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

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

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
4 weeks
10-15 minutes
Male & Female
download pdfDownload 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

162 Comments+ Post Comment

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

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

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Posted Mon, 12/21/2020 - 10:29

Hey Joe - a bench is best

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


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Posted 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.

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Posted Mon, 12/28/2020 - 09:36

Hey Joe - you'll increase weight as needed.

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

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

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Posted 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.

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Posted 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

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

Good day dearest

Can this workout work also for Incline press

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Posted Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:56

Hi Asser El Badrawy,

Sure, I don't see why not.

Hope this helps!

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Posted 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.

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

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

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Posted 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.

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

Can you use this method for shoulders?

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Posted 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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted 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.

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Posted 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

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Posted 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How much rest between Reps?

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

The article shows between 2-4 minutes

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

Could this be used with deadlifts or squats?

MikeWines's picture
Posted Tue, 12/08/2015 - 10:05

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted 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

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Posted 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 .

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

So are you still stuck at 225?

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Posted 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.

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Posted 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.

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Posted 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?????

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

How long of rest between sets

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

2-4 minutes.....

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Posted 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.

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Posted 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.

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

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?

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

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.

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 06/29/2015 - 09:16

I would say just try it for the first workout and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, you don't hit the prescribed reps for each set and you either drop the weight slightly or you shoot for a few more reps the next workout.

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Posted Tue, 06/23/2015 - 12:37

Could you do the same workout for the incline to increase your incline bench?

MikeWines's picture
Posted Wed, 06/24/2015 - 09:55

Sure! Try it out and let us know how things go.

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Posted Fri, 06/19/2015 - 06:41
John Carson

I have never benched 225lbs always stuck @220lbs. Implemented this about 2 months ago not only am I benching 225lbs for life time best but now I am up to 260lb 1rm. I am currently getting 205lbs 5x5.

I know this little switch routine was the key.
Just wanted to come by and thank the original poster, good job!

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Posted Tue, 09/08/2015 - 11:40

youre not hitting 260lbs if youre only doing 205 for 5x5 lol - thats like saying you're hitting 305 5x5 and hitting 360lbs not happening. you better be hitting 215/220 for that 25/20lb increase on a PR clean. Let alone 45lbs