Please...Help Me With My Bench Press!!

This Bench Press Routine Will Add More Power To Your Bench


How do I improve my bench press? I've asked myself this question many times as I'm sure your asking yourself now. I've tried a lot of bench press programs desperately trying to boost my bench press. I've tried using negatives, super sets, 5x5 sets, and others - To no avail.

But, over time, I eventually found something that worked. It wasn't a magically program but, a simple regime based on common sense. It's always the simplest things that make the most sense....

Anyways, I've always felt there's something magical about the bench press. It's the feeling you get when you pump the chest, deltoid, and triceps up, working the weight up and down.

There's no other feeling like preparing for a large bench press, getting your mind and body ready, lying down on the bench and wrapping your fingers slowly around the cold Olympic bar.

As you look at the shiny chrome bar, you concentrate only on the weight, you hear nothing else but the sound of your own breathing. You feel strong. You have to love that feeling!!

It really is a special feeling. The bench press is in a class by itself. The actual movement itself is pretty comfortable since you lie flat on your back and unlike the squat or the dead lift, your overall body strain is kept to a minimum.

The plan outlined here is aimed at improving your bench press by at least 10% over a ten week period. The plan is outlined as follows:

Part 1: prioritizing your chest

Part 2: Added progressive resistance

Part 3: Proper form and mechanics

Part 4: Using core chest exercises to support the bench press

Part 5: Boosting deltoid and tricep strength

Part 6: Setting up the 10 week bench system

By applying the above techniques, you will at least be able to add 10% to your bench press (Probably much more). Let's have a look at the above concepts.

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Part 1:

Prioritizing your chest

It is of the utmost importance that you train your chest first and foremost. Your priority should be on making your chest the main focus of your training. Chest should be number one and your other body parts number two. In order to do this, you must train chest alone. Do not train any other body part when you train chest.

All of your energy must focus on your chest. You will have to cut down on the amount of energy you expend on other body parts, saving it for the chest workouts.

You cannot continue to go full out on other body parts while turning up the throttle on your chest workouts. You want your chest to recuperate fully before each workout, otherwise, you'll exhaust your body and the system won't work.


Part 2:

Added progressive resistance

If you want to boost your bench press by 10%, you're going to have to continuosly add progressive resistance. Progressive resistance is to add more weight over different time periods at varying rep cycles. What you want to do here is find out how much you can currently bench press.

Take that number and multiply it by 10%. For example, lets say your current bench press is 250 pounds. Take 250 pounds and multiply it by 10% and you have your goal. In this case it is 275 pounds (250 x .1 = 25 pounds plus 250).

I think even the most advanced trainer can attain a 10% increase in their bench press, especially if you've never done a bench press specialization routine before. The next step is to plan out how you need to attain your goal in ten weeks.

Of course, what you don't want to do is go for all out one rep maximums every chest workout. This will lead to burn out and/or torn pec. Trust me, you don't want this.

Your goal is to make small improvements while slowly lowering the amount of reps your do. For this program, you will use four sets per bench session starting at 12 reps. You will than use progressively heavier weights while reducing the amount of reps you use.

At the end of the cycle, you may try for a single max. In each of the four sets, you will add progressive resistance to each set. That is, you will add more and more weight until you reach your desired amount of reps for that set.

It is important to note that you will not be taking your first three sets to failure. The very last set should be taken to failure. Also keep adding weight each week as you get stronger. For example, the amount of weight you use for week 8 should be more than for week two.

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Here's what the program will looks like:

Week
Set 1
Set 2
Set 3
Set 4
1
12
10
8
8
2
12
10
8
7
3
10
8
8
6
4
10
8
8
6
5
8
8
7
6
6
8
8
6
4
7
8
8
6
4
8
8
7
6
4
9
8
6
6
4
10
8
6
4
2

Week 1:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 12: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 10: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 70% of your max - Rest 1 to a minute and a Minute and half
1 set of 8: Use 80% of your max

Week 2:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 12: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 10: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 70% of your max - Rest 1 to a minute and a Minute and half
1 set of 7: Use 80% of your max

Week 3:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 10: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 70% of your max - Rest 1 to a minute and a Minute and half
1 set of 6: Use 80% of your max

Week 4:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 10: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 70% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes
1 set of 6: Use 80% of your max

Week 5:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 7: Use 70% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes
1 set of 6: Use 80% of your max

Week 6:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes:
1 set of 6: Use 75% of your max - Rest 2 minutes
1 set of 4: Use 85% of your max

Week 7:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes:
1 set of 6: Use 75% of your max - Rest 2 minutes
1 set of 4: Use 85% of your max

Week 8:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 7: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes:
1 set of 6: Use 75% of your max - Rest 2 minutes
1 set of 4: Use 85% of your max

Week 9:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 6: Use 60% of your max - Rest 1 to 2 minutes:
1 set of 6: Use 75% of your max - Rest 2 minutes
1 set of 4: Use 90% of your max

Week 10:

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 8: Use 50% of your max - Rest 1 minute:
1 set of 6: Use 60% of your max - Rest 2 minutes:
1 set of 4: Use 75% of your max - Rest 2 minutes
1 set of 2: Use 90% of your max


Part 3:

Proper form and mechanics

Make sure your bench mechanics are correct. Proper form is inducive to optimal growth and strength. Focus on moving the weight with your chest allowing for a controlled and fluid movement.

Drive the bar up with muscle strength. Follow these techniques and your will ensure that you achieve full stimulation of the pectoralis muscles.

1- Always warm up properly first and foremost. Start by warming up by performing two sets of 15 to 20. Always stretch before, during and after your chest workout.

2- Use a slightly wider than shoulder width grip.

3- The most important part of bench pressing is ensuring that you set up you pec girdle correctly. Lie back on the bench, take a tight grip and press your shoulders down toward your waist and back into the bench. Make sure that you thrust your chest forward when you start.

4- Always use a spotter when using the heavier weights. Never feel that you won't need a spotter because with this program, you will.

5- Your feet should be firmly planted on the floor with your butt on the bench at all times.

6- Lightly touch your chest at the bottom of the movement and never bounce the weight.

7- Keep your elbows in a vertical line with the bar. That is, your elbows should be directly under the bar.

8- Use an over hand grip. I seen this one guy use an underhand grip and the weight slid off his hands and on to his chest. He had 520 pounds on the bar. Ouch!

9- Always inhale as the weight goes up and exhale as the weight comes down.

10- Always make sure the weight is controlled. Once the weight starts to get away from you, lighten the load. You can get it next workout.

11- Don't lock your elbows out except on the last rep.

Follow these techniques and your may well be on your way to a monster bench.


Part 4:

Use compound exercises to support the bench press

When I mean compound, I don't mean cable cross overs or pec deck. I'm talking basic chest movements that support power and size. You will want to include movements like the bench press (of course!), incline presses, and dips.

Nothing fancy here, just the basics. With a full week to rest your chest between workouts, and reduced intensity for your other body parts, you should be able to pack on the weight.


Here is the chest workout you are going to follow for the next 10 weeks for your "increase my bench press" routine.

Bench press

Four working sets. The weight is progressively added (pyramid)

Incline Barbell press

Four working sets of 8. The weight is progressively added (pyramid)

Incline flyes

Three working sets of 8. Use a bench that is at roughly 30 degree angle. Really focus on your upper chest

Dips

Two working sets of 10. Really lean into these and focus on your chest as opposed to your triceps


Part 5:

Boosting deltoid and triceps strength

If you want a strong bench press, your gonna have to have strong delts and triceps. These two muscles are fundamental when doing the bench press.

If you have weak triceps, your gonna have a weak bench press. Remember that when you do the bench press, the first muscles to give out are the delts and triceps. Therefore, to achieve a big bench, you have to concentrate on improving these two body parts.

The program outlined here, is designed to improve not only your bench press but to improve the secondary muscles that support the movement as well. Chest will be completed on day one in the program with delts and triceps being completed on day four.

This allow ample time for your pushing muscles to completely recover. The shoulder and triceps workout uses core exercises to support maximum power and strength.


Part 6:

Setting up the 10 week bench press system

In order to support a big bench press, you need a full body training program that supports a big bench press. In the following program, you will train four times a week, on a two on, one off, two on, two off basis. Each body part is worked once a week. Here is the program your will be following for the next ten weeks.

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Quadriceps (Upper legs), Hamstrings, Calves, and Abs

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: Deltoids (Shoulders), Triceps

Friday: Back and Biceps

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Rest


Day one (Monday) - Chest

Chest

Bench press

4 sets (see the rep scheme in the above table):

Weight increments: See above percentage weight increments.

4 sets (see previous progression on the table)

Incline barbell press

Warm up - 1 set of 15 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 6 to 8 reps

Weight increments: I suggest you start out with about 50% to 55% of you max for the first set and add 5% to 10% for sets two and sets three. You should be using 80% to 85% of your max for your last set. You should just barely be able to complete the last 8th rep on the last set. I suggest you get a spotter for this set.

Rest periods between sets: 1 minute to 1 ½ minutes.

Flat Bench fly

Set one: 1 x 8 reps
Set two: 1 x 8 reps
Set three: 1 x 8 reps

Weight increments: Try and use a slight increase in weight. You should slightly increase the amount of weight you used, if at all. The reason being is that this exercise is all about form. You want concentrate on the exercise and really feel the chest working. Really squeeze your pectoral muscles throughout the whole movement, especially at the top. What you want to start doing is “flushing” your chest and filling it with blood in order to really get the “pump” happening.

Rest periods between sets: 45 seconds

Dips

Weight increments: Use your body weight for this exercise. Really squeeze your pectoral muscles throughout the whole movement, especially at the top. What you want to start doing is “flushing” your chest and filling it with blood in order to really get the “pump” happening.

Rest period between sets: 30 to 50 seconds.

3 sets of 10 - with body weight


Day two (Tuesday) - Quadriceps, hamstring, calves and abs

Quadriceps

Leg extensions

Warm up - 1 set of 20 reps
1 set of 15 reps
1 set of 12 reps
1 set of 12 reps

Weight increments: The main purpose of this exercise is to give your quadriceps a good stretch and get the blood flowing to the muscle. This movement is not meant to be a compound exercise. Remember to really concentrate on the movement and not so much on the weight. Really squeeze at the top of the movement and “feel” the weight.

Rest periods between sets: 45 seconds

Squats

Warm up - 1 set of 20 reps
1 set of 12 reps
1 set of 10 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps

Weight increments: You should choose a weight that allows you to perform the repetitions comfortably. If you have never done this exercise before, you might find your balance a little off. Just remember to concentrate on the movement. Keep your head level and back straight. After a couple of sessions, you should be able to find the right balance.

For the first set you should be using 50% of your max. Increase the weight by 10% to 15% for each successive set. By the time you reach your fourth set, you should be at 80% of your max. Remember, always use a spotter when you are using 80% of your max.

Rest periods between sets: 60 to 90 seconds.

Hamstrings

Leg curls

Warm up: 15 repetitions
Set one: 1 x 12 repetitions
Set two: 1 x 10 repetitions
Set three: 1 x 8 repetitions

Calves

Calf raises

Warm up: 25 repetitions
Set one: 1 x 15 reps
Set two: 1 x 15 reps
Set three: 1 x 15 reps
Set four: 1 x 15 reps

Weight increments: Keep on increasing the weight by 5% to 10% for each set. On your final set you should feel a burn in your calf muscles.

Remember to drink some water in between sets.

Abdominals

Incline sit ups

4 sets of 15 - 25


Day three (Wednesday) - Rest


Day four (Thursday) - Deltoids(Shoulders), and Triceps

Deltoids(Shoulders)

Press behind the neck

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps
1 set of 10 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 6 to 8 reps

Weight increments: Try and use a weight that allows you to perform the repetitions in good form. Try not to jerk the weight too much to get the weight up. Your first set should be 50% of your max. The weight for each set should increase by 10% to 20%. On set four, you should be at 80% to 85% of your max.

Rest periods between sets: 60 seconds. Side laterals

Warm up: 15 repetitions
Set one: 1 x 12 repetitions
Set two: 1 x 12 repetitions
Set three: 1 x 10 repetitions

Weight increments: This exercise should be used with moderate weight since you want concentrate on the exercise and feel the deltoids working. This exercise is all about technique and form. Try and keep your arms level at all times. Don’t swing the weight. Your shoulders should be burning by the end of the third set.

Rest periods between sets: 30 seconds

Triceps

Close grip bench

Warm up: 1 set of 15 reps
1 set of 10 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 6 to 8 reps

Weight increments: This is a great mass building exercise for the triceps. For the first couple of workouts, choose a comfortable weight that allows you to perform the exercise in good form. Keep the weight constant for the first couple of workouts. After you have gotten used to the exercise, try and increase the weight by 5% to 10%. Remember not to bounce the weight off your chest. You want to keep all of the tension on the triceps. You should be at 80% to 85% of you max by set four.

Rest periods between sets: 60 seconds

Skull crushers (lying triceps extension)

1 set of 12 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps

Weight increments: Increase the weight for set two that allows you to perform the prescribed repetitions in good form. Try and aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight from set one to set two.

Rest periods between sets: 60 seconds


Day five (Friday) - Back and Biceps

Back

Barbell rows

Warm up: 1 set of 20 reps
1 set of 10 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 6 to 8 reps

Weight increments: You should use enough weight that allows you to perform the prescribed repetitions in good form. Remember to keep you legs slightly bent and your back straight. Once you start bending your back, your using too much weight. For the first couple of sessions, keep the weight relatively constant with no increases. Once you get the hang of the exercise, slightly increase the weight from sets one to three. That is, add about 5% to 10% more weight for set two and set three.

Rest periods between sets: 40 to 60 seconds.

Pull downs

3 x 8 repetitions

Weight increments: The weight for set one in this program should be more than set one for the intermediate program. Aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight. Increase the weight for set two that allows you to perform the prescribed repetitions in good form. Try and aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight for set two and another 5% to 10% increase for set three.

If you can handle a little more, great! Just remember that as soon as you find yourself rocking, swinging or swaying, you using too much weight. Remember to drink some water in between sets.

Rest periods between sets: 50 seconds

Traps

Shrugs

3 sets of 10

Weight increments: Try and use a weight that allows you to perform the repetitions in good form. Try not to jerk the weight or bend your arms too much to get the weight up. Concentrate on squeezing your trapezius muscles at the top of the movement. You should be increasing the weight by 10% to 20% for each successive set.

Rest periods between sets: 50 seconds.

Biceps

Barbell curls

Warm up: 1 set of 15 reps
1 set of 10 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps
1 set of 8 reps

Weight increments: You should be starting with about 50% of your max on the first set. Increase the weight by 10% to 15% for each successive set. By the time you reach set four, you should be using 80% of your max. The movement should be under control and fluid. Try and aim for a 5% to 10% increase in weight from set one to set two in this program.

For your last set, you should be using weight that allows you to perform 6 to 8 reps but with some difficulty. You want to just barely complete 8 reps in good form.

Remember to drink some water in between sets.

Rest periods between warm up and set one: 50 seconds

Seated curls

3 sets of 8


Points to remember:

1) Always warm up before each workout by doing 10 to 15 minutes of the exercise bike. Stretch before, during and after your workouts

2) Warm up with 1 sets of 15 to 20 prior to the first set for each body part

3) Try not to go to failure for any other exercise other than the bench press.


Day six and seven (Saturday and Sunday) - Rest


Now, in conjunction with this bench press program, your going to have to increase your calorie intake. You simply can't make the strength gains in the bench press by trying to get a six pack of abs. Sorry, it's not going to happen. You need to take in an additional 500 to 1,000 calories per day - No questions. So, if you weight 150 pounds, you need to eat at least 25 calories per pound of body weight, or 3700 calories each and every day.

I suggest you visit the following pages to get an idea of what you need to be eating in order to start getting super strong and building some serious muscle mass:

Eating to gain muscle mass

Muscle building diet

And for some great tips:

Tips

And for supplements and how they can be used, go to this page here:

Supplements

Now, you might want to check out these related web pages for additional information:

Getting past a bench press plateau

Good luck and remember to use this program whenever you need to add a few pounds to your bench press. Also, take a look at the bench press technique below - It's spot on.

Click here to find out how Jason added over 40 pounds to his bench press!

Click here to find out how Jason did it

 

All the best,

Blake








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