A Bigger Bench Press & Chest Using Only 135 Pounds - Really

M&S Writers
Written By: M&S Writers
June 25th, 2014
Updated: October 27th, 2021
Categories: Workouts Chest Workouts
495.4K Reads
Ripped gym bench press in the gym
No I am not insane - this program really works. Build a bigger chest and improve your bench press by inserting this specialty workout into your current training regimen.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout10-15 minutes
  • Equipment Required
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

NOW AVAILABLE: A complete muscle building program called Wild 20 based around the 20-rep protocol featured in this workout.

I call this workout the 2 plate special. It's not exactly good for the ego, but it might just help you bust out of your plateau.

Before you attack me in the comments section, please give this program a try. I am not insane; yes, this program works.

If you are a lifter with a bench press max stuck somewhere above 185 pounds, I want you to run this approach every 2 to 4 weeks for a while.

You will be performing 2 chest/bench press days per week. The main exercise you will use during these days is the bench press. Add in a slight amount of assistance work based on your recovery abilities. Get in at least 2 complete days of rest before trying your second workout of the week.

Rest about 2-4 minutes in between each set. No more, no less. You will start off with three 5 rep sets, then proceed on to three 10 rep sets. Once you are able to perform 3 sets x 10 reps without failing, you will finish off with a max rep set. If you fail to perform 3 sets x 10 reps, do not attempt set number 7.

So to recap, here's the plan:

  • Sets 1-3: 135 pounds x 5 reps
  • Sets 4-6: 135 pounds x 10 reps
  • Set 7: 135 pounds x max reps, only performed once you are able to complete sets 4-6 without failing

But what about progression? My suggestion is this...when you are able to perform 20 reps on set 7, add 10 pounds to the bar and try this plan using 145 pounds.

If you try this program, let me know the results in the comments section below. Make sure to use your normal chest workout during off-week workouts.

135lb Bench Press Workout
Perform 2x/Week
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - 135lbs 3 5
Bench Press - 135lbs 3 10
Bench Press - 135lbs 1 Max
Posted on: Sun, 06/25/2023 - 03:40

So when you say to use my normal chest workout, for example my first exercise on chest is 5 sets of bench press, do I do this work out and then still do another 5 sets on bench press of what I would usually do, if that makes sense

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 06/25/2023 - 09:26

Your question makes sense, Lewis, but no. Do this workout, then the other exercises in your normal chest workout.

Posted on: Tue, 07/12/2022 - 19:01

"..I want you to run this approach every 2 to 4 weeks for a while."

What does this mean?
Do it for 2-4 weeks in between your normal program?
Or once every 2 to 4 weeks in between your normal program.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/22/2022 - 14:52

Do it once every 2-4 weeks between your normal program, James. I suggest four to be specific. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Thu, 05/06/2021 - 12:03

I’m currently running the 6 day PPL program by Nick Ludlow. Would it be a good approach to perform these 20 sets and then skip any other chest focused lifts that day like dips and flys?

Posted on: Sun, 12/20/2020 - 18:04

Should I use bench or use hammer machine or like a smith machine? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/21/2020 - 10:29

Hey Joe - a bench is best

Posted on: Mon, 12/21/2020 - 10:54


Posted on: Thu, 12/24/2020 - 17:48

Question this is my first week at doing this, starting Monday @135 was able to do. Today I started @145 and surpassed that! Question is next week do I continue do I keep up and move forward or do I do like smith machine work @ same weight? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:36

Hey Joe - you'll increase weight as needed.

Kenny poor
Posted on: Sun, 03/29/2020 - 01:36

Hi I’m soon to be 65 I use 2-45 plates and a 45 lb bar I do 10 sets of 10 reps and 10- sets of 9 reps then finish up doing 5 sets of 15 reps with 40 lb dumb bells is this considered a decent workout I do this every other day on an incline bench

Posted on: Wed, 11/20/2019 - 17:19

I'm sorry but if you are looking to add strength as well as size this workout targets more of a slow twitch muscle group.... You really need to be in a rep range of 8-12 for size and 2-6 for strength... I have tried the high rep burnouts with 135 and 185, and all it did was drain my nervous system and kill my strength gains.... Did I get a pump and burn in the muscle? Of course! But killed my gains in the long run. Just my experience. The best thing for size would be like 225lb, sets of 4, 8-12 reps per set.... Then offset with a strength day the same week. Just my thoughts.

Posted on: Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:13

First try I got 36 on final set. I'll bump up on next attempt. Gonna do incline today also on same goal.

What are you doing for breaks? I took prob 30-45 sec rest periods

ASSER El Badrawy
Posted on: Mon, 05/15/2017 - 05:52

Good day dearest

Can this workout work also for Incline press

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:56

Hi Asser El Badrawy,

Sure, I don't see why not.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 02/08/2017 - 16:25

Interesting approach but it hits the time under tension requirement.

What would you suggest as a counterbalancing back exercise to avoid training front delts etc too much? Something to keep the right thoracic release and maintain proper clavicle position - avoid the hunchback look that many DL only guys get.

FYI, I train squats like this, burns the legs like crazy to do 3 sets of just 1 plate for 35 reps . When I still feel good I continue with a couple of 2 plate sets for about a dozen each. My best is 4 plates for 2.5 reps - the last one was a 3/4 effort. 6' and 210lbs as reference.

Posted on: Sat, 12/17/2016 - 23:57

Hi, is it possible to do this workout if you suffer from a cleft palate? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/19/2016 - 09:05

Hi Jonathan,

You should always consult a medical professional before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have a specific medical condition or history of conditions.

Posted on: Wed, 08/31/2016 - 13:06

Can you use this method for shoulders?

Posted on: Fri, 06/17/2016 - 10:30

Wow, a lot of concern/debate about weight. 133lbs, 134lbs, a plate on each side, how much does the bar weigh. All of this seems kind of silly to me. Are you entering a bench press competition? Maybe. But it doesn't sound like it at this weight. But If so, then I guess it matters. If you are trying to build muscle, then why is everyone so concerned about how much weight they are using?

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:25

The bar and two weigh 45lbs each so all total 135lbs.

T.J MaXx
Posted on: Wed, 07/25/2018 - 09:47

Cause it’s raining, I don’t want to walk or drive to the gym, I have a bench press but only two plates.

Posted on: Mon, 06/13/2016 - 09:16

How much Protien you suggest for a guy with 160 pound body weight. After first session onwards.

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:27

Stick with .8 to 1g per pound of body weight. 160g of protein in a whole day is quite easy to attain.

Posted on: Wed, 06/01/2016 - 02:14

If I complete reps 1-3 can I move up to reps 4-6 in the same work out day

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:29

Yes the first 3 sets are meant for a proper warm up. The purpose of this chest routine is to do 6/7 total sets of 10 reps. On your 7th set you go till failure but only if you were able to hit 10 reps in your 6th set.

Jim Merkov
Posted on: Sat, 04/16/2016 - 14:25

I've included this in my weekly gym schedule, and it helped gain some strength and isolate my chest muscles. I like it.

Jason i
Posted on: Wed, 03/16/2016 - 23:28

Sounds like a variation of gvt, which i throw in every other month

Bennett Howard
Posted on: Thu, 01/21/2016 - 12:34

So...can you do this every week or are you supposed to do it only every 2-4.

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:31

Every 2 to 4 weeks. You want to allow your muscles to recover from so many sets.

Posted on: Thu, 12/10/2015 - 10:08

How much rest between Reps?

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:31

The article shows between 2-4 minutes

Bill Paxton
Posted on: Mon, 12/07/2015 - 11:25

Could this be used with deadlifts or squats?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/08/2015 - 10:05

Squats, perhaps. For deadlifts I would definitely NOT recommend this sort of strategy.

Posted on: Sun, 12/06/2015 - 12:55

Hi Steven
Are you including the weight of the bar in the 135lbs?

Posted on: Tue, 12/08/2015 - 11:31

yes. the 135 is the bar plus 145-pound plate on each side.

David West
Posted on: Mon, 05/02/2016 - 08:45

Actually bar weight is usually considered at 45 lbs, as that's what most gym bars weigh at, so here we see a total of 135 lbs, so that's a 45 lb plate on each side of the bar (45 x 2 = 90), plus the weight of the bar, which is 45 so it comes to a total of: 90(weight of plates) + 45(weight of bar) = which comes out to 135 lbs, so for your situation 88 lbs for two sides of 44 lbs of plates I'm guessing plus 45 instead of 44, I'm curious as to where you got 44 from, which would get you 133 lbs

leonardo winarto
Posted on: Sun, 03/27/2016 - 01:34

Is it : bar = 44 lbs + total plate (left and right) 88 lbs = 132 lbs ?

Posted on: Mon, 11/16/2015 - 15:32

Been stuck at 225 for approx 2 months. Now in 3rd week of this. 1st day 135 all 7 sets complete.
2nd week was as follows. 3x5 and 3x10 complete with 14 reps on last at 155 lbs.
2nd day of 2nd week up to 15 reps on last @155 lbs
1st day of 3rd week (today) 17 reps on last @155lbs

Posted on: Thu, 11/26/2015 - 10:34

4th week complete . 1st workout up to 18 reps at 155lbs. 2nd workout only 14 on last . definitely tell when rested as 1st one of week is the best .

Posted on: Sun, 12/06/2015 - 13:22

So are you still stuck at 225?

Posted on: Mon, 12/14/2015 - 14:44

nope - only 230 but 225 is now every time i get on the bench I can get it with a smooth motion - so not a big jump but it did get me over and a confidence boost as well.

Posted on: Sun, 11/01/2015 - 16:03

This works great. I feel a he'll of a burn directly after and am sore all over chest the next day more than my standard 3x5 routine. Doing this twice a week gaining reps each successive session. Going to run for 8 sessions, 4 weeks then switch back to my work set 175x5 see if I gained some reps. Thinking I might get to 3x8. Will update in a month.

Posted on: Mon, 10/05/2015 - 02:43

Can we use this method for any bench press variation or is it intended to be used only for a flat bench press?????

Fortune Smith
Posted on: Wed, 09/09/2015 - 04:05

How long of rest between sets

Posted on: Sun, 10/04/2015 - 00:41

2-4 minutes.....

Posted on: Tue, 09/08/2015 - 21:57

I am stuck at about 295 and am going to implement this in place of my current chest routine doing inclines and flats. I may even use it to build an entire routine. I will update.

Posted on: Tue, 09/08/2015 - 14:32

If I do this twice a week, would adding my normal chest day in be too much? Or should I just work on this for a few weeks or so and see where it takes me. Thanks.

Joseph Ainsworth
Posted on: Tue, 09/08/2015 - 13:37

Is this effective for a lifter with max 300lb+? 135 single set is easily 30-50reps. Is it more structure of the workout. That is to say just perform with more weight?

gregory hudzik
Posted on: Sun, 06/28/2015 - 15:03

I would love to try this at my gym, if I could just get near a bench that is! My gym is almost always crowded with younger guys, and I can never get near a bench. I haven't done alot of benching recently, and 2 years ago my best bench was 230lbs for 1 rep. It felt great to bench that much and be in my 40's! Guys in their 20's wanted to know what I was on at the time! I'm now 47 years old. What weight would you suggest i start at for a guy my age that hasn't done alot of benching for a while. I know I can bench 135, but I don't know if I can do it for 7 sets and as many reps as you say.