Peaking your bench press performance is not just about gaining physical strength. The mental aspect of fitness is equally important.
Therefore, only a strict and comprehensive bench press program can help you max out before a meet or a competition.
Improving your benchpress performance becomes especially difficult if you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter. After a certain point, increasing your 1-Rep Maximum might take months of hard work.
And sometimes, no matter what you do, your body cannot overcome the plateau despite vigorous training sessions.
So, if you’re stuck in a rut after years of resistance training, follow the 12-week bench press peaking program to increase your 1RM for benchpress. The program is an effective way to prepare for lifters’ meet events and competitions and general strength-based training.
The 12-week bench press program aims at increasing the 1RM performance of the lifter by the end of the cycle.
The program is especially beneficial for intermediate and advanced lifters who have been hitting the gym for quite a while now. Since they have engaged in resistance-based training consistently, benchpress peaking might be difficult for them if they follow a linear training pattern for deciding workout intensity and volume.
Thus, the bench press peaking program specifically follows an undulating periodization format, wherein training intensity and volume levels fluctuate every week. The fluctuations in workload produce a high level of stimulation for lifters, allowing their body to adapt more efficiently.
The program uses 1RM percentages to determine the initial weights that the lifter will be bench pressing. The use of “rate of perceived exertion” is discarded as 1RM% gives a more objective view of the lifter’s progress before a competition or a powerlifting meet.
Here are the principles that used to maximize the effectiveness of this 12-week bench press program:
- Uses undulation periodization to provide maximum stimulus to the lifter’s body, allowing experienced powerlifters to adapt to increasing weights and overcome plateaus.
- Records progress with 1RM% instead of using the RPE scale to get more objective insights.
- Training frequency is kept to a standard minimum to ensure both physical and mental recovery for the competition.
12 Week Bench Press Peaking Program
The 12-week bench press peaking program follows optimum training frequency. The low training frequency makes it a good program for lifters who need to prepare for an upcoming competition by increasing their 1RM capabilities.
The bench press program alternates between high intensity/low volume and high volume/low intensity to maximize stimulus and promote strength.
The initial weight that the lifter will be working with is decided on the basis of their 1RM percentages. To be precise, 55% of the lifter’s 1RM is taken as the initial weight for bench pressing. From there, the weight increases and decreases in an undulating pattern.
An easier way to determine the starting weight is, determining the 55% of target 1RM.
The goal of the bench press program is to allow a lifter to increase their 1RM by around 20 pounds by the end of the 12th week. The main objective is to achieve this growth without putting a strain on your body, and allowing yourself to recover physically and mentally.
12 Week Bench Press Peaking Program Spreadsheet
The 12 week bench press peaking program is available as a spreadsheet. You can follow this routine to increase your 1RM by the end of the 12th week and prepare your body for an upcoming competition.
You can download the bench press peaking program from here.
The spreadsheet is pretty straightforward and easy to understand. It also contains some additional information about how to perform warm-up exercises.
To Sum Up
Advanced-level lifters have a hard time increasing their 1RM after a certain point. With this 12 week bench press program, lifters can improve their strength and prepare for a competition without overstressing their bodies.