If you’re sick of struggling with the same weights and unable to increase your bench press and break through a plateau, there are a number of important factors to consider. Many people approach this goal by simply adding more and more weight to the bar, but over time you’ll reach a sticking point where that just isn’t possible at your current strength level, resulting in a plateau.
That’s when you need to turn to a few advanced techniques that will help you bench more and continue seeing strength gains.
Let’s have a closer look at the top tips to increase your bench press.
Utilize Pre-Fatigue Set-Ups
The very first way to maximize your bench is to make good use of pre-fatigue sets. In a pre-fatigue set, you’re essentially going to perform an exercise that will tire out the assistant muscles that get called into play when you perform your standard bench press, thereby forcing the major muscle group to work harder.
So for example, since the triceps will be utilized each time you bench press, you’d perform a few tricep extensions before performing your bench press exercise.
This way, when you do perform the press, you can ensure it’s just the chest that’s working. Then a few weeks later when you go to do the straight bench again (without fatiguing the triceps first), your chest muscle should be stronger, hence you’ll be able to lift more weight.
Try Partner-Assisted Forced Reps
A second way to improve your bench press is to use partner-assisted forced reps. With this technique, you’ll have your spotter actually help you out for the last 3-4 reps of the set. This will really help to push the muscle far past the point of fatigue, increasing the overall strength response you get from your training.
Take A Bench Press Break
Although it may seem counter-intuitive, in some cases, the best way to bench more weight is to actually just take a break ENTIRELY from doing the bench press.
In some situations performing other exercises to target the chest such as cable chest fly’s or push-ups will provide a break from the bench press exercise while still making sure to keep the muscle conditioned.
These alternatives are a great way of varying the angle of movement from the standard bench exercise, which will improve the overall strength and versatility of your pecs, and ultimately lead to more success when you return to the rack.
Utilize Half Reps To Work Your Weakest Link
Finally, the last technique to increase your bench press is to utilize half reps to help work your weakest link. With this technique, you’ll perform one full rep as you normally would and then immediately after that you’ll move into a half rep, either performing it in the upper half of the exercise or the lower half depending on where you’re strongest.
Continue alternating half reps with full reps until all the reps you intend to complete are finished and you break before the next set.
So there you have the top tips to improve your bench press. If you work hard, apply the techniques above and put in a good effort while eating a proper diet plan, you can see significant gains in your strength level.
If you’re serious about improving your bench press then check out this program that shows you how this guy increased his bench press by 50 pounds in 10 weeks ==> Review of Mike Westerdal’s Critical Bench Program