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What is your favorite Bench Routine?

khungus03

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Apr 20, 2012
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198
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.
In terms of the percentage used your bar weight is correct but you need an additional 25% of accommodating resistance - bands or chains. For speed work vary the bars used if possible, if you only have a straight bar do 9 sets of 3 using 3 different grips. This works in a way similar to the typical three week wave with increasing percentages.

For max work, which should be done 72 hours after your speed workout the exercise should change each week so it will take several weeks to repeat an exercise. Varying your max exercises may seem like a task but think of it this way. Week to week rotate your ME bench exercise by switching between straight weight, bands, and chains. On top of that rotation you can also switch between boards- off chest, 1 board, 2 board, 3 board, 4 board (we don't use a 4 board much at Westside outside the taller lifters.) Also we use pieces of foam the with the same dimensions as a 1 board (a standard 2x6 from the lumber yard) we usually only to 1 or 2 foam, never getting into the 3 or 4 range.

If you have access to different bars this as another excellent tool in rotating your exercises. We rotate between a straight bar, football bar, T-bar, 2" cambered bar. It can easily take several months before the exact same exercise is repeated which means the body has had many different stimulus' to grow under instead of the same thing over and over.

Building a big back and triceps is key to having a big bench. I'm by no means saying neglect your pecs but an enormous back and triceps are the real keys to benching big. Building the upper back is one of the most important and often over looked areas that creates plateaus in the bench. You simply need to do more upper back work in as many ways as you can think of, also do it heavy. This build a sold platform for you to push with when you're benching.

For triceps my advice is volume. Huge volume is needed to create growth in the triceps. Louie mentions a number of tricep exercises in the benching article earlier in the thread. Also do band push downs, 100-200 reps per day. The overspeed eccentric helps build the connective tissue and thus prevent the very common triceps tendonitis. I've seen this work in body builders who are typically focusing on building muscle which leaves the connective tissue largely undertrained. We don't have one person at Westside right now that has triceps tendonitis and I can't remember the last time we did. Our best raw bencher currently is at 635, we also have several over 500. People say westside only works for geared lifters which is 100% not true. We currently have many athletes of all types train at Westside and all are experiencing excellent results.
 

rmtt

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Jun 15, 2006
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2,870
In terms of the percentage used your bar weight is correct but you need an additional 25% of accommodating resistance - bands or chains. For speed work vary the bars used if possible, if you only have a straight bar do 9 sets of 3 using 3 different grips. This works in a way similar to the typical three week wave with increasing percentages.

For max work, which should be done 72 hours after your speed workout the exercise should change each week so it will take several weeks to repeat an exercise. Varying your max exercises may seem like a task but think of it this way. Week to week rotate your ME bench exercise by switching between straight weight, bands, and chains. On top of that rotation you can also switch between boards- off chest, 1 board, 2 board, 3 board, 4 board (we don't use a 4 board much at Westside outside the taller lifters.) Also we use pieces of foam the with the same dimensions as a 1 board (a standard 2x6 from the lumber yard) we usually only to 1 or 2 foam, never getting into the 3 or 4 range.

If you have access to different bars this as another excellent tool in rotating your exercises. We rotate between a straight bar, football bar, T-bar, 2" cambered bar. It can easily take several months before the exact same exercise is repeated which means the body has had many different stimulus' to grow under instead of the same thing over and over.

Building a big back and triceps is key to having a big bench. I'm by no means saying neglect your pecs but an enormous back and triceps are the real keys to benching big. Building the upper back is one of the most important and often over looked areas that creates plateaus in the bench. You simply need to do more upper back work in as many ways as you can think of, also do it heavy. This build a sold platform for you to push with when you're benching.

For triceps my advice is volume. Huge volume is needed to create growth in the triceps. Louie mentions a number of tricep exercises in the benching article earlier in the thread. Also do band push downs, 100-200 reps per day. The overspeed eccentric helps build the connective tissue and thus prevent the very common triceps tendonitis. I've seen this work in body builders who are typically focusing on building muscle which leaves the connective tissue largely undertrained. We don't have one person at Westside right now that has triceps tendonitis and I can't remember the last time we did. Our best raw bencher currently is at 635, we also have several over 500. People say westside only works for geared lifters which is 100% not true. We currently have many athletes of all types train at Westside and all are experiencing excellent results.
Thank you so much for the detailed reply! I don't have bands to work with, but I do have chains I can incorporate.

One question I've had about ME day if you don't mind. I noticed that the exercise is supposed to rotate. Do you find this detrimental at all as you are not actually working the exact exercise you're wanting to improve each week?

Or when you do come back around to it you've found that you have maintained or even made progress. I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything and make it work with what I have available without bastardizing it to much.

One other thing I've noticed is that I find myself shaky in new territory. I will pause, drop it, think I'm screwed, but then blast it up.

My partner says my last part of the movement is my best as he says it looks like I could actually throw the weight in the air at lockout.

Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
 

PUMPJUNKY

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May 1, 2010
Messages
139
Thank you so much for the detailed reply! I don't have bands to work with, but I do have chains I can incorporate.

One question I've had about ME day if you don't mind. I noticed that the exercise is supposed to rotate. Do you find this detrimental at all as you are not actually working the exact exercise you're wanting to improve each week?

Or when you do come back around to it you've found that you have maintained or even made progress. I'm still trying to wrap my head around everything and make it work with what I have available without bastardizing it to much.

One other thing I've noticed is that I find myself shaky in new territory. I will pause, drop it, think I'm screwed, but then blast it up.

My partner says my last part of the movement is my best as he says it looks like I could actually throw the weight in the air at lockout.

Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
Edited
PM me ill give you our program
 
Last edited:

kash666

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Sep 26, 2016
Messages
79
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.
Damn thats a significant increase, im going to have to check it out
 

n3mo0101

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Joined
Aug 6, 2016
Messages
707
Westside routines get me strong. I like the way they are structure. My elbows and wrists take a beating from powerlifting and super-strength training however, so I can't do those programs for very long.

I'd say try pin press, JM Press, CG Bench, and/or figure out your sticking points and work on strengthening those. Also, learn how to position your feet correctly into the floor. You can add a lot to your bench just by driving through the floor the right way with your feet.
 

Davin_fitness

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Nov 15, 2016
Messages
24
Unique bench routine

I tore my pec going heavy last year so my bench routines tend to be focused on high rep stuff. Yesterday I went 135x80 reps, 185x40, 205x35, 225x26, 245x20 then 135x30x30x25 with a 30 second rest in-between sets. I find that if intensity is high you can grow from any rep range.
 

ironhands

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Apr 21, 2018
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i was a good bench presser in my 20s, i benched 460 lbs raw at 185 lbs and 405lbs for 5 reps, but in all fairness i wasn't natty back then, i took some pro-hormones (1ad) and also some ephedrine, but now i'm all natty and nowhere near as strong, but i'm trying to gain my strength back
 

Dave Perez

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Oct 18, 2015
Messages
124
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?

Sent from my LG-D850 using Tapatalk
It is possible that your descent slows down and you feel it in your biceps is because you could be over working your biceps...back in the day I was able to bench 315 3x10 and an easy 405 but I would come to a complete stop about 6 inches above my chest before lowering down to my chest cuz it felt like my biceps were going to rip....an MRI indicated that I indeed had some tearing in the bicep tendon...like an idiot I would work my biceps too hard with forced reps and negatives...
 

propp

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Mar 9, 2010
Messages
25
The Ed Coan 10 week workout is pretty good I used it to peak a few times it added a bit to my bench
 

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