How To Increase Your Bench Press by Blake Bissaillion http://www.building-muscle101.com/ [Note: The original article has been condensed by Ting-Li Lin. If you want to get the original article just google it. ] How You Can Add 20, 30, Or Even 40 Pounds To Your Bench Press - The Real Secret To Building A Big Bench Press The bench press alone is not the actual exercise that generates the power, it is the strength exercises for the shoulders and triceps that build the core power. I mean, the pectoral muscles are the targeted muscles in the bench press, but not the only muscles involved. The core exercises to help build a large bench press are the front shoulder press and close grip bench press. Yup, simple right? Well, it’s not that simple because most aspiring trainers do this all wrong. Here’s where they screw up. It’s the lack of understanding that these exercises must be done in a manner that allows for the maximum recovery between exercise sessions. This is the only way to get strong. And it’s this impatience that is directly responsible for a poor bench press. By bench pressing 2, or even 3 times per week, you are sabotaging your efforts and you won’t get anywhere. Remember this, if you want a big bench press, you should only be doing it once per week. Actually, you should only be training one body part per week. And if you do it right, your bench press will explode. Alright, here’s what you want to do if you want to really gain on your bench press. You should be training each body part once per week, putting priority on the front shoulder press, close grip bench presses, and the bench press. All of your efforts are going to be aimed at getting stronger in each of these 3 exercises. Cut out all isolation exercise such as cable cross overs, bent over cable laterals, triceps kick backs or anything else that doesn’t involve two or more muscles. All you want to do is concentrate on three exercises: Bench Press; Front Shoulder Press; Close Grip Bench Press. The bench press should be done first and foremost in your weight lifting routine. Shoulder presses should be done about 3 to 4 days after training chest. I usually train triceps with chest. So, I do the bench press, followed by triceps and biceps. I take a days rest following chest and arms, train legs, than hit my shoulders and back. Here’s a sample routine: For chest, you want to do the bench press first and foremost. I would recommend doing no more than 3 exercises for chest. Here’s a sample: Bench press; followed by Incline bench press; followed by Flat bench fly or dips. I suggest you do the shoulder press first and foremost in your routine. Here’s a sample shoulder weight lifting routine: Seated front shoulder press; followed by Seated dumbbell presses; followed by Side laterals. Here’s a sample triceps weight lifting routine: Close grip bench presses; followed by Standing cable push downs; followed by Seated barbell extensions. Bench press tip - Proper form and mechanics Make sure your bench mechanics are correct. Proper form is inductive to optimal growth and strength. Focus on moving the weight with your chest allowing for a controlled and fluid movement. Drive the bar up with muscle strength. Follow these techniques and your will ensure that you achieve full stimulation of the pectoral’s muscles. • Always warm up properly first and foremost. Start by warming up by performing two sets of 15 to 20. Always stretch before, during and after your chest workout. You want to be warm when you start doing the bench press. • Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. What you want to ensure is that your elbows are directly under the bar and are vertical in the bottom position. A quick trick to doing this is to use an empty bar and lower it to the bottom position. Your elbows should be vertical in this position. Don’t space your grip to far out and don’t space your grip too far in. • The most important part of bench pressing is ensuring that you set up you pectoral girdle correctly. Lie back on the bench, take a tight grip and press your shoulders down toward your waist and back into the bench. That is, push your shoulder blades together and puff your chest out. Make sure that you thrust your chest forward when you start. This way, you set up your position that is optimal for pressing the weight. It will take some practice but after a couple of sessions, you should get the hang of it. • Always use a spotter when using the heavier weights. Never feel that you won't need a spotter because you will. If you are in doubt about the weight, always ask for a spot. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck on the bench with a couple of hundred pounds on your chest. • Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor with your butt on the bench at all times. Don’t lift your legs or put them on the bench. I don’t know why people always do this. It takes away from your core power since you want stability and the only way to do this is to keep your feet firmly planted on the floor. This way you have balance and you are able to adjust to the different stages of the lift. Remember, don’t place your feet on the bench and always keep them flat on the floor. Don’t move your feet around while you are doing the lift since this will take away from the success of your lift. • Try using chalk on the bar. I know, sounds too simple but I’ve noticed that if my grip feels good on the bench, I usually have a pretty strong workout. Simply add some chalk to the bar and you’ll notice a difference immediately. • Grip the bar hard. Really give it a good squeeze and get a feel for the weight. Find the proper grip spacing and pretend like your revving up a bike with both hands and squeeze. This way, you push your shoulders down and puff your pec girdle up. • As you rack the weight, slowly lower the weight and never drop it. Always keep your eyes on the bar, and lower it in a slow and controlled manner. • Always inhale as the weight comes down and exhale as the weight goes up. Try taking a nice deep breathe through your nose on the way down and exhale through your lips on the way up. • Lightly touch your chest at the bottom of the movement and never bounce the weight. Once you start bouncing the weight, you take away from the effectiveness of the exercise. Remember, you want to build power and size in the chest so this means controlling the movement at all times. • Keep your elbows in a vertical line with the bar. That is, your elbows should be directly under the bar. This way, you work the chest and keep the movement controlled. • Use an over hand grip. I seen this one guy use an underhand grip and the weight slid off his hands and on to his chest. He had 520 pounds on the bar. Ouch! Plus, I find the underhand grip a little unnatural. • Always make sure the weight is controlled. Once the weight starts to get away from you, lighten the load. You can get it next workout. • Remember, you want to be completely warm before the bench workout. When I’m gearing up for a hard and heavy bench workout, I’ll drink one cup of tea ? hour before I workout. However, you must remember to drink one or two glasses of water before your workout as caffeine tends to sap your water. • If you need to see an illustration of how the bench press looks, click here to go to building muscle 101's weight lifting exercise page.
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