read that by doing this, the pecs will get more simulation and a better workout each time.

    -Blesum
    Well, the douchebag who wrote that didn't tell you what was going to happen to your shoulders, either.

    Keep the arch, its a 'natural' arch for a reason. You don't need an exaggerated powerlifter arch, but a good strong arch will allow you to keep your abdomen tight keeping your organs and spine in correct alignment and it will keep unnatural pressure off of your shoulders. You'll feel stronger that way, too.

    If you need to work a particular bodypart better, change the exercise or the tempo, not the form.

    Figure out which part of your bench you'd consider your 'weak point' and go from there.
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    Yeah dude, you want the arch, the feet up thing is to work on balance and core work. you don't go real heavy with this and you still have a natural arch. The only arch that you want to avoid is the ass off the bench arch.
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    Congrats! You look very good in your avatar. You'll reach your goals in time. Proper form is more important than heavy weight. Don't get me wrong. You want to go heavy, just don't go heavier than you can do with good form. And forget that power lifting bench crap with your feet up and your belly arched halfway to the roof. In the old days, that wouldn't have got a green light on the lift. Keep your feet planted on the ground.
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    In my younger days I competed powerlifting. Well, bench anyway. I was in the 132's and had a 285 bp. Not really great, but won some local contests. I used strength bands in my training cycle for 4 weeks on and 4 off. They help you get stronger pretty quick. They are worth a try for $30.00 Hope this helps and I wish you the best.
  23. Maestro
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    Quote Originally Posted by delta314
    And forget that power lifting bench crap with your feet up and your belly arched halfway to the roof.
    Thanks everybody for chiming in on the feet up versus feet down - Yesterday I decided to try both feet up and feet down to see how they felt (with 135 and 145 lbs) - First off, by putting my feet up, there was no arch left in my back. It felt a bit harder and I felt it more in my chest which was new for me. However, when I went up to 165 for 4, I put my feet back down. It's easier with my feet back down and I don't want to hurt my shoulders or screw something up.

    The "douchebag" who said to go feet up on the bench is Carlon Colker, MD in his book, "Extreme Muscle Enhancement" - I figured he would know what he was talking about, but I get the impression here that he doesn't.

    My biggest problem with the bench press is getting my chest to feel like it's doing a good chunk of work. I don't know why, but my chest just feels like it's along for the ride even though it will feel sore a day or two later. However on the hammer chest machines, I can feel my chest working.

    I keep trying to improve my chest to mind connection, keep trying to flex my chest on the top of each rep, and over the years, it's gotten a bit better but I still think I'm falling far short of what I should be able to do and should be feeling.

    One last thing - When I have my feet on the ground, am I supposed to tense my legs while keeping my butt on the bench, or just relax them completely, keeping only the torso tight?

    -Blesum
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum
    The "douchebag" who said to go feet up on the bench is Carlon Colker, MD in his book, "Extreme Muscle Enhancement" - I figured he would know what he was talking about, but I get the impression here that he doesn't...
    Well, anybody can write a book, and the title MD just instills a 'sense' of credibility, when it really means nothing. He may know a persons musculoskeletal anatomy inside and out, but that doesn't mean he's well versed in the mechanics of the musculoskeletal system with respect to resistance training and joint health...that's not where his education was.
    ... However on the hammer chest machines, I can feel my chest working.
    There is the ticket, use the hammer machine If you feel it working, that's because IT IS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    Personally, I do ONE and ONLY ONE set of flat bench per workout session (not including warm ups). I just get my ego set out of the way, lol. From there I do a lot of smith incline.
    You can bench on that smith thing? I thought that was a towel rack!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blesum
    My biggest problem with the bench press is getting my chest to feel like it's doing a good chunk of work. I don't know why, but my chest just feels like it's along for the ride even though it will feel sore a day or two later. However on the hammer chest machines, I can feel my chest working.
    -Blesum
    The Bench press is not an isolation lift, it is a full upper body lift, if your only feeling your chest, then your doing it wrong. Lats and tris play a huge role in the Bench. Going heavy on the bench will stimulate upper body strength (and size). If you want little legs, don't squat. If you want a wimpy chest, don't bench.

    Don't worry about feeling your chest in the bench, just ensure your using good form, as you increase in strength your chest will grow. Good luck dude, 225 is not far away.

    BTW Seems like they let anyone write a book nowdays, legs up? what a joke, I thought we got through that 15 years ago. You should be pushing through the floor with your feet planted. A good resource on benching form is Elite.com, while you may not care to PL they spell out proper technique for BP quite nicely.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basso
    You can bench on that smith thing? I thought that was a towel rack!
    hehe..yeah. I used to always use the flat bench. I had the same view of the smith machine as you, too. But, now it's my chests best friend
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    hehe..yeah. I used to always use the flat bench. I had the same view of the smith machine as you, too. But, now it's my chests best friend
    I think I'll start a new thread, the smith machine has uses but benching is definitely not one of them. Anyway how many years did you flat bench?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basso
    I think I'll start a new thread, the smith machine has uses but benching is definitely not one of them. Anyway how many years did you flat bench?
    I only flat benched for just a couple years. But, once my reps got over 300lbs doing more than one set just seemed to lead to multiple (minor) injuries.

    I fell in line with your school of though for a long time, thought it was stupid NOT to bench, and avoided things like the smith machine. However, I realized pride doesn't have any direct effect upon anabolism I sucked it up and am doing whats best for me now. Afterall, if I ruin my joints I definitely won't be able to reach the size I want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwyckemynd00
    I only flat benched for just a couple years. But, once my reps got over 300lbs doing more than one set just seemed to lead to multiple (minor) injuries.

    I fell in line with your school of though for a long time, thought it was stupid NOT to bench, and avoided things like the smith machine. However, I realized pride doesn't have any direct effect upon anabolism I sucked it up and am doing whats best for me now. Afterall, if I ruin my joints I definitely won't be able to reach the size I want.
    What has happened is that you have fallen into a "school of thought" I'm simply avoiding fixed movements for core movements. By using the smith, you avoid building the anchilleries for that movement, which in turn raise your chance for injury. Sounds like you needed to adjust your work out not quit it. I'm not trying to start an argument, I just hate seeing someone being misguided by the "Smith gods" Anyway you do what works for you, I'm just passing on some experience. (former smithy)
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    Carlon Colker is pretty darn smart when it comes to this sport. He has his own thread on another board. You guys should go check it out
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    i know a bunch of guys that have HUGE benches, and not one of them puts their feet up on the bench. if you want to get rid of leg drive then do floor presses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Basso
    What has happened is that you have fallen into a "school of thought" I'm simply avoiding fixed movements for core movements. By using the smith, you avoid building the anchilleries for that movement, which in turn raise your chance for injury. Sounds like you needed to adjust your work out not quit it. I'm not trying to start an argument, I just hate seeing someone being misguided by the "Smith gods" Anyway you do what works for you, I'm just passing on some experience. (former smithy)
    Eh, nobody convinced me to use a smith machine...I just did it. I'm not saying that flat bench may not work better for growth (although, I don't do flat smith, I only do incline smith), I'm just saying that to me the saftey to growth ratio is just right

    My warmup on the flat bench (usually 3 sets) and my one heavy working set is plenty enough for me...and my shoulders feel much better now, so I"ll stick to it
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    Good job brol Keep on training harn and soon u'll be posting that u h it 315
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    Just in my personal expieriance, I always had trouble with bench until about 7 years ago. At that point, I couldn't even get 185. Then I met a good buddy of mine. He introduced me to a 3 day 5 sets of 5 powerlifting routine. It concentrated on the big three muscle groups with a heavy medium and light day. The concept has been around for a long time and bill starr wrote a book about it "Only the strong shall survive" a long time ago. When I started on this program, I shot through that plateau so quick, it was ridiculous. That program with the proper eating was the best gains I ever saw, though I was still like 19-20 at that point so there was a ton of room to grow. Just keep eating, training hard and watch your form and you'll be fine. Good job on the max. After I was done at the program, I was hitting 205x5 for my last set. Still wasn't great for weighing 170 at the time but a hell of a lot better than where I use to be.
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    Yeep shut up and lift...

    well actually I've expereince the most explosive growth of late, hitting chest 2 times a week with periodization... swinging from a high end of 3 x 12's down to a low end of 4 x 4's... with occasional maxing out.

    But whatever your doing make sure your eating, sleeping and recovering before you lift more....

    OH and don't forget the importance of DB's... The ability to control and press Heavy ass dumbells is the ability to control a really heavy ass barbell.

    Other then have fun.. lol

    --

    I'm about to under go some serious powerlifting training though, so I may feel different about somethings shortly.. I'm fairly sure I'll be working in the world of 1-4 reps for the forseeable future....
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    OH and don't forget the importance of DB's... The ability to control and press Heavy ass dumbells is the ability to control a really heavy ass barbell.

    Poohbah, my db press and my barbell press don't correlate like that. If I work db's for a while my flat bench usually goes down and vice versa. I usually just do db presses now anyways, but I was just wandering do your flats go up after working heavy db?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan117
    OH and don't forget the importance of DB's... The ability to control and press Heavy ass dumbells is the ability to control a really heavy ass barbell.

    Poohbah, my db press and my barbell press don't correlate like that. If I work db's for a while my flat bench usually goes down and vice versa. I usually just do db presses now anyways, but I was just wandering do your flats go up after working heavy db?
    Absolutely they have...

    During my twice a week chest routine... one day I'd hit BB flat and the next day I'd hit the DB flat.. and almost without fail I'd add considerable weight or reps to each.

    Perhaps its your db form? When I do db presses now a days, I try to keep my elbows tucked toward my body, arch my back, pinch my shoulder blades and fire my lats just like I would during a max BB press... I'm still working on form of course.. but more or less db has become a supplemental support e xercise to bb bench. here's a vid of me hitting 112.5 x 7.

    http://www.mightysworld.com/Member_V.../dbpresses.wmv

    The following week, I hit 8 8 and 9.. and the week after that, I hit 122.5 for 3 sets of 5. During which time of course I maxed out a 340 flat bench.

    There must be a reason, why your flat would get weaker, cause it doesn't really make to much sense. Hmmm.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poobah
    swinging from a high end of 3 x 12's down to a low end of 4 x 4's...
    you wont be doing that anymore
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    Poobah, thanks my elbows are not tucked that much. I always keep them more perpendicular to my body which thinking about it now probably places more emphasis on the front delts.
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