22 Steps To A Bigger Bench Press (As Published in Monster Muscle Mag)
By Ben Tatar www.criticalbench.com
Time is very important when it comes to getting stronger. Every year when people work hard at benching, they will see big increases in the weights they move yearly, monthly, and even weekly. If many of you look back at how strong you were 10 years ago, 5 years ago, 2 years ago, last year or even 2 months ago, you will see big changes in the weights you are benching. Some maxes go up faster than others, but all of them go up in time with hard work. These gains will also keep going up in the future. Lots of little gains equal huge #s over time. You can really become extremely strong over time.
If you want an amazing bench, you won't be able to stay out late and have fun every night because getting enough sleep is very important. You will need to eat large portions of healthy foods frequently and take supps by the clock, which takes lots of work and becomes expensive. You will have to fight through pain in the gym to keep going to the next level and live in some kind of pain from the wear and tear on the body from very heavy workouts. Most importantly, you will have to be in the gym working hard when you wish you could be out doing other things. To be truly great at anything you need to make it a lifestyle.
Lets face the facts, if you want to go as far as you can go in the bench press and bench the biggest weights possible, you will have to start learning how to use bench press shirts. The biggest weights ever benched were benched with the shirts. The strongest man at around 230 can bench more with a shirt than the strongest man over 300 can RAW. The biggest raw benches today are a little over 700, and the biggest shirt benches are around 800. Lots of benchers' maxes go up tremendously over 150 and 200lbs when they use shirts. Lots of them think using the shirts makes benching more hardcore because you can hit scarier weights. Other people don't like bench press shirts because it isn't the same as benching RAW. Besides, RAW benching is the way people around the world bench. There are all different kinds of shirts and some people get more out of them than others and different shirts work differently for different people.
When getting stronger, gaining weight is very important. You will see that when you get heavier you will be able to lift more. However, some lifters don't want to look fat. If that is the case, eat lots of healthy foods while avoiding excessive fats, sugars, and simple carbs. If you don't care about aesthetics, and just want to get heavier to lift more, eat everything you want while getting enough protein.
Steroids and drugs will help you lift bigger weights, however they can have terrible effects on your mood and on your health.
Having guts is very important in bench pressing and in life. If you don't have guts you are gonna miss out on many great moments in life. You won't be strong. You will only be an admirer-wannabe who lives life in a comfort zone. It takes guts to work your weak link. For example, if you have a strong flat bench and a weak incline bench, you will need to train heavy reps under 5 on the incline. Even though it will hurt your ego, you will be stronger both mentally and physically. Anything in life that is worth something takes resistance. You need guts to fight it. It takes guts to work as hard as you can. THE BOTTOM LINE IS... You need guts to fail. When you work hard, you will sometimes fail. Youn need to experience failure to get stronger.
Well we know that people were born in different shapes and sizes and have different metabolisms. These are the facts; people who have shorter arms with a bigger chest and bigger bones will always have an advantage over someone with longer limbs and a smaller bone structure. An Endo will usually have an advantage over an Ecto, if the Endo decides to be a big powerlifter and not just some guy trying to lose pounds and look more like an ecto. Don't let genetics be your excuse. Anyone can be strong and make progress. You need to keep confusing your genetics and forcing your genetics to keep adding weights to the bar.
Lots of lifters have increased their benching tremendouslyo ver night from changing bodybuilding form to using leg drive, widening their grip, and changing the groove of the lift with form. By just changing your form, you can see fast gains in a day!
Rest is important in big lifting and to prevent over training. Don't super set your heavy workouts. Try to rest 5 minutes between sets. Make every set great quality instead of doing lots of sets and going through the motions. Every set should have some meaning and purpose, or it is worthless. The bottom line is, you need to do every set well.
10. MAKE WHAT'S WEAK STRONG-
This might hurt your ego, but you will need to hurt it to get stronger. If you only do what you're good at, you are likely to plateau because your weak points will prevent you from moving onto the next level.
11. MUSCLE CONFUSION-
You need to keep changing your routine to keep confusing your muscles. This will cause them to get stronger instead of adapting to a routine, which will cause a plateau.
12. BACK WORK-
Having a strong back is very important in benching heavy weights, and very important in life itself. Make sure you work your back.
13. EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT-
We are all much the same because we are all humans, but we all have our own experiences, our own perceptions and our own bodies that adapt differently to different training styles. So use exercises, supplements and routines accordingly to what works best for you. You can find this out from trial and error. What works for 4 months though, won't work forever, so you have to keep overloading your muscles, strengthening your tendons and working on your weak points. If you take two of the strongest men who ever lived, they didn't get there by doing the same exact routine. If your weak point is the lower half of the bench, start doing more serious back work and full range work, if it is strictly the top, get your triceps stronger and lockout stronger. Just know your body because you can only have your own, and you can't be anyone else.
14. WORKOUT PARTNERS-
If you want a really big bench, try to surround yourself with people who have gotten one themselves. There is nothing quite like one-on-one attention. If you're surrounded with people who motivate you to get better, then you will want to work harder and get better. This will make your strength journey a more enjoyable one. You will be pushed to working levels you never experienced before.
15. TRAIN SMART-
Training smart will make you last. It is important to work hard but if you're over training, then you won't make gains and you will just burn out. Remember, don't bench anymore than two days a week. Also, use good form to prevent injury and when injured rest. If you don't, you are just going to make things worse. Fighting through an injury isn't going to help you.
Dont neglect squats and only bench. Squatting heavy will help increase your bench by releasing more growth hormone.
When you enter the gym, make sure you have attitude. Get motivated to attack huge weights. When you have attitude, you will be much more energized and gom uch farther than someone who just lifts for the sake of lifting.
18. TRAIN WITH HEAVY WEIGHTS AND LOW REPS-
You will never meet a huge weight if all you do is bench 135 or 225 for sets of 10 and never challenge yourself with bigger weights and lower reps. If you want your bench max to increase train with lower reps and bigger weights and as you keep getting your tendons stronger and adding power to your body you will keep meeting bigger and bigger weights all the time.
19. SPECIAL EXERCISES FOR A BIGGER BENCH-
These are some lifts you can do if you get sick of the basic bodybuilding workouts. They will help you increase your bench, but choose these exercises based on your weak links. You should do something different every workout to keep zapping, shocking and overloading your muscles, forcing them to get stronger. When using exercise selection, choose the ones you need most. For example, if your weak from the start do more incline benches, heavy dumbbells, 3-second pause benches, close grip and more full range of motionand back work. If your weak at top, work on lockouts. If it is your delts, work delts. Just work what needs needs work to keep increasing your max... Remember intensity and quality matters most........ Here are some exercises that some people aren't aware of:
Board benching: Pick a board. They come in different sizes. To get the most out of this exercise, dig the weight into the board, and then press it back up. Go for 3 rep maxes, doubles and singles. Low reps are the way to go if you want maximum strength and aren ot training for an endurance contest.
Triceps: For any kind of tricep extension try 2 sets of 20-40 reps and just torture them into getting stronger. This is an exercise where you can work with high reps. Focus on quality for these. You can do your heavy skulls, but this is something different which will really help your benching.
Close grip bench board benches: Same as close grip but use a board. Great exercise.
Power rack lockouts: This is where you lay under a power rack (the one you squat and shrug inside.) Set the pin to the 8 holes. Or the lockout pin that your rack has. When you do Rack Lockouts, you will be able to use a lot of real scary weight, possibly 250lbs over your raw bench. Some people can lockout insane weights but can't benchanything and vice versa.This gives you confidence to handle big weights and strengthens your tendons and lockout. Other options: you can set the rack from the 7 pins or 6 pin or 5 and strengthen your tendons and weak links from lower pins.
Floor presses: Lay on the floor and arch your lower back while keeping your butt on the floor and bring the weight down until your elbows hit the floor and then drive it back up.
Chains: When you use chains, let's say with 225 lbs. You bring the weight down and press it up. You're benching 225 lbs from the first half of the lift but the chains weigh 45lbs each (90 lbs total) so your locking out 315 at the top. (Also depends on the chains you are using) Chains are very popular to use with strength coaches and athletes on all different kinds of lifts.
Speed Benching: Moving a light weight fast. Popular to do for speed strength on days you're not lifting heavy. This has done wonders for some people but what does wonders for some does nothing for others.
Negative/Forced Reps: This is a way of overloading the muscles where you take a weight over your max and you bring it down slowly! So youre basically trying to prevent the weight from crushing you. Then you will have spotters force the weight up.
Assisted Reps: These can help make you work harder if used properly. When you do these your workout then has a lot to do with your spotter and whether he is helping you or your ego...Beware if they are misused, you won't get stronger because you aren't controlling the weight and you will have a false sense of your strength.
Bands:Bands add resistance to the weight you are using similar to chains. They help you train your lockouts and explosiveness. Try bands for a completely different bench press experience.
20. TRAINING TO GET PRETTY WON'T MAKE YOU THE KING OF THE BENCH PRESS-
If you take two guys with similar genetics... First we have guy A- This guy keeps his diet totally clean, does lots of cardio, and trains hard with reps. Then there is guy B- This guy doesn't do cardio, and he eats everything! When he trains he is always doing the basics not lots of bodybuilder lifts and training with low reps always pushing himself to the limits. I will tell you right now that guy B is gonna be much stronger than guy A even if he doesn't flex as well and look as pretty. Training to get stronger vs training to get prettier is a completely different game. You will need to become a beast and have the attitude of a beast, rather than that of a pretty boy.
This is the biggest factor of them all. This is where the WANT, The intensity, the routine, the attitude, the sacrifice, the eating, your choices, how far you go and your whole life starts. Just remember, it is your mindset thatd etermines who you are and what you will become.
22. BEING THE STRONGEST-
So this is what it takes to get a bigger bench press.... TIME, CONSISTENCY, SACRIFICE, LOTS OF GOOD FOOD,GUTS, GOOD FORM, PLENTY OF REST, MAKING WHATS WEAK STRONG, MUSCLE CONFUSION, FINDING WHAT WORKS FOR YOU, BACK WORK, HEAVY SQUATS, MUSCLE OVERLOAD, GOOD PARTNERS and TRAINERS, ATTITUDE,HARD WORK,LOW REPS AND HUGE WEIGHTS, INTENSITY, and a MIND OF NO LIMITS. ---These rules will apply to both drug and non drug users, gear users and non, and everyone because to be the next big thing and to be the best you can be, you are going to need these attitudes to get a bigger bench press no matter who you are. Just remember how far you go is in your hands!
Incorporate these 22 steps while you train with the Critical Bench Program. A customized bench press program that has helped thousands of lifters conquer a personal best. http://www.criticalbench.com/program.htm
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