Bench Press question

KellyUVA
KellyUVA Posts: 287 Member
Good morning ladies! I have been doing SL 5X5 for approximately a month and am seeing great results. I have steadily increased the weight on all exercises except for my bench press. I am still benching the bar!! Every time I even add the slightest bit of extra weight, I can make it pass a few reps.

Any suggestions? Or just keep at it?

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Replies

  • Smuterella
    Smuterella Posts: 1,623 Member
    Same here. I tweaked the programme to lower sets and increase reps for just this move. once I'm up to 3 sets of 8 I think I'll up the weight and try 5 x 5 again.
  • lwoodroff
    lwoodroff Posts: 1,431 Member
    how many can you do? can you do a whole set of 5 with the bar? if so, how long are you resting before the next set? you can also do 3x5 (3 sets of 5 reps) rather than trying to get all 5.
  • girlie100
    girlie100 Posts: 646 Member
    how much are you adding to the bar? and when you do how many reps can you get out of each set? and to finish are you getting all 5x5 with the bar no problem?
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    You can get fractional weights or washers with a 2 in diameter to add smaller increments of weight. Or you can do 5x5 with the bar, then 5x6, then 5x7, then 5x5 at the next weight up. Or, there could be something off with your form that's preventing you from progressing. If you can take a video, you could always post a form check.
  • debress
    debress Posts: 36 Member
    Have someone look at your form, and have that someone spot you as well. I automatically lift more with a spotter on the bench press, because I'm afraid of not being able to rack the weight. Another thing that helped me, since I'm a shorty (5'2") was putting a couple plates on the floor to put my feet on. I have to be able to push through my heels to stabilize my body to be able to make the lift. Mentally, I need to think of this as a whole body lift like the squat or deadlift, so I try to engage more than just my arms and chest.
  • KellyUVA
    KellyUVA Posts: 287 Member
    Thanks all.

    When I say the bar, I mean a standard bar, so 45lbs. At 45lbs, I can do five sets of five, but the last set is difficult. I usually wait about 45-60 secs between sets.

    The smallest plates I have are 2.5lbs. When I add one on each side (for 50lbs total), I can usually do the first two sets okay but by set three, I can barely lift the bar . . .
  • OtiWanKenobi
    OtiWanKenobi Posts: 340 Member
    You can get fractional weights or washers with a 2 in diameter to add smaller increments of weight. Or you can do 5x5 with the bar, then 5x6, then 5x7, then 5x5 at the next weight up. Or, there could be something off with your form that's preventing you from progressing. If you can take a video, you could always post a form check.

    I agree. Try to look for fractional weights. One my girlfriends got the weighters that are used on baseball bats and fits perfectly around the olympic barbell.

    Also...you should wait a lot longer between sets, especially if you say that the last set is usually difficult. Try resting for 3 minutes just before your last set and see how that works for you. You're muscles need enough time to rest before going into another rep. When I was lifting, lol, I would usually wait between a minute or 2...sometimes 3 between sets when I was getting into the heavier weights.
  • jstout365
    jstout365 Posts: 1,686 Member
    I think focusing on form will help you. A few more questions. How wide is your grip? Do you use your lower body at all? I know that sounds funny, but the bench press is also another full body lift. Do you keep your elbows out (parallel with the bar) or do you bring them in closer to your side?

    Fractional plates will help you get used to the next weight increase. I also support the suggestion of adding reps to sets before moving up in weight. Also, more time in between sets is another great suggestion.

    I really like the "So you think you can bench press" videos. I saw an improvement after incorporating the suggestions in the first video.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    Try uping your rest periods.

    At first I was doing 90secs between all but I have to increase them as the weight goes up.

    As well try increasing your reps to 7 or 8 with the increased rests (90sec between set 1-2, 1m 45sec between 2-3, 2min between 3 and 4, then 2 1/2 between 4 and 5)

    Fractional weights should help as well it's amazing what 5lbs is.
  • SezxyStef
    SezxyStef Posts: 15,270 Member
    Thanks all.

    When I say the bar, I mean a standard bar, so 45lbs. At 45lbs, I can do five sets of five, but the last set is difficult. I usually wait about 45-60 secs between sets.

    The smallest plates I have are 2.5lbs. When I add one on each side (for 50lbs total), I can usually do the first two sets okay but by set three, I can barely lift the bar . . .

    For this definately increase your rest period. I found the same thing with OHP last week and this week it was great.
  • ayankeefan51
    ayankeefan51 Posts: 135 Member
    I think focusing on form will help you. A few more questions. How wide is your grip? Do you use your lower body at all? I know that sounds funny, but the bench press is also another full body lift. Do you keep your elbows out (parallel with the bar) or do you bring them in closer to your side?

    Fractional plates will help you get used to the next weight increase. I also support the suggestion of adding reps to sets before moving up in weight. Also, more time in between sets is another great suggestion.

    I really like the "So you think you can bench press" videos. I saw an improvement after incorporating the suggestions in the first video.


    This was really helpful to me as well. I'm in week 2 and am also having a difficult time with the bench press. My form is good. I use a wide grip but still have difficulty keeping the bar from tilting while doing reps. Most likely because I'm so weak on my upper body so it can be alittle frustrating having this problem while only lifting 55lbs. I like the suggestion of less sets but more reps. Think I'm gonna try that for now instead of increasing weights.
  • girlie100
    girlie100 Posts: 646 Member
    Defo up the rest period to between 3-5 reps and get some fractional plates. Defo look into any form corrections, as mentioned bench is a full body lift.

    Don't let your elbows flair out and you want to be squeezing your glutes into the bench as you press it off your chest