New to training -- Bench Press BASICS. Help!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 02, 2008 9:47 PM GMT
    HAY GURS! I'm your typical 150 pound weakling. I've always been slimmish, but feel really out of shape. I've started doing more weight training at the gym, and have finally built my strangth up to be able to bench press. I've started with just the bar, and that was a struggle. Now, I'm up to 15 lbs on each side. I feel like this is SOOO little weight and that I look like a fool...but seriously after 3 sets of 10-15, I'm spent.

    Is this normal for someone in their 20's or should I be bumping it up each time? What else should I be doing I try and hit arms & legs once a week, chest and back once a week, and then general full body on the weekends...I do core every workout. I have seen MASSIVE results in just a few months, but I still feel WEAK. I got the free training session with my gym membership, and might get more PT sessions later, but can't afford the prices RIGHT NOW. What do you peeps suggest for a SERIOUS beginner who knows nothing?
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    Feb 03, 2008 12:23 AM GMT
    I'll answer the obvious... Don't expect to bump up the weight each visit. It'll never happen. After you are able to complete 3 sets with 12-14 reps, comfortably and correctly, then pop some more pounds on the bar. Rome was not built in a day. Good luck
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    Feb 03, 2008 12:28 AM GMT
    When you use your free PT session, have him watch your form. Many, many guys tilt the bar one way or another because one arm is weaker than another. I had to work for several sessions with my PT before I got the feel for when the bar was straight. It looks crooked to me from down below, but I know now how my hands have to look for the bar to be straight.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Feb 03, 2008 12:50 AM GMT
    Do not be concerned about how much weight you are using. Be concerned about correct form and getting the most out of the exercise. You should feel like you are struggling to get those last few reps out.

    Another thing you can try is dumbbell bench presses, where you do the same exercise just using dumbbells. It really makes you keep correct form.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 03, 2008 6:31 AM GMT
    It takes time. Skinny guys like us do not bulk up as quickly as some others do. It took me a good four months or so to move from just the bar to a 25 pound plate on each side. As the guys above have said, form is far more important than overall weight, so you definitely want to have someone competent watch your form at least once and let you know if there are corrections you need to make; the trainer is ideal, but staff members and possibly even random other people in the gym might be willing to help you out. But, if overall weight is really psychologically important to you, a couple of possibilities to try:

    - Higher weights, lower reps. You might consider dropping down to 5-6 reps per set, at 5 sets.

    - Dumbbells instead of the barbell. It forces you to pay attention to form (which may lead to faster gains), if one side is stronger than the other you can challenge both sides by using different weights per hand, and dumbbells can be safer than a barbell when you don't have a spotter; there's very little chance of crushing your windpipe if the weight really is too much for you.

    - Get some protein in you shortly after lifting, whether it's a whey powder in a shake or a turkey sandwich, you'll want to move your body out of catabolism (breaking things down) and into anabolism (building things up) quickly after lifting.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2008 7:16 AM GMT
    TimberooYou should feel like you are struggling to get those last few reps out.


    Luckydog76
    Rome was not built in a day.


    CaslonMany, many guys tilt the bar one way or another because one arm is weaker than another.


    MSUBioNerd
    - Higher weights, lower reps. You might consider dropping down to 5-6 reps per set, at 5 sets.

    - Dumbbells instead of the barbell. It forces you to pay attention to form (which may lead to faster gains), if one side is stronger than the other you can challenge both sides by using different weights per hand, and dumbbells can be safer than a barbell when you don't have a spotter; there's very little chance of crushing your windpipe if the weight really is too much for you.

    - Get some protein in you shortly after lifting, whether it's a whey powder in a shake or a turkey sandwich, you'll want to move your body out of catabolism (breaking things down) and into anabolism (building things up) quickly after lifting.


    Thanks for these tips! icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2008 10:25 AM GMT
    Chill Dude. It is what it is. You'll progess, at your own pace.

    Here's a stat for you: whether you're 18 or 80, you'll have a 60% to 80% increase in your lifts, in just a few weeks, or months, if you've never trained before.

    This is because the nerves in your body (CNS) need to literally get bigger to handle the additional current applied to cause more motor movement, and it takes a while for your brain to learn how to coordinate those movements and how to know where the load is in space (proprioception).

    Wax on. Wax on.

    EAT!

    REST!

    LIFT!

    Do some cardio.

    Repeat.

    Stay focused.

    Stay disciplined.

    And, you'll grow like a weed.

    Remember: anything worth doing should be worth doing well. You should start by doing your profile, unless you're really THAT lazy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 03, 2008 9:23 PM GMT
    THANKS BOYS!!! I really appreciate all the help and tips, and they all make complete sense. Thank you thank you!
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    Feb 04, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    Nice profile!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 04, 2008 2:54 AM GMT
    Nice profile!