My Bench Press Problem - AnabolicMinds.com

My Bench Press Problem

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    My Bench Press Problem


    Hey guys I am no where near as big or strong as most of the people on here so bare with the light weight I am going to be talking about.
    I am 19 years old, 5'7", 150, under 10% body fat, and I have been weight lifting now consistent for about 3 years. My max bench press is around 260-270 but I haven't maxed out in about a good month. My current goal is to reach a one rep max of 300 by the end of June. Over the past year I have made consistent gains in size and strength. I have gained about 15 pounds, and put on about 40 pounds to my max bench press. But, over the past month I haven't noticed any real strength gains in the bench press department.

    Currently for Flat bench I warm-up w/ 135 and flys. Then I do 185x10, 205x6, then I try to do 225x5, 225x5 then 185x8. For 185 and 205 I touch my chest just fine. But, over the past month when i put on 225 I haven't once completed both sets and when I rep it out I only do half-reps like a *****. Then today for instance I felt weaker and only did 225x3 half reps. I have been lifting straight now for about 8 months w/ no break. Does my body just need a break? Is that why I am not seeing strength gains? Anyone I am getting worried I am starting to get really off track and that I am not going to be able to reach my goal by the end of June.

    If there's any advice anyone can give me that would be great. I can also give additional information if anyone needs it. (Nutrition, workout plan, etc) Thanks.

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    Hawk's Avatar
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    What does your routine look like? weekly.

    I find it beneficial to take time off if my progress is slowing or plateauing.

    If you've been doing the same routine for 3 years then I would suggest switching it up a bit. How often do you press with dumbells? or incline press?

    Also, sounds stupid to some, but how are you gripping the bar? (not how wide/close) Specifically with your hands. Does your thumb wrap all the way around the bar, or do you keep your thumb back?
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    5:7 and 150lbs. maxes 270. This makes me feel horrible. Working out for a year and im about 155lbs and only can bench 235ish. Looking strong mate.
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    I haven't been doing the same routine for 3 years i would commonly change things lot but i decided to get more serious and organized 4 months ago and I have been doing something I created myself so here it is:
    Monday- Warm-up 10 pound plate flys, 135x10
    Flat Bench Press: 185x10, 205x6, 225x5, 225x5, 185x8
    Incline Dumbell Press: 60sx10, 65sx8, 70sx4, 70sx4
    Butterflys Machine: 90x8 twice.
    Decline Press 135x10 185x6 2x
    Dips 2 sets x 15 reps

    Tuesday: Off

    Wednesday: Back and Bi's warm-up.
    Preacher Curl 30ea side x 6 2 times.
    Pull-Downs: Heavy Weight 6 reps x 2
    Barbell Curl: 95 Pounds x 6 reps x 2
    Seated Machine Rows: Heavy 6 reps x 2
    Dumbell Curls: 40s x 6 x 2
    Standing Barbell Rows: 135 x 6 x 2 All Out

    Thursday: Legs Warm-up
    Squat 135x 10, 225x6 x 2
    Leg curls: Heavy 6 reps x 2
    Leg Extensions: Heavy 6 reps x 2
    Leg Press: 3 plates ea side warm-up, 4 plates ea side 6 reps x 2
    Calf Raises: Heavy weight 10 reps 2 sets

    Friday: Shoulders/ Tris
    Dumbell Shoulder Press: 50sx10, 55sx8, 60sx6
    Skull Crushers: Curl bar 30ea side 6 reps x 2
    Front and Lateral Raises: 15 pound Dumbells
    Close-Grip Bench: 135x10, 155x 6 x 2
    Bent over Raises: 15 pound dumbells
    Tricep Pulldowns: Heavy weight x 10x 2 sets

    Saturday Sunday: Off

    Preworkout: Jack3d, Postworkout: GNC Protein.

    I also sometimes add Floor Press and Push-ups to Chest Day.
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    It looks as though you've got a long enough recover time (day to day)

    You might extend the rest period between sets.

    If it were me, I would take a full week off, then come back and hit Incline Barbell press and Flat Dumbell press real hard for a couple weeks.

    Also, I'd drop one of your pressing lifts (either do incline/flat or decline/incline or decline/flat....not all three each week)

    Then see if your flat barbell press has increased.

    Good luck.

    Maybe ZirRed will chime in here.
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    Thanks man I might just have to try. Although taking off a week would kill me, because lifting feels amazing haha.
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    Your workout is unbalanced. Too much chest and anterior delt work, not nearly enough back and posterior delt work. In addition, you need more lower body work.

    The stronger your middle traps and rhomboids are, the greater they can stabilize the scapula and hold the shoulder blades together. This increases the length-tension relationship of the pecs (ie: greater recruitment) and allows for a shorter ROM and greater power. Look at the physiques of some big time benchers and you will see they all have massive upper backs.
    So...increase your rowing movements significantly: barbell rows (over hand), dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, seated pulley rows, etc.
    Also, increase rear delt work: bent over DB raises, rear delt flys, band pull aparts, face pulls, etc.

    Also, get rid of all the fly work and front raises. And reduce your bicep work. 1-2 exercises per week is more than sufficient.

    Finally, leg work. lower body constitutes 48% of your muscle mass, and you are missing out on the hormonal response from lower body training. Increase squat volume, drop the leg extensions and leg curls and add in lunges and SLDL.

    Next, we can talk about periodization, sticking points, etc.

    Br
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    Okay, so I just get rid of front raises? Or lateral raises as well? I also failed to mention I also do 2 sets of Arnold presses is that too much shoulder work w/ the dumbell shoulder presses as well?

    Also, should I increase upper back exercises I am doing or should I just increase the sets? Or just make sure I've killed my upper back every back day?

    Also, thanks a lot man really. I am really trying to get to my maximum potential of increasing strength and size. If it's more squats and dead lifts then I am going to do more squats and dead lifts even if they do suck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    Your workout is unbalanced. Too much chest and anterior delt work, not nearly enough back and posterior delt work. In addition, you need more lower body work.

    The stronger your middle traps and rhomboids are, the greater they can stabilize the scapula and hold the shoulder blades together. This increases the length-tension relationship of the pecs (ie: greater recruitment) and allows for a shorter ROM and greater power. Look at the physiques of some big time benchers and you will see they all have massive upper backs.
    So...increase your rowing movements significantly: barbell rows (over hand), dumbbell rows, t-bar rows, seated pulley rows, etc.
    Also, increase rear delt work: bent over DB raises, rear delt flys, band pull aparts, face pulls, etc.

    Also, get rid of all the fly work and front raises. And reduce your bicep work. 1-2 exercises per week is more than sufficient.

    Finally, leg work. lower body constitutes 48% of your muscle mass, and you are missing out on the hormonal response from lower body training. Increase squat volume, drop the leg extensions and leg curls and add in lunges and SLDL.

    Next, we can talk about periodization, sticking points, etc.

    Br
    can you post a SAMPLE balanced chest back routine?
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssbackwards View Post
    can you post a SAMPLE balanced chest back routine?
    That's how I earn a living.

    Some simple guidelines to remember.

    For over over head press, you should have a pull up movement.

    For every chest press, you should have a horizontal pulling movement (i.e.: bent over barbell row, t-bar row, etc.) and try to work with an overhand grip.

    For every chest fly, you should have rear delt movement.

    Drop any direct work for the front deltoids.

    In addition, you should be performing rhomboid movements (face pulls, band pull aparts, etc.), lower trapezius work (prone scaptions, scapula dips, scapula depressions, etc.) and external rotations.

    Try to balance at least 1:1. However, if your shoulders are internally rotated, are forward, or if you work behind a desk or on a service type line (ie: where your hands are out in front of you..such as a nurse, driver, cook, etc.) you should actually include more pulling than pushing.

    Br
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    How many weeks have you been pushing hard? To me it simply sounds like a fried central nervous system. Good training programs regularly have a reload period or 2 weeks off every 8-10 weeks to help prevent burn outs and plateaus. Try dropping your weight by 25% but doing the same reps to give your body a rest for two weeks than start pushing hard again. You won't make June but maybe July.
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    There's a lot of good advice here. 3 weeks ago I gave up on flat barbell and went with heavy incline barbell to start and then flat dumbell. Not sure what my numbers will be when I go back to doing flat bb again, but I definitely can see and feel gains from the routine switch.
    -It's not about what you're doing, it's about how you're doing it.
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