I have an issue with my bench press. Its a strange plateau. I am able to bench press 120lbs x 8. However, I cant even do 135lbs x 2. Seems like I should be able to do at least 4. Anyone have any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


Why do you think that you should be able to do at least 4 reps at 135lbs? Attempting to predict the number of reps you'll be able to perform at one weight based on how many you could lift at a different weight is always subject to error due to the large number of factors that determine strength performance at different loads. Only being able to do one rep at 135lbs when you can do 8 at 120lbs is a little lower than one might expect, but that could easily be explained by any of: you not having experience handling weights that are that heavy, you not having practised near-maximal bench press efforts before, just having a bad day when you attempted 135lbs, or being physiologically suited more towards endurance performance than maximal strength performance, due to either or both of training or genetics.

Also, in the context of strength training, "plateau" means a halt in progress. It does not describe this situation.


I suggest bench pressing 125lbs for multiple sets in every session over the next couple weeks. Then 130lbs for a couple weeks. Then re-try 135lbs.

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