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Since I've started working out I've noticed increases in everything except my bench. What gives? I vary my workouts, but I seem to be stuck right where I'm at now. I really want to build my chest some, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. I do a variety of stuff including days of 4 sets of 12 (usually 2 each on decline/flat, flat/incline, or decline/incline. Also days where I do 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 while increasing the weight. I do a total body workout M/W/F. I'm wondering if maybe doing chest only on Tues/Thurs/Sat (not doing it on the other days though) would help.
 

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Well, incline, flat and decline. Too much. If you want to improve your bench why are you messing w/decline.

A workset with 12 reps? About 7 reps too much.

Benching 3x weekly? Maybe too much.

JMHO.

Jack
 

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I agree with most of your advice california jack except the bit about declines. Declines are a good assistance move for powerlifting style bench press where you get a good arch.

The sets and reps I tend to agree. Though there is some room for variety, 12 reps is too high. If you can hit 10 you need to add weight. My best results were from either 2 sets of 8 or 4 sets of 5. Once you can hit 8 for both sets or 5 for all 4 sets then add weight.
Do regular benches, close grip, and dumbell bench. That should hit every part of the bench.
 

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Are you looking for strength or size?

For strength I like doing 5's. Maybe do 8's for size.

Benching 3x a week is too much IMHO. I'm sore for 3-4 days after benching, so I could never do that.

If you can bench 3x a week, it leads me to think that you might not be pushing yourself enough.

I like silentpoet's advice.
 

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And I did not make it clear but that is one time a week. Maybe do some shoulder work on another day. Say wednesday bench and fri or sat do some shoulder work.
 

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+1 on TR's and CJ's posts. I'd drop declines and inclines also and would only do BP and overhead press, just like in Starting Strength. For one thing, I'd be concerned with doing the now-typical 3x as much forward pressing/internal rotation movements and creating a shoulder imbalance. You need a lot of overhead pressing and pullups to balance out three major forward pressing movements.

LIke TR typed, perhaps a program with a formal progression would help. In SS, you'd do whatever you can do on BP for 3x5. Then add 2.5 or 5.0 lb next workout and keep that up as long as you can. THe weights increase linearly until you stall out.
 

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Rip hates declines. That's good enough for me. :rofl:
Don't know anything about Rip. I haven't had the koolaide yet.
I do know about Paul Anderson, Louie Simmons, and Ed Coan.
 

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Don't know anything about Rip. I haven't had the koolaide yet.
I do know about Paul Anderson, Louie Simmons, and Ed Coan.
Drink the koolaid
Drink the koolaid
Drink the koolaid
Drink the koolaid
Drink the koolaid

Seriously, Rippetoe knows his stuff. Starting Strength is the best-written strength or conditioning book I've read. It is in the context of beginner training.

What do those guys say about declines?

I started wondering about Louie after reading some of the things he typed in his now-defunct Strength Mills message board.
 

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I am not saying declines are the greatest things since sliced bread. But they are a decent assistance move. Better than inclines. But to be honest my favorite bench routines are all flat bench stuff.

Paul Anderson was the biggest proponent of declines of the three. He used to do a lot of inverted exercises. Mostly high rep stuff. I think there is more of this stuff in Secrets of My Strength than Power by Paul. So maybe he drifted away from it a little.

I know both Ed Coan and Louie Simmons reccomended declines at different points.

I haven't been serious about strength training for years, but for about 7 or so years from about 94 to 2001 I had a subscription to powerlifting USA. I have the Ed Coan DL and squat videos on VHS. I used to be a regular on Tripps Garage gym forum and goheavy.com and sometimes on cyberpump. But I drifted away and am just now getting back into lifting again.
 

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Cool. Good luck with your comeback.

I think those guys are probably talking about advanced lifters, but I can't be sure. Rip's all about beginners and intermediates and makes a good argument for sticking with flat bench for beginners. I don't have his book on intermediate training.

As for me, I've always been a bit afraid of decrapitating myself on declines. :faint:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Are you looking for strength or size?

For strength I like doing 5's. Maybe do 8's for size.

Benching 3x a week is too much IMHO. I'm sore for 3-4 days after benching, so I could never do that.

If you can bench 3x a week, it leads me to think that you might not be pushing yourself enough.

I like silentpoet's advice.
Both, but I'd like to get the size first, then bring the stregnth up. As far as not pushing myself enough, I physically can't do anymore weight. I don't burn like most people though. I'll be going along fine then when I get to the last couple of reps for that set I just drop off, struggling through them. There's only a few exercises that I burn on. Leg extensions, and the forearm exercise with the bar that has the rope with a weight on the end tied to it. (don't know what its called). An example will be walking lunges. On a good day I can do about 125yards before starting to feel it and can get out another 75yards after that, with no weight. Add 50lbs and I'll be doing good to get to 75yards.
 

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Both, but I'd like to get the size first, then bring the stregnth up.
If this is truly the case, increasing your max BP shouldn't matter yet, as long as you see gains in the mirror.

Strength training vs. hypertrophy training follow very different protocols. You will probably find that most in this forum are after strength, performance and work capacity first.
 

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If this is truly the case, increasing your max BP shouldn't matter yet, as long as you see gains in the mirror.
TR makes a good point. If you are interested in size at this point, are you saying that you are not noticing an increase in breast size or are you saying your weight/or reps aren't increasing?
 
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