benchpress help for girl

my girlfriend needs to be able to benchpress 35kg 40 times on an
exam for he fire department by 13 march

right now she can benchpress 35kg 2 or 3 times, what would be
the best routine to make progress quick? she not weak trains bjj 5
times a weak, can do 15 pull ups. body weight is 55kg with very
little fat

she needs to achieve at least 25 reps in 1min to pass the test

thank you

you should turn pro as a comedian instead of wasting your time
on an strenght mesage board :)

right now shes lifting 15kg and trying to make 3x10 reps every 2
days, just hoping someone knows what the most effective way is
to get results fast, fewer reps higher weight? just keep trying to do
as mush as possible zith 35kg? pyramids?

Wake Up,

I emailed Kirik about my inability to delete idiotic posts and it seems that the problem is being rectified. As soon as I'm able, I'll be deleting Krispy's post.


wake-up, a routine I used with great effectiveness in the Army to rectify soldiers whose pushups were not up to standard was to combine weights with pushups. This can be translated to your gf's situation in this way:

Let's say we select two chest exercises, DB press and Bench press. For one workout, use very light weight, and have her press the weights as fast as she can with good form until she reaches her needed number of reps (in this case, 40 reps). Try to increase weight slowly until she meets the 35 kilo standard.

On the other end of her workout, have a 35 kilo weight set up, and have her go for 2-3 sets, hitting failure on the third set (of course, you being the loving BF would be there to ensure she could complete the lift with a spot). If you want, do these in a split pair for the chest, with one day being the high reps, the next chest workout being the heavy sets.

Main thing is, don't overtrain in an attempt to get there faster. Best of luck, man.

MAn that is asking a lot out of her.

She has a little over 55 days to increase from 2 or 3 reps to 40 reps.  That is asking a hell of a lot out of her, and anyone else who's max is 2 or 3reps.  Then asking them to increase it to 40reps in 55 days...

Steady progress is key and don't over train.  She needs to work speed and endurance if she is to hit 25rerps in 60seconds at her 35kg weight. 

Fewer and higher weights isn't good in your case.  She needs to train endurance here.  40reps is a lot to be doing.  Strength in the sense of a 1RM IS NOT GOING TO HELP here.  That strength would be well gone by the time she even got to 12reps let alone 25 and 40reps.  It would help for lesser reps of say 12-15 range but not to 40reps imo.

Good luck.


HK, you're right in that going for 1RM isn't smart, but trying to constantly increase reps with the desired goal weight is. So for example, this week she does 3, next week she tries for 5, etc.

thx guys some great advice, she needs to do 21reps min to get 5/10 score to pass

you think every other day is to much training?
if i do the one day speed other day weight thing can she train every day?

i'll get her strated with the one day speed, on day 3sets with 35kg, every other day i'll post progress here

thx for the help

21 reps is a lot more do-able. I was going to say that 40 would be extremely difficult.

Well now 21 reps seems more likely but is still very tough.  40 would have been almost impossible but I didn't want to say that as there is always hope.  Didn't have the heart to say it was next to impossible for any person to do a weight they can only do for 3-4reps to hit 40reps in 2 months :(.

21reps will be still tough either way you split it.

She needs to work speed and strength.  I think more strength as she can only hit 4 or 5 at best now.  She needs 21 in 55 days time.  Speed will come when she gets stronger.  She needs to be able to hit 12-15reps first.  Then work on speed I'd say.

How is her form?


Don't just work on making her stronger; also work hard on improving her bench press technique.Here's a great website to get you started. It's geared toward powerlifters going for a 1rm, but most of it applied to doing reps as well:

How about doing a Coach Sonnon style density workout? It
is designed for achieving high reps for strength endurance.

I have found good results from ladders. Take a weight she can do 12 times.

Have her do 1 rep and rest (short rest)

Have her do 2 reps and rest

continue until she has hit 10.

Then have her do 9 and rest

and continue back down to 1.

I like this approach because she can get a bunch of reps in. (I know this is common knowledge on the board...just thought I would throw it out there.)

I dont think ive ever seen a 40 rep test as a part of the physical test for any fire fighting, military, or law enforcement.

So bench pressing 35kg or 77lbs 40 times would be an estimated 1rm of 169lbs. At a bodyweight of 121lbs, thats almost 1.4 times her bodyweight. Something about that just doesnt seem right. Seems like an unrealistic and strange strength standard.

its the fd in antwerp in belgium, the strenght test is 4 different excercises

1. bench press with 35kg 21reps is 0/10, 40reps is 10/10 less than 21 is fail

2. sit ups, 60 in 60 seconds

3. pull ups, 6 is 0/10 16 is 10/10, less than 6 is fail

4. squat with 45kg bar 21reps is 0/10, 40 reps is 10/10 less than 21 is fail

you have to total 20/40 to pass
so she can make the sit ups easy, the squat is okisch, the pull up is allright but she absolutly has to bench press 21 times, its a pretty hard test for small (light) people. another test that makes it hard is they have to pick up and carry a 65kg belt and transport it over 50m and 30 stairs up and down.

she did 40 reps 1 day with 10kg and that was easy, next day she did 3x10reps with 30kg and she failed on the 4th rep of the 3th set, next day she made 36 reps with 15kg, now she took 2 days rest cause she also had some hard days at bjj, gonna continu with this rythem

i hope she can make the 21 reps then she will pass easy

That's quite demanding for a woman.

Quite I'd say pretty dam hard.

36reps with 15kg is hella off a lot easier then 40kg man.  She really has her work cut outt.  Hope she does it man.  Keep us updated on this.


the exams is in two weeks, she did 21 reps twice in traning this past week :)

she started lifting 28 kg trying to do 20 3x and we have been adding weight gradualy over the past weeks, results vary greatly on the day, sometimes she would do almost all reps and on other days she would be almost crying after 5 or 6

on difficult days we would lower the weight and just do like 30 or 40 reps with something like 15kg

most important thing was like some people said to not overtrain, evrytime she had a rough day we took an extra day break

i'll guess she will make it, i'll know in two weeks

thx for the advice it really helped

Keep us posted.

I wanted to add too that some fitness standards exist that make it so women can not take certain professions. For paramedics in Ontario (Canada) last year they had a bench press standard that was high as well, apparently not one of the females passed, so they had to go look for other work while the union sorted it out. It took them a while to sort it out as well.

Well I don't agree with what they did to those women ChemicalSage.  But I do agree if the standard can not be passed those people should not be doing it.  Could be dangerous in real life situations.

Good luck to your girl wake up.


I agree with having fitness standard for physically demanding jobs. If the standards are unnecessarily high, that's where I'd have a problem. But you don't have 2 foot tall firemen for that reason.