I increased my bench press from 205 to 245 using these methods. Everyone loves bench pressing. It’s the mark of a true beast to be able to bench a lot of weight. A lot of people want to know how to increase the weight of their press and or break through some plateaus. Strength gain is what you want, and I can show you how.
Don’t skip leg day.
A lot of you know what I’m talking about when it’s easy to skip leg day. I go to the gym intending to squat and end up benching anyways. Guys that quit squatting lose strength on their bench press. This is because squats are probably the most important full body exercise there is.
Utilize exercises that strengthen the muscles that are required to bench press. In other words, do DIPS!
Basically what I’m telling you is to workout your shoulders, triceps, and chest using other exercises. The best one you can do is dips. Dips hit your triceps and shoulders hard. If you do them right, dips can be a great chest workout too. Add weight to your dips if possible. If you can do over twenty dips then you are no longer strength training. That’s all endurance. Throw a couple plates on a belt and hang them around your waist, and then start doing dips. That’s a serious workout.
Don’t arch your back!
We all arch our back a little. It’s just part of the movement itself. However, I’m telling you not to arch your back for an extended period of time. Dedicate a few months to bench-pressing with a belt tied around you and the bench you’re laying on tight enough so that you aren’t allowed to arch your back. I’ve heard of people increasing their bench by fifty pounds using this method. If you can’t get a belt around the bench and yourself, ask your lifting buddy to sit on your stomach while you bench.
Always lift heavy.
I highly recommend that you have a spotter at all times when benching. Lift as heavy as you can so that you fail at or before six reps. Low reps and heavy weight is the most efficient way to gain the most strength possible.
Only bench once a week! At most twice a week…
This one most people overlook, but it must be taken into account. If you bench any more than once a week you will be overtraining your chest. Best thing you can do is to give your chest a good long rest before hitting it hard again. Too many guys go into the gym and bench every time they do.
Hit your chest from different angles.
I’m sure you’ve seen the guys using incline and decline benches. I did not like them at all to be honest, but I recognized the benefit to them and incorporated them into my workout. You should too. They help more than you realize.
You’re probably thinking, who in the world is Linda? Well, since you asked, she’s a crossfit workout. Done right, she can bust your plateaus like no one else. Hit this one once every other week.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for these three lifts:
Deadlift: 1.5x body weight
Bench press: body weight
Clean: .75x body weight
Set aside three bars, do deadlift for 10 reps, bench for 10 reps, clean 10 reps, deadlift 9, bench 9, clean 9, etc…
Hope this helps! Lift hard.