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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
Intermediate
1
Barbell
Male & Female

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

153 Comments+ Post Comment

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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

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:56
JoshEngland

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
thomas

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
Jonathan

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

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/19/2016 - 09:05
JoshEngland

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
Gene

Can you use this method for shoulders?

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

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
Armzilla06

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

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

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
Armzilla06

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
Duane

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
Armzilla06

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
Armzilla06

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
Samiryahia

How much rest between Reps?

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Posted Thu, 07/07/2016 - 22:31
Armzilla06

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
MikeWines

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

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

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

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

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
Gregg

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
Gregg

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
Kenny

So are you still stuck at 225?

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

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
pl3bs

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
Chad

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
Dre

2-4 minutes.....

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

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
Jim

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
MikeWines

Greg,
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
Jonathan

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

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

Jonathan,
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
casey

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

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Posted Tue, 09/08/2015 - 16:52
Kyle

That's far from true... if he isn't failing out on his first few sets of 205 5x5 then it's very possible that he hit 260 1rm. But if that's the case then he should add a few more reps to that workout or add a little more weight so he is failing.

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Posted Sat, 05/16/2015 - 07:20
Tib mozes

Im not new to lifting but i just decidet to start over again after years and my mass and strength arnt in a good shape so ,i dont know to much about lbs but as i,ve converted it to kg got 61kg is just too much for me to do all these sets so what do you advise ,or just to start with whatever weight is suitable for me? Thanks

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Posted Tue, 04/28/2015 - 10:14
Josh luhrs

I did this work out at the end of my chest day routine and it was a great ending workout I did the 135 pounds but u know now that I could have done more. This was a great work out definitely doing this again

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Posted Fri, 04/10/2015 - 21:10
Nick

I'm pretty new to this stuff so i was wondering, am I supposed to do these sets on both bench and incline bench one after the other?

thanks nick

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Posted Tue, 04/07/2015 - 22:34
BRaggles

I can't front. I was 43 years old when I tried this (I'm 44 now). Disclaimer, I'm pretty active. But I hadn't lifted seriously since 2003 due to a back injury I got from deadlifting incorrectly. SO... I did yoga, biking, swimming, circuit training in the interim. A LOT of P90X.

But... when I started this routine, I was coming off a 2-month layoff from working out, giving my body a break, plus I like redefining myself physically every year by coming up with new routines (to diversify). I'm 6'2 ΒΌ", but then I was about 168. I have a very fast metabolism, so when I don't exercise, I lose weight.

I consider myself in great shape when I get to 185-188. I did this in conjunction with my regular workouts. I started at 155. It took me about 2 months, but I got to 225 and I weighed 196 before I had to lose weight for a triathlon. Don't know if I would have progressed as fast or slow if I decided to do another benching workout, but that's what I got...

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Posted Sun, 03/15/2015 - 10:06
John Carson

Is this incorporated into a current bench routine or is it a substitue?

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Posted Thu, 03/12/2015 - 11:07
Alex_G

Im stuck at 400 lb :)

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Posted Sun, 06/28/2015 - 05:23
John Carson

Lol, then this definately isn't for you!

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Posted Thu, 03/12/2015 - 05:06
enes

Can I do this excercise when I dont have to do chest day but for ex:back. Or I should do this only once a week when I have chest day?