There’s nothing quite like the feel of pushing big weight on the
bench press. It’s probably the most often used measuring stick
greater strength in the gym. No one really ever asks you, “Hey,
what do you donkey press?”
But getting to those plate-clanging, bar-bending weight loads is
no easy task, which is why we’re offering you our three best tips
for boosting your bench in a hurry.
Performing heavy negatives once or twice a month does wonders
for building strength. Bodybuilders that don’t have a “negatives
day” in their routine are really missing out on huge gains. As a
quick refresher, negatives are reps that concentrate on the
eccentric, or lowering phase of an exercise. Our muscles can handle
30-40 percent more weight on the negative portion of a rep, so
taking advantage of that taps into plenty of underexploited fibers
in your pecs and trains your body and mind to deal with heavier
To perform negatives on the bench, add 30-40 percent more weight
than you’d normally use for 10 reps (after a few warm-up sets, of
course). So if you’re pressing 250 pounds for 10 reps, add an extra
75 pounds (30 percent) onto the bar. Unrack the weight and resist
the negative all the way down for a full five seconds or more. Once
the bar touches your chest, have your training partner help you
bring the bar back up to the starting position and repeat this for
3-5 total agonizing reps. Use this method sparingly—1-3 sets,
once or twice per month—to avoid overtraining or injury. Besides,
after training like this, you’ll likely be too sore to want to do
it again soon.
2. Training upper back
A missing piece of the puzzle when trying to increase your
numbers on the bench is
working your upper back. Without a strong upper back, it is
difficult or impossible to stabilize heavy weight on either side of
the repetition. Training your lats and rear delts with regularity
and enthusiasm will take your bench higher, faster.
mass-building exercises like barbell rows, T-bar rows,
pull-ups, dumbbell rows, and pulldowns in the 8-12 rep range on
back day. And make sure not to neglect your rear delt raises on
back or shoulder day. Don’t let your rear delts fool you—just
because they’re a small muscle group doesn’t mean you can’t train
them heavy. Aim for the same rep ranges (8-12) as your back—just
be careful to maintain strict form on all exercises and avoid using
any elasticity or momentum to complete reps.
3. Grip strength
You might be wondering what the heck your grip has to do with
your bench press. The answer is, “more than you might think.” And
that doesn’t just apply to this exercise—grip
strength translates to more poundage on nearly every exercise.
For the bench press, however, it pays its biggest dividends by
greater wrist stabilization. With shaky wrists and flimsy
forearms, you have less control of the bar, which is particularly
troublesome if you’re into pressing big boy weight. Plus, keeping
your wrists locked helps you maintain proper form. Training your
grip then is a huge factor in maximizing your bench.
The prescription? Grab a hold of a 45-pound plate in each hand
at the fingertips and perform as many finger curls (lifting the
edge of the plate towards your palm) as you can. Rest for 30
seconds and keep going until your forearms need a fire extinguisher
to put out the flames.
Take these three tips and go start tossing some iron
around—we guarantee the results will come swiftly.
Source: FS – All – Fitness – News
3 Ways to Improve Your Bench Press