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8 Ways on How to Get Past Your Bench Press PLATEAU

Have you been benching the same weight for months? Is your bench press stuck even though you've tried everything? Below are a couple things you might've missed. Read on to overcome your benchpress plateau. benchpress {googleAds}




I'm sure you've already heard all sorts of tips on how to break out of a plateau. Here are some other ideas you can try.


1) Workout your legs – YUP! Your leg muscles are the biggest muscles in your body. Working out heavy on the legs will send a big shock to your body and release more growth hormone to stimulate your leg muscles into growing back stronger. In return, the bigger and stronger leg muscles will give the rest of your body more room to grow. Think of a pyramid with 10 different plates of all different sizes lying on top of each other with the biggest plate on the bottom, and the smallest plate on top. Imagine each your different muscle groups are one of these plates. Your small muscles like forearms would be the very top plate. Your leg muscles would be the very bottom plate. Now if you think logically, for a plate in the middle to grow BIGGER…all the plates under it have to get bigger. So there we go…workout your legs to make room for more growth from your chest. IT WORKS!

2) Rest – This is actually a common mistake that many lifters make. They are so quick and eager to get stronger that they don't give their muscles enough time to rest and rebuild. So how long do you rest before you can lift again? Ok, I'll make it simple for you: right on the daywhen you feel like your chest and tricep muscles are fully healed, WAIT ONE MORE DAY! That's right, wait one extra day to rest before you lift. Just because your muscles feel 100% doesn't mean they are. If extra rest days doesn't help, try staying off the bench for 2 weeks. I've stories where some people did nothing but push-ups everyday for two weeks, and then jumped back on the benchpress with more strength.

3) Eat right – This might sound like common sense but you'd be surprised at how many people there are that don't eat right and still expect to make gains. Eat carbs, proteins, vitamins, calcium..eat everything and eat a balanced diet! Do not just go straight for protein. Carbs give you the energy you need.

4) Workout your support muscles – Maybe the reason why your bench isn't getting bigger is because your small muscles can't support the weight. Forearms for example are one commonly overlooked muscle group. They are actually very important for handling the weight of a bench press. It doesn't matter if your chest can lift 250lbs when your forearms can only carry 200lbs. Your forearms will hold the weight steady for your chest to lift it straight up. Other important support muscles are the triceps. Many people do not do any specific tricep exercises. For triceps, try cable pulldowns and dips. Triceps will help you lockout at the top of the bench press lift and finish it off.

5) Change your routine – The same old routine will get you nowhere. I am hoping that you are not lfiting the same weight every week and adding reps every single week. This will work for a beginner, but once your muscles adapt…you're going to have to find other constantly changing routines to shock your body into more growth. Try different routines and perfect one for yourself. Some people need a light/heavy workout. Other's need more intensity. Other's need more rest. Use trial and error to find a perfect routine for your body.

6) Workout with weights heavier than your current max. We have another great article on this in the bodybuilding-exercises section. But basically, put on a heavier weight load and try to hold it up in the air as it slowly falls against your chest. Repeat several times.

7) Lift STRAIGHT! – Drop your workout benchpress to a lighter weight load and start working on a stricter form. There are too many people out there that don't benchpress in a straight line. A straight line means less lifting and a more concentrated effort. Work on your form!

8) Do not give up – Here's a common one. Some people will lift the weight half way, and then become overwhelmed and cower out when the weight slows down. A heavy max load is SUPPOSED to slow down. You're supposed to only be able to barely do it! It will always slow down, just keep pushing! (This tip is pretty obvious but there are still alot people that expect for their max benchpresses to fly up into the air.)


Another funny tip is to have your friend discreetly at a workout, trick you by adding some weights on to the bar when you're not paying attention. Many times, people are limited by their own psychology minds. For example, someone would be able to bench 499lbs but not 500lbs. It's all in the mind.



Keep trying and try everything. Everyone is different and so is every body. Things change over time and what might've worked great in the past may no longer have the same effect now that your body is different. Stay positive and keep trying. Some people may be at the same bench press for years. Talk to other experts and keep learning. Goodluck!

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Captain-Leai September 8, 2007, 10:43 am

    agreed! but the whole breaking the plateau think is all mental.
    Physically you can really go steady up the weight as you grow and recovery time
    to rebuild muscle now as you lift and you have this strain to the body that cause the brain to stress usaully you mind would ignore the fact the strain your arm goes through and the next day your just fine and ready but as you workout constently your mind really is kinda scard really and now you worked out and all of a sudden you get a doubt. kinda of a mental break down and all that stress or scar of doubts that one day you cant lift this gets to your mind and bam! you seem to be in a stuck in your max.
    now sometimes you might feel like when you do this weight you cant control you arms or it just doesnt feel right that the weight is not going up and you need a spoter and you mind is fix on this everytime.
    these methods here really is a mental way of geting back in to focus or normal and you brain will allow you to use more strength

  • Rado September 8, 2007, 12:43 pm

    very true
    Many times it is a mental block. Hell I’ve seen many people avoid the benchpress altogether because they mentally feel that they’ll never be that strong. You make valid points.

  • eyno lee January 5, 2011, 10:36 pm

    This article is very good and focused, innovative, and full expression of their views, hoping to continue to see such a good article, the article is most important is the truest expression of their ideas, this article only Good article. GOOD chloe bag

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger October 16, 2011, 3:07 pm

    This article is somewhat good
    In all my years of bodybuilding I have found that many plateaus are caused, by doing the same exrecise, switch it up each workout try to never do the sames exercise 2 workouts in a row.

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