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What is your favorite Bench Routine?

rmtt

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I started doing 5/3/1 a couple of years ago, but I have stalled.
At a body weight of around 200, I can solidly put up 315 for 4 reps, and have done 355 for a single.

I want a 4 plate bench this year and in not getting younger. I've been reading about:
Smolev Jr, Louie Simmons, etc.

Which programs/principles do you stronger guys like. I can un-rack, go down, press up and finish strong.

My noticeable issue is that once I get to 275 or above, I hesitate on the descent. I feel stress and weakness in my biceps of all issues.

My training partner says I'm wasting a good buy of energy trying to get settled in.
But the descent seems to be my sticking point.

Any suggestions?

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trainlikeaboss

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I can't say much from personal experience because my bench is weaker than yours but you should look up Allan Thrall as well as Dan Green on YouTube. Both have very helpful tips for a powerlifting style bench. That's your best bet if you are worried about hitting numbers.
 

rmtt

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Thanks. Honestly I was never too concerned with it until we started training it heavy and it progressed pretty quickly for me.

Figured I would see where I could go with it.

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MADDmuscle

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I like to do overhead press . For shoulders. A clean and then military press. 2 warm up sets. Then 3 work setsas heavy as i can clean and shove 8 times. Then i go down about 50lbs.. and rep to failure.. starting with one big movement.. then finishing with smaller focused exercises. Mind muscle connection. Lots of contraction. Train heavy back.. close grip reverse hand lat pull down.. heavy sets 10 reps.. and heavy dumbell rows. Heavy as you can pull with good form for 10 reps.. on triceps day.. always 12,10,8,6,4 close grip bench alternated weekly with weighted dips.. deep and heavy for 6sets of 10. then about 6 sets of accessories. As in v bar push down or skull crushers.. so one week i do weighted dips 6 sets.. then 6 sets of push downs or skull crushers.. then the next week.. close grip 12,10,8,6,4. This has seemed to work great for me. At 275lbs i raw flat benched 545 and paused 497 in a meet. On the road to different goals now.. 315x30 flat 405x8 on incline 315x8 seated military.
 

MADDmuscle

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Also the bar traveling down has a lot to do with your back and shoulder strength. Strengthen those.. strengthen your bench.
 

jamesjenkins

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You probably need more back strength to stabilize coming down... Some things I would ask are,
Are you staying tight? This is highly important...
What is your current routine.
Assistance exercises?
How long at this plateau?
Have you tried rack presses, static contraction, negatives,
Are you training properly? Ie. Reps per set etc???
 

MADDmuscle

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I agree with you james. Would have to see if he had his elbows tucked and under.. if his feet was set.. all of it matters..
 

d2r2ddd

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i like the Smolov Junior for bringing up the bench:headbang:
 

RealDonkeykong

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I like Louie Simmons "raw bench article"...It was about how he inc. his bench before he lifted with shirt or whatever...He would do a 3rep max every ME day then what we considers a wave set...say 225 275 315 for 6...adding weight to sets every week..If you get stuck on the 6 range you move to 8s till you get stuck then 10's...then back to 6's,,,but always doing a 3rep range bench first.
On speed day 10x2 and delts/tris. Hit 370 at 205 with this....Just started using bands for speed bench and I feel this has helped a lot.I have much to learn especially as a raw bencher. Many articles (especially top benchers in westside) are not as efficient and sometimes counter productive to raw benching.I like to do ME bench with very light tri/delt lifts at end then speed bench followed by heavy Delt/TRIS(example Strict Press 5x5,Lockouts 5x5)

ARTICLE:RAW BENCHING
 

MADDmuscle

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Louie definitly works. I did it for 3 years when i was younger. Have a friend that hit 405 at 198bw on louie.
 

HardTarget11B

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"Screwing in" the scapulas can help que you to ensure your lats are engaged.

There are tons of ways to skin a cat, but finding which would be most optimal for YOU may be the toughest part. Simply increasing volume and frequency may help. Or start working more hypertrophy sets.
 

rmtt

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You probably need more back strength to stabilize coming down... Some things I would ask are,
Are you staying tight? This is highly important...
What is your current routine.
Assistance exercises?
How long at this plateau?
Have you tried rack presses, static contraction, negatives,
Are you training properly? Ie. Reps per set etc???
I'm currently doing a 5/3/1 program that focuses on squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press.
Squats I have routinely hit 500 in my singles week, dead lift my best was 405... But my grip strength needs work.

My shoulders and back are very strong... In fact my shoulders tend to progress faster than anything.

With my bench it's odd. I can go up to 315 for a slow strict triple, but then go back to 275 and rep it like it was 225.

Maybe my chest has more endurance type muscle fibers.

But I have had people look at my form and say it's good. I have a comfortable width grip, and my triceps are tucked in towards my body. I retract my shoulder blades, and everything stays in contact with the bench and feet flat on the floor.

The reason I mentioned biceps as they are probably my weakest body part. I keep my last flexed on the way down, but it feels like I'm fighting my biceps so to speak.

I'm probably going to try a westside program with two sessions per week.... Speed and strength.

Smolev sounds good but I don't think benching 4 times a week as that program has you doing would be beneficial for me.

365 has been my stalling point for about two months now.

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jamesjenkins

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This isn't a popular belief. But I would think constantly following 5 31 for so long maybe the nervous system never adapted to heavier loads. And that's why the 275is easy yet the 315 hard. Different stimulus is achieved when using over 95%1rm.
Big believer in time under max tension as stated by Hatfield. It could just be a cns adaptation issue..
Just a thought though. Hope it helps
 

rmtt

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This isn't a popular belief. But I would think constantly following 5 31 for so long maybe the nervous system never adapted to heavier loads. And that's why the 275is easy yet the 315 hard. Different stimulus is achieved when using over 95%1rm.
Big believer in time under max tension as stated by Hatfield. It could just be a cns adaptation issue..
Just a thought though. Hope it helps
You know.... I think you are on to something. I have noticed this in other weight /rep ranges.

I'm going to start something laid out by westside.

Speed day with 50%-55% of my 1RM for multiple sets of 3 reps.

Max effort day where I stay in the 3 rep range or less, and constantly challenge at 95%+ of my max.



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wizim

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i havent done smolov bench but i did the squat cycle. i put over an inch and half on both legs and increased my squat by 100lbs. id like to do a smolov bench cycle.
 

rmtt

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i havent done smolov bench but i did the squat cycle. i put over an inch and half on both legs and increased my squat by 100lbs. id like to do a smolov bench cycle.
I've heard the squat cycle is a beast. 13 weeks of squatting that many times per week will surely separate the men from the boys!

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angus62

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JM's routine got me over 400 on my comp bench. I used floor press against chains and JM press on my triceps day. Its really simple but its not easy.


JM Blakley’s 4x6 Bench routine

I. BENCH DAY

Pattern Warm-Up (Mental and Physical Readiness)
* for example: 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 2 (nothing too heavy)

Skill and Neuromuscular Work

* 2-3 sets of singles with near max weight, but light enough to be a sure thing with perfect form (around 85% of raw max)

Training sets

* Bench with pause 4 sets of six starting at the raw 6RM. Stay at this weight until you get six reps on all sets and then raise 5 lbs and start over …and so on ad infinitum

Once all sets of 6 are done you are done. Go home.

II. ACCESSORY DAY (Tricep Day)

Basic warm-up

Training sets

4 sets of six in the same manner as on the Bench day for two exercises (JM covers 30 plus exercises in the XTM tape but 2 combos he liked where Floor Press with Chain and Reverse Band Press and 3 Inch Rack Lockouts with Comp Grip and JM Presses). Exercises are changed when they start to go stale, roughly every 8 to 12 weeks.
 

wizim

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I've heard the squat cycle is a beast. 13 weeks of squatting that many times per week will surely separate the men from the boys!

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oh it is! i squatted 3-4 times/week. for 13 weeks i ONLY SQUATTED. i didnt a damn thing else. on the days i wasnt squatting i was at the gym on the foam roller. actually i dont even use foam anymore. i use a 3 inch pvc pipe to get DEEP into the tissue.

i went from a 405 max to 500 in 13 weeks and gained 1.5 inches in my quads. im a believer!
 

rmtt

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Well I started up a type of Westside program today. It was speed day with 9 sets of 3 reps at 50% of my max done with varying grips.

From there I went into JM presses and some side delt work.

On Friday, it will be a max effort day doing multiple sets until I hit a max with 3 reps. Then lying extensions and rear delt work.

Everything else will be worked through the week, but will take a back seat until I break through this Bench plateau.

My legs overpower my upper body as I only did lower body work for a couple of years when I first started lifting. So one intense workout a week seems to maintain them.

One thing I have been thinking about is body weight. I'm sitting around 208 lbs on an empty stomach. I have been so focused on getting my bench up that I haven't really paid too much attention to seeing what increasing my calories would do.

I'm only 5' 7", so I feel good and healthy at this weight. I just didn't want to get into pushing my calories up too much and adding any body fat.

But maybe a new "set point" for a while will allow me to get past this and hold on to most of it once I bring my weight back down.
 

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