The Benchpress



  • Hey all you fatbusters - has been interesting to read some of your stories. I particularly liked Hooroo's one about passing out during his personal training session. I know the feeling of just being completely stuffed after doing exercise - although I've never managed ot pass out.

    Anyway, my question is on the benchpress. I'm just wondering what sort of weight (as a percentage of their body weight) people are benching. I started out in November 04 benching around 45% of my body weight and am now benching 80% (3 sets of 5 reps. I slowly build up to 3 sets of 8 reps before increasing the weight). Just wondering what other people are benching as a percentage of their body weight, what I should be aiming for in the long run, and how many sets / reps I should be aiming for (bear in mind I don't have a spotter so have can't keep going til I'm completely stuffed!).

    Cheers fellas, and keep up the good work those of you still adhering to your new fitness regimes.



  • Since I quit playing rugby I have stopped doing weights for out and out strength.

    During playing days I used to rep to failiure with a gym mate and would be able to get to 120% of my body weight at my strongest.  Now I would be able to do about 45% max.



  • Fark 120% is a mighty effort - I'd have to be able to bench over 100kgs for that, and that ain't happening anytime soon! I think I'd like to hit 100% by next year, but I've got to start going to the gym a bit. Only making it 2 times a week before work, but I'm also training for the Berlin marathon in September so am running at least 3 times a week and doing a gym in the morning  / run in the evening combo is hard work. Also, I'm pretty sure doing long distance running isn't helping the strength training (at least that's what I tellmyself!).



  • [quote name='Brakdov']
    Fark 120% is a mighty effort - I'd have to be able to bench over 100kgs for that, and that ain't happening anytime soon! I think I'd like to hit 100% by next year, but I've got to start going to the gym a bit. Only making it 2 times a week before work, but I'm also training for the Berlin marathon in September so am running at least 3 times a week and doing a gym in the morning  / run in the evening combo is hard work. Also, I'm pretty sure doing long distance running isn't helping the strength training (at least that's what I tellmyself!).
    [/quote]

    When I did that I was working out 4 days a week at the gym and taking supplements like Creatine etc. I was trying to bulk up (now looking back I can't believe I was small enough to want to bulk up).



  • Are you talking about the wieght you actually train on or what your 1 rep max is? (and that is actually lifted none of that calculator bollix)

    Novemeber last year I was 94kg and hit a 1 rep max of 112kg. So that's a shade under 120%
    I was doing 4-5 reps at 104kg when I was able to hit that peak

    I haven't done many wieghts since that time. Now I wiegh 97kg and I think I can get to about 93-94Kgs on a single rep.

    I think it would take a month of hard effort to get back the strength I've lost..



  • I've never tried a one rep max - probably wouldn't want to without a spotter or I could end up with a bar permanently across me!! I'm wondering what I should be aiming for if I was to do say 3 sets of 5-8 reps. Is 100% of body weight a viable target do you think?



  • [quote name='Duluth']
    Are you talking about the wieght you actually train on or what your 1 rep max is? (and that is actually lifted none of that calculator bollix)

    Novemeber last year I was 94kg and hit a 1 rep max of 112kg. So that's a shade under 120%
    I was doing 4-5 reps at 104kg when I was able to hit that peak

    I haven't done many wieghts since that time. Now I wiegh 97kg and I think I can get to about 93-94Kgs on a single rep.

    I think it would take a month of hard effort to get back the strength I've lost..
    [/quote]

    Nah  1 rep max would have been slightly more I think, but never tried.  Prolly two or three reps I suppose



  • Yeah that's a good target

    What are you wanting to do - be able to lift a large amount of get a bigger chest?

    If it's lifting a large amount then I would recommend finding the weak point in your lift. It could be chest, tris, front delts or maybe even forearms.
    For me I found that my tris were shite and would get tired before the chest. So I concentrated on building up the triceps while still doing moderate amount of chest work.

    If you do have a weakpoint like that you'll make some good benchpress gains by just bringing that muscle up to the rest of them.

    The other thing to do is to to do the fundamental lifts like Deadlifts and Squats (not that I follow my advice cos I hate squats..). These willl improve your core muscles and 'real' strength comes from here.
    When you attempt a 1 rep max you feel so much better when the core is strong and stable and the initial drive comes from that part of the body too.



  • Haven't been doing any deadlifts, but have done some squats. There's so many damn exercises to choose from and I've only got around 40-50 mins to get through everything. Maybe it's time I revisited the personal trainer to get a new programme done....



  • Brakdov - nothing wrong with 45 minutes as many believe thats an ideal window for getting in, firing up the testosterone, and getting out again before you overtrain. This indicates you should concentrate on "real world" weights, i.e. those that use the same muscles you need for normal activity. They should all be free weights and are:

    Bench press - great for chest size, upper torso and arm strength, and putting resistance on your rib cage which is also good.
    Dead lifts - lower back strength cannot be over-emphasised because you rely on it for just about everything you do - walking, running, lifting (including shagging ). Core strength is the key word
    Squats - the ultimate total leg exercise of course, and again good for core strength
    Shoulder press - on an unsupported bench i.e. sitting up on a flat surface and doing it. Don't go too hard on the weight, but tense up your core and you're exercising more than just your arms and shoulders.
    Chinups/pullups - to consider yourself truly fit (and I don't :shifty:) you need to be able to do a few of these. Lifting your own body weight is somethign often overlooked by people going to the gym just to build up their muscles. Do one or the other on a given day - the alternation keeps you fresh.

    Let's look at it logically - what is the point to doing bicep curls when you pretty much never lift anything just using your biceps? :nta

    As for bench press itself - aim for 110% of body weight as your first goal in a set of 3, then work it up to 5-8 rep sets. It depends what you're really after - I usually build over a couple of sets and then do what I call a suicide set My bench press at one point was:

    Warmup set - 50kg of about 6 reps just to make sure I'm not carrying any niggles or twinges
    Load up the next weights and straight into it.
    First set - 80kg x 8-10 reps.
    60 second break
    Second set - 100kg of 5-8 reps
    60 second break
    Suicide set - 120kg for as many reps as I could - minimum 3 most times
    Take a 90 second break on the bench breathing deeply, and then start unloading the weights for the next person to come along.

    I repeat this sort of pattern with all my exercises where possible (i.e. at the moment I'm too fucking fat to lift this much ) but it gives good results in the short term. Then every now and then I just do a night of circuit i.e. throw in a couple of extra exercises but only a warmup set and single set of 10 each. Gotta keep the muscles guessing.



  • At 100kgs  bodyweight (before I smashed my wrist) I could bench 150kgs for 3 reps, deep squat 170 for three and deadlift 210.  Not bad for a broken arse with two torn cruciates.  Now my wrist and neck are stuffed (I can only use dumbells for upper body) I am content to push out sets at 10 reps at my bodyweight for DB Bench and BB squat. If getting big and strong is your goal, 5 x5 is the key.  I would use Bench, Squat, Deadlift, SMP, Weighted Chins, Cleans and BB Curls. First two sets are warm ups, then lift your 5RM for the next three sets.  Three mins rest between sets.  On Monday I would do Squat, Bench and Chins. Wednesday SMP, BB Curls and 3 x 10 Calf Raises.  Friday: Cleans, Close Grip Bench and Deadlifst.  Cardio and core on the other days.  Eat heaps of protein.Â



  • Im currently doing 70kgs 8-10 reps dropping by 5 kgs for 3 sets



  • [quote name='phoenetia']
    Im currently doing 70kgs 8-10 reps dropping by 5 kgs for 3 sets
    [/quote]

    At the moment i am using a gym bench press and a smith machine if i am on my own or doing incliine.

    I am struggling to compute what i am lifting because i am unsure of the weight of the bar.

    Is a regular proper gym barbell 10kgs? 12.5kgs or 20kgs. When i was growing up if we used a gym barbell they were generally 20kgs. Home benches usually had a 10kgs or 7.5kgs.



  • Regular ones are 20 kgs



  • [quote name='Hooroo']
    Regular ones are 20 kgs
    [/quote]

    Cheers Big fella.

    I am pushing pussy weights at the moment, especially compared to Red Beards stats! awesome lifting. Best ever is 100kgs for two reps when i was 83kgs.

    At the moment i am nudging 90kgs and pushing around the same, by the time the season starts proper i hope to be pushing the 100kg barrier.

    The exercise i used to find most effective was the cable cross overs, which my present gym does not have.

    Does anyone else suffer from "Bench Press greed". I make a gain one week and instead of consolidating that weight by upping the reps on it, i get greedy and want a similar gain within a week or so, generally leading to an early failure and knackering the muscle after a low amount of reps. Crap lifting.



  • When to move up a weight?

    Woudl like to hear people's opinions on this. When do you generally up the weight on teh bench. I have mentioned before that i get becnh press greed and try and make gains in weight pushed too often. I have addressed this by staying on my max weight now until i can successfully complete 8 bench presses with it. I will this evening move up a weight, probably by 2.5kgs on each end.

    How do you guys manage the change up? do you go by 2.5kgs or by bigger/smaller increments?



  • Go up in weights when you feel totally in control of the current weight at ah high reps.
    And yeah many years ago I was around 115% on the bench but never been that great on it, preferred incline dumb bells as you can concentrate on balancing arm and shoulder strength.
    Have just started bench press again and once I feel comfortable with muscle stability will alternate bench press with dumb bell incline and incline chest press and chest dips (with weights).
    Someone suggested shoulder press, be careful with that, as a lot of people have crap technique and overload, causing serious problems down the track.
    Wide shoulder chin ups are good stuff.
    Has anyone tried pyramid strength training? I vaguely recall it working for me but that could be memory playing up.
    Fuller I think Olympic bars are 20Kg but many softie gyms (ie where they clean up the sweat on at least a weekly basis) have 17.5 or even less bars so it pays to ask.



  • [quote name='BrainDeadJnr']
    Go up in weights when you feel totally in control of the current weight at ah high reps.
    And yeah many years ago I was around 115% on the bench but never been that great on it, preferred incline dumb bells as you can concentrate on balancing arm and shoulder strength.
    Have just started bench press again and once I feel comfortable with muscle stability will alternate bench press with dumb bell incline and incline chest press and chest dips (with weights).
    Someone suggested shoulder press, be careful with that, as a lot of people have crap technique and overload, causing serious problems down the track.
    Wide shoulder chin ups are good stuff.
    Has anyone tried pyramid strength training? I vaguely recall it working for me but that could be memory playing up.
    Fuller I think Olympic bars are 20Kg but many softie gyms (ie where they clean up the sweat on at least a weekly basis) have 17.5 or even less bars so it pays to ask.

    [/quote]

    That has been my policy on this last weight. I have been cracking at for three weeks now and am up to an 8 rep completion for one set. I think i can push oput 5kg more on it and will have a go tonight.

    Chest sessions so far have been:

    4 sets of bench press
    4 sets of incline press on a smith machine
    3 sets of dumbell press
    3 sets of dips
    3 sets on a chest machine where you sit almost upright and push out
    3 sets of pec dec

    Might start to include decline bench press and drop the pec dec..



  • yes, pec dec for poofsÂ

    decline press rocks - such a limited range of movement, you can press some pretty good weights.  Used to always do decline late in the chest workout, and could still press good weight!



  • what is pec dec?


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