You are here

8 Week Bench Press Builder

8 Week Bench Press Builder

Average: 4.1 (11 votes)
4.1 5 11
Build a bigger bench press with this intense and effective 8 week specialization program that features two pressing workouts per week.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Increase Strength
Workout Type:
Single Muscle Group
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
4
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Dumbbells, EZ Bar
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Author:

Workout Description

It's time to build up your paltry bench press. This intense 8 week bench press program is a specialization routine that can repeated cycle after cycle.

For best strength results, combine this bench press cycle with a higher than normal caloric intake. When you're not eating, eat more. When you're not eating more, rest, take naps or plan your next meal.

8 Week Bench Press Builder

The following split is recommend. The 2 additional training days would traditionally be used for posterior chain work - squats, deadlifts, hamstrings, etc.

  • Day 1 - Bench Press Workout A
  • Day 2 - Squat Day
  • Day 3 - OFF
  • Day 4 - Bench Press Workout B
  • Day 5 - Deadlift Day
  • Day 6 - OFF
  • Day 7 - OFF

Notes: All numbers are based off you current one rep bench press max. Take a complete week away from training after these 8 weeks. Rest, eat, rest and eat.

Day One Assistance Exercises

Day Four Assistance Exercises

Week 1
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
60% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
60% of 1RM 1 3
70% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Week 2
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
60% of 1RM 1 3
70% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Week 3
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
80% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Week 4
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
80% of 1RM 4 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 3 Max Reps
Week 5
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 3 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
90% of 1RM 2 Max Reps
80% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
Week 6
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
90% of 1RM 2 Max Reps
80% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
95% of 1RM 2 Max Reps
80% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
Week 7
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
95% of 1RM 2 Max Reps
80% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
92.5% of 1RM 1 1
100% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
80% of 1RM 1 Max Reps
Week 8
Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
     
***NO WORKOUT - REST***    
     
Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Bar 1 10
35% of 1RM 1 10
45% of 1RM 1 5
55% of 1RM 1 3
65% of 1RM 1 3
75% of 1RM 1 1
85% of 1RM 1 1
95% of 1RM 1 1
105% of 1RM (If you make this, try 107.5%) 1 1
107.5% of 1RM (If you make this, try 110%) 1 1
110% of 1RM 1 1

 

Related Workouts View all Strength Workouts

  • Share This Article
  • Rate & Share
    Average: 4.1 (11 votes)
  • About The Author
    Steve is a powerlifter who has also spent 20 years training in bodybuilding. He is a national level competitor training for an all-time over 50 raw world record.
Related Supplements View all Top Supplements
Xtend

Scientific Blend of Aminos for Enhanced Energy & Recovery!*

4.6
Average: 4.6 (63 votes)
Platinum 100% Fish Oil

Ultra-Pure Filtered Fish Oil With Key Omega-3's!*

0
No votes yet

Comments (59)

Add a comment

No Profile Pic
david
Posted Fri, 09/07/2012 - 17:43

This seems like a great workout but I've got a few questions. So on day 1 and 4 of each week on top of the bench you also do the assisted excercises? And also what should I be doing for the squats and deadlifts? As far as weight, reps, and other excersices?

  • 28
  • 28
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 12:57

Yes, correct - you also do the assistance exercises.

Squats and deadlifts you can pretty much do any conventional lower body work, perhaps a Wendler's 531 squat and deadlift day.

  • 20
  • 28
No Profile Pic
lucas
Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 12:00

I don't understand what the % of 1RM means. Can you please explain.

  • 23
  • 31
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 12:58

Percentage of your one rep max.

  • 26
  • 21
No Profile Pic
mefist
Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 14:05

Hi Steve. Currently im doing the Westside Barbell program and ive seen some good results from it. Will this program be any better for bench press?

  • 25
  • 22
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Sat, 09/08/2012 - 23:39

If you want to take an 8 week break to experiment, nothing wrong with it.

  • 22
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Tam
Posted Sun, 09/09/2012 - 23:29

Hi Steve, i have a question. For day 1 and day 4 are both bench press right? Because in the sheet it said Workout A and Workout B so i don't quite get that! Thanks Steve! Oh and if you can guide me how to use the summary that would be great. Thnaks Steve!
-Tam

  • 9
  • 11
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/10/2012 - 12:32

Hi Tam,

On the schedule listing you can find this:

Day 1 - Bench Press Workout A
Day 2 - Squat Day
Day 3 - OFF
Day 4 - Bench Press Workout B

Day 1 is workout A, and day 4 is workout B.

  • 14
  • 15
No Profile Pic
Aaron
Posted Thu, 09/13/2012 - 21:26

Hey, Steve.

How much rest should I take between each set?

Can I put my deadlift day on day 2 and my squat day on day 4?

Also, what sort of deadlift workout and squat workout would go well with your program?

  • 17
  • 10
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/17/2012 - 14:45

When you start to get above 80% you want to be resting at least 2-3 minutes between sets. when a weight becomes real challenging, I sometimes rest as long as 5 minutes between sets. The key is to rest until you feel 100% physically and mentally ready.

  • 14
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Eric
Posted Sat, 09/15/2012 - 01:16

I feel like my shoulders would be getting neglected from this considering they are rarely directly worked. I understand that they are stil worked during bench, but is there really no other shoulder work needed?

  • 17
  • 14
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/17/2012 - 14:48

Hi Eric,

This program features 2 shoulder exercises, and overhead press, and reverse flyes to target rear delts. That is enough. Remember this is a strength specialization program, not a bodybuilding program. Trust the process and the program. You do not need to hammer every muscle group into submission; you are trying to build strength.

  • 19
  • 15
No Profile Pic
Eric
Posted Sat, 09/15/2012 - 02:00

Also, what exactly is the schedule for week 8? I'm a little confused with that.

  • 13
  • 16
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/17/2012 - 14:49

During week 8 you skip Workout A so that you can rest, and then test your max during Workout B.

  • 10
  • 15
No Profile Pic
Jem
Posted Sat, 09/15/2012 - 02:05

Hi steve

What is 35% of my one rep max? Does that mean 35% of how much i can bench press?

  • 15
  • 13
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Mon, 09/17/2012 - 14:50

Percentages are relative to your one rep bench press maximum.

  • 11
  • 16
No Profile Pic
ely
Posted Wed, 09/19/2012 - 03:18

Hey Steve is this done with Flat Bench only 1 exercise on Bench or i can still do incline and decline

  • 11
  • 16
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:45

This program is specifically designed to help a lifter improve their flat bench press, but you could certainly use a variation if you desire.

  • 14
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Mauro
Posted Tue, 09/25/2012 - 21:24

Hey, i just started this workout routine and was wondering about how much more weight should i be able to bench press when i'm finished, approximately? thanks

  • 11
  • 11
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Thu, 09/27/2012 - 14:47

I can't answer that question. There are too many variables. It will be different for everyone depending on a myriad of factors from nutrition to skill level.

  • 12
  • 12
No Profile Pic
tavimba Musumhi
Posted Tue, 05/20/2014 - 13:27

Hey Steve, could I still have my own bicep, tricep, shoulders, and back days and do the supplement movements then.

  • 6
  • 3
No Profile Pic
James
Posted Mon, 10/08/2012 - 23:54

Max Reps? Really? Does that mean in week one i'm doing 4 sets of 12+ reps at 65%.

  • 14
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Daniel
Posted Tue, 10/09/2012 - 17:23

How important is the dead lift and squat? I work out consistently but my bench isn't increasing much. Can I add the benching to my regular routines?

  • 13
  • 13
No Profile Pic
George
Posted Thu, 10/18/2012 - 13:43

Haven't worked out since the military but can't wait to get back into it

  • 16
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Pasi Hautala
Posted Sun, 10/21/2012 - 06:55

Should all sets where "max reps" are indicated be taken to failure?

  • 12
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Jmama
Posted Mon, 10/22/2012 - 00:08

What exactly do you mean by "max reps"?
I suspect in week 1 at 65% and 70% I could do 15-20 reps before failing.
Do you really mean I should keep going on each set until just before failure?

  • 11
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Chad Becker
Posted Wed, 10/24/2012 - 22:33

Steve,

I was wondering about how to progress through the 8 weeks. So far I am on week 4 and am excelling quite well from my previous efforts. Should I progress the percentages right along with my progress, or should I maintain the same weight numbers with my previous 1 rep max. I am actually quite surprised with the progress thus far!!

Example :
Every week I beat my last week's numbers by either poundage or # of reps.

Last week:
Max sets of 235 x 7, 235 x 6, 235 x 5, 235 x 5.

This week:
Max sets 245 x 7, 245 x 6, 245 x 5.

So should my regimen increase with my progress or should I hold out and just kill the hell out of my previous 1 Rep Max?

Thanks

  • 15
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Mikw
Posted Mon, 10/29/2012 - 17:24

Hi steve, I was a little confused when you said max reps for the last couple sets of you workout. Should I be going to failure, or should I do as many reps as I can without going to failure? I heard that going to failure was for body building not strength.
Thanks, Michael

  • 11
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Jake
Posted Wed, 10/31/2012 - 16:02

Hey Steve I have a question. On day 1 should I run straight through Bench workout A and then do the assistance exercises after. And the same thing on Day 4 with Workout B and the assistance exercises? Or do I do the first set(bar) and then do an assistance exercise then return to the bench for the second set(

  • 12
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Jon Lawrence
Posted Thu, 11/01/2012 - 20:56

I was about to start this routine. do you think doing 5/3/1 for my deadlift and squat days is fine?

also will it be ok if i do dumbell shoulder press on both bench days? and weighted pullups instead of the back exercises?

  • 10
  • 12
No Profile Pic
doug
Posted Fri, 11/02/2012 - 19:30

how much should this increase your 1rm after the full 8 weeks

  • 10
  • 11
No Profile Pic
Bob
Posted Thu, 11/08/2012 - 15:06

I was wondering if this is a good type of work out to help me push through my plateau for benching?

  • 16
  • 15
No Profile Pic
matt
Posted Mon, 11/12/2012 - 20:06

when you say eat more do you mean carbs protein or fat if i eat 30% protein 50% carbs and 20% fat.

  • 9
  • 15
No Profile Pic
Steven Plouffe
Posted Tue, 11/13/2012 - 21:16

Hey Steve,

I am 15 and workout at my high school I can only get rides home on Monday Wednesday and Friday do you think it would be ok if I did workout A on Monday, The squat day on Wednesday and Workout B on Friday?

  • 13
  • 10
No Profile Pic
Steven Plouffe
Posted Wed, 11/14/2012 - 18:51

Hey Steve,

I have one question I am a freshman in high school so I can only get rides home on certain days Monday Wednesday and Friday I have recently been doing workout A on Monday and B on Friday will it still have the same effect if I do it on Friday instead of Thursday?

  • 10
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Eddie
Posted Thu, 11/22/2012 - 00:26

This workout was excellent got my max up by 20 lbs after the 8 weeks

  • 12
  • 11
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 11/27/2012 - 15:55

Excellent!

  • 14
  • 13
No Profile Pic
Stephen Johnson
Posted Mon, 11/26/2012 - 18:18

Steve, would you reccomend doing the assistance exercises before or after benching? I would guess after but not sure what would be best.

  • 13
  • 15
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Tue, 11/27/2012 - 15:56

Definitely after.

  • 15
  • 12
No Profile Pic
Matt
Posted Wed, 11/28/2012 - 14:00

Hey Steve, I love the workout, but I have 2 questions.
On the assistance exercises I don't see any chest workouts, so only do bench for chest?

Also, on the last day you mention if you can do 105, go to 107.5% then do 107.5. Then if you can do 107.5 go to 110% then do 110%. Does this mean that if I am strong enough to go up I will be doing 2 sets of 1 rep for both the 107.5 and 110? Or am I only doing 1 set of each?

  • 17
  • 15
Steve's picture
Steve
Posted Wed, 11/28/2012 - 15:47

The 2 days a week of benching are plenty for chest. Add to that 3 extra sets of dumbbell benches or close grips and that will be more than enough to build your bench, and more muscle.

  • 15
  • 16
No Profile Pic
Kevin
Posted Mon, 12/17/2012 - 20:02

Steve,
Thanks for this program. I may have undershot my 1rm when I started, but working with a max of 250 on day one of week six I hit 14 reps at 225. This may sound like BS, but thanks for posting this. It WORKS.

  • 12
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Chris
Posted Thu, 12/20/2012 - 14:57

Steve,

Is it bad to do cardio on the off-days just to stay active? I realize that this will burn the extra calories that are taken in, but it won't affect the overall strength building will it? Should I limit my exercise to the allotted exercises on the 4 days?

  • 12
  • 12
Joey's picture
Joey
Posted Fri, 12/21/2012 - 13:55

Cardio has great health benefits and you can certainly keep active on "off days". I would still recommend getting one complete day of rest per week. If you're looking to build muscle then you'll simply need to increase calories to make up for it.

  • 10
  • 13
No Profile Pic
David
Posted Sun, 01/13/2013 - 17:33

Am i reading this wrong? I'm reading this as about 12 sets of bench on every bench day? Not trashing it, but at any busy gym somebody would complain that you're hogging a bench.

  • 12
  • 12
No Profile Pic
robbyanderson
Posted Sun, 01/20/2013 - 05:06

hi there great article! i was just wondering what you would think if i were to add a second squat day to this training spilt, so i would do
bench press day
squat day
rest day
bench press day
squat day
rest day
dead lift/back

do you this this 5 day split would be a bit of an overkill?
thank a lot i look forward to hearing what you have to say

  • 12
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Caleb
Posted Tue, 01/22/2013 - 09:02

Can I use the same percentages for squat and dead lift days?

  • 13
  • 13
No Profile Pic
MARK FEIST
Posted Tue, 01/29/2013 - 06:38

can't squat heavy anymore at 48 ive had 10 surgerys leg presses work instead

  • 9
  • 16
No Profile Pic
omar
Posted Sun, 02/03/2013 - 16:41

hi steve I played your 8 week bench press program but at week 8 i didn't gain any power growth all i feel now - which is by the way 1 week after the 8 weeks finished - is exhausting pain in all of my joints also my 100% rep -1 r m- is not getting up any more i have tried it for 2 times now once in the 8th week when i didn't lift any new percentage 105% nor 107.5% nor 110% what shall i do considering that i used amino tablets-4 pills before workout and 4 pills after - along with your program , resting and eating i want to know your opinion in this problem and what shall i do

  • 14
  • 14
No Profile Pic
Wyatt
Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 20:01

Hello im 15 and looking for a good workout that will boost my bench press. Is this possible without squats or anything else a would like to find a program that has me lifting every weekday and resting on weekends my max bench is 150 if that matters but id like to find a program about 10 weeks long that can help me get it close to 200. Any help would be awesome.

  • 8
  • 10

Pages

Add new comment