John Kuc’s Bench Press Routine

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 135×10, 175×8, 6 reps with 215, 235, 245, 255 x2
Dumbbell Flyes 3×10
Close Grip Bench Press 185×10, 205x6x3
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×10
E-Z Curl 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8

 

Week 2 & 3  
Bench Press 135×10, 175×8 6 reps with: 220, 240, 250, 260×2, 220×8
Dumbbell Flyes 3×10
Close Grip Bench Press 185×10, 210x6x3
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×10
E-Z Curl 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8

 

Week 4  
Bench Press 135×10, 185×8, 6 reps with: 225, 245, 255, 265×2, 220×8
Dumbbell Flyes 3×10
Close Grip Bench Press 185×10, 215x6x3
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×10
E Z Curl 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8

 

Week 5, 6 & 7  
Bench Press 135×10, 185×8, 6 reps with: 230, 250, 260, 270×2, 230×8
Dumbbell Flyes 3×10
Close Grip Bench Press 185×10, 220x6x3
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×10
E-Z Curl 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8

 

Week 8  
Bench Press 135×10, 185×6, 6 reps with 235, 255, 265, 275×2, 230×8
Dumbbell Flyes 3×10
Close Grip Bench Press 185×10, 225x6x3
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×10
E-Z Curl 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8

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 135×10, 175×6, 215×6, 3 reps with: 245, 265, 275×2, 245×6
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×8
E-Z Curl 3×8
Dumbbell Curls 3×8
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 215×6, 245×3, 2 rep with: 275, 285, 285×2, 260×4
Same Bodybuilding as 1st day  

 

Week 10  
1st Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 215×6, 3 reps with: 250, 270, 280×2, 245×6
Tricep Extensions 3×8
Pushdown 3×8
E Z Bar Curls 3×8
Dumbbell Curls 3×8
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 215×6, 250×3 2 reps with: 280, 290, 290 x2, 265×4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 11 & 12  
1st Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 3 reps with: 255, 275, 285×2, 250×6
Tricep Extension 3×8
Pushdowns 3×8
EZ Curls 3×8
Dumbbell Curls 3×8
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3, 2 reps with: 285, 295×3 270×4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 13  
1st Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 3 reps with: 255, 275, 290, 285, 250×6
Pushdowns 4×8
Dumbbell Curls 4×8
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3, 2 reps with: 285, 300, 295×2, 270×4
Same Bodybuilding as first day  

 

Week 14  
1st Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3 1 rep with: 290, 300, 310, 280×3
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3 1 rep with: 290, 305, 310, 280×3

 

Week 15  
1st Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3, 1 rep with: 290, 305, 315 285×3 
2nd Day Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×6, 255×3, 1 rep with: 290, 305, 3 reps with: 285, 285

Week 16…Contest on Saturday. Tuesday of that week: Bench Press 135×10, 175×8, 220×4, 255×2, 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.”

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