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cant seem to build strenght...help

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  • rheddmobilerheddmobile Posts: 4,429Member Member Posts: 4,429Member Member
    How much can you dumbbell bench press? Is your incline bench better or worse?

    I’m wondering if there’s something up with your shoulders - an old injury you weren’t aware of or something similar. Can you get a spotter to help you attempt to bench the bar and assist just enough so that your muscles feel what the correct firing pattern is? Is there any pain anywhere?
    edited September 9
  • sijomialsijomial Posts: 15,263Member Member Posts: 15,263Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your numbers really don't add up - your push exercises and the weights you are doing them at should equal a hell of a lot more than a 45lb bench press. That's an empty bar, that's a really small amount for an adult male.
    Can you confirm you are using a barbell and not a machine?

    I am sorry, I did not understand.
    Are you saying that based on my workout routine that I have outlined I should be comfortably able to bench press 45 lbs? Well I am not able to.

    And whoa, you're 60 and in good shape, good for you!

    I'm saying based on the weights stated doing other pressing and push movements it doesn't seem credible that you can't bench press much more than that.
    e.g. shoulder press 35lbs but can't chest press 45lbs when it recruits far bigger/stronger muscles seems odd.
    Tricep isolation exercises of 35lbs and 40 - 55lbs but can't do a compound lift including triceps (and pec & shoulders) doesn't make sense.

    You didn't answer the question regarding barbell BTW.
    Are you just pressing an empty 45lb barbell? That would be extraordinarily low for an adult male.
    sijomial wrote: »
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your numbers really don't add up - your push exercises and the weights you are doing them at should equal a hell of a lot more than a 45lb bench press. That's an empty bar, that's a really small amount for an adult male.
    Can you confirm you are using a barbell and not a machine?

    I am sorry, I did not understand.
    Are you saying that based on my workout routine that I have outlined I should be comfortably able to bench press 45 lbs? Well I am not able to.

    And whoa, you're 60 and in good shape, good for you!

    I'm saying based on the weights stated doing other pressing and push movements it doesn't seem credible that you can't bench press much more than that.
    e.g. shoulder press 35lbs but can't chest press 45lbs when it recruits far bigger/stronger muscles seems odd.
    Tricep isolation exercises of 35lbs and 40 - 55lbs but can't do a compound lift including triceps (and pec & shoulders) doesn't make sense.

    You didn't answer the question regarding barbell BTW.
    Are you just pressing an empty 45lb barbell? That would be extraordinarily low for an adult male.

    I see, yeah thats why I came here. I can do all these exercises but cant bench press.
    I am talking about an empty barbell.

    It's obvious you do actually have the strength to bench more than that so you are probably down to a few possibilities.

    1/ injury that only reveals itself in one particular plane. Shoulder njuries can be like that.
    2/ shockingly poor technique - but doubt it as bench (in its basic form anyway) is a simple lift.
    3/ lack of confidence / fear of failing - not unusual as bench isn't fun to fail. You can address this with using safety bars, dumbells or using the Smith machine with catches set so you don't end up with the bar on your chest.
  • wiigelecwiigelec Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE
  • Muscleflex79Muscleflex79 Posts: 1,801Member Member Posts: 1,801Member Member
    jonmarrow wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    Your post is mostly about what you are putting in your mouth - but you gain strength by training not by ingesting!

    Tell us about your training, not your diet.

    Hi, Thanks for your response. My current gym routine:

    5 times a week.

    1. 4 sets of 15 reps of triceps kickback of 55 lbs. 2 on each side.
    2. 2 sets of 15 reps of shoulder press of 35 lbs.
    3. 2 sets of 15 reps of dumbbell curves of 35 lbs.
    4. 2 sets of 15 reps of triceps extension of 35 lbs.
    5. 1 set of 15 reps of barbell curl of 50 lbs
    6. 1 set of 15 reps of curved barbell front raise 40 lbs.
    7. 2 sets of 15 reps of lat pull down of 90 - 110 lbs
    8. 2 sets of 15 reps of cable triceps push down 40 - 55 lbs.
    9. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg extension 70 - 80 lbs
    10. 2 sets of 15 reps of sitting leg curl of 120 lbs
    11. 2 sets of 15 reps of leg press of 135 lbs
    12. 15-25 min cardio

    Total time at the gym: 1 hr

    Please advise what I should be doing better to really build strength so I can finally bench press at least 45 lbs? I feel like I have weak wrists for a guy.
    Why is it that some days at gym I do not have as difficulty lifting as I have on some other days?

    Hope you can guide!

    this is so confusing - are you sure you have your exercises named correctly? it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever that you could do tricep kickback of 55lbs and not bench 45lbs. here is a pic of arnold doing tricep kickbacks and it doesn't look like he is doing anywhere near 55lbs - the tricep kickback is not normally an exercise you would be going super heavy on (not saying arnold couldn't do 55lbs - but based on what you wrote you are no arnold). Something is just not adding up here!

    (and to build on what everyone else said - yes, you should be on a structured lifting program and if you want to be able to bench press you need to practice bench pressing - if you can't do an empty bar start with light dumbbells)
    edited September 9
  • Muscleflex79Muscleflex79 Posts: 1,801Member Member Posts: 1,801Member Member
    qczoydtbvqop.jpg
    oops, here is the pic.
    edited September 9
  • Pipsqueak1965Pipsqueak1965 Posts: 200Member Member Posts: 200Member Member
    That is the weirdest set of exercises ever! Life everyone says - how on earth are you doing heavy weights on triceps, then not even a teeny bar on bench press? (even I bench press over 30kilos and I am a shrimp!)
  • AgentFlexAgentFlex Posts: 200Member Member Posts: 200Member Member
    I'll be honest with you, I think you need to look at a few good videos on bench press form. I have a feeling you are relying too much on your arm strength for the lift. Do some research on which muscles to engage for the lift. The bench press is a chest exercise, not an arm exercise. While arms and shoulders help with the lift they are not meant to take the bulk of the weight. You should also be engaging your lats, have your feet flat on the ground, etc. Many have suggested Stronglifts 5x5 which is what I used when I first started lifting. Here is a link to the program

    https://stronglifts.com/5x5/#gref

    There are videos right on the page.
  • DancingMoosieDancingMoosie Posts: 4,446Member Member Posts: 4,446Member Member
    I also think stronglifts 5x5 would be a good program to start with. Just go back to 5 main lifts and cut all the extra for a while. Watch some form videos on bench press, go back to the gym and practice. Ask if they have a 35lb bar or smaller to practice with. Can you do pushups?
  • wiigelecwiigelec Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    wiigelec wrote: »
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE

    That doesn't actually make sense - in bench press the bar follows a linear path so it's not a problem at all.
    For other lifts I would agree Smith machine isn't a good choice.

    But for someone who might need to gain confidence the safety aspect of being able to fail without getting pinned by the bar might (just might) mean they can push harder without fear.
    If you get pinned under the bar there is no way to dump it...
  • MikePTYMikePTY Posts: 2,966Member, Premium Member Posts: 2,966Member, Premium Member
    Are you sure you don't have a mental block where you are scared on bringing the bar down because you are scared it is going to fall on you? That is really the only explanation I can imagine as to why, based on your other lifts, that you can't do the bar. If that is the case, can you do it with a gym buddy who spots for you and holds the bar essentially while you guide it down, helping to lift it up if you need it? Maybe that will help you break out from it.
  • iguttigutt Posts: 32Member Member Posts: 32Member Member
    I think I can help because I was in a similar situation when I first started I couldn’t do 3 reps with the barbell only but I knew it’s fine because with training it’ll increase so

    1: ask a trainer for a real training program or buy one from a YouTuber you trust and like their training philosophy or you could learn to make one yourself if you can’t afford one

    2 after training your bench press in 8-12 rep ranges for 6 weeks I suggest switching to 5 sets of 5 reps with heavier weight than the weight you used for the 8-12 reps and with good nutrition results are inevitable
  • wiigelecwiigelec Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
  • SilentpadnaSilentpadna Posts: 1,227Member Member Posts: 1,227Member Member
    wiigelec wrote: »
    sijomial wrote: »
    wiigelec wrote: »
    DO NOT BENCH PRESS IN THE SMITH MACHINE

    That doesn't actually make sense - in bench press the bar follows a linear path so it's not a problem at all.
    For other lifts I would agree Smith machine isn't a good choice.

    But for someone who might need to gain confidence the safety aspect of being able to fail without getting pinned by the bar might (just might) mean they can push harder without fear.
    If you get pinned under the bar there is no way to dump it...

    Well you can bench without the clips. Not as ideal as safety bars but you can dump the weight if you have to. It can be awkward but it works. (I know this from experience).
  • wiigelecwiigelec Posts: 74Member Member Posts: 74Member Member
    Well you can bench without the clips. Not as ideal as safety bars but you can dump the weight if you have to. It can be awkward but it works. (I know this from experience).
    not in a smith machine...

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