How does turning down the bench press help you?

Are there any bench press tricks to determine which muscles are weakest?

I'm going to give you one possible way to solve your bench press problem. Other plans may work too, but whatever you choose, stick with it and go through it.


This plan will solve your problem by focusing on the exercise you want to improve, planning adequate planning for progression, leaving adequate recovery time, and adding the squat to your bench press to stimulate the release of testosterone and growth hormone.

This may look very pared down, but I think that's what you need. This schedule focuses solely on improving your bench press. The squat work is only present because of its ability to stimulate the release of anabolic hormones. The deadlifts are reduced for easier recovery. I've removed a lot of the extra exercises so all you can focus on is the bench press and the exercises that will help you with it. Shoulder presses, chin-ups, and dips are the most useful auxiliary exercises for the bench press.

Time schedule

Monday (leg day):

  • Low Bar Squats (3 sets x 5 reps)
  • Whatever else you want to do, but make sure you can squat and deadlift on Wednesday. So I would advise against the 5x5 deadlift you planned on Monday.

Do this Wednesday (bench press day):

  • Low Bar Squats (3 sets x 5 reps)
  • Bench Press (3 sets x 5 reps)
  • Deadlift (1 set x 5 reps)

Set Friday as follows (press and assistance day):

  • Low Bar Squats (3 sets x 5 reps)
  • Shoulder Press (5 sets x 5 reps)
  • Pullups / Pullups (3 sets to failure, and if you can do more than 15 add weight to a waist chain)
  • Dips (3 sets to failure, and if you can do more than 15, add weight to a waist chain. Keep your triceps parallel at the bottom and your chest with your elbows up.)


  • Squats: Find a good starting weight. If you succeed in every rep of each set, add 5 pounds on the next workout. If not, stick to this weight for the next workout. The squat is the best exercise for stimulating the release of anabolic hormones. That's why I've included them in every workout to achieve a weight that will be useful to you on your bench press day.
  • Deadlift: Use your current deadlift weight, but only do one set of your working weight (you can do warm-up sets with lower weights). You need to take back the deadlift volume (5x5 is a lot of stress!) So that you can squat every time you workout. If you succeed on your 5 reps, increase the weight for the next time.
  • Pullups / Pullups / Dips: These will really help your bench press, so I focused them on your "shoulders / arms" day. If you pay close attention to the retraction of the scapula, these should really help your rotator cuff as well.
  • Bench Press: They say you can only do two sets at 185 and then back at 135. This is not standard. You should find the weight you can use for 3 sets of 5 reps and start at that. If you're successful, add 5 (or 2.5 pounds) the next Wednesday. Using the correct shape, lower the bar onto your chest for a short break without hopping down.
  • Overhead Press: Same progress as the bench press. Find the weight you can do for 3 sets of 5 reps and start doing that. On the next workout, if you are successful, increase the weight.

Possible adjustments

I really don't know your strength and your ability to recover, so some of them may not be enough to stimulate adjustment in you. If you find that your bench press is not progressing under this plan, increase the bench press and overhead press to 5 sets instead of 3 sets.


It's strange that your shoulder press (is this an overhead standing press?) Is the same as your bench press. Usually the bench press is way ahead of your shoulder press. This could mean that you are having a form problem with the bench press that is not allowing you to make the most of your strength.

If you do decide to shoot a form review video, follow this guide for the best feedback: Feel free to post a form review question on this website. There aren't many yet, but they're welcome!


You see, your last comment pretty much pointed to my problem. I can push a lot of weight with a lot of exercises, but I'm at a loss on the bench press. I've been thinking about hiring a personal trainer to help me with this.

Dave Liepmann

@ Salsero69 As Sancho notes, it would help describe your current programming / lifting plan. It could be so easy to give too much time to activities without benches / horizontal sliding.