There’s nothing more frustrating than reaching a plateau or sticking point in your training. This can happen at any point to any person and is a frequent occurrence, so if you’ve avoided it so far then congratulations. The problem is that plateaus can quickly lead to frustration and a lack of motivation, which is the last thing you want when you’re looking to lift more.
One particular exercise where individuals seem to notice plateaus and sticking points more than most is the bench press. The bench press is an incredible tool for building a big, strong and powerful chest region and as a result is undertaken by most individuals attending the gym at some point during their training week.
With all of the above in mind, FitnessBeans have come up with 5 relatively straight forward and simplistic ways to increase your bench press. Your plateaus and sticking points will literally not stand a chance. So without further ado, let us consider the first tip;
A lot if individuals don’t appreciate the importance of their triceps during the bench press. Although primarily a chest exercise, the triceps do assist in producing the movement. Consequently, if you triceps are weak then your bench press will ultimately suffer. Furthermore, if you’re undertaking split training sessions, don’t pair your chest and your triceps as fatigue will quickly set in, reducing your lifting potential.
How long have you been doing your current chest regime for? If the answer is more than 6-8 weeks then it’s time for a change. The best way to shock your muscles into growth and keep them guessing is by simply altering your workouts. Consider your resistance, sets and repetitions initially as well as your intensity levels. Supersets, drop sets and exhaustion techniques will also take your chest workout to another level.
For those of you that are unaware, eccentric training makes reference to the lowering phase of the exercise. During the bench press this would be when the bar is lowered back towards the chest before you push out again. Your muscles are stronger during the eccentric movement so why not load up the resistance and concentrate on this phase. Just ensure you have a spotter or two to get you through the concentric phase.
This might seem slightly simple and too straight forwards but you’d be surprised at some of the weird and wonderful bench press techniques that exist! Quite simply, poor form and technique can hinder both yourself and your performance. Some commonly reported mistakes include hand positioning, grip, body positioning on the actual bench and lowering the bar too high or low down the chest. Make sure this isn’t you.
Regardless of how hard you train, you can’t expect to increase your bench press if you’re not feeding and fuelling your muscles with the right nutrition in optimal amounts. Eating little and often with good sources of protein and complex carbohydrates will help you to achieve this. If you’re struggling with food options or not getting enough calories then supplements can quickly and easily fill this void in your diet.
So there you have it, 5 simple yet effective ways to bring about change and ultimately enhance your performance during the bench press. Each tip highlighted above can easily be implemented into your chest workout with little effort and has the ability to help you smash through your training plateaus and achieve your unique goals.