How to increase bench?

New / Eng rresoisnco
Jul 3 43 Comments

275lb squat/105 bench/260lb deadlift

Bench has been stuck for months now. I've tried benching 2-3x a week, varying in intensity and volume but recovery is very slow for chest and shoulders.

Why won't my bench increase? Bad chest genetics or approach?

Which accesory exercises have helped you get a bigger bench?

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TOP 43 Comments
  • Micro Focus / Eng Whiskr
    Make sure you’re using leg drive, have a good back arch, and push your body away from the bar as opposed to pushing the bar away from your body.

    Favorite bench accessories are dumbell chest presses and dips.

    If all else fails then you need to focus on nutrition and eat more.
    Jul 3 6
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Yeah that leg drive is an issue for me. Can't figure out if feet should be flat or under butt
      Jul 3
    • Micro Focus / Eng Whiskr
      That depends on whether you compete and under which federation, because some only allow foot flat on the floor.
      Jul 3
    • New / R&D einprosit
      Watch Dave Tate YouTube videos on technique. Should add 10 lbs off the bat. Tuck your elbows, maybe do a reset and work back up using madcow or 531. Is your arch collapsing when bringing the weight down? Are you bringing the bar down to the bottom.of your sternum?
      Jul 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Arch is strong and lats engaged throughout. Working on bar path but bar touches mid-nip. Not sure if that's bottom of sternum. Can't tell from anatomy pics 🤷
      Jul 3
    • New / R&D einprosit
      No, that's too high. Your elbows are probably flaring. Do a lot of heavy triceps work, keep the elbows tucked. Try to rip the bar apart on the way up. The bar should touch right above the top fo your belly. Your gut should be filled with air and tightml.
      Jul 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Oooo ok this is super helpful. Thank you!
      Jul 3
  • Facebook dzntz
    What sort of bad chest genetics are we talking about here?
    Jul 3 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Just mammary glands and subcutaneous fat :(
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft treat
      Do you mean beasts? I’d be surprised if that mattered. Congrats on the results so far - very impressive!
      Jul 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      I mean more strength and muscle there would be nice. Thank you :)
      Jul 3
  • Microsoft treat
    Very impressive. I could learn from you!
    Jul 3 2
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Not with my shit form! Long ways to go
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft treat
      Same here - hahaha
      Jul 3
  • Facebook SmUr11
    Identify weak points and focus on these weak points with auxiliary bench movements.

    For example, if you are weak at lockout you may have weak triceps and can benefit from doing more close grip bench press and tricep accessory work
    Jul 3 2
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Which tricep bench-specific movements would you recommend? Working on shoulder issues so I can't do dips but I've been doing close-grip and pushdowns. I feel like I'm not doing enough if I'm just doing pushdowns and bench
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft treat
      ^this
      Jul 3
  • New / Eng tAcq10
    I swear, everyone comes here just to flex
    Jul 3 1
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      You must have chicken legs 🙃
      Jul 3
  • Microsoft giffy
    Go get same numbers as TC. Hit leetcode not gym.
    Jul 3 1
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Leetcode between sets 😉
      Jul 3
  • Google / Eng
    dheY80

    Google Eng

    PRE
    EPAM Systems
    dheY80more
    Try to find weakest muscle with dumbbells,
    Mine was shoulders, I had got them in better shape after taking boxing classes
    Jul 3 1
    • Google / Eng
      dheY80

      Google Eng

      PRE
      EPAM Systems
      dheY80more
      But your results is indeed already impressive!
      Jul 3
  • Uber Hdjci24
    Back arch and drive through the floor. Google/YouTube those keywords and ull see. Leg drive really brought my bench up (255 for 3 @ 170 lbs)
    Jul 4 0
  • Nobody mentioned form... is your form correct?
    Jul 3 0
  • Flexport / Manufacturing
    maj

    Flexport Manufacturing

    BIO
    Founder and chairman of Salesforce
    majmore
    TC?
    Jul 3 0
  • Pinterest Quangle
    Record video of your lifts so you can review it later. Make sure your form is solid. Leg drive doesn't work for everyone, but one thing I've noticed for me is that foot placement really matters. You should be able to feel the difference when you've got it dialed in.

    Change your program. 3 sets of 5 / 3 sets of 8-12 isn't going to do it. If you want to lift heavier weights, you need to lift heavier weights. Start with 6 sets of 6 at 70 percent of your max. Two or three days later, 7 sets of 5 at 75 percent. Two or three days later, 8 sets of 4 at 80 percent. Two or three days later, 10 sets of 3 at 85 percent. Start the cycle over again, but add 5 pounds. Do it again, add another 5 pounds. This should take you about a month or so. Rest a few days then retest your max. You can Google "Smolov Jr" for more information - I didn't just make this up. It's brutal, but it works. Technically you're supposed to bench 4x/week, but I think that's excessive. I don't recover that quickly.

    Also - don't waste time on a lot of accessory work. Eat enough food and get enough rest. If you're not opposed to better living through chemistry, there are absolutely things which do work and which are not illegal (i.e., not steroids) - but that's a topic for another day.

    320B/435SQ/405DL - I don't know everything, but I know a thing or two.
    Jul 7 1
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      This is super helpful! I completely forgot about smolov. I'll take your tip on accessory work. Hate it anyway.

      Better living through chemistry? Steroids would be fine if legal and didn't mess with female hormones. 🤷

      Your stats are goals. Thanks babes!
      Jul 7
  • Uber whiptest
    what’s your stack
    Jul 4 1
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Simple creatine, glutamine (for digestion) and carbion. Everything else is a waste imo
      Jul 4
  • Amazon totti
    You do 3x5 260 lb dead lifts as a girl? Wow. Are you in Seattle?
    Jul 3 1
  • I’m impressed with how much Blind lifts! Good to know :)
    Jul 3 0
  • Amazon kXaQ55
    Starting Strength
    Strong Lift 5x5

    the above are beginner programs, there is 5/3/1 for intermediate/advanced
    Jul 3 0
  • Close grip bench, incline bench (dumbbells or bar) and tricep work all help. I also find working my ohp helps bench. Other than that there's always more work you can do on your form.
    Jul 3 0
  • Microsoft Tattle
    U r already doing pretty good but if u still want to go higher then what worked for me was to have a spotter who Wud help u quite a bit in the beginning and then slowly reduce the support. This is what worked for me.
    Jul 3 0
  • Microsoft pJcW86
    Whats your rep pattern?
    Jul 3 4
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      2:1
      Jul 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Unless you mean how many reps I do, then 5 on heavier and 8-12 on lighter days
      Jul 3
    • Microsoft pJcW86
      Sets I mean, 3x8 or like a set of 12, 10, 8
      Jul 3
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      3 sets of 5 and 3x8-12 if doing 2 weekly sessions.
      Jul 3
  • Build your upper back. Those muscles are what’s guiding the weight down, and if your back is not strong, all your supporting muscles are getting tired when compensating as you lower the weight.

    Once your back is on par with your chest, that stability will free up muscle energy for a harder press (and greatly reduce the risk of injury).

    (This answer is sponsored by the “I know how to google” campaign)
    Jul 3 1
    • New / Eng rresoisnco
      OP
      Upper back is actually over developed because I do a lot of rows, neck pulls, and pullups. The weak point for me is after the bar reaches my chest. I can hold the weight there for a couple seconds like spoto press but pushing up from top of the movement is tough.
      Jul 3