How you can Enhance Your Bench Press: 12 Science-Backed Strategies

How you can Enhance Your Bench Press: 12 Science-Backed Strategies

The bench press entails lots of the largest upper-body muscular tissues, together with the pecs, shoulders, triceps, lats, and traps, which makes it top-of-the-line measures of upper-body power.

That’s why if you wish to construct a robust, highly effective, muscular upper-body, you have to know find out how to improve your bench press max.

And if that tickles your fancy, this text is for you.

In it, you’ll be taught find out how to improve your bench press utilizing these 12 scientifically-proven strategies.

Tip #1: Deal with progressive overload.

If you wish to improve the quantity you bench, it’s a must to try so as to add weight or reps each time you bench press. 

This is called progressive overload, and it’s top-of-the-line methods to maximize the strength- and muscle-building results of weightlifting. 

The simplest means to do that is to make use of double development—a technique for rising your weights solely when you hit the highest of your rep vary for a sure variety of units (usually one).

As an illustration, let’s say your exercise requires 4-to-6 reps of flat barbell bench press. If you happen to get 6 reps on one set, you’d add 5 kilos to every facet of the bar (10 kilos complete) in your subsequent set and work with that weight till you may (finally) press it for six reps, and so forth.

If you happen to get 3 or fewer reps together with your new (larger) weight in your subsequent set, you’d scale back the load by 5 kilos to make sure you can keep inside your goal rep vary (4-to-6) for all units.

Observe this identical sample of making an attempt so as to add reps or weight to each train in each exercise. 

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Tip #2: Pump Your self Up

Analysis reveals that psyching your self up earlier than a heavy set can have a big effect on the quantity of weight you may elevate.

This doesn’t imply it’s a must to stomp across the fitness center like a maniac performing satanic rites to summon the fundamental, although.

Merely take 10-to-15 seconds earlier than your set to give attention to the train you’re about to carry out and visualize your self performing it efficiently.

(Tip: strive listening to motivational music throughout your exercise and doing respiratory workouts to assist with this.) 

Tip #3: Use the Proper Mixture of Quantity and Depth

Studying to handle quantity and depth—the connection between the quantity of weight you elevate in your bench press exercises, and the variety of units and reps you do every week—is vital to understanding find out how to improve bench press power.

Right here’s how:

1. Do 10-to-20 units of chest coaching per week.

If you happen to’ve been coaching for lower than a 12 months, 10-to-12 units is sufficient to maximize your progress. If you happen to’ve been coaching longer than that, you’ll most likely make higher progress doing 12-to-20 weekly units of chest coaching, although you’ll probably want to separate these units up over 2-to-3 exercises every week.

2. Use 60-to-95% of your one-rep max (between 2-to-15 reps) for many of your units.

By way of what number of of your units must be dedicated to lighter or heavier coaching, most consultants suggest that you just get about ⅔ to ¾ of your complete units within the 6-to-12-rep vary and the remaining units within the 1-to-6 and 12-to-15-rep ranges.

3. Finish all units 1-to-3 units shy of muscle failure (1-to-3 RIR).

With a purpose to maximize muscle and power positive factors, you have to take most of your units shut (however not all the best way) to muscle failure, which is the purpose at which you’ll be able to’t full a rep regardless of giving most effort.

To make sure you’re taking your units shut sufficient to failure, ask your self this query on the finish of every set, simply earlier than re-racking the load: “If I completely needed to, what number of extra reps might I get with good kind?”

If the reply is greater than two or three, it is best to improve the load or reps to make your subsequent set tougher. If the reply is one or zero, then it is best to scale back your weight to be sure you aren’t flirting with failure too usually.

Tip #4: Range Your Rep Vary

If you happen to’ve been coaching for lower than a 12 months, you shouldn’t want to make use of any fancy rep schemes or periodization to achieve power week on week. 

Nevertheless, analysis reveals that when you’re barely extra superior and benching greater than as soon as per week, various your rep ranges from exercise to exercise is an efficient strategy to enhance power achieve.

Let’s check out how this would possibly match into my 5-day Greater Leaner Stronger program if you wish to bench press twice per week:

  • Monday: Push exercise (together with 3 units of 4-to-6 reps of flat barbell bench press at 80-to-85% of one-rep max)
  • Tuesday: Pull and calves
  • Wednesday: Higher physique and core
  • Thursday: Legs
  • Friday: Higher physique and core (together with 3 units of 8-to-10 reps of flat barbell bench press at 70-to-75% of one-rep max)
  • Saturday: Relaxation 
  • Sunday: Relaxation

And right here’s the way it would possibly look if you wish to bench thrice per week:

  • Monday: Push exercise (together with 3 units of 4-to-6 reps of flat barbell bench press at 80-to-85% of one-rep max)
  • Tuesday: Pull and calves
  • Wednesday: Higher physique and core (together with 3 units of 2-to-3 reps of flat barbell bench press at 90-to-95% of one-rep max)
  • Thursday: Legs
  • Friday: Higher physique and core (together with 3 units of 8-to-10 reps of flat barbell bench press at 70-to-75% of one-rep max)
  • Saturday: Relaxation 
  • Sunday: Relaxation

Tip #5: Carry Explosively

Analysis reveals that in relation to gaining power, lifting explosively is superior to slow-rep coaching.

For instance, in a single research carried out by scientists at Pablo de Olavide College, researchers cut up 24 individuals into two teams:

  1. A quick rep tempo group that did every rep of bench press as quick as potential.
  2. A gradual rep tempo group that did every rep of bench press at about half the pace of the quick rep tempo group.

After six weeks the outcomes confirmed that the quick rep tempo group elevated their bench press power by about 18%, whereas the gradual rep tempo group solely elevated their bench press by 10%.

Thus, the takeaway right here is straightforward: elevate weights as quick as potential whereas sustaining good kind and management of the load. 

This normally means reducing the load in a gentle, managed means, after which elevating the load as quick as potential.

Tip #6: Prioritize the Bench Press

Research present that you just carry out greatest on the workouts you do earliest in your exercises.

Thus, if you wish to give your self the perfect alternative to enhance your bench press numbers, begin your chest, push, or upper-body exercises with the bench press.

(Because of this the “push” exercises in my health books Greater Leaner Stronger and Thinner Leaner Stronger at all times start with the bench press or a bench press variation.)

Tip #7: Do the Proper Accent Workouts

An accent train is any train that you just do this immediately improves your efficiency on one other train.

For instance, the Romanian deadlift is an efficient accent train for the deadlift as a result of it lets you strengthen lots of the identical muscular tissues, however is much much less fatiguing, which suggests you are able to do it extra usually with out sporting your self to a frazzle.

The perfect accent workouts for rising your bench press are workouts that assist you to use heavy weights in an analogous motion sample to the bench press, such because the . . .

And whereas we’re on the topic, don’t use the Smith machine for any of your bench press accent workouts.

Analysis has proven time and time once more that if you wish to get stronger on the bench press, keep off the Smith machine. (Learn this text to be taught why).

Tip #8: Strengthen Your Triceps

Though your pecs and deltoids (shoulders) do the lion’s share of the work in urgent the bar off your chest within the bench press, it’s primarily your triceps that “lock the load out” on the prime of every rep.

That’s why you want sturdy triceps if you wish to full reps with heavy weights.

The greatest workouts for constructing sturdy triceps are the . . .

  • Shut-grip bench press
  • Weighted dip
  • Dumbbell overhead Triceps extension
  • EZ-bar cranium crusher
  • Cable triceps pushdown
  • JM press

Tip #9: Set Up Accurately

An improper setup can bleed a stunning quantity of power on the bench press, and for this reason powerlifters are very deliberate with how they place themselves underneath the bar. The details are . . .

  • Earlier than you unrack the bar, increase your chest up and tuck your shoulder blades down and squeeze them collectively ( cue for that is to think about pulling your shoulder blades into your again pockets), then arch your again, like this:


Don’t lose this place once you elevate the bar off the rack and preserve it all through every rep.

  • Stabilize your decrease physique by putting your ft immediately beneath your knees and forcing your knees out (what weightlifters consult with as “leg drive”), which can activate your quads and glutes.
  • Grip the bar as exhausting as you probably can and brace your core. A number of research present that doing so boosts your power and energy manufacturing. 

Tip #10: Use the Proper Cues

A weightlifting cue is a straightforward reminder, normally within the type of a phrase, that directs your consideration to a specific facet of your train method.

Research present that good weightlifting cues assist you to . . .

A few of the greatest cues for rising your bench press are:

  • “Deliver your chest to the bar.”

As an alternative of desirous about bringing the bar to your chest, take into consideration bringing your chest as much as meet the bar. Pushing your chest towards the bar ensures your shoulder blades keep “again and down” and in a secure place, your pecs do the lion’s share of the work, and your again stays engaged, which provides you a extra secure base to press from.

  • “Screw your ft into the ground.”

As you arrange for the bench press, think about screwing your ft into the ground by turning your toes out to the facet. This creates stress in your legs which will increase the soundness and rigidity of your complete physique, guaranteeing you don’t waste vitality throughout your units making an attempt to take care of your steadiness.

  • “Break the bar in half.”

Take into consideration snapping the barbell in half together with your palms. The objective right here is to take care of a robust grip on the bar all through your complete rep, which helps you press heavier weights and retains your wrists within the correct place.

Tip #11: Get Sufficient Relaxation

Just about each information on find out how to improve bench press max tells you that the important thing to benching extra weight is to bench extra usually.

And that is true . . . to some extent.

Sadly, many individuals get carried away and wind up benching far more than they need to, which finally leads to plateaus, frustration, and overreaching.

Keep away from this by permitting your self sufficient time to get well between exercises. A great rule of thumb is to permit at the least sooner or later between bench press periods (until you’re following a full-body routine).

Tip #12: Take the Proper Dietary supplements

I saved this for final as a result of it’s the least essential.

Sadly, no quantity of tablets and powders are going to automagically improve your bench press. 

However right here’s the excellent news:

If you understand how to eat and prepare to construct muscle, sure dietary supplements can pace up the method. (And when you’d wish to know precisely what dietary supplements to take to succeed in your health objectives, take the Legion Complement Finder Quiz.)

Listed here are the perfect dietary supplements for rising your bench numbers:

  • 0.8-to-1.2 grams of protein per pound of physique weight per day. This gives your physique with the “constructing blocks” it must construct and restore muscle tissue and assist you to get well out of your bench press exercises. In order for you a clear, handy, and scrumptious supply of protein, strive Whey+ or Casein+.
  • 3-to-5 grams of creatine per day. It will enhance muscle and power achieve, enhance anaerobic endurance, and scale back muscle injury and soreness out of your bench press exercises. In order for you a 100% pure supply of creatine that additionally consists of two different substances that can assist enhance muscle progress and enhance restoration, strive Recharge.
  • One serving of Pulse per day. Pulse is a 100% pure pre-workout drink that enhances vitality, temper, and focus; will increase power and endurance; and reduces fatigue. You can even get Pulse with caffeine or with out.

+ Scientific References

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