Question: What would you do to bring up a weak lift? For example, my dead, press, and squat are about right relative to each other but my bench is comparatively very weak. It's embarrassing. How would you recommend using 5/3/1 to fix something like this?
Answer: We all have weaker lifts but I certainly wouldn’t worry too much about it. Instead of obsessing over some sort of made up “lifting symmetry”, embrace and push your “good lifts” and keep plugging away at the weaker one(s). A well programmed training plan rarely leaves any stone unturned. The problem is that people don't realize that balance in training doesn't mean one has to spend equal time on each part. For example, 10-15 minutes/day of mobility work can do wonders to help provide balance for 90 minutes of lifting. You don't need 90 minutes of mobility work.
As for your situation, MOST of the time, the bench and press are going to lag longer than the squat or deadlift. This is because of the size/strength of body parts used when doing the lifts. For example, the squat has a lot of strong muscles that can take over when the lift gets difficult - you have more professionals, so to speak, to help you. The press or the bench press don't have that luxury. Also, building muscle mass is a huge help when lifting and too few people choose to eat in such a way that allows them to do that.
Here are some suggestions:
- Adjust the TM so that it is accurate.
- Adjust your supplemental training (remember that this may negatively effect other lifts so there is always a price to pay.
- Adjust your assistance work - same idea as above. Everything has a price.
- Plan your training better - think of training in blocks and then reassess after each block.