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Losing strength bench press

Posted by cpods

I was wondering if anyone has experienced the same thing and if they have any comments about it. After training in the bench for a few months, I get to the point where I set new personal records. For example recently, I managed to do 315 for 8 reps, and 345 for 3 reps. The following Monday, when bench was scheduled again, I didn't feel 100% recovered, so I just did a light workout. When bench came around the next week, I tried doing 315 but it felt heavy and I only did five, with great effort. My question is, is it usual to expect a crash in strength levels after reaching new peak strength? If so, what are some strategies that others have tried? My Bench program has looked like this: on Mondays, I would do 315 x 6-8, 2-3 sets of 345 x 2-3, partial bench presses in the power rack, 3 x 6 @ 385 (about 6 " range of motion). I was thinking of doing light supersets for a month (incline DB press with flies, and close grip). After 1 month, I was thinking of starting reg. benches again @ 80% and working my way back up.

Re: Losing strength bench press

Posted by Spencer


Congratulations on achieving a personal best on the bench. Gaining power requires consistency. The gap that occurred between your personal best and the time that you trained heavy again was too far apart and that is why you found it so difficult. To achieve maximum results, I recommend that you benchpress heavy twice a week for the next six weeks. When you are going for power (and clearly you are) benching once a week is simply not enough. Consistency and perseverance is paramount to reaching your goal. As a gym owner, I help guys all the time with their bench.

This type of training requires that you get enough sleep at night and that you take care of your diet.

Supersets will not make you stronger on the bench and could result in a significant setback. You obviously worked very hard to get your bench where it is today. I hope this helps you to get over the hurdle!

Re: Losing strength bench press

Posted by hulk

To add to that it is important that you cycle your training, the body is not designed to be pushed 100%, 100% of the time. Most lifters take a down week, or even several down weeks where they still train but allow their body to recover for the next big push.

The do not lose sight of their goals during this down time, work may be done to strengthen the triceps (as an example) without the need to fatigue the body with the massive compund movement of benching.

Rest and good nutrition are just as important as the training. All three go to make a triangle of strength, take one of them away and the gains cannot be made.

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