My bench sucked today

  • So last night I filled out my workout plan in the Success Journal (which by the way I HIGHLY recommend anyone on BFL buy)

    and, since starting BFL, my bench press has been pretty weak.

    now, put yourself in my shoes for a minute before I continue please.

    I'm 6'5" 355lbs,  (that's a big guy)  38 years old

    I am a former high school and college athlete,  I had a partial college scholarship on the Track team, throwing shot put, discus, and hammer.


    That was part of my identity.  Part of my mentality of what lifting weights is all about.

    Today, on the bench, my first set, was 95lbs, and I got all 12. 

    2nd set, 115 lbs, and I got all 10.

    3rd set 135, I got 3 reps

    then I took some weight off and went back to 115 to finish the set.

    I kept it at 115 for the 3rd set and only got 2

    for the 5th set I dropped back to 95 lbs and got 6 reps.

    Sigh.  I looked around at the younger guys next to me, and said to myself "F it, I'm not a kid anymore, and I really don't care what the meatheads think"

    I took all the weight off the bar, and did 12 reps with the bar alone.


    So, If a giant, former jock/meathead like me can do a set with just the bare bar, and not let his ego get in the way.


    SO CAN YOU !



  • I feel like a total weakling when it comes to my upper body.  I start my bench about 20-30lbs lighter than you do.  I start my curls with 15s and my tricep pushdowns at around 30 (and very rarely make it all the way on my last set or two).

    I'm kinda lucky because I pretty much have this great big gym to myself first thing in the morning so I'm not worried about what other people think.  I do beat myself up over it though.  I keep thinking "my gawd ya little pansy... aren't you more of a man than that?" but I just have to get over it because I think proper form is more important than the number of lbs I'm lifting.

    Hopefully it gets better... but I'm so week UB-wise that I find it as an embarrassment... to myself!  

  • Hi guys

    After reading your posts i just wanted to say that UB strength doesnt just magically appear because you are men, you still have to build it, and whilst your muscle have a memory it will still take time to get back to lifting weights you used too. I've found that I have made big gains from my starting weight but I started at a point where i could complete the 5 sets.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is forget what you should be able to lift and concentrate on what you CAN lift for the full number of sets with all the required reps. If you start there with good form I think you'll find that you will quickly push up the weights and be lifting bigger weights real soon :0)

    "The future will be made up of the present. By taking good care of the present, we take good care of the future." Thich Nhat Hanh

  • I can so relate to your post Thayer. While I am officially starting my Challange on Sat I hit the gym eariler this week and did the upper body workout. I am also 38 and while I was never a huge gym rat I did work out regularly back in my 20's.

    So I hit the gym and started with Dumbell press as my chest exercise. Was I in for a shock.

    I remember easily doing DB press reps with 65-85lbs a hand for 3 sets of 8-10. Yesterday my reps were






    20x12 DB fly.

    And man was I struggling for the super set. Everything else followed along as I continued through the rest of the workout.  Picking up dumb bells I would have been embarrassed to use 10-15 years ago.

    Like you I just say to hell with it and did what felt right to do the sets cleanly without jerking to heavy a weight.

    To add a little insult to injury, my wife who has kept in much better shape than me over the last decade or so was working out with me and on certain exercises like tricep extensions was using pretty much the same weights as I was.

  • Ahhh my young grasshoppers...think not of where you are today, instead visualize what you will be lifting tomorrow....

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • When I think of guys lifting WAY heavy I think of those big sumo guys that lift the barbell over their head, hold for a bit then drop it to the floor with a bang.

    I am pretty sure you guys got a lot more going on than that. To see toned arms is much more attractive than seeing somebody lift a house.

    I'm just sayin....

    Keep up the great work and do what works FOR YOU. You aren't competing with the next guy, and if you are - injury will be yours.

    Champster....grasshoppers? LOL.

  • Its not so much as competing with the next guy as competing with myself at 25. ;)

    But,  after 10 or so years of making every wrong choice in regards to exercise and eating not sure what other outcome I expected!

    Oh well, enough of that, Onward and Upward!

  • BCbill: you are not alone in being your own worst enemy and you are better than you think, stronger than you give yourself credit for and smarter than you let on.

    YOU GOT THIS.....This is it!!

    Can ya hear the Rocky Theme playin? VISUALIZE - it's all YOU!!

  • Exactly don't give into "I can't" build on "I will".  Your past contributes to who you are now, but does not dictate who you will be in the future.

    Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right ~ Henry Ford

    Michelle Simpson ~2009 Body-for-LIFE Champion 46+ Catagory

  • By the way...

    I had my best BFL bech so far yesterday.    No more bare bar for the final 12 reps !

  • Its all about the progress!

    There are some days where for some inexplicable reason I'll be slightly weaker on a muscle group than I was my previous workout... those days can mystify and depress.

    In general though...

    Here is some information I calculated at the end of my week six (now wrapping up week eight)

    I calculated this by comparing my weight lifted during first few weeks to weight lifted during week six:

    I am now lifting DOUBLE the weight I could lift in the beginning with my chest muscles. this is a 100% increase/improvement!

    I am now pulling 50% more with my back muscles than I could towards the beginning of my challenge!

    WOW! I am 160% stronger with my shoulder! (um and my shoulders are currently the best looking/most improved part of my body. The difference really shows in this one area)

    I am between 100% and 150% stronger in my biceps!

    My Triceps are 150% stronger than they were when I started!


    With my quads I'm about 130% stronger than I used to be!

    And my calves are just CRAZY STRONGER! WOW Um... this one really blows my mind! I am lifting 100LBS MORE THAN WHEN I STARTED!!! AN INCREASE OF 500% how is that even POSSIBLE?!?!

    With results like that I am happy.

  • Well almost 6 weeks into it now and had to revisit this thread.

    Doing my super set x12 now with more weight than what was my 6 rep weight in the post above when I started this. Hard to believe in 6 weeks I'm warming up with 40lbers and pushing 55lbers x6reps. Getting closer and closer to my 25 year old self!

  • Nice job Bill! and I feel you and look forward to the gains....I have not yet felt like I got a good chest day...after some cable cross-overs I get a pump, but not soreness to follow....I am really concentrating on form with nice negatives....and lighter weight...maybe I have to try throwing some weight around.....or just give it some time. ;)

    Today's Mighty Oak is yesterdays Nut that held its Ground!

  • Had a great chest workout the other day...not feeling sore, but I really dropped the weight, especially on incline bench and concentrated on forum. It felt the best I have felt yet. Ego was at home that day. :D 15#'s on each side to get my last 12, but it felt great. ;)

    Today's Mighty Oak is yesterdays Nut that held its Ground!

  • Keep the ego out of the equation and out of the weight room!  It is a humbling experience, but you must now take small, incremental "baby steps" to get yourself back in shape.

    I've been doing BFL workouts for nearly 18 months, but rarely do the bench press.  I prefer dumbbells, and believe they are superior for a number of reasons.  I see no shortage of egomaniacs come into the weight area, usually for a period of 1-3 weeks.  Then, I don't see them anymore.  Where did they go?  They're nursing their injured shoulders, joints, etc. that resulted from using too much weight, throwing the weight up in a jerky motion, creating uncontrolled momentum, and totally breaking form.

    When I try the bench, I struggle to do my weight (165 lbs) once.  Maybe 3 reps at 150 lb.  So what?  Think of your goals - mine were to become lean and strong, and achieve functional fitness for everyday life.  Moreover, the reduction in body fat % is much more important for our health and longevity than benching 300 lbs. could ever be.


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.