Bench Press Tips
Believe it or not, there are minor and major bench press tips and tweaks that can be easily done that can drastically improve your max bench press weight when done correctly and routinely. Listed here are the best bench press tricks to boost your max bench in a matter of weeks.
Do it first
People often get frustrated that they cant improve their bench press weight after weeks of benching at the very end or in the middle of their workout. You cant expect to bench as heavy as you possibly can or improve by too much week after week if you bench press when you are completely exhausted. Simply start benching first when your muscles are fresh and ready!
Implementing some variation is one of the most effective bench press tips. Your muscles adapt very quickly if you don’t implement any variation into your workouts. Muscles only really grow when they are forced into a constant state of stress. Simply doing the same workout week after week is going to lead to stagnant muscle growth. In order to counter this slowdown in progress, it is necessary to add some variation- changing up your routine. For example if you start your workout with a simple flat bench with 5 sets of benching until failure, consider doing 3 intense drop sets instead. Do 3 drop sets with an inclined bench to start off even. Simply make changes like this constantly so that your body stays in a constant state variation and will lead to a more continuous state of growth.
Vary your grip width
Generally, a closer grip results in more strain on your triceps, while a wider grip will allow for more strain on your chest muscles. You can adjust the width of your grip accordingly for the purpose of adding variation or simply focusing on different muscle groups to work on.
Keep in mind that in order to bench heavier, a wider grip is more effective since the bar has less distance to travel then when you bench with a more closed grip.
Avoid the Machines
Using the smith machine for instance is generally not as effective as the simple barbell. When benching with the barbell and without the aid of additional support, your core and other stabilizer muscles are much more engaged. After spending weeks on the smith machine, you cant expect the same results on an actual bench press without conditioning yourself for it. In addition, the smith machine creates an irregular path of motion as the bar moves from the chest to the fully extended position that is dissimilar to the bars path of motion during the bench press.
Keeping elbows tucked
Generally, the optimal position for your elbows is slightly greater than 45 degrees from your sides. This is position is typically the most explosive and least straining on the shoulders.
In addition, keeping your arms here prevents injury that can result from improper form.
Keeping an arch
One of the most simple ways that your can boost your bench is by keeping a slight arch in your
lower back. Your body is in optimal position for explosive strength when there is an arch in your
back rather than just laying flat down. Its necessary to have some spring and tension in your body rather
than just keeping a stiff position.
Control your breathing
When pushing the bar off from your chest, consciously make sure that your exhale and when the bar retreats back, inhale. This sort of method applies to any weight lifting exercise but it is vitally important for any major compound movement like benching. Not only is this a healthy way to lift weights but it also allows for noticeably more power on the push.
The mental component to benching, and weight lifting in general is often overlooked but it makes a huge difference. Put in those headphones, get into your zone, and even visualize your success. You would be surprised at how much this can actually help.
By implementing bench press tips like these strategically, you should be able to incrementally increase your max bench gradually but surely.
If you are at all interested in more tips and tweaks in much greater detail I would personally recommend you check out Critical Bench. This program is chalk full of tips and tricks that are often overlooked in the fitness industry but make a huge difference when implemented correctly. I wrote a little review you can feel free to check out here!