Boosting Your Bench Press
By Mike Simone Men's Fitness
Have you been bench pressing the same weight for the past 3, 6, 12 months or more? It's time to get on that because there's nothing more discouraging than not seeing any progress.
Instead of pounding away at the same amount of weight, week after week, give these two strategies a shot before loading up the bench bar again.
1. DOUBLE DOWN ON YOUR SHOULDERS & TRICEPS
The shoulders and triceps are "secondary" muscle groups that helps support the bench press, if they're weak, chances are your bench press suffers.
How to double down:
> Reduce the volume of your chest workouts. If you've been doing 12-15 total sets for chest, perform 6-10 total sets for 2-3 weeks.
> Increase the volume of your shoulder and tricep workouts. Add an additional 3-4 sets to your workouts for 2-3 weeks.
> Focus on the "lock-out". Squeezing at the top of an overhead press or a close grip bench press will secure you with more finishing strength for when it's time to bench press again.
Exercises to double down on:
1. Overhead presses
2. Close grip bench presses
2. GET SOME BACK
Just because the bench press is predominately a chest exercise, it's good to have some back behind it. A strong, powerful back will provide much needed upper body stablization when you start piling on the weight.
How to get some back:
> LIFT BIG
Make sure you're performing movements like the barbell deadlift and barbell bent over rows - those movements are big, complex strength-builders and will pack on a solid structure. 3-6 sets, 6-8 reps, longer rest periods, 1-3 minutes.
> LIFT SMALL
Make sure you have lat pull downs and seated cable rows in your back routines. 3-6 sets, 12-15 reps, moderate rest periods, 30-60 secs. Do not train to failure.