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increasing bench

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hey guys, just a question regarding how i can improve my bench.

 

Ive been training for about 2.5 years now, stuck with the skinny guy routine for 2 years and now beginning to move into a split routine. Only problem is that 8 months or so into the skinny guy routine I developed a tear in my tricep. Well thats at least what the specialists thought but nothing came up on ultrasounds or anything. Anyway this took me 9 months to completely get over.

 

During those 9 months i couldnt do any pressing, so no bench or military presses, so my upper body really took a hit from it all. However i still was able to squat and deadlift. Then i got a rotator cuff injury one day when i went back into benching too heavy too soon so that put me out for another couple months. When i finally got back into it i began light dumbell benching and seated overhead presses in the smith machine and slowly worked my way up. Now ive fully recovered except my pressing is way below my other lifts. My current 1 rep maxes are..

 

Deadlift: 220kg

Squat: 190kg

Bench: 105kg.

Smith machine overhead press: 90kg

 

Height: 6'3

Weight: 99kg

 

Squatting and deadlifting these numbers i thought that my bench should be roughly around 120-130 by now, so im after a way to help bring that up to par. My first thoughts are to train chest twice a week in a fashion like...

 

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Shoulders

Thursday: Legs

Friday: Chest

Saturday: Arms for fun

Sunday: Rest

 

Just thought i'd share and ask for some input into what i could do, if i should split it different, what rep range i should focus on, if i should go heavy set/small reps monday then light set/high reps friday for example. Diet is fine so no need to worry about that, im currently in the middle of my bulk.

 

Cheers in advance

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Speed bench; 3 reps in 3 seconds. If you bench slow you bench low.

 

Close grip bench

 

Board presses.

 

Although at a 105kg bench you shouldn't really stagnate, i would suggest switching training methods as you won't get a whole lot stronger training like that.

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So would you recommend switching back to a full body routine 3x a week or so?

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ah ok i'll do a bit of research then. any suggestions on a rough program to follow?

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Monday heavy squat

 

Wedensday heavy bench

 

Friday heavy deadlift

 

Stick to 10*2-3 @ 90% max.

 

Do assitance excercises on the other days.

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I won't comment on on dr craniums method.

In respect to your injuries.

If you have a roaring cuff tear, try more wider grip BP rather than your convention BP.

It's even less stress for reverse grip. I have a Continous shoulder injury and did a little research on this so yeh. inclines will use more shoulders obviously.

In respect to tricep tear- try isolating chest- flys???

 

Give dumbbells a go rather than bench. Because of the range, it's meant to place less stress on shoulders, id assume cuffs too.

How are you doing with strengthening it.

Most cuff tears are due to their weakness.

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Yes, use a wider grip for less stress on the shoulders.

 

I found alternating between barbell and dumbell flat bench press helped me lift more on the barbell bench.

 

Re the dumbell bench movements, try and get someone to help you into the starting position by assisting with the first lift up. I often find that first lift into position where you might twist or turn the dumbells to get them up, places a lot of load on the shoulder/rotator cuff so someone helping up should take some load off until you are set for the actual movement, particularly for incline db bench.

 

Re your routine, try and split it to get a rest day in there somewhere. 5 days consecutive training at heavy weights is really strenuous on the body. Your chest and body will need a break to recover and grow.

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hey guys, just a question regarding how i can improve my bench.

 

Ive been training for about 2.5 years now, stuck with the skinny guy routine for 2 years and now beginning to move into a split routine. Only problem is that 8 months or so into the skinny guy routine I developed a tear in my tricep. Well thats at least what the specialists thought but nothing came up on ultrasounds or anything. Anyway this took me 9 months to completely get over.

 

During those 9 months i couldnt do any pressing, so no bench or military presses, so my upper body really took a hit from it all. However i still was able to squat and deadlift. Then i got a rotator cuff injury one day when i went back into benching too heavy too soon so that put me out for another couple months. When i finally got back into it i began light dumbell benching and seated overhead presses in the smith machine and slowly worked my way up. Now ive fully recovered except my pressing is way below my other lifts. My current 1 rep maxes are..

 

Deadlift: 220kg

Squat: 190kg

Bench: 105kg.

Smith machine overhead press: 90kg

 

Height: 6'3

Weight: 99kg

 

Squatting and deadlifting these numbers i thought that my bench should be roughly around 120-130 by now, so im after a way to help bring that up to par. My first thoughts are to train chest twice a week in a fashion like...

 

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Shoulders

Thursday: Legs

Friday: Chest

Saturday: Arms for fun

Sunday: Rest

 

Just thought i'd share and ask for some input into what i could do, if i should split it different, what rep range i should focus on, if i should go heavy set/small reps monday then light set/high reps friday for example. Diet is fine so no need to worry about that, im currently in the middle of my bulk.

 

Cheers in advance

 

9 months to get over a tricep tear? Unless you partially tore the tendon off the bone thats a very long recovery time.

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Rasian -

I was also under the impression that a wider grip placed more stress on the shoulder so I like to keep my grip fairly narrow, but not narrow such that its a close grip for the tris. Also oddly enough whenever i done flies with my tricep injury i found it to place a greater strain through the injured area. its almost like it was a burning sensation. its hard to explain cause ive had a lot of injuries and its nothing like ive felt before.

 

And i've already been strengthening up my shoulders and they are now at a point where i feel comfortable doing any shoulder workouts. Ive been mainly focusing on dumbbells for pressing as i do find less stress on the shoulder, but i feel as if they dont put on the same size as a barbell bench. Is there any full body routine that you would recommend?

 

Dr. Cranium -

Well at the start of the injury i took a week off cause i thought it was nothing major, went back to training and it started hurting. then i took two weeks off, same thing happened. took a month off, same thing happened. and it would happen like 2 weeks into training so i would get confident that it's healed only for it to come back again. even took three months off for it to come back. even now when i do heavy benching and flies i slightly feel it but it doesnt hang around.

 

like i said i've been to physios, specialists, had ultra sounds and nothing seems to come up so its just one of those things. it actually does feel like a tendon has been torn off my bone but no one suggested that to me.

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Not if your benching properly.

I see at least 75% of people benching wrong. Go to your nipple and not guillotine pres. Close grip if your benching properly puts more strain on your shoulders, thats why a lot f people do reverse grip who have had shoulder injury.

 

I'd just stick to split body mate. I mean your not doing bad. Your lifting well and should acquire strength quite quickly if your

Coming off injury. My chest is the weakest too lol.

I mean train cuffs lol not shoulders. Well essentially it is but yeh. Cuffs are a meniscus muscle just under your posterior delts.

Try bi-lateral raises, cable rotations, dumbbell rotations etc.

Coz people don't realise how important cuffs are. But they're uncrebibly important. Posture, lifts, etc. And most tears occur because they're weak and disproportionate to rest of muscles. Then when sudden movement occurs or training hard and being ignorant of muscle pain will cause tears

Edited by Rasian

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My bench sucked for ages, (and still does, just less sucky than it was before haha). I tried a few different methods, but what seems to be working for me now is this combination:

 

- Reps - lots and lots of reps (5 right up to 25)

- Volume, lots and lots of volume (5-10 sets)

- Variety, pressing from lots of angles and ways - barbell & dumbbell flat, incline and overhead (3-5 sets)

- Back work, lots and lots of rows - single arm kb or db and trap bar bent rows (3-10 sets)

[obviolusly time becomes a limiting factor]

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Wide grip bench puts MORE pressure on the Scapula during the bench press, not less.

 

I trained chest last night before posting.

 

During both the flat and incline bench I felt my shoulder with a closer grip. As soon as I widened the grip a little more (hands were just on the inside on the markings on the outside of the olympic bar), I felt less pressure on my shoulder immediately - it worked for me and hence the post.

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2c from a bench specialist (of sorts)

 

To bench more you need to bench more, I would increase pressing frequency to 2-3 times a week. Benching one per week on a "split" won't help a great deal. Cycling the intensity will work well. Like a heavy, light and medium day.

 

This is just off the top of my head:

HEAVY

Bench: 6x3@85-90%

Tricep work

Chins

Rear delts

 

LIGHT

Dumbell bench: 5x12-15 reps

Shoulders

Rows

Rear delts

 

MEDIUM

6x10@65-70% (do half close grip, half normal grip)

Dips

Chins

Rear delts

 

Don't got to straight to a wide grip if you have bad rotators. Improve your bench form (tuck elbows more, bring the bar lower, arch back - look up Dave Tate: How to Bench on Youtube) first. If you are doing close grip make sure your hands go no closer than shoulder width. Any closer is mechanically innefficient and bad for your wrists. Boards, speed bench, etc are pretty unnecessary and personally I only do flat bench and that has never held me back either. What you need is lots of volume for bench and also lots for back (upper back, lats, rear delts) to balance everything out and avoid injury.

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Yeh forgot to ask, how's your bench form? I just assumed it was okay by what you lift.

Btw, dr wide grip works on your front shoulders but it's meant to relax your posterior side.

 

Are your elbows tucked in? Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Stick your chest further out.

 

Shoulder pain is quite common in benching. But done with proper technique it shouldn't be.

Follow the guy above, I forgot his name on iPhone. Is 2c is quite good

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Yeh forgot to ask, how's your bench form? I just assumed it was okay by what you lift.

Btw, dr wide grip works on your front shoulders but it's meant to relax your posterior side.

 

Are your elbows tucked in? Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Stick your chest further out.

 

Shoulder pain is quite common in benching. But done with proper technique it shouldn't be.

Follow the guy above, I forgot his name on iPhone. Is 2c is quite good

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Yeh forgot to ask, how's your bench form? I just assumed it was okay by what you lift.

Btw, dr wide grip works on your front shoulders but it's meant to relax your posterior side.

 

Are your elbows tucked in? Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Stick your chest further out.

 

Shoulder pain is quite common in benching. But done with proper technique it shouldn't be.

Follow the guy above, I forgot his name on iPhone. Is 2c is quite good

 

I'm not talking about relaxing or working different muscles, wider grip bench can and will cause more rotator cuff injuries than using a closer grip.

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Yeh forgot to ask, how's your bench form? I just assumed it was okay by what you lift.

Btw, dr wide grip works on your front shoulders but it's meant to relax your posterior side.

 

Are your elbows tucked in? Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Stick your chest further out.

 

Shoulder pain is quite common in benching. But done with proper technique it shouldn't be.

Follow the guy above, I forgot his name on iPhone. Is 2c is quite good

 

I'm not talking about relaxing or working different muscles, wider grip bench can and will cause more rotator cuff injuries than using a closer grip.

 

Not necessarily true, wide grip is just riskier if other factors are not taken care of. Most old-skool benchers used a wide grip and didn't have that much trouble, but they also trained everything else religiously and had far greater shoulder stability. In the new era of chest and biceps this is not done. Do lots of back work and overhead work to strengthen your shoulder girdles then you'll be far safer.

 

And to the OP and everyone else: GTFO of the smith machine if you value your shoulder integrity.

Edited by El Freako

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Yeh forgot to ask, how's your bench form? I just assumed it was okay by what you lift.

Btw, dr wide grip works on your front shoulders but it's meant to relax your posterior side.

 

Are your elbows tucked in? Don't let your shoulders roll forward. Stick your chest further out.

 

Shoulder pain is quite common in benching. But done with proper technique it shouldn't be.

Follow the guy above, I forgot his name on iPhone. Is 2c is quite good

 

I'm not talking about relaxing or working different muscles, wider grip bench can and will cause more rotator cuff injuries than using a closer grip.

 

Not necessarily true, wide grip is just riskier if other factors are not taken care of. Most old-skool benchers used a wide grip and didn't have that much trouble, but they also trained everything else religiously and had far greater shoulder stability. In the new era of chest and biceps this is not done. Do lots of back work and overhead work to strengthen your shoulder girdles then you'll be far safer.

 

And to the OP and everyone else: GTFO of the smith machine if you value your shoulder integrity.

 

For the average person/trainer i have seen many more shoulder injuries/rotator injuries from a wider bench grip compared to a closer. Can't compare the everyday lifter to powerlifters.

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For the average person/trainer i have seen many more shoulder injuries/rotator injuries from a wider bench grip compared to a closer. Can't compare the everyday lifter to powerlifters.

 

Not directly comparing but the reasoning still stands. Stupid lifters hurt themselves more often.

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El Freako-

Cheers for that routine! That's exactly what i was looking for. Quick question though, if i done that routine say monday, wednesday, friday, am i able to have deadlifting and squatting days on say tuesday and saturday? Or is it better to just stick with this routine for a few months then adjusting to incoporate the other two lifts? Also that Dave Tate video has opened my eyes up greatly, i feel embarassed by my form after watching that so thanks for that haha

 

And the only reason i was doing shoulder press in the smith machine was that i could start with the weight already up, as i found getting it up from down low is what made my shoulders feel vulnerable. Although its been a while since i tried not using the smith machine so i'll give it a go and see how it feels.

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You can always push press/jerk it into position.

 

Although if you can't make the first rep and need momentum to get the reps out i would consider dropping the weight. Much better gains starting from a stop and exploding up.

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