So you want to improve the mother of all chest exercises? Here are some advanced tips to increase your bench press number.
The bench press is considered the best exercise for the chest. It hits all major areas of the pec to some degree, it is easy to apply progressive overload and you only need a bench and a barbell.
However, although it might sound easy to do, you can always improve a little bit more and improve how heavy you lift, thus increasing your chest size and strength. And this is where Mike Israetel’s advanced tips to increase your bench press number come to play.
Dr Mike Israetel has a PhD in Sport Physiology and is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, a YouTube channel focused on hypertrophy. He is the person many bodybuilders turn to when it comes to anything related to building muscle.
Here are his advanced tips to increase your bench press number.
Advanced Tips to Increase Your Bench Press Number
As it says in the title, these are the advanced tips to increase your bench press number. Sometimes advanced tips will not be what you need or what you are looking for. To make sure you have done the basics, Israetel asks you to check the simple tips to increase your bench pressing first.
With that out of the way, here are Israetel’s advanced tips to increase your bench press number.
1. Find Limiting Factors
Find the answer to these questions:
- Do you miss benches at the chest or very close to the chest?
- Do you miss benches just a bit above the chest?
- Do you miss benches halfway or higher?
Depending on your positive answer to one of the questions above, it can mean different things you can improve on.
The first likely means you have a limiting chest factor, if it is the second then the overall pushing strength is the limiting factor, and if you said yes to the third question your triceps are likely limiting bigger bench press numbers.
2. Hypertrophy Program Centred On Limiting Factors
Now that you know what is possibly causing your bench press not to be bigger, you need to develop a strength program to address those issues.
- Train limiting factors movements/muscles first and slightly more often
- Adjust other strength exercises paying attention to your recovery ability and time limitations
- Spend a few mesocycles in the 5-10 rep range for training, especially including those limiting factors
3. Strength Phase
After a while, you want to express your bench press properly, so do the following.
- Switch around to doing bench presses first (not limiting factor)
- Keep limiting factor training in and keep it hard
- Do 3-6 rep range for basic strength, and train a few mesos (keep assistance work in the 5-8 rep range)
4. Peaking Phase
Once you’re done with the strength phase you get to the peaking phase where you have heavy core work of your actual lifts and some accessory volume.
This is how it works in general:
- Train main lift volume in the first few weeks
- Do a bit of accessory lift volume in the first few weeks
- Reduce main lift volume over 3-4 weeks
- Taper, the phase where your fitness stays constant but reduces fatigue
“Fitness minus fatigue is preparedness, your abilities go up, you do a monitor max test and voila, your bench is improved.”
Mike Israetel goes on and gives a free sample of a training guide in case you miss benches at the chest, with the triceps being the limiting factor.
And those are his advanced tips to increase your bench press number. Click on the video below to see his in-depth explanation of each topic mentioned above.
VIDEO – Advanced Tips to Increase Your Bench Press Number
Now that you know some advanced tips to increase your bench press number, why not follow through with some curated articles from BOXRXO below to improve even more your fitness level?
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4 Best Exercises to Improve Your Bench Press
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How to Force Muscle Growth – 5 Methods to Accomplish That
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Top Training Programs to Gain Size and Mass
Understanding Hypertrophy: How to Build a Better Physique and Improve Performance
Barbell-Only Push, Pull, Leg Workout
Does Training to Failure Matter For Muscle Growth?
How to Build Muscle: The 4-Day Split Program
How Strong Should I Be? Best Guide for Newbies, Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced and Elite Lifters
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Build a Bigger Chest at Home in 30 Days
- bench press with spotter: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.
- close grip bench press: Alora Griffiths on Unsplash