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The Fastest Way to Improve Your Bench Press

These simple adjustments will make all the difference.

Could this be the fastest way to improve your bench press? Pro bodybuilder and YouTuber Jeff Nippard is sure these adjustments will make at the difference in little to no time.

These are small changes in your training that, when addressed, will see your bench press numbers start climbing again.

Read more: 6 Bench Press Benefits You Should Know

Fastest way to improve your bench press

  • Fix your bar path
  • Grip the bar wider
  • Bench press more often
  • Add heavy top sets

Fix your bar path

Your bar path is the path your bar takes when viewed from the side and, while many lifts like the deadlift or the squat are most efficient if the bar path is a straight line, this is not the case for the bench press.

You should not use a vertical bar path on the bench press.

Instead, to maximise strength, you should be pressing the bar back towards your face and then up, in a path similar to this: /.

Grip the bar wider

Wherever you’re gripping the bar now, try to gradually ease your grip out by one finger’s width every workout for the next few weeks.

The top numbers on the bench press are generally set with the maximum legal grip width, with the index finger on the grip ring.

While this might not be comfortable, wider grips will allow you lift bigger numbers because it’ll reduce the range of motion and make the lockout easier.

athlete tests grip for bench pressSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Bench press more often

The fastest way to improve your bench press is simply to bench press more often. While practice doesn’t always make perfect if you’re only repeating bad habits over and over, if you’ve got the technique covered then smart practice is your obvious next step.

Focus on slightly different adaptations every session, for example rotate between hypertrophy, power, and strength.

Add heavy top sets

If you want to get stronger, you have to get used to having some heavy weight in your arms.

Top sets are a great way to get comfortable with heavy weights on a regular basis. This will in turn increase your confidence and has the least impact on your recovery.

How this looks in practice is adding one heavy top set at around 90% of your 1RM for 2-3 reps once per week.

Improve your bench press

See all these tips in practice:

Like benching? Try the decline bench press, reverse grip bench press, or the dumbbell bench press variations next time you go training.

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