Improving bench

anonymous12345

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I bench 5x5@62.5 kg (so not very much) but fail at the end. I've had it like this for a longer time but don't really advance. Any ideas for making my muscles grow?
 

Giovanni SouthSide

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Focus on dips if your shoulders allow it.
Once you can do 20 executed reps strap on a weighted belt.
Dips also increases your bench and other pushing exercises. Same with pull ups/neutral pull ups. Dips and pull ups help massively with lifting and get you shredded. Also keep doing your regular and diamond push ups.

I like doing a hybrid of weighted calisthenics and some weights for quick muscle mass if you are eating and sleeping right. Right now im lacking with working out but atleast I am eating protein rich homemade cooked meals and sleeping good with 0 alcohol. Drinking atleast 3 liters of water a day.
 
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sangheilios

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What is static holds exactly? My bench press sucks big time.
I'm pretty sure he means like you setup a power rack and press the bar as hard as you can into where your sticking point would be.

For the vast majority of people at the gym, all they really need to do is just train and eat enough that allows them to grow muscle. Unless you are highly advanced, where it may take months or even years to notice any real progress, it's literally just as simple as that. Something that can help though is having a variety of exercises that work the different muscles and rotating them semi regularly. You'll eventually run into stalls in progress so you rotate to a different exercise that is still working the similar muscle group(s) but since it's a new exericse it will stimulate some growth because it's a novel stimulus.

This could be like doing flat dumbbell bench pressing for a few weeks and when you stall you do it with an incline. Or even something like you do really high rep dips with your bodyweight and then go over to heavier dips using a weight belt.
 

BackInTheGame78

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What is static holds exactly? My bench press sucks big time.
Basically they are putting about 20% more than your 1RM on the bar and pressing it about 2 inches off the rack and holding it as long as you can. No movement with it other than 2 inches up and then back down. Can do this once a week for about 4-5 weeks before it becomes too much for the CNS and you need to take a break but you should see some good strength gains by then. As long as you can hold for 10 seconds, the next time you do it, add 20% to the weight you used the previous time. If it's under 10 seconds, only add 10% to it.

Typically I would do these and then immediately go and bench about 80% of that static hold weight for reps and it would feel like a feather in comparison.

Never, ever do this without guards in place tho...especially as the weight gets heavier. Could lead to serious injuries if the bar slips. Use the Smith machine for these.

The exhaustion your muscles will feel from simply holding that weight is intense. Never really felt anything like it...was almost like every single muscle fiber I had in the associated muscles were wore out.
 

EyeBRollin

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To legitimately improve bench, there are a couple things you can do:

- Stop the 5X5, move to 3X5. Then after that plateau go to 3X3. Then 1X3.

-Barbell row, pendlay style (Google it). Having a chest-back imbalance reduces your bench. Your Row should be the same or greater than your bench. If it’s not, fix it.

-Eat more calories. How much do you currently weigh? Chances are you need to eat a lot more.

-Cut out accessory exercises. Guys, if you you want to bench more weight, you need to bench more. Cut all the other arm and chest exercises completely.
 

DonJuanjr

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I bench 5x5@62.5 kg (so not very much) but fail at the end. I've had it like this for a longer time but don't really advance. Any ideas for making my muscles grow?
You could add 2 kg to the bar, and do 3 sets of 4-6 reps. Once you hit 6 reps, increase the weight another 2kg and do it again.
 

Reincarnated

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I'm a big proponent of leveraging deadlifts (safely) to improve bench results. This is especially true if you're a beginner or intermediate lifter (I consider myself intermediate at this point). Don't listen to the bros that say deadlifting is only important to powerlifters, the fact is that it taxes/strengthens the whole CNS, which is important. As someone else mentioned, too much taxing of the CNS will induce fatigue and the need to pump the breaks a bit, but I doubt you're at that point. It will also build up muscles in your back that are essentially supporting you during the full bench press movement.

Beyond that I echo the sentiment of southside as far as dips/pullups go. I do weighted dips/pullups every week, no question theyve helped my bench. Also I'd recommend trying some variations. Whether that be incline/decline, DBs, or even bench machines (don't underestimate the power of machines to help blast through plateaus). Personally I've started doing declines benching more, since I aggravated the upper part of my pec from not warming up (always warm up/stretch), and the decline allows me to hit the full chest without putting as much strain on the upper.

Finally, record/journalize every training session, becomes one of the guys with notepads in the gym. Record all of your reps/sets/weights on your primary exercises for each day, and analyze every week or so for feedback. To this same point, also take quick notes of how you felt, how your body responded to certain efforts.
 

FlexpertHamilton

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I bench 5x5@62.5 kg (so not very much) but fail at the end. I've had it like this for a longer time but don't really advance. Any ideas for making my muscles grow?
You could try Madcow or Texas method for raw strength.

Otherwise I might recommend weighted dips.
 
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