Getting stronger generally takes time and effort, but there are ways you can optimise your training to get results faster, these three proven methods to get a stronger bench press are some of them.
The bench press is a classic chest exercise and one that athletes love to exchange numbers on.
Jeremy Ethier, fitness trainer and YouTuber, shares his methods to improve your bench press.
3 Proven Methods to Get a Stronger Bench Press
1 – Bench more often
The most crucial thing you can do to improve your bench press is to practice the exercise more frequently.
You can do this by splitting your currently bench press sets into multiple session or increase your benching volume gradually.
Around five to nine sets per week should be enough to get a stronger bench press to start off with. If you’re an experienced lifter, try to increase the volume to 10-15 sets, Ethier recommends.
Read more: How to Bench Press for Chest Growth
2 – Mix up your focus
Mix up your set and rep ranges for every different day of training to prioritise a different focus:
- Hypertrophy: use moderate weight and a moderate rep range, e.g., 3 sets of 8 reps, ~75% 1RM
- Power: use lighter weight and lower reps performed explosively off the chest, e.g., 4 sets of 3 reps, ~70% 1RM
- Strength: use heavy weight and a lower rep range, e.g., 5 sets of 3 reps, ~85% 1RM
Perform your training in this order, as the power day in the middle allows for sufficient recovery between your more straining hypertrophy and strength days, recommends Ethier.
3 – Add accessory lifts to your training
There are parts of the lift where you’ll be weaker; perhaps it’s the bottom of the lift or maybe you struggle with the lockout. Wherever your weaknesses lie, adding accessory work to address them will get you a stronger bench press.
- If you struggle at the bottom, add the paused bench press to your training.
- If you fail midway through a rep, increase your triceps strength with the floor press, dumbbell extensions or skull crushers.
- If you struggle with the lockout, try the close grip bench press.
Read more: 4 Best Exercises to Improve Your Bench Press
How to perform the bench press?
- Lie with your back flat on a bench and a (loaded) barbell on a rack by your head.
- Grab the barbell with a grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
- With your arms extended, plant your feet on the ground and place the bar over your chest.
- Bring the bar down to your chest while your shoulders and hips remain in contact with the bench.
- Make sure you’re not flaring your elbows out and your forearms remain vertical as your bring the bar down.
- Lightly touch the bar to your chest and push it back up.
- The rep finishes with you reach full arm extension at the top.
Read more: Biggest Bench Press Mistakes to Avoid
Bench press variations
Read more: 10 Best Bench Press Variations
- Bodybuilding-Chest-Workouts: Snoridge CrossFit