to Increase Bench Press
Training your triceps for a big bench has to involve heavy extensions and
close-grip pressing movements such as close-grip flat and incline bench
presses, close-grip board presses, and JM presses.
While pressing you
have to create the most stable environment possible. This can't be done
if most of your shoulder blades are off the bench. When you pull your shoulder
blades together you're creating a tighter, more stable surface from which
to press. This is because more of your body is in contact with the bench.
Keep your shoulder
blades pulled together and tight.
change the distance the bar will have to travel. The key to pressing big
weight is to press the shortest distance possible.
You want the pressure
around the supporting muscles. This is accomplished by driving your feet
into the floor, thereby driving your body into the bench. Try this: Lie
on the bench and line up so your eyes are four inches in front of the bar
(toward your feet). Now using your legs, drive yourself into the bench
to put pressure on the upper back and traps. Your eyes should now be even
with the bar. This is the same pressure that needs to be applied while
pushing the barbell.
Keep the pressure
on your upper back and traps.
Pull your shoulder
blades together, tuck your chin and elbows, and bring the bar to your upper
abdominals or lower chest. This will minimize the pressing distance and
reduce the amount of shoulder rotation and strain.
Push the bar in
a straight line.
The elbows must
remain tucked to keep the bar in a straight line as explained above. Keeping
the elbows tucked will also allow lifters to use their lats to drive the
bar off the chest. Football players are taught to drive their opponents
with their elbows tucked, then explode through. This is the same for bench
pressing. Bench pressing is all about generating force. You can generate
far more force with your elbows in a tucked position compared to an "elbows
Keep the elbows
tucked and the bar directly over the wrists and elbows.
For maximum attempts
and sets under three reps, you must try to hold your air. If you breathe
out during a maximum attempt, the body structure will change slightly,
thus changing the groove in which the barbell is traveling. Also remember
to breathe with your belly, not your chest.
Fill your belly
with air and hold it.
Push the bar with
maximal force. Whatever weight you're trying to push, be it 40% or 100%
of your max, you must learn to apply 100% of the force to the barbell.
If you can bench 500 pounds and are training with 300 pounds, you must
then apply 500 pounds of force to the 300-pound barbell.
Train with compensatory
You'll never lift
big weights if you're in a relaxed physical state while under the barbell.
The best way to get the body tight is by squeezing the bar. Also, try to
pull the bar apart or "break the bar," the triceps seem to become more
Squeeze the barbell
and try to pull the bar apart!
The bench press
should be trained using the dynamic-effort method. This method is best
defined as training with sub-maximal weights (45 to 60%) at maximal velocities.
Devote one day per
week to dynamic-effort training.
For the second bench
day of the week (72 hours after the dynamic day) you should concentrate
on the maximal-effort method. This is best defined as lifting maximal weights
(90% to 100%) for one to three reps. This is one of the best methods to
develop maximal strength. The key here is to strain. The downfall is you
can't train above 90% for longer than three weeks without having adverse
Try performing a
max bench press every week for four or five weeks. You'll see you may progress
for the first two, maybe three weeks, then your progress will halt
and begin to work its way backward. You can combat this by switching up
the maximal-effort exercises. Rotate maximal-effort movements such as the
close-grip incline press, board press, floor press, and close-grip flat
press. These exercises are all specific to bench pressing and all have
a very high carryover value.
Devote one day per
week to maximal-effort training.
You must perform
rows, rows, and more rows. If you want to bench big then you need to train
the lats. Stick to the barbell row (horizontal) if you want a big bench.
Train the lats on
the same plane as the bench.