Return to the Iron Dungeon

Iron Dungeon - Weight Training / Bodybuilding

Benchpress 6-session Periodization Routine

by Reichart M

Part One

Try the following. This is written in percent of your 1 rep maximum. If you don't know your maximum for 1 rep. email me, I will tell you how to determine by reps you can do. Routine is assuming you are not in overtrained now. If you are, take week off first, then do 2 sessions of 4 sets- 8reps.

Do this 2 days per week. Something in the order of Montay - Thursday. No more than 2 days a week, and at least 72 hour recouperation between sessions. You will get at minimum 15 lbs on your lift in 5 sessions. Most will be 20 lb probably. Remember, this is percent of your maximum.

SessionSet 1Set 2Set 3Set 4Set 5Set 6Notes
2 50x10 61x8 66x6 73x6 78x6 85x6  
3 50x10 66x8 73x6 78x4 85x4 90x4  
4 50x10 73x8 78x6 85x4 90x2 97x2  
5 50x10 76x8 82x6 88x4 94x2    
MAX DAY 50x10 64x5 76x3 85x1 95x1 MAX 15-20 lb over previous MAX x 1

Not all reps will be hit, depending on if you are used to high or low reps. But this is no matter. As long as you try as hard as you can. If there is many differences in the called for reps, adjust your max down maybe 5 lbs. After your new maximum, take 4-5 days away (rest) for your weighlifting. Then return and begin your normal routine. Or if you like your result and want more. email me. I will give you more sessions to give you 30 lbs more on your maximum. This is longer time (8 weeks). Enjoy.

Part Two

... It is really meant to be run after the one I put up on the newsgroup. It works better together. And it really is not mine, it was used in Germany with very much success, for peoples stuck in plateau. Keep in mind, it is for strength, can not expect a lot of size gain from it. But, , it is normally good for about 30 extra pounds. about 45 total with the first part. As you see, it is cycled intensity. Or as you call it here, periodization. But, it works.

Again, these are percentages of your new maximum. (new from first part). And again, done twice a week. Mon-Thur is perfect. Also, I forgot to mention in first part too. For chest, besides flat bench, only do 3 sets of fly, and 3-4 sets incline. So, here we go. Remember percent. Written as.. 1) 75% 4x6.. This means, 1st session, 75% of new max. 4 sets..6 reps. weight stays the same all sets, and reps. No pyramid. Of course, after a few warm up sets.

2 70% 4x5  
3 80% 4x5  
4 70% 4x6  
5 80% 4x5  
6 75% 4x6  
7 85% 4x5  
8 75% 4x5  
9 90% 4x3  
10 85% 5x3  
11 90% 4x3  
12 85% 5x3  
13 80% 4x3  
14 MAX 1 New Max day. You should have 30 new lbs to your maximum.

You can run these two cycles when you get again stuck on any lift. (large muscle group). But not more than 3 times in one year. Very intensive.


Reader's Comments:

Please leave your comments or suggestions below!
 Did this program after I got over shoulder tendonitis. Before the tendonitis I maxed at 300. After getting over tendonitis I could only max 265. I maxed today at the conclusion of the program and was at 300 again. It worked very well. I did the bottom program only.
 Awesome work!
 You will not get the strength if you do each session once per week. You can go back to your normal once per week bench session afterwards. This is meant to break a plateau. You will not lose the strengths gained if that is what you are asking.

Yes, it will work for squats. Any move you have a plateau on. I would not recommend it for the power clean, or any olympic move. Bench, squat, dead lift....

Happy to see people still finding it and having success!
 Excellent - thanks Reichart for the followup!
 If I start doing this workout twice a week after i'm done with it will i have to fall back on a normal routine 2 times a week to prevent too much reversibility in my strength. I'd prefer once a week.

Does anyone know how well it works if you complete it once a week instead of twice?
 Can you use this for the squat aswell?
 I found this website through chance and must say, this routine works great. its helped me easily get past my bench plateau and I will be using this as my main workout! Cheers from Japan!
2014-03-01Reichart M
 First time I check this page in many years. Almost forgotten. Happy to see many getting good, intended results! Stay strong my friends.
 Finished the 6 session routine but only benched once a week instead of 2. Went up to 315 from 290. Great way to destroy a plateau
2013-12-21A. Smith
 I'm 30 and just completed the first cycle. I had been stuck at 350 for about 18 months. I started the cycle and could not hit the final reps. About to go on vacation so I maxed on 40 hours rest, not ideal, and cleanly lifted 365. I tried 375 but could not lock out my right arm. After vacation, going to start the second cycle. This program is hardcore and gets results.
 I did part 1 six years ago and had great results. Can't wait to do it again!
 I did phase 1 of this workout three times in a row, it stopped working after that...
 I tried this approach and went from 90kg to 95kg in a month with correct technique. I've got a spreadsheet of that you can plug in your 1RM.
 hope it works!
 I just brought me a weight bench today and the only out i can do is the bench press is it alright if i do 4 Session a week and still see results.
 Very nice program (phase I). Worked like a charm.

Do you have any more background on the program such as where it originated, how it works to load/de-load the body and the same for Phase II?

Very interested. Thank you..

 Gained 30lbs!!!! But i just started lifting weights....
 hi.. my max is 185..what would my reps should be? and i didnt understand your 1st chart at all ...what is 50x10, 54x8 61x8, 66x8, 73x8 ,78x8 (what first number and second number stand for?)
 what other accessory work is done on these days?

Inclined bench?
Tricep work?

thanks a lot
 what do i after part two to keep raising my maximum bench?
 My max is 185 i would like to know what weights to use for this program and what you think tha split with other body parts should look like
 im 17 yrs old and i play football. i dont plan on working out on my own untill after the season because my team already workouts together. however i do plan on using your plan once im on a plateau. right now i rep 230 eight times. can you tell me approximate max?
 As for doing this workout twice a week, sesson #1 Monday and #2 session Thursday. How do you add other body parts and how do you lay them out, periodization as well or straight sets, this would be very helpful to anybody trying to implement this program.
2007-07-14Harry A. Crowcroft
 Thank you, Reichart! I had been stuck on 205 lbs for probably at least a month, but I completed Part One, and on Independence Day, I benched 220 lbs! I am now working through Part Two with my new max. The only disappointment is that my eleven-year-old daughter, Grace, is still stuck on 55 lbs. Perhaps she'll do better when she gets a bit older.

Harry A. Crowcroft.
2007-06-16Harry A. Crowcroft
 What is the optimal amount of time to rest between each set?
2007-05-24dick sullivan
 go for 135 for 3 then 205 for 3 then 225 for 3 then 265 for 3 then 315 for 2 then 365 for 1 then 405 for 1. your bench will improve
 I have gained 10kg in weight in two years and for the last six months have been stuck at 79kg.

any advice on how I can get into the 80's?
 how long should you take to recover between part one and two of the program
 If you incline bench around 185-190... how much you think you'll get off part 1 and 2?
 hey i tried part one of ur thing here and it only added 5lbs to my max and i was able to hit every rep

im still gonna try part 2 hopefully it has better results
 any similar routines for squat and deadlift, particularly with Part 1?

 what if you arent at a plateau, would it still add to ur max?
 I have been on a diet and exercise weight loss program and have lost 40 plus pounds. I was lifting while I was losing weight, but at this point I plan on building a lot of muscle. I am 15 years old and my one rep max is about 140 and am planning on using your bench pressing program once I do hit a plateu. But when I start your program out, I am confused if my only workout is the 6 sets of the bench a day, or if I should do that, and then do maybe 3 sets of the fly. And if I do, do the few sets of the fly should I increase the weight as I get to another set or just stick to the same weight?
 Alright so i was bench pressing 405 a few weeks ago and hit a plateu, i did not know what to do! You saved me!
 Good to hear it!
 for Part One, there are five sessions, does that mean do 1 session one week, 2nd session second week, 3rd session third week?
 I think the intention was to do two sessions per week, so the total program is only a few weeks long.
 Looks like a great program, butI have a question. After I do session 1 on a flat bench, how should I calculate what to do on my incline, decline and flys? I don't want to just sort of 'play by ear' and I'm hoping you can recommend something. Thanks very much.
 so your saying that the part 1 only lasts 3 weeks and you gain 20 lbs?
 Does a session mean 1 day? or is a session for ex. mon and thurs.?
 What kind of assistance work is done, tri's? Board presses? Floor presses?
 What assistant exercises should I do with this routine?
 Say you was supposed to do

50x10 66x8 73x6 78x4 85x4 90x4

But you could only do 85% 3 times and 90% 2 times. Would you just go on to the next session the next time you work out?
 this is in regards to the "part one program". do you do sessions 1+2 in a week, 3+4 in a week, and 5+6 in a week. And where it says "50x10" that is 50% of max and the reps. from the comments i think this sounds like a good program and im going to try it.
 is it ok to work out other muscles on the days your not doing the chest work out? (like biceps, back, abs, shoulders, etc) because it seems its a waste of days not to do anything except on the bench days. i wouldn't like to get weaker in the other areas of my body
 is it ok to work out other muscles on the days your not doing the chest work out (like biceps,back,abs,shoulders,etc) because it seems its a waste of days not to do anything except on the bench days. i wouldn't like to get weaker in the other areas of my body.
 now you say that this will up my bench but it seems the workout is fairly simple, but i trust in what you say and have already started the sessions. I only have two questions, you say only do two sessions a week right? so I do session 1 and 2 the first week and 3 and 4 the next week? and my second question is I have power lifting after school and fourth block football training during school will this lifting interfere with the improvements in my bench or is it ok for me to be doing these workouts as well as this routines? and thanks for the last response.
 Yes, do 1 & 2 the first week and then 3 & 4 the next, etc. I think you might have a harder time meeting the goals if you are already doing other workouts that involve your chest and triceps. Part of the goal of periodization is that you are giving your muscles a rest periodically and then building up.
 can anybody explain to me how part one works?
when it says 50x10, does it mean do 50% of your 1 rep max 10 times, or rep the weight 50 times for 10 sets
 Yes.... all of the numbers before the "x" are percentages of your one-rep max, so in your example, that would be 50% of your 1RM 10 times.
 i dont really get what weight i should do ive been on a plateu for 4 months and cant get off of it.ive been doing 5x5with 185 pounds and a pyramid of (8 reps with 185, 6 reps of 195, and 4 reps with 205 with a spot.) if f u could could you give me a program of the weight you think i should be doing. i feel like i should just stop lifting because im not going any where on bench. but on the rest of my excercises i can go up fine in weight. if you could give me a program for bench press it would be appreciated my email is thanks it sounds like you been helping a lot of people with my same problem. thanks again
 hi lm from Turkey and here l dont know a pro body builder for take advice about my deficiecy part .My off seasen weight 196 pound and my bench is 280x6 pound, squat390x3 .deathlift 370x7
and my problem is my chest and back how must l work if you halp me l ıı be very happy
 Have you got a suggestion how to divide the musclegroups in the week? in a split program? what do you think of this one:

mo Chest
tu Back+Rear Delts
we Legs+Side Delts
th Chest+Front Delts
fr Triceps+Biceps

(sa+su no option for me). But besides this two times a week program we must do flyes and incline presses as well?

I like big butts and I cannot lie.


Another side-effect of squatting: wearing out your jeans faster because your thighs rub together when you walk!


Gained 20 lbs on my max after part one, just finished part 2 and only gained 15 lbs. on new max. Cause of work, had to skip 1 session a week a few times but jumped back on track when I could. Still, very happy with the results. Thanks! Oh yeah, Started this training back in January 05 weighing 210 (beer belly), now, 180 with more muscle mass and stronger than ever, still working on the six pack.


Congratulations! Glad to hear that it worked for you!


I was skeptical at first being a beginner and about bringing my bench up 20lbs in 6 sessions. I'm happy to say that you've made a believer out of me. I will now do part two and will let you know how it goes. Thanks for the tip. It was a great confidence builder.


Leave a comment or suggestion for this page:

(Never Shown - Optional)