Bench Press Tips
“Hey bro how much do ya bench?” A question probably all of us have gotten sometime on our journey to perfect aesthetics.
But does bench press measure your overall strength? Nope, probably not.
If there would be an exercise that could do that, it would probably be the Squat or the Deadlift.
Then why don’t we ask our fellow lifter “How much are you squattin brosep?” or “How much did you deadlift yesterday bretheren?”
Well, that is because deep deep down we all know that the sweet, juicy, flat bench barbell press is the exercise that we all love the most.
It is usually the first exercise we are introduced to when going into a gym for the first time. Whether it was a Gold’s gym or a High-school gym. I bet that you can remember the first time you were able to put one of the big plates on both sides of the bar. Am I right?
So how can you improve your bench? Well a lot of training and eating a lot should get you started.
But here are a few bench press tips that we think have helped us better ourselves in the bench press.
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10 Best Bench Press Tips:
#1 Squeeze the Bar as Fast as you Can – Choke it to Death!
Using a death grip on the barbell is a quick and easy tip for squeezing out a few extra pounds on the bench. You’ll feel more in control of the bar movement and it helps to tense up the other assisting muscles. This is one of the bench press tips that I wish I had known when I first started going to the gym.
#2 Squeeze Your Ass and Abs.
Flexing your glutes and your abs is another surefire bench press tip for stabilizing your entire body structure and improving your bench press strength. This technique is also a strong safeguard against lower back injuries, assuming your glutes remain on the bench.
#3 Push Your Feet Against the Ground.
Drive power through your feet and legs. This fortifies the arch in your back, thus stabilizing your body and focusing the energy towards your upper body. However, pushing through your legs does not mean to raise your ass off the bench, which is crucial to remember.
#4 Tighten Your Lats.
Althought this is a chest exercise, your upper back and lat muscles also play a role in this pushing exercise. They act to stabilize the resistance against body, especially at the bottom of the repetition.
#5 Touch the Bar to Nipple-Level.
Bring the bar down to your chest around the nipple line.
#6 Explode Upwards.
Fast upwards lifting builds strength and muscle fast. Contract your muscles forcefully to lift up as fast possible. Even if the bar goes up slowly, the point is that you’re delivering maximal force output. This bench press tip allows you to lift heavier because you utilize the barbell’s momentum and minimize muscular fatigue and by that you’re using the smallest amount of energy to lift the heaviest amount of weight.
#7 Focus On The Negative
At the end of your normal workout, choose a weight you might only be able to get for 1-3 reps by yourself. Make sure to get your workout partner to unrack the weight and have him ready to spot you. Now slowly descend to the bottom portion of the lift, then get the spotter to lift the weight straight back up to the top.
Sets: 2 sets of negatives at the end of your workout.
Reps: Anywhere from 1-5 depending on level of fatigue.
Tempo: As slowly as possible on the descent.
#8 Strengthen your Back and Arms.
You need a solid base to Bench Press from as well as strong arms to bring the bar down and back up.
Biceps. The brachialis acts as a stabilizer in the Bench Press. We recommend that you do some Hammer Curls.
Triceps. Lockout the weight with stronger triceps!
Upper-back & Lats. Barbell Rows work your upper-back and lats hard. They’re also the exact opposite movement of the Bench Press.
#9 Flex Your Mental Muscle
This tip we actually learned from reading an interview with Zyzz, and it has helped us alot and not only in the Bench Press but in all the other exercises as well. Here is what Zyzz said:
“Pretend there is a crowd of thousands watching you, and if you pull out as many reps or pull the weight that you hope (say 200kg deadlift 3 reps) you win a million dollars, and actually believe in your mind that it is true. Watch yourself push harder for reasons that I cannot explain. Try it in your sets tonight. When you think you can’t even push a single more rep out, picture this in your mind and you will push out 3. Or even up the stakes, pretend a gunman is pointing a gun at someone you love and you MUST complete the reps or push the weight to let them live.”(Credit: SimplyShredded.com: Zyzz Interview)
Bonus bench press tip: If you’re going for a 1 rep max, lets say you’re going for the 250 lbs. You should first put some extra 20-30 lbs on the bar, pick it up but DON’T make the movement, just feel how heavy this 280 lbs of steel feel. Then put it back and take those extra 20-30 lbs off and suddenly 250 lbs will feel like 150 lbs.
#10 EAT, Then Eat More.
Our last bench press tip but probably the most crucial one is to eat and when you think you have eaten enough…. eat more.
But what ever you do, please do not do this:
If you’re looking for some chest exercises you might be interested in reading our article: Arnold’s Chest Exercises.