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Old 08-06-2011, 08:54 AM   #1
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Default Help for weak bench press

My training partner does everything just about right. He trains hard, eats plenty and his dedication to the iron makes me look like a wuss. Problem is his bench press is weak. He's squatting mid-400s, deadlifting mid 500s but his bench just sucks for lack of a better word.

Any suggestions? He's been doing Wendler for a while. No matter what he can't add much weight to the bar.
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Old 08-06-2011, 09:02 AM   #2
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weighted push ups!
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:03 AM   #3
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Can't believe I'm going to ask this...but...How much does he bench press?
Some guys think their bench sucks but it might actually be pretty normal.

Last edited by Off Road; 08-06-2011 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:04 AM   #4
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My suggestion is to try something different. He might respond better to more volume. he might respond better to something like an 8 set x 3 rep scheme. He might respond better to rest pause or cluster training.

He needs to find a system he likes that allows him to add a rep somewhere each week.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:47 AM   #5
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Find the weakness, and focus on that. Can't lockout? use bands, chains, board presses, floor presses. Can't get out of the hole? use explosive training, dynamic work against bands and chains works great for me.

Also, work on other lifts to build up the bench. Overhead presses, rows, and lots of tricep work.

Last note, some people just aren't built to bench (like me) I've got a solid deadlift and squat, but bench is lacking. I'm going to start using gear to overcome that.
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:13 AM   #6
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Not that I should offer up any commentary, but I will. Back in the day, I found I was responding pretty well to volume. Since your friend is doing Wendler, I would suggest the Boring But Big approach. That's what I was doing. I think I got this particular idea from jwood. Total reps could get pretty high. It would look something like this:

40% x 5
50% x 5
60% x 5
Workset 1 X Requisite reps
Workset 2 x Requisite reps
Workset 3 x Requisite reps+
Workset 2 x Requisite reps
Workset 1 x Requisite reps
60% x 5
50% x 5
40% x 5
50% x 5
60% x 5

Now, I'm incorporating unilateral dumbell work to help me focus on keeping my back tight and my feet planted. I can't stress enough how much that has helped my feel. This has been important, because my weakness is coming out of the hole. I stick about 3" off my chest. One time BTB gave me a verbal cue to "Pull the bar down." That instantly tightened my back, and helped me pop out a couple more reps.

Other than that though, I agree with JesseA. Find the weakness. Isolate it. Work on it until it becomes a strength. Add in some back work of all kinds (chins, pulldows, horizontal rows, etc). And tell your friend that if you want to get good at something, then just do it. Nothing will improve your bench press better than more benching done properly.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:35 PM   #7
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Weakpoint training doesn't work if you're just weak.

He needs more frequency on the actual lift, more variety of reps/sets, more days per week. This applies to the Bench especially so (as opposed to the SQ/DL).
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Old 08-06-2011, 08:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fazc View Post
Weakpoint training doesn't work if you're just weak.

He needs more frequency on the actual lift, more variety of reps/sets, more days per week. This applies to the Bench especially so (as opposed to the SQ/DL).
To add to this post I will say this.

Train the lift

Each rep is a total lift unto itself. Treat each rep as the individual lift that it is. Get the most from each rep.

That does not mean that you go super slow, or do anything out of the ordinary. It just means that you DON"T WASTE A REP just for the sake of doing a rep.

If your workout involves a total of 30 reps per session, and you have been doing them as a 3x10, then consider a change.

Try breaking it down to a 10x3 scheme and focus on making sure that each rep is as good as it can be form wise. Just becasue you do a 10x3 does not mean you need to take a long break between sets. Take a quick break, and reset yourself.

Train the lift.
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Old 08-07-2011, 08:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thumpinos View Post
My training partner does everything just about right. He trains hard, eats plenty and his dedication to the iron makes me look like a wuss. Problem is his bench press is weak. He's squatting mid-400s, deadlifting mid 500s but his bench just sucks for lack of a better word.

Any suggestions? He's been doing Wendler for a while. No matter what he can't add much weight to the bar.
With all respect, why are you speaking for him? Have him register and post on the forum, and give more detailed information on the specific lift, he is having a problem with and other pertinent information such as diet (calories/macros/supps)/rest/volume (etc). And whether he has access to 1 1/2 pound and 2 1/2 pound plates.

I assume, you do not live with him every minute of the day, correct? Does everything right: No one does, its trial and error.

Likewise, with all the good intended advice/opinions on what to do: I can't stop feeling that he still going to be confused even more on what to do. The answer usually falls within the basic fundelmentals. Does he keep a diet journal? Does he keep a training journal? In order to give good advice, we have to start with good and honest information, and we have far too many unanswered questions, IMHO.


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Old 08-07-2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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A couple of things:

1) Check his technique. At a certain point, you can't increase your bench press if your technique is poor. Have him get a vid and post it.

2) What assitance template is he using? If he's not benching 3 plates plus, I'd recommend the Boring But Big - Do your 5/3/1 sets, plus 5 sets of 10 at 50%, plus some type of rows.

3) Is he eating enough?
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