John Kuc's Bench Press Routine

Submitted by Mr.Berg on Fri, 02/28/2020 - 17:10
john kuc benchpress workout

Powerlifting John Kuc developed the following routine to improve your benchpress around 15-30lb. Use my great-tag system below and click 'John Kuc' to learn more about him. - Mr. Berg

"My bench press training was influenced by Big Jim Williams and Pat Casey. I use the word "influenced" because I am not the same as Jim Williams or Pat Casey. Accepting their routines at the last word and never thinking or innovating for myself would have eventually lead to a halt in progress. These two men have obviously perfected routines that worked best for them. You will do well by seeking all the advice you can from champions; then put it together with a knowledge of yourself and make a routine that is right for you.

The following program is designed for the intermediate lifter. It is based on a 300 pound bench press. I have not taken bodyweight into consideration, but a 165 pounder and a 220 pounder will progress at different speeds. As far as gains from this routine, a 220lb person starting at 300lb should look for 325-330 while a 165 pounder might get 310-320. In my mind, a 15lb increase from this routine should e considered good progress, but 15-30 is the range depending on bodyweight, experience, and effort put into the workout.

Regardless of bodyweight the key to this program is the worksets. You must really work hard and add weight whenever possible. One very important rule is do not sacrifice good form in order to handle more weight. All you will do is develop bad lifting habits which will be very difficult to break. A good guideline for adding weight is when you have completed two consecutive workouts.

This is a sixteen week program divided into two eight week sections. The benchpress workout is to be done twice per week. I advocate training the way you compete. This means all reps should be done with pauses.

For the first eight weeks, do the same bench press workout both days of the week. The second eight weeks will have a different routine for each day.

8 WEEK BUILD-UP ROUTINE

Week 1  
Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 6 reps with 215, 235, 245, 255 x2
Dumbbell Flyes 3x10
Close Grip Bench Press 185x10, 205x6x3
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x10
E-Z Curl 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8

 

Week 2 & 3  
Bench Press 135x10, 175x8 6 reps with: 220, 240, 250, 260x2, 220x8
Dumbbell Flyes 3x10
Close Grip Bench Press 185x10, 210x6x3
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x10
E-Z Curl 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8

 

Week 4  
Bench Press 135x10, 185x8, 6 reps with: 225, 245, 255, 265x2, 220x8
Dumbbell Flyes 3x10
Close Grip Bench Press 185x10, 215x6x3
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x10
E Z Curl 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8

 

Week 5, 6 & 7  
Bench Press 135x10, 185x8, 6 reps with: 230, 250, 260, 270x2, 230x8
Dumbbell Flyes 3x10
Close Grip Bench Press 185x10, 220x6x3
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x10
E-Z Curl 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8

 

Week 8  
Bench Press 135x10, 185x6, 6 reps with 235, 255, 265, 275x2, 230x8
Dumbbell Flyes 3x10
Close Grip Bench Press 185x10, 225x6x3
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x10
E-Z Curl 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8

The second eight weeks will concentrate more on the Bench Press. The rep will be lower and the bodybuilding will decrease. The first and second bench press training day will have a different amount of reps.

Week 9  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x6, 215x6, 3 reps with: 245, 265, 275x2, 245x6
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x8
E-Z Curl 3x8
Dumbbell Curls 3x8
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 215x6, 245x3, 2 rep with: 275, 285, 285x2, 260x4
Same Bodybuilding as 1st day  

 

Week 10  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 215x6, 3 reps with: 250, 270, 280x2, 245x6
Tricep Extensions 3x8
Pushdown 3x8
E Z Bar Curls 3x8
Dumbbell Curls 3x8
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 215x6, 250x3 2 reps with: 280, 290, 290 x2, 265x4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 11 & 12  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 3 reps with: 255, 275, 285x2, 250x6
Tricep Extension 3x8
Pushdowns 3x8
EZ Curls 3x8
Dumbbell Curls 3x8
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3, 2 reps with: 285, 295x3 270x4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 13  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 3 reps with: 255, 275, 290, 285, 250x6
Pushdowns 4x8
Dumbbell Curls 4x8
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3, 2 reps with: 285, 300, 295x2, 270x4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 14  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3 1 rep with: 290, 300, 310, 280x3
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3 1 rep with: 290, 305, 310, 280x3

 

Week 15  
1st Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3, 1 rep with: 290, 305, 315 285x3 
2nd Day Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x6, 255x3, 1 rep with: 290, 305, 3 reps with: 285, 285

Week 16...Contest on Saturday. Tuesday of that week: Bench Press 135x10, 175x8, 220x4, 255x2, 1 rep with: 290, 305.

At the contest, your attempts in the bench should range something like 280-285, 300-310, 320-330, depending on the progress you've made in the routine.

The weights will have to be adjusted for individual needs. Regardless of weights used, strive to complete all sets in every workout. If you can do this you will make progress."