Find out how to increase your bench press in 5 easy steps.
The bench press is often considered the primary exercise for developing chest muscles. While it’s not the only exercise that can help you build a bigger and stronger chest, it is highly effective in targeting the chest muscles. However, performing the bench press correctly and consistently is key to maximizing its benefits and improving your performance.
It’s important to note that the bench press is not a straightforward exercise. There are techniques and variations that can help you make progress and prevent plateauing. Simply repeating the same motion may make you stronger, but there are additional strategies you can employ to enhance your bench press numbers.
So, while the bench press is a valuable exercise for chest development, it’s crucial to explore different techniques, variations, and training methods to continue improving and reaching your goals.
To understand how to increase your bench press in 5 easy steps, look at what Bradley Martyn had to say. He is a bodybuilder and online content creator with over 3 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.
How To Increase Your Bench Press in 5 Easy Steps
The 5 tips to increase your bench press from Bradley Martyn are:
- Finding good grip placement – find what is best for you, depending on how long your arms are
- Scapula retraction – you should be laying on the bench press and pretend that you could be holding a pencil between your shoulder blades by squeezing them together
- Head position – keep it flat on the bench
- Tight butt – slight arch on your back
- Feet position – touching ground
Further your knowledge by reading more below.
How Heavy Should You Lift When Training for Muscle Growth?
When training for muscle growth (hypertrophy), the weight you lift, often referred to as the training load or intensity, is an important factor to consider. Here are some guidelines to help determine how heavy you should lift:
Use a weight that challenges you: To promote muscle growth, it’s important to use a weight that challenges your muscles. This means selecting a weight that allows you to complete the desired number of repetitions within the hypertrophy rep range (generally 8 to 12 reps) with proper form, while also feeling challenging towards the end of each set.
Choose a weight that elicits fatigue: The weight you select should cause fatigue in the target muscles by the end of each set. You should feel a sense of muscular burn or fatigue during the final few reps, indicating that the weight is appropriately challenging.
Progressive overload: To continue building muscle, it’s crucial to gradually increase the demands on your muscles over time. This can be achieved through progressive overload, which involves gradually increasing the weight you lift as your muscles adapt and grow stronger. Aim to progressively increase the weight as you become more comfortable with a certain weight range to continue stimulating muscle growth.
Form and technique: While it’s important to challenge yourself with heavier weights, it’s equally important to prioritize proper form and technique. Lifting weights that are too heavy and compromise your form can increase the risk of injury and reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Focus on maintaining good form throughout each repetition, even when using challenging weights.
Individual capabilities: The appropriate weight will vary depending on your individual capabilities, strength level, and experience. What may be heavy for one person might be light for another. It’s important to listen to your body and select weights that are appropriate for your current fitness level.
Variation in training: Incorporating a variety of rep ranges and training modalities can be beneficial for overall muscle development. While the hypertrophy rep range (8-12 reps) is commonly associated with muscle growth, including both higher rep ranges (12-15+) and lower rep ranges (6-8) in your training can provide different stimuli and promote well-rounded muscle development.
Remember, finding the right weight is a process of trial and error. Start with a weight that challenges you within the recommended rep range, and adjust as needed based on your individual capabilities and progression. Consulting with a fitness professional or personal trainer can also provide guidance and help you determine the appropriate weight selection for your specific goals and needs.
Benefits of Doing Bench Press
The bench press is a popular strength training exercise that primarily targets the muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Here are some benefits of incorporating bench press into your workout routine:
- Upper body strength: The bench press is an effective compound exercise that engages multiple muscle groups. It primarily targets the pectoralis major (chest muscles) but also works the deltoids (shoulders) and triceps (back of the arms). By regularly performing bench press, you can increase your upper body strength and enhance your overall muscular development.
- Muscle hypertrophy: The bench press is known for its ability to stimulate muscle growth. It activates and challenges the chest muscles, leading to hypertrophy (increased muscle size) over time. This can help you develop a well-defined and muscular chest.
- Improved pushing strength: As a pushing exercise, the bench press strengthens the muscles involved in pushing movements, such as pushing heavy objects or performing pushing exercises in sports. By improving your pushing strength through bench press training, you can enhance your performance in various activities and sports that require upper body strength.
- Enhanced bone density: Resistance training exercises like the bench press can contribute to increased bone mineral density. This can be particularly beneficial for older adults or individuals at risk of osteoporosis, as it helps strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures.
- Functional fitness: The strength and muscle development achieved through bench press can have practical benefits in daily life. It can make activities like lifting, pushing, and carrying objects easier and more efficient, enhancing your overall functional fitness.
Remember to always use proper form, start with lighter weights, and gradually increase the load as you progress. It’s also essential to warm up, stretch, and listen to your body to prevent injuries and maximize the benefits of bench press training.