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How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results


Exercise description and diagram

The barbell press is a basic exercise, which means it works well on more than one muscle group (some believe it only targets chest development) and uses multiple joints. Basic exercises also give a good impetus to muscle growth and, of course, to an increase in the athlete’s strength, helping to develop in other areas.

The load is primarily on the following muscles:

  • pectoral – large and small chest;
  • front and middle bundles of the delta;
  • biceps;
  • triceps.

The muscles of the press, especially the serrated muscles, and the muscles of the back act as stabilizers. Balance also helps to keep the legs, which is why it is important to place them firmly – on the floor, not on the bench.

In addition, the shoulder and elbow joints are involved in the movement.

All muscles of the body are somehow involved in the process of squeezing the bar.

And if we change the exercise technique, the position of the arms, we can shift the emphasis between the muscles. So, if you want to use the upper chest, then you need to press on an incline bench. If you need to better work out the triceps, then you should take the bar with a narrow grip.

Pre-workout: how to prepare your muscles for heavy weight?

No strength exercise should be approached unprepared. Initially, you need to do a good warm-up – general, which will prepare the body for sports. After that, it is worth performing 1-2 sets of push-ups from the floor with different grip or pull-ups. The body will warm up well enough that you can minimize the risk of injury.

It is not worth doing a full workout from other basic exercises, otherwise you will spend too much energy, and there will be no more energy left for strength exercise. Your task is to prepare the muscles as well as possible and, more importantly, the joints, since they have a very high load on them.

It does not make sense to perform isolated exercises, such as crossover mixing, dumbbell breeding, or any options for biceps, triceps. We leave these exercises for later to “finish off” the muscles after basic exercises.

Before using large weights on the bench, you need to perform several approaches:

  • 1-2 warm-ups – an empty bar or light weight, which you can easily do for 20 reps;
  • 1-2 leads – the weight is more than warm-up, but not yet heavy for you, here we perform about 10-12 reps.

After that, you can proceed to the working weight, with which you need to do from 3 to 5 sets of 6-8 repetitions in each. You can also try to do one approach with the maximum weight at a time, that is, try to squeeze out what you didn’t work or didn’t try before, but always with a belayer.

Barbell Press Technique

Let’s talk about how to do this exercise correctly and safely.

You need a bench with a rack and barbell, as well as a waist belt and gloves. It is unacceptable to perform strength exercises without a belt! They are usually in the gym, but it is better to choose according to your parameters and sensations. A belt is definitely worth getting if you plan on keeping your back healthy.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

The belt allows you to insure your back in many strength exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, so it will not be superfluous to purchase it.

Make sure the shoes are comfortable and non-slip. And the floor itself should not be conducive to this. If your foot slips during the exercise, you can lose your balance.

On heavy weights, a belayer must be present, as you can be pinned down by the barbell.

So, consider the options for the technique itself.

You can perform the exercise:

  • on a horizontal bench – this is the classic, most common option;

    How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

    Start mastering the exercise with the classic version of lying on a horizontal bench

  • on a bench with an upward slope – this is how we engage the upper region of the pectoral muscles, as we said earlier;

    How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

    If it is necessary to act on the upper bundles of the pectoral muscles, it is necessary to press on a bench with a positive slope

  • on a bench with a downward slope, which allows you to influence the lower chest zone;

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

Taking a large enough weight in a negative slope will not work, and this can negatively affect your well-being

But please note that pressing a lot of weight in a negative slope can be very dangerous! And this is absolutely unacceptable if you already have problems with intracranial pressure, cardiovascular system, headaches, dizziness or other ailments.

We lie down on the bench so that the bar is right in front of our eyes.

The shoulder blades, shoulders, buttocks are tightly pressed against the surface of the bench, a natural deflection is preserved in the lower back, but there is no need to bend specifically.

We put our feet on the sides of the bench steadily on the entire foot.

We take the bar with a straight grip, that is, the palms are directed to the legs.

The position of the hands can be:

  • medium, then the load falls on the biceps and chest to a greater extent;

    How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

    Medium hand position is considered classic and does not overload any area of ​​the body

  • wide, then it is the pectoral muscles that are better worked out;

    How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

    Be careful, there is a possibility of pulling the muscles if you do the exercise incorrectly.

  • narrow, in this case we have triceps working.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

The exercise is difficult, but it loads the triceps muscle well

We firmly take the bar and, with an exhalation, remove the bar from the racks. It is necessary to bring it to the level of the chest on straight arms.

With an inhalation, we lower the barbell, bending the elbows, almost until it touches the body. We fix the lower point and, as we exhale, squeeze it up with force.

If you press with a narrow grip, then the elbows should not diverge, as with medium and wide arms, they should go along the body. And you need to lower the barbell to the bottom of the chest.

Types of Bench Press

The bench press involves a huge number of large and small muscles. The main working groups are the chest, triceps and delta muscles. In addition, stabilizing muscles are included in the work, allowing you to hold the bar exactly throughout the entire exercise. With a lift style of execution, the back muscles can also be involved.

There are several ways to do this exercise. They differ in the angle of inclination of the body and the width of the grip.

By the angle of inclination

  • Horizontal
  • Head up
  • Down your head

Horizontal is the standard way to perform the exercise. The load is evenly distributed between the pectoral muscles, triceps and delts.

Head upHow to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Resultsallows you to turn off the triceps to some extent, but the deltoid muscles are more activated. To avoid over-engaging the deltas, the tilt angle of the bench should not exceed 30 degrees. The emphasis is on the top of the chest.

Head down is an How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Resultsoption that is directly opposite to the head press. With this performance, you can achieve almost complete shutdown of the deltas, while the triceps, on the contrary, receives a more significant load. With this variation, the emphasis is shifted to the lower pectoral muscles.

The width of the grip

  • Middle
  • Narrow
  • Wide

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press ResultsMedium grip is the traditional form of bench press. The load is evenly distributed among the three main pushing muscle groups. This type of bench press allows you to take significant weight with minimal risk of injury.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press ResultsA narrow grip is a specialized variation in which the triceps becomes the main working group. Also, with full extension of the elbows at the top point of the amplitude, the middle part of the pectoral muscle receives an accentuated load. The amplitude of the execution is large.

The wide grip is an exercise for developing the chest. It has a smaller amplitude compared to the press with a narrow and medium grip. How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press ResultsWith a wide setting of the arms, it is possible to minimize the work of the triceps. Also, as in the press with a narrow grip, with this option, lifting a lot of weight without getting injured becomes problematic, so it is recommended to work with moderate weights.

You can talk about stagnation in progress only after your strength indicators in all types of bench press equalize, that is, there will be no exercises in which you are far behind. Therefore, the very first method to increase the bench press is to change the incline of the bench and the setting of the arms for several workouts.

After familiarizing yourself with the basic exercises for increasing the bench press, you can choose a training program for yourself based on your individual characteristics. It is very simple to increase the results in the bench press and not to lose the gained mass and the relief of the whole body, the main thing is to observe the correct regime of sports nutrition and do not forget to perform exercises to work out both the whole body and individual muscle groups:

  • effective pumping of the whole body on the uneven bars;
  • additional exercises for rapid muscle growth
  • pumping the press on the horizontal bar;
  • basic exercises for pumping biceps at home;
  • for a strong grip, do not forget about the forearm, all the exercises in this article.

Determine the goal

Every person who works out at home or goes to the gym has their own goals. Someone wants to just lose weight and tighten the figure, but for someone sports becomes a part of life. In most cases, the athlete begins to gradually increase the weight, reaching a certain point.

A plateau sets in when the bench press training program no longer works, as if the body is unable to develop. Here everyone is faced with difficulties and only a part of the athletes stubbornly goes to the goal.

More often than not, a person gives up and stops exercising, thinking that the body cannot be made better. The second group thoughtlessly increases the load until they get injured and have to give up training altogether. Only part of them are quietly engaged in further, gradually moving towards their dreams. Different techniques can help you achieve specific bench press results.

For building muscle mass

The pectoral muscles can only be worked out with an exercise where the bar is lowered to the top of the chest. The muscles are tense, strongly stretched and contracted, which provides the desired result. First you need to learn about the execution technique, otherwise you can get injured. The training program contains up to 4 sets of 6-8 times. The weight must be calculated so that the last jerk is difficult. You can press more in the bench if you have enough strength after the recommended number of sets. However, it is impossible to practice due to the violation of technique!

Lifting maximum weight

You can often find athletes who train for the sake of competition or to overcome themselves. It is important for them not to build muscle mass, but to lift as much weight as possible. In this case, the training plan for each athlete should be drawn up individually. The barbell lifting technique for powerlifters is different from bodybuilding and this must be taken into account. You need to increase weight for a natural person carefully, taking precautions.

Ways to increase the bench press

There are many ways to improve performance, but the main thing in the bench press is the person’s attitude. You will have to monitor nutrition, daily regimen, workouts, as well as psychological state. During classes, you should think only about the desired result, without being distracted by extraneous matters.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

The connection between working capacity and human thoughts has been proven more than once by scientific research. Many pros admit how they imagined, during the hardest exercise, that the goal had already been achieved. Visualization will also contribute to the fastest achievement of the goal.

Increase weight

There is no set number of repetitions or weight that will definitely lead an athlete to the body of his dreams. You cannot constantly “mark” in place, making empty approaches. Working weights should be increased, but gradually and wisely. Trainers recommend including at least 1–2 sets with a heavy barbell in your workout, and after that perform another 10–12 reps in the bench press with the usual weight.

Explosive Effort

Research from the University of Sydney has shown that active-paced training is effective. If you don’t do the bench press slowly, as some trainers advise, you will build muscle mass faster. Similar studies were also carried out in Connecticut, Oklahoma, Wisconsin. Of course, the exercise must be performed smoothly, without sudden movements, but not to stretch it for a long time.

Control the lowering of the bar

You can learn to feel the muscles by imagining the connection between the body and the bar. The bar should not be allowed to simply fall on the athlete’s chest – one must mentally pull it towards oneself, as if in control. Do not forget about other parts of the body: the shoulder blades at this moment tend to each other, the head and buttocks are pressed against an inclined or straight bench, the legs rest on the floor.

Changing the bench press to another exercise

According to experienced athletes, this method works in most cases. When changing the main exercise, the body, in particular the nervous system, gets a break if overtraining has taken place before.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press ResultsAn alternative can be either a dumbbell press or a dumbbell push-up. The uneven bar training program is here. As basic exercises, push-ups on the uneven bars or dumbbell press are able to work out those stabilizing muscles that were not included in the work during the barbell press. Sometimes this is exactly what some athletes lack to increase the weight in the bench press.

The method of performing alternative exercises is similar to working with a barbell, the basic principles remain unchanged: the use of heavy weights, the number of repetitions is from 6 to 12, approaches are 3-4.

You can give up the barbell for 3-4 weeks, after which you should include it back in your training program.

Pyramid principle

There are two options: decreasing and increasing weights from repetition to repetition.

By reducing the load with each repetition, you can achieve a more complete depletion of the muscle.

With an increase, on the contrary, such work will prepare the body for more serious weights and help to lift a more serious burden. Which will lead to weight gain on the bench press.

In case of stagnation, you need to try both options and choose the one you want, depending on the individual characteristics and the specific case.

Alternating load increase

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press ResultsEither in working approaches, then in the last approach, when the maximum possible weight is used.

The method is similar to the pyramid, with the only difference that in the version with the maximum load, the extreme approach uses a refusal.

With this option, the presence of an insurer is required. A thorough warm-up before heavy work is also important.

Use of powerlifting techniques

Work with 70% of your max weight in one rep.

The technique is as follows: after finding your strength maximum, you should work for one month with a weight of 70% with one repetition in 5-8 approaches. This will allow you to increase your bench press performance.

After a month, a new 70% is again determined and, depending on the results, the work either continues or returns to the program for the classic bench press.

The least traumatic way to increase the strength of the pectoral muscles is to change exercises. Train lagging muscles and feel the strength gains in basic exercises.

For example, you are used to doing a press on a horizontal bench and then on an incline. Try giving up the horizontal bench press for 1.5-2 weeks. Do only the second exercise of your program and add the parallel bars. So you will achieve pumping of the lagging chest beams, which, when returning to the previous program, will give a noticeable increase in strength in the bench press.

For convenience, we will add types of bench presses with a list of muscles that are used for each. The system is simple – in which bench you are weaker, that muscle group requires additional work to increase strength in the bench.

Distance reduction techniques

Often, athletes of different levels, in order to “break through” the press, resort to various tricks – assistive devices and special techniques.

Council number 4. Handy means

These include: various platforms, wooden platform bars – in general, everything that can be safely put on the chest. Also, special body bars (fitness equipment) are often used, which can be picked up and placed at an angle.

In real life, it all looks something like this.

Council number 5. Lockout

If you did not find handy equipment in the gym, it doesn’t matter, use the bench press racks. Set them so that you only do the last 10 centimeters of presses (until your arms are fully extended). The point is to quickly release the bar, fully straighten your arms (without losing control of the bar) and slowly lower the projectile onto the racks.

Council number 6. Chest bridge technique

By strongly bending the spine, leaving the head, shoulder blades and pelvis resting on the bench, you can more strongly engage the lower pectorals in the work. Well, since You are closing the distance, i.e. the movement of a heavy bar occurs at a lower amplitude, this will allow you to spend less energy. Excess energy is directed towards taking on a more solid weight.

The pectoral bridge looks like this.

Ian King (Australian bodybuilding coach): “Back arch is a powerful bench press technique that can give up to 20% increase in results.”

Strength training plan

First you need to know your limit – you need to calculate the repeated maximum. In sports, this means the maximum weight that an athlete can lift, squeeze, and so on a certain number of times. There are many formulas for calculating. Athletes try to determine the best option.

You can use one of the formulas below.

How to increase the bench press? How to Increase Bench Press Results

Calculate using several formulas and choose the most adequate indicator

1RM (RM from English repetition maximum)

r – number of repetitions

w – projectile weight

Coefficient values ​​for men:

  • a=-216.0475144
  • b=16.2606339
  • c=-0.002388645
  • d=-0.00113732
  • e = 7.01863E-06
  • f = -1.291E-08

Coefficient values ​​for women:

  • a=594.31747775582
  • b=-27.23842536447
  • c=0.82112226871
  • d=-0.00930733913
  • e = 0.00004731582
  • f=-0.00000009054

Let’s take the simplest formula from the table – the very first one.

Let’s say you can squeeze 80 kg for 5 reps. The repeated maximum will be approximately 93 kg.

Knowing this figure, you can build a workout. It needs to be done 2 times a week. Less often – a little, more often – the body will not have time to recover so quickly.

The first option for strength training

1st day:

  1. Bench press with medium grip on a horizontal bench – 1 warm-up (10-20% of RM), 1 lead (up to 40% of RM), 3-4 workers (60% of RM). We strive to perform vigorously, with explosive power.
  2. Press with an average grip on an incline bench according to the same formula – 1 warm-up, 1 lead, 3-4 workers.
  3. Push-ups from the floor with an average grip – we finish off the muscles, we strive to perform at an explosive pace. If possible, plyometric push-ups are good. We do 5-10 reps for 3-5 sets.
  4. Row of dumbbells in the slope – 1 warm-up, 3-4 workers, each for 5-7 repetitions.

2nd day:

  1. Bench press with medium grip on a horizontal bench – 1 warm-up, 1 lead, 1 approach 40% of the PM for 6-8 times, 1 approach – 50% for 5 times, then one approach at 70%, 80%, 90%, 100 % in each we perform 1 squeeze. After that we try to set a new record. Let’s say it was 80, we are trying to squeeze 80.5 or 81 kg. This will be enough. If it doesn’t work, we’ll try it next week. In this workout, unlike the last time, we try to squeeze and lower the barbell slowly.
  2. Hammer for biceps standing – 2 warm-up, 3 workers 6-8 times.
  3. Arnold’s bench press standing – 1 warm-up, 3-4 working for 5-8 repetitions.

Second training option

1st day:

  1. Bench press on a horizontal bench with a narrow grip – 2 warm-ups (up to 15% of the PM), 1 lead (up to 35%), 3-5 workers (50-60%) for 5-7 reps. We work at an explosive pace.
  2. Dips on the uneven bars – 2 sets with your own weight, 2 sets with weights for 5-7 reps, and 2 again with your weight.
  3. French bench press with a barbell – 2 warm-ups, 1 lead, 4 working 7-10 reps.

2nd day:

  1. Bench press on a horizontal bench with a narrow grip – 1 warm-up, 1 lead, 1 work – 40% from 6 to 8 reps, 1 work – 50%, 5-6 times and one approach at 70%, 80%, 90%, 100 % in every 1 squeeze. We are trying to squeeze out a new weight – plus 0.5–1 kg. We squeeze and lower the barbell deliberately slowly.
  2. Bench press standing behind the head – 1 warm-up, 3 workers for 5-8 reps.
  3. Barbell pull to the chin – 1 warm-up, 1 lead, 3-4 working 6-8 reps.

A workout on a similar principle can be built for other muscle groups and, accordingly, with a different set of exercises, for example, with squats or deadlifts.

Overcoming the plateau

What to do when the bench press doesn’t work? It may not go long. As a result, you will either give up, or the muscle will ache from overload.

  • Alternatively, you can forget about the bench press for a couple of weeks and do other exercises, for example, perform a training complex on the chest on an incline bench and uneven bars. And then, return to the bench press.
  • You can also add weight to other exercises that improve your bench press. As mentioned above, the maximum result is provided by the complex work of the muscles of the whole body.
  • Change your bench press training program from time to time. Then the muscles will not have time to get used to or overwork, and one day you will lift the largest weight for yourself.

That is, for a while, in general, stop wondering how to increase the bench press. Just exercise, pay attention to other exercises, and don’t quit the gym.

  • Another approach is to keep pressing. You can temporarily reduce your working weight. This will give some pullback, but in the end, after returning to your chart and old weights, you will be able to surpass the previously obtained result.
  • Try switching to 10 repetitions 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 low-repetition training.

The essence of the above is that the bench press program should be varied. When the results stop, you need to temporarily change the training vector. To finally break through the bench, overcome your barriers, you need to work hard and patiently. Try different options. Some will be effective just 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 doing it for a long time and have already achieved significant results. Think about whether you need to gain weight at all? How often do you get injured lately? Maybe this is the same physiological barrier after which your body will begin to “break down”? If you do not compete, you have absolutely no need to go for records at any cost.

After all, an increase in weight always has two sides, one of which is pride in the result obtained, and the other is stress for the body. Balance is important here.

So, be careful: warm up well and train smart!

What else will help increase bench weight

Of course, proper nutrition comes first. Balanced in calories, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

If you are doing a bench press for muscle growth, then special attention is paid to proteins. The rule is that for 1 kg of its own weight there should be 2 grams of protein.

For example, if your body weight is 70 kg, then 70 kg * 2g = 140 grams of protein per day.

The generally accepted norm for carbohydrate intake is considered to be a ratio to protein of 1: 3. That is, there should be 3 grams of carbohydrates per gram of protein.

For a weight of 70 kg, we get – we multiply 140 grams of protein by 3. Total 420 grams of carbohydrates per day.

When it comes to sports nutrition, the need for supplementation is growing in parallel with muscle growth. For beginners, a multivitamin supplement is sufficient. For the intermediate level – vitamins, creatine and protein.

Well, for experienced athletes, there is only one rule in taking food supplements! You can’t spoil porridge with butter!

These same nutritional and supplementation guidelines apply to strength building on the bench press.

Also, do not forget about high-quality and long sleep – 8-10 hours a day. After all, most of the recovery in muscles occurs during sleep.

Well, now you are armed with knowledge and are simply doomed to success! Good luck!

Risks when working with large weights

Everything must be done slowly, following the technique, resorting to the help of belayers, using equipment that will protect you. But even this cannot guarantee 100% safety.

As a result of an error or accident, you can:

  • pull, tear the tendons;
  • get an intervertebral hernia;
  • injure the spine (but this is a rare case).

Muscles strengthen quickly, tendons and bones do not have time, so in pursuit of a quick result, you need to understand what this can lead to.

If you build a training program correctly, do not overestimate your strength, then you can come to good performance and set your own records without getting injured. In the first few months of classes, you shouldn’t think about it at all, you need to work out the technique, train and strengthen the muscles, and adapt to the new way of life. And only after three months, you can introduce strength training with basic exercises.

Sources and useful links on the topic: gym / uvelichenie-vesa-v-zhime.html https: //

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