Gillingham 12 week Bench Program

The Brad Gillingham automated bench press program calculator created by Adam Gerbert is located at:

A downloadable Excel file of this program is located: here

This bench press program was created by Brad Gillingham* and has a heavy bench day per week and a light bench day per week.  The percentages are based on your one rep bench max.

The example below uses 275 as the one rep max.

Heavy Day:  After warm up sets, do the heavy single for the day followed by the working sets for that day.

Heavy Day Single Weight


Working Sets Weight


Week 1 1 248 90.0% 3×5 220 80.0%
Week 2 1 254 92.5% 5×3 227 82.5%
Week 3 1 261 95.0% 5×3 234 85.0%
Week 4 1 268 97.5% 5×3 241 87.5%
Week 5 1 254 92.5% 3×5 227 82.5%
Week 6 1 261 95.0% 5×3 234 85.0%
Week 7 1 268 97.5% 5×3 241 87.5%
Week 8 1 275 100% 5×3 248 90.0%
Week 9 1 261 95.0% 3×5 227 82.5%
Week 10 1 268 97.5% 5×3 234 85.0%
Week 11 1 275 100.0% 5×3 241 87.5%
Week 12 1 282 102.5% 5×3 248 90.0%

Light Day: After warm up, follow the working sets for the day

Light Day Working Sets Weight


Week 1 2×8 179 65.0%
Week 2 8×3 165 60.0%
Week 3 2×8 186 67.5%
Week 4 8×3 165 60.0%
Week 5 2×8 193 70.0%
Week 6 8×3 165 60.0%
Week 7 2×8 199 72.5%
Week 8 8×3 165 60.0%
Week 9 2×8 206 75.0%
Week 10 8×3 165 60.0%
Week 11 2×8 213 77.5%
Week 12 8×3 165 60.0%

*Brad Gillingham is a world ranked USA Powerlifting super heavyweight.  He developed this bench program.  This program along with other powerlifting programs, information, and helpful products can be found at Brad’s gym at

  • Automated Gillingham Bench Press calculator created by Adam Gerbert:  here
  • Cast Iron Strength has an automated webpage for this program:  here
  • Jackals Gym also has an Advanced Bench program with Calculator available: here
18 comments on “Gillingham 12 week Bench Program
  1. Glen says:

    What happened to your old page layout/calculator for this program? Cast Iron Strengths layout is a pain to print out and keep track of. Love your programs, but please fix the layouts, thanks!


    • @Glen thanks for the feedback. The old Gillingham Bench web page was pretty cool as it auto-calculated the entire program based on your 1 rep bench max. It was similar to what an Excel file can do. Unfortunately, that page was built on older technology that is no longer supported and the cost to move to a new custom environment and recreate the page was cost prohibitive for a volunteer organization. Bummer I know. A recommended alternative is for you to use Excel to calculate your working sets based on the given percentages.


  2. David Platte says:

    Brad I used your old one and it was great. From memory you put your 1RM in first and you put your target 1RM in and the calculator calculated it over the 12 weeks to get to that new 1RM? I had 140kg 1RM and put in 150kg and over the 12 weeks I reached it. I also did the same to get to 160kg.

    This new layout doesn’t do that?


    • @DavidPlatte Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the website can no longer support a bench press calculator. Based on your numbers you shared, you might be ready for the Gillingham Advanced Bench routine. This program is available on the Jackals Gym website which is owned by the Gillinghams. And good news for you, there is also an automated calculator with program details on that website at: Best of luck on your program. As a side note, Brad Gillingham and Jackals Gym have nothing to do with the marylandpowerlifting website – we simply share some of Brad Gillingham’s powerlifting programs because he is a well respected USA Powerlifting athlete. We also share other powerlifting programs as training program samples.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rob says:

      So I need to put in what I want my max to be or what my max is now


  3. Matt Greenhalgh says:

    Hi, i’ve been struggling with my bench for a while, my max is 105kg so about 225lb at 81kg body weight, so not good… My question is, would you recommend this program for my bench while following my current program for deadlifts and squats as i feel i’m making noticable strength gains using my current program for deadlifts and squats, just not on the bench… Thanks. Matt


  4. Adam Gerbert says:

    I’ve created a dynamic calculator for this program, keeping the format as shown above, for my own use. Contact me and I can provide the source. No strings attached; it wasn’t much work to be honest.


  5. Carlos says:

    halo!.. Can i apply these routine to squat..?? thanks you


  6. sean says:

    Hey guys great programm, whats your view on asssitance exercises ?


  7. Swolmie Nagai says:

    Is the working sets (reps/sets) or vice versa?


  8. Rob says:

    So I put my current max in or the max I am shooting for


  9. Rob says:

    How far apart in the week should the workouts be apart I do heavy on mondays and light on thursdays


  10. Rob says:

    Still wandering if I put the correct max in for my sets or the target max I want


  11. […] but was no good with 130kg. So my best bench press at U83kg was 127.5kg prior to implementing the Gillingham Bench Cycle in the lead up to the 2012 Oceania Champs. You can see my forum posts halfway down this linked […]


  12. […] Gillingham Bench Cycle […]


  13. […] is an Excel sheet of Brad Gillingham’s Bench Press program – the original program was found here. I’ve simply created a free Excel version of the program that suits my display […]


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