Increasing 1RM on bench

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TerryB
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Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:57 pm

Need some help and who better to ask than a bunch of washed-up nobodies who don't even lift.

I need to improve my 1RM (who doesn't) but what I'm really asking is, how to improve my skill at maxing. I'm pretty proficient at reps with higher %'s, but my form crashes when I go up even a small %.

Some thoughts I've had:

Obvious response is I need to practice maxing more often, but maxing beats me up quick and doesn't work well for me long ter. How do I balance the stress of maxing more often if that's what I need? Add overload techniques (reverse bands, slingshot)? I've never really tried that consistently. What I've found is they change the groove and feel of the lift pretty drastically. I do have chains, which feel much better. I've only used them for DE work. I could try overloading with them.

Other option is, don't max, but make a smarter jump that puts me at a 9.5 RPE. That is a no-brainer now that I think about it. I think I've avoided doing that because making a 5 lb jump seems humiliating if I just hit a triple at 5 pounds less, but that may just be reality.

Another big component of my issue is I have a tough time unracking and getting into position by myself (no lift off). I can do OK when the percentages are 85%, but at 95-100%, I lose the position I need when I come out of the rack and try to set up.

Alright, help me.
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Blaidd Drwg
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:55 pm

what percentage of your benching is done with a pause?
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TerryB
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Fri Sep 18, 2015 6:57 pm

Heavy reps pause about 2/3 of the way up.

serious answer: zero
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Blaidd Drwg
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:03 pm

TerryB wrote:Heavy reps pause about 2/3 of the way up.

serious answer: zero
Well a couple caveats.

I'm not a good bencher (341 @ 220 in a meet)
I am not built to bench (Positive ape index of 6'2" wingspan to 5'9" in height)
I got tiny bird arms, take a narrowish grip and have a modest arch.

That said, I've had a lot of luck coaching the bench in part because I struggle with it. I assist. coach 4 women with national records in USAPL, shirted. I do distance coaching for several female raw benchers including one national record holder.

The ONE thing I add to everyone's program is pause bench at the chest and off a two board. Now only one of my guys goes over 200kilos raw (198) and he's built to bench for sure but even he consistently improves when he drops back the weight, adds a pause and focuses on triples and doubles.

The only other almost guaranteed way to get it moving is to train where you can get a lift off.
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Shafpocalypse Now
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:34 pm

You stole my dawn on the day we met, you can keep it, I don't want it back. Those two are exactly what I was going to recommend.

Also, heavy floor presses for many seem to help with the acquisition of the ability to 'grind'. Rotating heavy lifts "like the bench press but not the bench press" might help too, a la the classic WSB ME day. For me, heavy floor press is a pause bench right off my chest, but I have weird lower arms and a fat chest.

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:45 pm

Thanks

I've never done 2 board work. Is it a supplemental exercise after bench or on a separate day?

Right now, here's what my bench work looks like:

Day One

DE bench (6x2, with chain, 7 RPE)
Closegrip bench (work up to a top set, RPE 9-10)
accessory (DB bench & shoulders)

Day Two

RE method (4-6 sets across @ about 8 RPE)
accessory work (DB bench, shoulders)

I do triceps & back work on a separate day. Triceps work is heavy barbell extensions w/ chain and 2-3 more hypertrophy type exercises.

@ Shaf, it's not inability to grind that my problem. It's losing position or struggling to get into position in the first place. I can usually press it out if I am set up right and have a good bar path.
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:09 pm

TerryB wrote:Thanks

I've never done 2 board work. Is it a supplemental exercise after bench or on a separate day?

Right now, here's what my bench work looks like:

Day One

DE bench (6x2, with chain, 7 RPE)
Closegrip bench (work up to a top set, RPE 9-10)
accessory (DB bench & shoulders)

Day Two

RE method (4-6 sets across @ about 8 RPE)
accessory work (DB bench, shoulders)

I do triceps & back work on a separate day. Triceps work is heavy barbell extensions w/ chain and 2-3 more hypertrophy type exercises.

@ Shaf, it's not inability to grind that my problem. It's losing position or struggling to get into position in the first place. I can usually press it out if I am set up right and have a good bar path.

I looks like you have problems with heavy bench because you don't bench heavy. Lots of DE/RE...not enough ME. There's a million ways to slice it from here, higher freq, low volume, ladders etc...least disruptive to your schedule would be to stick with two days,.

I'd pick a heavy day (80+%) bench...lots of paused doubles. go until the bar slows down, then hit some incline DB or tri's or whatever accessory you feel is a good driver along with upper back work then,


a 2-board day, lots of doubles triples even fives with a closer grip, again. pause on teh baord, don;t cheat it. You might consider lower volume and then hit some downsets.
Then do more upper back work

keep the volume under control on both and go from there.
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Shafpocalypse Now
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:35 pm

I would consider doing triceps and bench work on the same day.

Depending on limb length, 3 boards should be tried too, but I agree that 2 boards are, overall, better for a raw bench. Close grip 3 boards with doubled minis is a very good pressing triceps movement

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Fri Sep 18, 2015 11:38 pm

Also, on the floor press...there is a bit of work to keep it in the groove, you may want to try it as an alternative one of these days

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:02 am

Thanks, guys.

Shaf, on the floor press, it's like a 4 board for me LOL and the setup is so different from my regular bench...IDK It wouldn't hurt to try it again. I'm also not opposed to trying triceps on bench day again. When I do them now, I don't do a pressing movement. I stick to extensions mostly.

BD, I'll try what you've suggested. What do you think of this: on day one, sub in the 2-board work for my closegrip bench (so, DE followed by 2-board 2s/3s/5s), and on day two, paused doubles followed by a smaller dose of RE work @ 8 RPE)?
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:43 am

OK. It's sounds like a bad choice then.

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Boris » Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:59 am

Blaidd Drwg wrote: I looks like you have problems with heavy bench because you don't bench heavy. Lots of DE/RE...not enough ME. There's a million ways to slice it from here, higher freq, low volume, ladders etc...least disruptive to your schedule would be to stick with two days,.
Agree completely. Skip the RE bench - it's not helping your cause. If you want to do RE work, do it w. things like tricep work, band pushdowns, lat work...

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:26 am

TerryB wrote:Thanks, guys.

Shaf, on the floor press, it's like a 4 board for me LOL and the setup is so different from my regular bench...IDK It wouldn't hurt to try it again. I'm also not opposed to trying triceps on bench day again. When I do them now, I don't do a pressing movement. I stick to extensions mostly.

BD, I'll try what you've suggested. What do you think of this: on day one, sub in the 2-board work for my closegrip bench (so, DE followed by 2-board 2s/3s/5s), and on day two, paused doubles followed by a smaller dose of RE work @ 8 RPE)?

Sure..why not. Personally, i would drop DE for a while until you start finding yourself slowing conssitenly on the heacvy bench day. use DE then to *restore* RFD..as you're using it right now it's mostly priming the pump for other work as described above. That's fine as you've been going but once you start pausing on the chest, you're going to want to drop back some of the volume until you adjust. JMO...nothing you've suggested sounds off to me though. Just think incrementally. change one thing at a time. First One thing is heavy paused doubles.
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Shafpocalypse Now
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:28 am

What is this bench now, anyway?

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:44 am

I feel like asking me that is a microaggression, Shaf.
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Boris » Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:14 pm

It kind of matters actually. The advice probably wouldn't change A LOT, but if it's less than say high 200s, there's probably not a need to get too picky about training...

I was basing my advice on the guess of high 200s or less (because that's where I am when I bench), and still think doing a lot of low rep sets (and more of them - DE and ME (in your case more ME 1-3 reps than you've been doing) w. your benching + a lot of good accessory work will probably push things up for you.

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:55 pm

no. It's serious and maybe valid to the process

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:52 pm

High 200s, after a decade

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Dano » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:25 pm

Find a Sheiko bench routine. Pause every rep on the chest for 2 seconds. Done. Got me an easy raw paused bench of 300-lbs at 165. And I'm not one of those 4-foot talk T-Rex armed hobbits.
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:07 pm

You're doing well. Perfect time to ramp something up.

Dano: Your solution is intriguing to me, because I want to really fuck myself up.

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:25 pm

Shafpocalypse Now wrote:Dano: Your solution is intriguing to me, because I want to really fuck myself up.
IKR? Jesus.....

there are great prescriptions in the world (Sheiko, Juggaloo, 531, WS, 5th Set, RTS)

and their are many patients in need of a scrip. The trick is knowing which one RX is going to work given the patient's history. That one...is not likely to.
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Shafpocalypse Now » Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:35 pm

Like Jim Wendler said, I need "Cripple Powerlifting" rules. Swiss bar for benching, SSB for squatting, trap bar for deadlifting

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Beer Jew » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:25 am

Terry, a couple of things from people a lot stronger and more knowledgeable than me;
From a guy who benches 451 @ 200;

= Benching or variations - 2-3x a week (3 if your shoulder can take it)
- Following a progressive programme that waves the loads (3 weeks getting heavier 1 week down etc)
- Working on your line.
- Using overloads like board presses and slingshot
- Doing more bodybuilding work for your chest (flat dumbbell press is my favorite)
- Doing some pause work
- Building up your shoulders and lats so they are f**k off strong and big.
- Getting a better arch
- Gaining weight.
From a drug free guy who benches 555 (Jay Pateman);

when i was younger i did it everyday and it never harmed me , but that was more to get used to it and learning it.
Once a week is nowhere near enough for a guy trying to master something...... a boxer wouldnt spar once a week would he .

Learn to set up tight watch vids on great benchers getting into solid positions
Work on finding good foot placement
Pause evey rep for the next 6 weeks and see how that helps
Try to improve your rep range at a lower weight (1 more rep a week)
Floor presses
Tricep work/cgbp
Use the incline /decline benches (after flat)to increase overall chest strength
Pased Weighted dips

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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by Dano » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:23 am

Shafpocalypse Now wrote:You're doing well. Perfect time to ramp something up.

Dano: Your solution is intriguing to me, because I want to really fuck myself up.
LMAO! Really? I guess if you are a fucked up cripple with shitty technique that has no desire to improve or learn the proper bench grove then my suggestion is silly. Ok, pause for 1 second then. Sheiko routines are...work, so pick a beginner level routine to start. That's usually top end work for the...hard gainerz that are used to low volume and wonder why they never improve. Or you can just use Mike T's RPE volume-based routines to autoregulate, which I preferred after I got the feel for it, but it almost exactly mirrored Sheiko routines in the long run.

The percentages with Sheiko are low overall which keeps most people out of that danger zone of pushing high intensity every time they step in to the gym. In fact, for most, the weights are frustratingly low.

Either way, in order to bench more...bench more with precise technique and lots of total reps in the 70-80% range. Subtract 5-10-lbs from your target weight when you first start pausing. After awhile, you'll be able to use your usual poundage.

Or you can fuck around with floor presses, "special" assistance work, and all the other random shit that makes you feel good because its not just putting in the work required which is developing precise technique and work tolerance which=higher 1RM.

Terry clearly stated maxing beats him up. Higher volume and moderate intensities with focus on proper technique is the name of the game for someone like that. I've done it all and WSB Conjugate training was the worst. Yes, that was for me, but we all aren't totally special unique snowflakes.

I remember Priscilla Ribic touting the same type of philosophy when I was training with her crew: you leave maxing out for the platform and testing. The rest of the time, you train volume within reasonable rep ranges and intensity. Its practice until game day.

I'm not, nor will I ever be, a world class bencher. But I'm an average guy that got very good results out of a proven system.
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Re: Increasing 1RM on bench

Post by TerryB » Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:54 pm

Dano wrote: LMAO! Really? I guess if you are a fucked up cripple with shitty technique that has no desire to improve or learn the proper bench grove then my suggestion is silly.
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