Bench Press Peaking For The Mildly Retarded

I get dozens of emails every week asking how a “beginner” should go about “peaking” for a bench press single. The problem is almost every single athlete I respond to is more than a little disappointed with the simplicity of my response. That being said let me lay out both my “logic” and a simple example of “Bench Press Peaking For The Mildly Retarded”


If you are truly a beginner (enough so to ask for “basic peaking” advice) your training should also be quite simplistic! Let’s say you are doing a good solid basic program like the tried and true 5×5 method.

Your weekly workout should look something like this:

5 Sets of 5 reps in the contest style Bench Press

2-4 Sets of Barbell or BD Incline Benches

2-4 Sets of dumbbell or cable flies

2-4 Sets of barbell or dumbbell overhead press

2-4 Sets of dumbbell or machine side raises

2-4 Sets Dips

2-4 Sets cable triceps

Ok that’s kinda basic but entirely effective and believable! “Peaking” from such a training cycle should be equally as simplistic (and hopefully as productive).

So here it is “Bench Press Peaking For The Mildly Retarded”

Week 1: 5 sets of 5 (all assistance as normal)

Week 2: 5 sets of 4 (all assistance as normal)

Week 3: 5 sets of 3 (all assistance as normal)

Week 4: 4 sets of 2 (only 2 sets each of assistance)

Week 5: 3 sets of 1 (only 1 set each of assistance)

Week 6: Event

Weekly weigh jumps should be “around %5 of bar weight (or your best guess). Week fives weight is a very good approximation of a first attempt at a first event!