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Bench pressing.

Discussion in 'Strength & Conditioning' started by Glock19Fan, May 15, 2005.

  1. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003

    Right now my goal for bench press it to put up 300 by the end of the summer. Right now I am benching 245 (but I can get 250 about halfway). This is up 40 pounds in just 4 months, and 20 pounds in the last month. So I have been seeing some pretty good jumps.

    Anyway, I was wondering whether or not doing push ups would help out with increasing my max any. Also, are there any other simple excersises I can do to help my max increase? The only set of dumbells I have are 10 pounds, and this was from a while ago, so I am pretty limitied to what I can do.

  2. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    I don't believe pushups will help much. I don't think you see very many Power Lifters incorporating pushups in their programs. If your 1 rm in the bench is important to you, train the bench like a power lifter, that's what they do, that's their sport.

    As far as other exercises that might help; incline bench, decline bench, floor press, board presses, tricep pushdowns and other tricep exercises. I believe Pat Casey use to do weighted dips, but I don't think they are in favor with todays PLers. Also do some compensatory acceleration training. Experiment and seewhat works for you.

    Congratulations on your recent success. What's your current program?

    Good luck,

  3. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003

    Right now im lifting with heavy weight. Using around 80 percent of my bench (195, but now 200 pounds), I do 5 sets of 5 reps minimum, preferable 8-10 sets. Ive been having a lot of success with it.

    I got 245 last Saturday, and tried 250 yesterday but didnt get it. I expected after a week to be up at least 5 pounds, but I was a fairly light week.

    I will be doing high reps of shoulder busters (when you lay down, with your arms strait up with a dumbell in each hand, and bring the dumbells to your shoulders while keeping your elbows in the same place) with my 10 pound dumbells and see if I get anything from that.
  4. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    You must be a lot younger than me!!!:) That's a lot of volume, no way I could handle it. If it's working, more power to ya. Good luck,
  5. You are cranking alot of volume. My hat is off to you. Pat Casey used to do 1x or 1.5x body weight weighted dips, he was amazing. I am not that strong, I would be ecstatic with .5x my bodyweight for a few good dips.
    If you want to do a few types of pushups once you have your max under control, try some on handed pushups and then some one handed plyometrics. They will not put the same stress on your muscles and joints as a super heavy bench, but they will hit different parts of your anatomy in ways that even a heavy bench cannot.
    Anyone who can bench more than 1.5x bodyweight is a better bencher than I am . This is all really fun stuff to talk about, thank you for posting.
  6. California Jack

    California Jack Millennium Member

    Aug 2, 1999
    Oh yeah, one more thing. It may seem counter-intuitive, but train your lats too. Bent Rows are the best or maybe pullups or weighted pullups.
  7. DonGlock26


    Jan 18, 2001
    I added alot to my BP, by doing military presses and heavy dumbbell tricep extensions. Be sure to protect your rotator cuff muscles with L-curls.
  8. CRC

    CRC Sarah's Dad

    Aug 29, 2002
    New Hampshire
    I use a Soviet Style stepping program to safely increase my 1 rep max in squat, bench and deadlift. I got the program out of a powerlifting book by Fred Hatfield. I have used this program often and it really works well. If you want, I have an Excel spreadsheet where you enter in your 1 rep max for a certain lift and it calculates a 6 week strength building program. I would be happy to e-mail you the spreadsheet if you would like. Let me know.

    I usually use it to increase my max in a lift and then take a few weeks where I do more of a muscle building routine and so on..

    One great way to increase your strength in the BP is what I call pauses (not sure if there is a name for it. You use a weight that you can comfortably do 10 reps, in your case, with your current max maybe 180, use a strict form of BP, take the weight from the rack, slowly bring it to your chest and rest for a few seconds with the weight on your chest but still supported with a slight constant push. Now explode with a push back up to the start position and repeat. Most people get stuck on the bottom of the lift, this technique will help.

    When I am on the Soviet program for the bench press, my routine would look something like this:

    Day 1 - Flat Bench (Soviet Step program)
    Pauses - 2 sets to failure
    Military - warm-up, and then 1 set to failure

    Day 2 - Flat Bench (Soviet Step program)
    Deadlift warm-up and then 4 sets to failure
    EZ curl - wide grip 3 sets to failure
    Shrug - 1 set to failure

    Day 3 - Flat Bench (Soviet)
    Squat - (on squat machine) warm-up, 3 sets to failure
    modified pullover - (using a straight bar, close grip, head opposite the bar rack on my bench, do three close grip bench presses and then 1 pullover, this is one rep. I usually go to failure.

    As you can see, I don't do many sets / reps with the exercises done along with the Soviet program, but they are all done to failure. The focus of this routine is whatever lift you are doing for the Soviet program. I have only used it on the Bench, Squat and Deadlift and made the gains that the program intends. Half the time my max for that lift is usually even better than the program intends.

    I used the routine a lot when I was in the Military. My best lifts at a bodyweight of 190 were, Bench 335, Squat 405, Deadlift 425.

    I'm a bit older and weigh about 180 now a days, and because of time issues, I unfortunately don't lift as much as I would like. I always use the Soviet program on the bench press when I have had a layoff. It is a good way to get strength back after not lifting for a while.

    Here is a sample of what a six week routine would look like for your current BP max.

    Enter 1 Rep Max 240

    Week 1
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 3)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)

    Week 2
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 4)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 5)

    Week 3
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 6)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)

    Week 4
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 204 (5 X 5)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 216 (4 X 4)

    Week 5
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 228 (3 X 3)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (6 X 2)

    Week 6
    Workout 1 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 240 (2 X 2)
    Workout 2 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 192 (2 X 6)
    Workout 3 168 (1 X 2) 180 (1 X 2) 252 (2 X 1)

    Good luck,

  9. Glock19Fan

    Glock19Fan Cool Guy

    Mar 25, 2003
    Don- My exersize equipment wont allow my to do a full military press, but its pretty close. I havent been doing as much as I have been wanting to but I will try to do at least 5 sets per day.

    CRC- If I dont see any decent increases in my max over the next two or three weeks, I will try that program out and see what happens.

  10. Roll up a towel and wrap some tape around it to hold it together... Place it on your chest and do regular bench presses with heavy weight and increase it on each set, we do 3X 6,5,4... Make sure your elbows are in tight and the bar should just barely touch the towel before you push it up. All of our powerlifters do this and it's worked wonders for our bench maxes... (This is in addition to our regular bench workout)
  11. don't tread on me

    don't tread on me

    Mar 1, 2000
    Work your triceps and lats hard! That USSR workout is a good one too! Just make sure you use very strict form, no bouncing!
  12. dont forget to train those shoulders...they're important to benchpress.

    for those one rep maximums, try sitting on the bench, feet flat on the floor, flex your back as hard as you can and hold it for a couple seconds then let it go and push your heels into the floor as you make your press. also, when working out you'll find that if you do a 1 rep maximum, wait about a minute or two and then do a heavy set (something you could get maybe 6 reps with), you'll end up putting it up more times than you normally would. dont do it all the time, but its a good training tool.

    im recovering from a motorcycle accident in which i shattered my right collarbone, but i was benching 325 (i weigh 190 6'2") almost back up to 300 myself (its been a hard year)...nothin like being part of the "300 club"'re almost there, just keep doin what you're doin and you'll get it. :cool:
  13. Reyn

    Reyn Times Up

    Jan 25, 2005
    Technique is important. Lats are real important along with upper back. You need to pinch the shoulder blades together and arch a little. Use your feet to drive your upper back into the bench and learn to lower the weight to your chest with your lats.
  14. robwebbg22

    robwebbg22 DeOppressoLiber

    Jun 3, 2005
    I do 225 around 26-30 times on my first set.
    I dont lift heavier then 225 becasuse of wear an tear on shoulder elbow joints.
    Monday flatbench work/ tricep work pulldowns
    tuesday back straight bar biceps
    wen off
    thurs incline/decline bench extension tris
    friday shoulders barbell bis
    cardio 22 minues on treadmill after i lift
    supplements multivitamin creatine glutamine