Benching Variation

The top bench press variation exercises

As mentioned on the bench press tips page, constant change or bench press variation incorporated into your routine is essential for constant muscle growth. Luckily, there are numerous similar exercise and variations that can be implemented to keep your body in that constant state of muscle growth and development. Listed here are the top methods and exercises you can incorporate to change up your routine.

Drop Sets

Drop sets are extremely effective in shocking your muscles to spur growth. Basically a drop set entails that you would begin with a heavy weight, and then reduce the weight as the set progresses.

For instance, you might begin with a 185 pound barbell weight. To do a drop set, you would simply bench this weight until you cant do another rep. From there, you would have two friends (or yourself) pull off 10 pounds on each side. You would then bench 165 until failure. From there, you might decide to have 20 more pounds taken off total and then repeat. Ultimately its up to you, how much weight you would want to take off on each side and how many times you would want to repeat this process. The whole point is to completely shock your muscles after a number of sets until failure.


A simple way to implement some bench press variations is to create either a more incline or decline in the bench angle.

Put simply if you create more of an incline in the bench angle, you will be working more of the upper chest and shoulders as well. If you decline the bench you will be working more of the lower chest. Both methodologies are effective in providing some variation in your workout. By working your chest from various angles not only will you avoid stagnant growth, but you also be able to develop a balanced and proportional chest.


Using dumbbells rather than the bar is a completely different game. By implementing dumbbell sets into your workouts will be sure to shock you stabilizer muscles much more effectively than using the bar as well as adding some variation into your workout.


Doing flys is a great exercise for building chest muscle. However you must make sure you don’t go too heavy on these or else you wont be benching without injury for long.

There are numerous ways to implement a fly routine into your workout. To begin it is recommended that you start with the fly machine. The fly machine allows you to only focus on the motion without concentrating on stabilizing the movement.

The next way to implement a fly routine is by using the cable machine. This machine requires more of a focus on stabilizing the movement so be sure that you don’t go too heavy.

Last but not least would be good old fashion dumbbell flys on a flat bench- and as you might guess, these requires even more concentration on stabilizing the motion.


Dips are great for building your chest but at the same time developing your tricep muscles. If you want to gear your workout more towards working your triceps more, this exercise is strongly recommended.

Push ups

Who doesn’t love good old fashion push ups? Using your own body weight will forever be an effective way to build upper body muscle. Not only this, but there are numerous ways to change up how you actually do the push ups themselves. Not only that but you don’t need a gym membership for these ones!

Focus on these bench press variation exercises routinely and you will likely be able to overcome any plateau in progress and smash your previous max bench weight.


If you are at all interested in learning more about different bench press variations and how to strategically implement them for massive chest and upper body growth, I would personally recommend you check Critical Bench. I wrote a review on the program you can check out by clicking here!