Bench press is not only one of the disciplines of triathlon, but also simply an indicator of human strength. Therefore, the question of how to increase the bench press is one of the most relevant for visitors to the gym.
Bench Press for different purposes
Each person, coming to the gym, sets different goals for themselves. They change over time. But, in most cases, one thing remains unchanged – the weight in the bench press and other exercises increases until a certain point.
Then comes the plateau and progress stops, as if the body has run out of resources. Stagnant bench press, squat, etc., each athlete perceives differently.
Some athletes give up and return to their usual way of life. They quit training, believing that sport is for someone else. Usually such people visit the hall for no more than six months or even a year.
Others strongly increase the load before the first injury, and then also go. But already because of the physical inability to continue training.
As a result, few remain quietly to train and continue to achieve their goals.
The goals of going to the gym are different for everyone: from a set of muscles to an increase in working weights in specific exercises. Someone is interested only in the volume of muscles, someone constantly presses, someone pulls, and someone is preparing to participate in the triathlon. Whatever the goal of the athlete, good performance is achieved only through patience, discipline and a lot of work.
Different techniques of pressing also have different goals. Let’s break them down. To make it clearer, in our case we will discuss a wide grip on a horizontal bench. And consider the main thing that interests everyone who is absolutely interested: how to improve the bench press.
For muscle growth
For a detailed study of the pectoral muscles, it is necessary to press the barbell so that it falls on the upper part of the chest. With this technique, the muscles stretch as much as possible and, with a reduction, receive the required amount of load.
Technique of the exercise is described in detail in the article “bench press”, so here we will not dwell on it.
When working on the mass exercise should be done in 3-4 sets of 6-8 times. Weight choose so that the last repetition was given with great difficulty. If you feel that after the eighth, we are able to perform one more repetition, increase the load so as to return to six repetitions again.
It makes no sense to press at the time this way – it is not an elevator technician.
Work on sensations – you can do more – hang a couple more kg, but do not increase the weight due to the violation of technology!
To raise the maximum weight
This is the second goal for which you can reap the bar. Someone needs to show results in competitions, someone works for himself. Naturally, the strength training program will be different in each case.
The bench press technique in powerlifting is very different from the bodybuilding options that most people do in the gym. This will be analyzed later. And now we will discuss weighting strategies and precautions.
We go to the maximum: one rep bench
How to increase the result in the bench press: first of all, you need to regularly engage in, experiment and be ready for defeat. You also need a competent program to increase strength. By defeat, I mean “did not shake” or “pulled muscle.” Such moments should not knock you out of a rut.
When athletes are preparing for power competitions, they do not get hung up on working out the muscles. They work for power – and this is the main principle. It is important – how much you squeezed kg, and not what your biceps. Body weight will follow power. Maybe there will be no such relief and clarity of muscles as bodybuilders, but still you will stand out from the crowd.
One rep Bench Press technique
In order to finally raise the maximum weight you need to regularly, at least twice a week, do bench press.
In powerlifting bench press is done from a position called the bridge. This situation must be clearly worked out in order to feel stable and confident in it.
How to get into the starting position for the press:
- Lay down on the bench. But! Do not put your feet on the floor, put them together on the other end of the bench.
- Bend your belly up for stretching before the press, holding the barbell or neck, the fulcrum – the heels and your shoulder blades. By the way, the blades need to minimize as much as possible.
- Now we lower the basin on the bench, after that we put our legs on the floor and rest with our heels.
- This is the starting position.
You can, of course, make everything easier and immediately arch out of the prone position, but then the bridge will not be so round.
The essence of the bridge is the distance that the bar travels, less than with the direct position of the body. And the bar touches the body faster, which greatly facilitates the bench press procedure. Without a bridge, it will be more difficult to take a lot of weight. Sometimes a bench press is paused.
Exercise can be performed in equipment and without it. At the moment, the biggest bench press in equipment that is listed in the book of records is 486 kg, and without – 335 (by the way, it belongs to the Russian athlete and was made in 2015). To this day, these are the most significant weights ever raised on this planet (officially, at least).
At first it will be unusual to become a “bridge”, but eventually you will get used to it. If you are just doing for yourself – the bridge is useless, lie quietly on the bench with your back, reduce your shoulder blades, keep a slight backbeat in your lower back and put your feet on the floor.
Note that if the bench surface is slippery, the paddles will disperse. The same thing happens if you train in low-quality clothing.
When you are not preparing for competitions, but simply work for strength, to increase the press you also need to be stably engaged at least 2 times a week.
You need to bend to a comfortable state. Your task is not to stand in the bridge, but only to make the pectoral muscles work, not the shoulders and triceps. Then you can shake more.
What will help to increase the weight?
First of all, you should understand that when you train for strength, your task is to make the maximum number of muscle groups work for the result. When working on the mass, you purposefully load a separate muscle group so that it grows as much as possible.
Golden rule number 1 – pump the whole body
In addition to the press, do other basic exercises. That is, be sure to swing the rest of the body, not just the pectoral ones. The coordinated work of a large array of muscles will help you lift more weight than one swung muscle group.
It happens that squats cause discomfort in the lower back, but deadlift is normal. Then you can replace squats with leg presses. This is also a good option that makes muscle mass grow.
Practice shows that by doing only one press from training to training, significant progress cannot be achieved. Muscles get tired and stop responding to stress.
Therefore, when a bench press program is not limited to the bench press, the chest, triceps, and shoulders rest while you are training for other muscles. And this is very important.
Plus, heavy exercise (the same squat or leg press) boosts testosterone production, which will directly affect your strength.
Rule 2 – let the muscles rest
Overwork has a negative effect on the results of training. If you feel that you have not yet fully recovered from the previous lesson, it is better to reduce the intensity of your workout and give yourself time to rest.
Overworked muscles lose 10-15% of their strength. For example, if you shake 100 kg 3 times, you will be able to shake 85–90 for the same 3 over-training.
It is believed that the power press should be done once a week. But you must focus on your body. Someone shakes not 2 times a week, but 3. Someone only 1 time. Each person has his own training regime.
Rule 3 – a convenient schedule and a good program.
Choose for yourself the optimal training regime. It should be in harmony with your lifestyle and daily routine. Competent trainers make up training programs based on the characteristics of the life rhythm of customers.
Your program for bench press should include a basic power complex and, in fact, preparatory exercises for bench press. In order to improve your strength performance, so that there really is an improvement, not a regression of your muscles, you need to competently train both the whole body and working muscles specifically (chest, triceps and shoulder).
Sometimes press programs are done either 8–10 times, or three to five. Once a week, the second.
Exercises for the muscles of the chest include dilution of dumbbells, push-ups on the bars, pullover, extension of the arms on the block and so on.
Once a month and a half it is desirable to make changes to the program.
Rule 4 – do not try to raise the maximum at a time
In normal mode, do 5 repetitions, well, or at least 3. Maximum weight at a time is a competitive point, and for strength training it is better and safer to do several repetitions.
Raising the maximum weight, you risk pulling something or otherwise injuring yourself. After all, when you shake weight down 5 times or even 3 – this is one thing. But you do not know your one-time maximum, you can easily not guess and get serious damage to muscles or joints.
Indeed, in your case it is more important to understand how to increase the weight, albeit gradually, but reliably. And do not squeeze, no matter how much time at one time, risking health. You are not in competition.
If you really want, once a month you can arrange a test drive with a step of 5-2.5 kg and with insurance. But before that, warm up very well.
Rule 5 – Eat well and sleep.
No comments here. About nutrition and sleep has already been said. Let’s talk about the plateau or the state where the weight is not growing.
Overcoming the plateau
What to do when there is no bench press? He may not go long. In the end, or you give up, or muscle sore from overload.
- As an option, you can forget about the press for a couple of weeks and do other exercises, for example, perform a training complex on your chest on an inclined bench and parallel bars. And then, back to the bench press.
- You can also increase the weight in other exercises that improve your bench press. As mentioned above – the maximum result gives the integrated work of the muscles of the whole body.
- Periodically change the training program for the bench press. Then the muscles do not have time to get used to or overwork and one day you will lift the biggest weight for yourself.
That is, for a while, in general, stop wondering how to increase bench press. Just exercise, pay attention to other exercises and do not drop the gym.
- There is another approach – do not stop pressing. You can temporarily reduce your working weight. This will give some rollback, but in the end, after returning to your schedule and old weights, you will be able to surpass the result obtained earlier.
- Try moving on 10 repetitive approaches with less weight. It is necessary that you can do these 10 times not with ease, but through labor. Gradually increase the weight in this mode. And then go back to a little repeat training.
The essence of the above is such that the press program must be diverse. When the results stop you need to temporarily change the workout vector. In order to finally break through the bench press, overcome our barriers, we must work a lot and patiently. Try different options. Some will be effective for you.
By the way, the option of reaching a certain natural physiological maximum is not excluded. This can be said if you have been engaged for a long time and have already achieved significant results. Think about whether you need to increase weight at all? How often have you been injured lately? Maybe this is the same physiological barrier, after which your body begins to “break”? If you don’t compete in competitions, you’ll have no need at all to go for records.
After all, the increase in weights always has two sides, one of which is pride in the result, and the other is stress for the body. Balance is important here.
So, be careful: warm up well and exercise wisely!