Elite Bench Presser Scottt Mendelson Teaches You How to Benchpress
It's difficult to imagine a 314 lb. man with a six-pack. Then again, it's difficult to imagine any human being bench pressing over 800 lbs.
Scott Mendelson is an NYU graduate and the world's top bench presser, with 5 world records and a 782.6 lb. bench press in competition. He has bench pressed 830 lbs. in training, more than most professional athletes can squat and deadlift combined.
Although Scott can squat 1,000 lbs., he emphasizes: "I'm a bench press specialist." For aspiring bench press specialists and every athlete interested in developing upper-body power, Scott offers 5 tenets he has used to become one of the strongest men in history:
1) Put your back into it:
Big chests do not make big bench presses. Proper technique makes the primary movers the back (latissimus dorsi), triceps, and rear deltoids. On a standard 15-17" bench, pull your shoulder blades together so the shoulders rest on, and not off, the bench's surface. This shortens the distance from the chest to full extension and eliminates your arms' weakest range of movement.
2) Lift with your legs:
Put your body into a near-full arch when performing a maximal-lift bench press: support your body on the toes or balls of your feet by putting your feet underneath your body and arching your back. Squeeze the bench between your thighs to stabilize your body and use leg drive to initiate the lift from the bottom.
3) Train for triples:
Dedicate one work-out per week to the bench press, performing 5-8 sets of 3 reps with 5-7 minutes between sets. Use 60% of your 1-repetition maximum (1RM), adding 5-10% per workout.
4) Emphasize tricep, rear deltoid, and brachialis development:
Following the above 5-8 sets of bench press, perform one exercise for rear deltoids, one exercise for triceps, and one exercise for the brachialis. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions with 2-4 minutes between sets.
Using a seated pec deck machine (used for crossing the arms in front of the body), reverse the motion by facing the opposite direction and moving your arms backwards.
Choose either A) tricep extensions or B) board presses (place a 4x4 board on the chest and perform bench presses within this partial range of movement).
The brachialis is a muscle on the outside of the bicep that supports arm movement at the elbow. Perform hammer curls (bicep curls where the thumb is kept pointing to the ceiling and the palm is not turned upward) to address this bodypart.
5) For safety, do not use a "false-grip", where the thumb is placed under, rather than around, the bar:
"Once I was bench pressing with a false-grip and I got 584 lbs. to lock-out. The spotters thought I had it, so they took their hands away. The bar slipped, and 584 lbs. bounced off of my chest twice. I couldn't breathe properly for 2 months, but I had no broken bones-not even a bruise." Moral of the story: Hold the bar at shoulder-width with your thumb wrapped around the bar-safety is a precursor to efficacy… and results.
Train systematically, train intelligently, and follow the guidelines of the world's #1 bench presser to actualize your true genetic strength potential.