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How To Test Your Bench Press One Rep Max

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The following article will outline a method of testing your bench press one rep max. Please use the following guidelines to help determine which progression scheme you should use.

  • Novice. You don’t recall the last time you tried to bench press using a real barbell and bench, and you have no clue what your bench press max is.
  • Beginner. You have been using bench presses in your workouts, but know that your one rep max isn’t anywhere near 200 pounds. (Probably more like 130-190 pounds)
  • 200 Pound Club. You are fairly certain your bench press one rep max is hovering around 200 pounds, or slightly more. (200-240 pounds)
  • 250 Pound Club. You have been lifting for a while and believe you are now able to bench 250 pounds. (250-280 pounds)
  • 300 Pound Club. You believe you are close to having a 300 pound bench, or may be slightly over. (290-330 pounds)
  • 350 Pound Club. You are close to cracking the 350 pound mark, or may be a little stronger. (340-370 pounds)
  • Beast Club. This is for lifters who believe they have a bench press over 380 pounds.

Bench Press One Rep Max Test Notes

This article exists to help novice, beginning and strong (to very strong) intermediate lifters who are inexperienced in testing their own maxes.

Central nervous system (CNS). The CNS plays an important role in strength, and during the testing of your one rep max. The central nervous system, when properly stimulated and prepared, will recruit more muscle fibers. You will feel stronger and weights will feel lighter.

The structure of these progression schemes are designed to help stimulate your CNS for maximum performance. Do NOT ignore them and take big jumps. Big jumps in weight do not sufficiently stimulate the CNS, and can result  in a sub-par performance. Big jumps will also increase your potential for injury.

Rest. Don’t rush. Follow the recommended rest guidelines when testing your bench press max. This isn’t a sprint. If you don’t have enough time to properly test your one rep max, then wait until a day you do.

Allow your body the proper time in between heavy sets to regain its strength. Some of the reps may seem easy, and you may not need to rest 3 minutes. If this is the case, rest a minimum of 2 minutes and attempt the next rep.

Novice Bench Press Progression

novice

After 95 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting up to 3 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

Beginner Bench Press Progression

beginner

After 155 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting up to 3 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

200 Pound Bench Press Progression

200

After 205 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting 3-5 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

250 Pound Bench Press Progression

250

After 255 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting 3-5 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

300 Pound Bench Press Progression

300

After 295 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting 3-5 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

350 Pound Bench Press Progression

350

After 345 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting 3-5 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

Beast Club Bench Press Progression

beast

After 385 pounds, continue to add weight in 10 pound increments while resting 3-5 minutes between attempts. If you are successful with an attempt, but nearly failed to complete the rep, it is recommended that you either add only 5 pounds to the bar for your next attempt.

How To Test Your Bench Press One Rep Max, 5.0 out of 5 based on 4 ratings

3 comments

  1. I will try this to get started because it shows in detail from a beginners point of few. Now I don’t have to guess . How would you put that into a weekly routine ?

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  2. Great article. Could you use this model for other exercises as well?

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