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Bench press

chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
I’ve recently added bench press to my chest routine. I tried to lift 60kg...not a chance lol. So started with 25kg for 15 reps but felt easy. Now doing 35kg for 10 reps. I’m not confident increasing my weight at the moment. Just wondered how many people on MFP bench, how much and what difficulties they’ve faced?
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Replies

  • glovepuppetglovepuppet Posts: 1,743Member Member Posts: 1,743Member Member
    The most useful thing you can have for bench press is a training buddy. I only lift 30, but my toyboy lifts 100+k. It's a safety net, it allows you to go for that last rep, and you have reminders to keep your technique.
  • billkansasbillkansas Posts: 232Member Member Posts: 232Member Member
    I bench in my garage in my squat rack with the safety bars low enough that I can touch the bar to my chest while my neck and face are safely protected from a drop. I typically do 3 or 4 sets of five (aka Starting Strength).
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,873Member Member Posts: 7,873Member Member
    I bench 4x a week. Diffently rep/intensity.

    Currently anywhere from
    155kg/345lb paused singles
    155kg/345lb slingshot quads
    136kg/300lb five rep sets
    Tempo, pin bench, etc...

    Things will get much heavier for me in 6-8 weeks when I increase the intensity and drop volume. Right now I'm in the developmental portion of my block.

    Increasing the weight has many variables including frequency, experience, sensitivity, etc...

    If you plan to strength train primarily in the ten rep scheme then you will get more efficient at the ten rep scheme.

    I wouldn't focus on increasing the intensity at your experience but rather the volume. Adding a back off set or day benching when appropriate will drive progress more than increasing intensity.



    edited August 19
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 25,447Member Member Posts: 25,447Member Member
    I bench 3x a week, plus accessory-type bench work. One day is usually heavy doubles or singles, one day is higher volume and lower weight, and one day is middle of the road. 77.5 kg is my bench PR. I'm a competitive powerlifter and training as such.
    edited August 19
  • Erik8484Erik8484 Posts: 439Member Member Posts: 439Member Member
    I also bench 3 times a week, 3 second pause, 1 second pause and touch & go. My best 1 second paused bench is 105kg for 5 sets of 4.

    Like @billkansas, if I don't have a spotter I bench in a rack with pins for safety.
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    I did chest day on Friday just gone, managed 35kg for 10 reps on the first set. Managed 8 reps on the other 5 sets. How do I increase my strength? Even the 35kg feels a little heavy sometimes. Is it just confidence in my ability of doing 35kg until it feels too light?
  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 25,447Member Member Posts: 25,447Member Member
    I did chest day on Friday just gone, managed 35kg for 10 reps on the first set. Managed 8 reps on the other 5 sets. How do I increase my strength? Even the 35kg feels a little heavy sometimes. Is it just confidence in my ability of doing 35kg until it feels too light?

    Are you using a proven progressive lifting program or just doing whatever exercises/lifts appeal to you that day?

    http://community.myfitnesspal.com/en/discussion/10332083/which-lifting-program-is-the-best-for-you/p1
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Posts: 7,873Member Member Posts: 7,873Member Member
    I did chest day on Friday just gone, managed 35kg for 10 reps on the first set. Managed 8 reps on the other 5 sets. How do I increase my strength? Even the 35kg feels a little heavy sometimes. Is it just confidence in my ability of doing 35kg until it feels too light?
    Chieflrg wrote: »
    If you plan to strength train primarily in the ten rep scheme then you will get more efficient at the ten rep scheme.

    I wouldn't focus on increasing the intensity at your experience but rather the volume. Adding a back off set or day benching when appropriate will drive progress more than increasing intensity.

    What strength are you wanting to increase? Define what strength is to you within a goal.

    Increased volume in the sweet spot of intensity will nearly always drive strength.

    Load management is important. If you are continuously near or at failure, your body will not recover enough to progress past the fatigue of the stress you accumulated.

  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,255Member Member Posts: 15,255Member Member
    I did chest day on Friday just gone, managed 35kg for 10 reps on the first set. Managed 8 reps on the other 5 sets. How do I increase my strength? Even the 35kg feels a little heavy sometimes. Is it just confidence in my ability of doing 35kg until it feels too light?

    "Chest day" - does that mean you are doing bench press just once a week?
    (If so expect progress to be very slow.)

    Safety bars or a spotter help enormously with confidence (it's no fun to fail at bench!).
    You have jumped around from 60kg to 25kg to 35kg so maybe finer adjustments would help you find your current sweet spot? Do you have fractional plates as it can be hard making what are big proportional changes?

    The Jennifer Thompson bench 101 tutorials (see YouTube) are great for technique but TBH you need to be getting the volume and frequency right too.

    Personally at the moment I've had to drop weight right down as I'm recovering from a displaced clavicle and it's frustrating as hell.
    edited August 19
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    Yes I’m only training chest once a week. Wednesday is chest, back and abs day.
    Chest routine is,
    Machine bench press,
    32kg 3sets 15 reps
    Pec dec,
    19.1kg 3sets 15 reps
    Bench press
    35kg 3 sets 10 reps
    Dumbbell fly
    7kg 3 sets 15 reps.

    After doing the first two exercises my chest is getting pumped. The weight just feels heavy, 35kg feels ok but my strength waivers after 2 sets. Not sure if my technique is wrong? I’ll stick at 35kg for now until I can do more than 10 reps.
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    I meant Friday is chest day lol
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    The plates we use at the gym for bench press and squats etc is 20kg, 15kg, 10kg, 5kg, 2.5kg and 1.25kg.
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Posts: 727Member Member Posts: 727Member Member
    You may want to consider putting your bench press at the start before other chest exercises. There is a principle of pre-exhaust training, but typically, you want to do a more compound technical lift first.
    What could be happening, for example, is that currently your biggest limiter on your bench is the stabilizing muscles, rather than the pecs itself. Now, with doing the machines first, you're exhausting the pecs, and now your bench is limited by both your pecs and your stabilizers, but more so your pecs because it is tired. Sure, your pecs should continue to grow from the overall work, but it is taking a lot longer for it to get good enough that you're back to challenging the stabilizers so they'll grow.
    Swap it around and your stabilizers will get challenged so they'll grow, and then your pecs will still get the stimulus of all the things besides bench afterwards. Plus it will be safer to go toward exhaust on the machines.
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 2,955Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,955Member, Premium Member
    How are you counting your bench press weight? Are you using your all in weight? The bar itself counts as about 20kg, plus each of the plates. So is 35kg your weight counting the bar plus all your plates on both sides of the bar? Or is that the weights of your plates, and the bar is extra?
  • TedebearduffTedebearduff Posts: 1,117Member Member Posts: 1,117Member Member
    I’ve recently added bench press to my chest routine. I tried to lift 60kg...not a chance lol. So started with 25kg for 15 reps but felt easy. Now doing 35kg for 10 reps. I’m not confident increasing my weight at the moment. Just wondered how many people on MFP bench, how much and what difficulties they’ve faced?

    Use the power rack and setup the bars to catch the weight and so that you can still get out from under it. Easier for you to feel confident on increasing the weight and not worry about bottoming out.

    My bench stalled out at 285lbs ... I stopped trying after a year of trying to reach 315lbs.. probably doing something wrong but I'm not a powerlifter so I don't really care how much I bench, I just want to look good... so...
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    Yes the bar is 20kg so it’s an extra 7.5kg on each side. 20kg bar plus 15kg in plates.
  • chrishamilton894chrishamilton894 Posts: 50Member Member Posts: 50Member Member
    You may want to consider putting your bench press at the start before other chest exercises. There is a principle of pre-exhaust training, but typically, you want to do a more compound technical lift first.
    What could be happening, for example, is that currently your biggest limiter on your bench is the stabilizing muscles, rather than the pecs itself. Now, with doing the machines first, you're exhausting the pecs, and now your bench is limited by both your pecs and your stabilizers, but more so your pecs because it is tired. Sure, your pecs should continue to grow from the overall work, but it is taking a lot longer for it to get good enough that you're back to challenging the stabilizers so they'll grow.
    Swap it around and your stabilizers will get challenged so they'll grow, and then your pecs will still get the stimulus of all the things besides bench afterwards. Plus it will be safer to go toward exhaust on the machines.

    I’ll try doing bench press first then, see if that makes a difference.
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,255Member Member Posts: 15,255Member Member
    Yes I’m only training chest once a week. Wednesday is chest, back and abs day.
    Chest routine is,
    Machine bench press,
    32kg 3sets 15 reps
    Pec dec,
    19.1kg 3sets 15 reps
    Bench press
    35kg 3 sets 10 reps
    Dumbbell fly
    7kg 3 sets 15 reps.

    After doing the first two exercises my chest is getting pumped. The weight just feels heavy, 35kg feels ok but my strength waivers after 2 sets. Not sure if my technique is wrong? I’ll stick at 35kg for now until I can do more than 10 reps.

    If you seriously want to improve your bench press then that is a tiny weekly volume at what seems to be a very low and always the same weight which is unlikely to be the correct intensity.

    Is your pec dec more of a priority over your bench? Wondering why you are doing it first?

    (If your goal is just to have fun and try a load of different lifts then that's absolutely fine but don't expect the same results as training with a meaningful volume at the correct intensity.)

    Don't know if it would interest you but this was my progression on returning to the gym at age 53 having set myself a goal of returning to benching my body weight (approx 172lbs at that time) and benching x3 a week....

    Feb - 139lb
    Mar - 161lb
    Apr - 174lb
    Jul - 186lb
    Sep - 190lb
    Nov - 220lb

    The big jump from Sept to Nov was from changing my technique from flat back to pinched in shoulder blades/back arch (as per the video tutorial I alluded to earlier).

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