Hey Mick,

You probably hear this a lot, but I've been following your log for a long time now and feel we have a lot of similarities in our strengths and weaknesses. For example, I'm 20 years old and 175 pounds, and I've squatted 500 pounds raw and deadlifted 555 pounds raw. However, I can only bench 255 pounds. My question is, at what point did you really start to see improvements in your bench press? Did you progress gradually, or did you find a certain form of training that allowed greater jumps, bringing you to where you are now (501 pounds)?

Looking for encouragement.




Just to clarify, my 501-pound press is a shirted bench press amount. My best raw bench is 330 pounds (which I took from 280 pounds in about four months or so). Here is what I recommended for a guy (and I did it myself as well), and he seems to be making great gains with it:

The training I used to bring my raw bench to its highest (which was 330 pounds) was set up like this:

chest x 5
1-board x 5
2-board x 5
4-board x 5

I would go up five pounds a week on each one until I missed a rep. I would start out with weights that don't cause you to struggle on the fifth rep. You should be able to do eight reps when first starting out, that way you have somewhere to go in terms of weight. The other thing that I was doing was ultra wide incline bench presses. I had my index finger right outside the ring. I was doing:

1 set x 8 reps
1 set x 8 reps (go up a little bit from the first)
1 set x 5 reps (go up from second set)

If you want, try that out and let me know how it goes. I'd be curious to see how it works for you! Like I said, it put about 50 pounds on my bench in about four months.

If you're looking to get into shirted benching, that's a whole other story!

Let me know if it's shirted!