The Ultimate Guide to Increasing Bench Press
One of the biggest questions asked around the gym is how much can you bench press? This is the workout station that you will find the majority of the men and women gathered around at every gym in America.
The next most common question is, “How do I increase my bench press?” Two very valid questions, but also quite aggravating for those of us who can’t bench as much as the others in the gym. It is a well-known fact that the bench press is considered to be the ultimate test of a person’s strength and even their manliness in a gym setting.
Do you feel that this is the ultimate test? Do you want to increase your bench press skills, strength and numbers? Then, this is the blog for you.
In this blog, we will go over a few of the most useful tips for increasing bench press strength and a few safety tips you should always follow when using a bench press. These tips should be followed whether you’re in the gym or the comfort of your own home. So, without further ado, let’s jump into our ultimate guide to increasing your bench press strength.
Work on Your Technique and Get it Right
While this tip might seem like a super obvious one, you would be surprised at how many people don’t have their technique right. As a matter of fact, you will probably see more bad techniques than good when you are at the gym.
The most common mistakes you will see are listed here:
• Shallow lifts
• Lifters raising their legs in the air
• People bouncing the weights off their chest
• Lifters putting their feet on the bench
• People raising their head off the bench
When it comes to proper technique, these are the mistakes you don’t want to make. Especially if you’re looking to increase your strength without injury. Why does technique matter, you might ask? After all, as long as you’re lifting the weight who cares….right? There are a couple of reasons why you should care and want your technique to be flawless.
First of all, making the mistakes listed above is pretty much cheating your way through your bench press routine. It also means that you’re not going to have any room to grow. For example, if you’re cutting corners to reach your 150lb goal, then how do you expect to reach your 175lb goal or higher?
Secondly, using a bad technique isn’t going to get you to your goal of strengthening triceps, shoulders, and chest. Instead, it can lead to an imbalance in your muscles, or worse, an injury that will keep you out of the gym for quite some time.
If you’re not sure what the proper technique is for this type of exercise, then you need to talk to a trainer at your local gym. Doing so will help ensure that you can do a bench press properly without injury. If you want to increase your bench press strength, then this is the best option for you. You want to do it right from the get-go, so you can reach your ultimate fitness potential.
Always Use Proper Programming
Following a proper program is going to be an important aspect when it comes to increasing your overall strength and numbers. The last thing you will want to do is head to the gym with no idea of what type of workout you plan to do. Knowing the number of reps and the amount of time you want to dedicate to your workout is just as important as the workout itself.
Doing proper research into a personal training program is a great start. While there is no one program that will suit everyone, you will be able to find a program that works best for you. Having a program in place will only help you succeed in reaching your fitness goals.
One of the most important steps to take when putting together a program is deciding what your end goal is. Once you have established your end goal, the other goals will fall into place. If your end goal is to increase your amount by a certain weight, then you can make smaller, more achievable goals to set for yourself along the way.
Once you establish your goal, it is important to write that goal down along with what you plan to do daily to achieve that goal. Whether you plan on changing your diet, hitting the gym more frequently, or adding more weight on, all of this information should be written down daily. This way you will not only know what to intend to accomplish every day, but it will also act as a motivational tool and a guide for you to follow to help keep you on track.
Work to Strengthen Your Grip
Now that you have your technique and your program down, are you seeing any improvement? If not, then it could be that you need to work on strengthening your grip. In many cases, when it comes to bench presses, weak wrists can be your downfall. Improving your technique can help to fix this, as many people tend to lift with their wrists bent in a backward position. You need to work to strengthen your wrists and then your grip and your lifts will start to improve.
If you still see very little improvement or your wrists are giving you pain when lifting, you should consider wearing wrist straps. Wearing wrist straps not only helps with the pain, but also increase your stability, and helps improve your technique at the same time. If you are concerned about the overall strength of your wrists, then there are some exercises that you can do to help with that. Strength building exercises for your wrists such as cable wrist rotations and hammer curls focus primarily on your wrists, making them strong enough to withstand bench presses.
Build Up Your Triceps
Often, lifters think that their chest muscles are the problem when it comes to being unable to increase their bench press strength. While that could be true in your case, it is possible that your triceps are the problem. From skull crushers to triceps dips, there are plenty of exercises out there that can help you increase your triceps strength.
If you are still having issues with, even after building up your triceps, then it is definitely possible that your chest is underdeveloped. If this is the case, then you should start doing exercises that focus more on the chest. Exercises such as pushups, chest presses, incline presses, and chest dips are great ways for you to build strength in your chest.
Take Proper Rest Periods
While this is something most lifters don’t want to hear, it’s extremely important to utilize proper rest periods if you hope to increase your strength at all. Many lifters tend to guess when it comes to their rest periods, and only give themselves a 30 second rest period between their sets. Other lifters take 10-minute breaks between sets.
You need to determine the amount of time you will take between sets and stick to that consistently. Studies have shown that three minutes is the perfect resting time between sets. The best way to accomplish this is by setting your timer for three minutes so that you’re sure you are resting the right amount of time and like you’re supposed to.
A Few Safety Tips
As you probably already know, you need to follow a few safety tips when it comes to bench pressing.
We will include a few of them in the section below:
• Improper body alignment can lead to severe injury when benching. Make sure to learn the basics before you begin.
• Taking on too much weight. Most lifters cannot lift their own body weight and you shouldn’t try to so that you can avoid injury.
• Always, always have a spotter when you’re lifting.
• Always check equipment and safety devices before starting
This concludes our blog on improving bench press strength. Make sure that you follow to tips above, as well as the safety precautions and soon you will be happy with your strength and overall achievements.