In part 1 of this series I covered the back squat, today I will cover the bench press. What guy doesn’t love to bench press? Hell the majority of girls I know even like to bench press. So how do you get your bench stronger? Proper programming, recovery, and nutrition come first. But part of that programming involves targeting weaknesses and training to make them your strengths. Imagine Tiger Woods in his prime – he could drive the ball a mile but his short game was painful. He turned it into a strength and made a run at being the greatest of all time. With no further ado, here are my go-to’s for a bigger bench:
Done using accommodating resistance (think chains or big rubber bands, but thin ones that are attached to the ground/DB/band pegs on the bench) with light bar weight. So if your best bench is 300#, then you would use mini bands and about 135# of bar weight. And the goal is to move the weight as fast as possible. Typically the rep scheme is 8×3 with 45sec rest between sets. If it’s easy, then move the bar faster before putting more weight on. Speed kills.
Same grip as the Spoto press. Now you’re going to lower the bar in a straight line toward your chin/nose while letting your elbows drift forward. This will put pressure on the bottom part of your tricep, which is the muscle group we want to build. Range of motion should be down to the point where your forearm touches your bicep and then back up (think half press).
Good ole’ dumbbells, or even KB’s, can really help your bench press. Plus they can give you bigger arms. Who doesn’t want their sleeves a little tighter? #beachseason or should I say #benchseason? I rotate incline DB bench, flat DB bench, and DB floor press using rep schemes of 2×20, 3×15, and 4×10 every two weeks. Pretty self-explanatory but push the volume (amount of sets and reps) and you will get stronger!
These are the best and most simple assistance exercise to do for you bench. Whether bodyweight or throwing dumbbells between your legs, the same applies here as it did dumbbells. Push the volume and your muscles will grow and your significant other will be significantly more in love with you.
Eric Spoto currently holds the world record bench press (unassisted) at 722#. So Spoto presses work…Take a close to moderate grip on the bar (about halfway between the ring and the smooth part). Unrack the weight. Bring it toward your chest as fast as you can while staying under control and keeping tension in your body. Pause it 2” off your chest. Hold for 1-2 seconds. Then explode up. Bar weight should be 50-80% of your 1RM with reps ranging from 3-10.