Bench Press...when is it gonna come?


i play football at Wisconsin-Stout and i am a freshman i started this year, but i have a problem with my bench press. i am currently benching around 250lbs and that is not for reps either… i think i can succesfully rep 205 6-8 times. everyone always told me “work on your squat and clean, bench will come” well my bench has never mad dramatic increase while i have seen my squat and clean go up very much. i am currently 6foot 4.75 inches and weight 270lbs. what lifts should i be doing? what are some supplments i could take? any suggestions?

-terv65 :confused:

If you give your training program someone can maybe point out what to change.

What can you squat and clean?

In order to increase your bench, you’re going to have to work at a higher % of your bench. Working at 205 is a little too light to increase your bench. Try doing 3-4 reps at 225 for 4-6 sets with 3-4 minutes rest between sets.

this is me again… i maxxed out at 450 for squat and 280 for clean. back in high school i took creatine which really boosted these before i came to college and i took protein this summer too.

You sound pretty strong for your size. Perhaps structurally you’re just not built well for a big bench press. I’ve got a college basketball player I work with who squats about 500 but can only bench 240 or so (he’s 6’10", 260). His strength coach at school doesn’t help (he has him do 20 rep calf raises, 10 slow then 10 fast to recruit the fast twitch fibers!!) but he is mechanically disadvantaged. Small rib cage + long humerus = bad bench press.

so you are basically saying im screwed? i did weigh 310 but i cut weight in offseason to gain speed. many people say my arms are very much smaller than normal and my lower body is probaly like 75% of my body if not more. my roomate who is a halfback is better built and thicker. do you suggest any supplements? i need to put on upper body strenght if i want to continue to play it is part of the reason i did not start the whole year last year because my lack of strenght in my arms makes me lose my confidence and lose mental focus

You’re not screwed, just some adjustments may need to be made. Remember, you will still be able to get stronger, you’ll just have to modify your training. If possible, use more dumbbell work as well. If your training sucks no supplement will help you. You’ve got a weak link and you’re going to have to fix it if you want to play, that’s all.

Bench press is the most overated lift in all of sports. Nobody gives a sh*t about how much anyone can bench except for the pretty boy with a tight shirt in the corner of your gym.

Your squat looks legit and your clean isn’t bad. Focus on improving your squat, deadlift and olympic lifts and you’ll be fine. Numbers don’t mean a damn thing on the playing field. It’s about how fast and explosive you are.

Bench press is the most overated lift in all of sports. Nobody gives a sh*t about how much anyone can bench

Unfortunatly there are many FB coaches who still place high value on BP numbers. Players sometimes move up or down in a coache’s eyes based on how much they bench, squat, clean, etc… Look at the NFL draft (think Mike Mamula).

Is a 250 lb BP the limiting factor in your playing time? Are you able to hold off rushing defensive lineman? Are you able to extend your arms and drive block on running plays.

How is the foot work and hand fighting skills? How are you picking up the blocking schemes?

If all of the above are right on and a stronger UB is all that you need, SpeedKills wrote about working at a higher % of your !RM. You need to do that as well as increasing triceps, deltoids, shoulder ER’s and upper back.
Train BP and rowing movements first workout, first day of the week.

Stop stressing, you’ll increase cortisol levels and your BP will go down to that of 14 y.o. girl.

Get to work and stay on this board. Lots to learn. PM if you like.


go to

and download the articles written by Louis Simmons.
Read them and go to work.
Bench close, work your tri’s and lat’s heavy
and work on your bench speed.

Louis is the man.

my 2 cents

hope it helps


thanks guys,

this has all been all great help. can anyone email me or pm me a off-season program that will focus on UB, while still incoparating the lower body elements? i believe my UB power came into play this year when we would run short yardage plays. one comes in to mind directly when it was a QB sneak and the DL dominated me. i had my feeet running but had to push to fall back on with my arms. i would like to increase UB because i need the % that does come from UB to be very powerful in my block.

once again thanks to all.


I’ll add to TD’s recommendation. In addition to Louie visit and read Coach H, Joe Kenn, 62 and Coach X. All are NFL-Division I strength coaches. Follow their recommendations and you will get strong for football.

And yes, as Thomas says, Bench can be overrated by some coaches. Remember, you can’t shoot a cannon out of canoe (reference to Blinky’s tight shirt guy with huge pipes wearing sweats to hide the sticks). However, bench done the way it is taught by the men listed above and as one component in the overall program is an important exercise for your position.

Football Coach

What ever happened to the split jerk? nobody does them anymore. They are not hard to learn, you can use a good amount of weight, is a very explosive lift and works a ton of muscle. You wanna talk stabalizers, balance proprioception, total body power!!!

I will take a lineman who can split jerk 300 pounds over a big bench anyday.


I remember doing that lift 30 years ago. Knocks the shit out of you. Why don’t you start a thread on it. It would be interesting to follow.

As far as your comment on split jerk over big bench. It isn’t an either/or propostion. Over the past 40 years, when I first started lifting, the bench has fallen in and out of popularlity. However, whether run blocking, pass pro or taking on a blocker the big bench is important. How important and how big depends on the position played. It is not the component but it is an important component of playing the game.

Football Coach

Football Coach,

once again, great words of wisdom.

also you took the thought from my head, i will start another thread!!!

They’re still in effect in my routines. I don’t normally spend alot of time on them but they’re still a fairly decent lift.

bench is the hardest lift to increase, for me personally it took for fricking ever, when i started doing it again in june i could barely handle like 155 for 2 or 3 but after constant work and proper cycling of the weights up up to 205 now, it just takes time and you really ahve to pay attention to your program, you can’t simply go and do becnh ever day 4x6. Im afraid its not that easy. Unfortunatly

yes, i agree

everthough most of the power from an offensive lineman block comes from the legs, i would judge anywhere from 60-80% depending on the athlete the percent that DOES come from the UB needs to be powerful and get the job done. that is what wins football games and what makes the 4 and 1 converisions…any comments?