You’ve been bench pressing, seeking that ripped, rounded chest that stands out like a medal of honor on the pros, but you’ve hit a plateau and can’t seem to go any further in your chest development. So, how do you get a stronger bench press?
Top ways to break the plane and continue your journey to a chiseled chest
Train Your Triceps
In many cases, weak triceps are what’s limiting you from increasing your chest size. Crank up on skullcrushers, the close-grip bench press and other tricep exercises. Use heavy weighted dumbbells and barbells and don’t train your triceps with your chest since they need to be fresh when performing chest exercises.
Use Shock Treatment
Remaining in a “comfort zone” hinders growth on any number of levels. Muscle tissue adapts quickly to routine so lifting the same amount of weight or doing the same exercises repetitively can lose their effect after time. In order to grow ripped muscle, you need to shock them by varying exercises and increasing weight often. Therefore, plow through your comfort zone and pound out supersets, crush a few circuits, throw in occasional plyometrics and other tricks routinely and your muscles won’t know what hit ‘em!
Train with Proper Technique
Many people who start out with the bench press don’t learn proper lifting techniques and end up developing bad habits which can hinder their progress. Make sure you’re grasping the bar in the correct position, don’t allow your back to arch, keep your elbows in and your feet flat on the floor, etc.
Don’t Neglect the Negatives
Negatives are the releasing motions when doing exercises. So, if you want to get a better bench press, spend time working on this important chest-building feature. Load up the bar with your 1 rep max or even up to 1 ½ times your 1RM. Slowly lower the weight all the way down to your chest and have a couple of spotters assist you with raising it back up. This practice alone can dramatically increase the size and strength of your pecs.
Beware of Overtraining
It is very tempting when you’re eager to see results to become impatient and load up your bench press day after day. However, if you over train without giving your muscles adequate time to recover, you will only succeed in tearing them down more than building them up. You should only bench press 2-3 times a week, depending on hard you push yourself. The harder you hit it and the more weight you use, the more damage to muscle tissue occurs and the more recovery time is needed.
Eat Like a Bodybuilder
If you want to increase muscle mass, you have to eat a lot of protein, complex carbs, calories and other key nutrients for proper recovery. You should get these in numerous small meals throughout the day instead of trying to cram it all into a few large meals. A healthy diet will help a great deal in improving your bench press.
Get Lots of Rest
Muscle growth and repair occurs during times of rest, not in the gym. Therefore, give your body plenty of rest time so it can build new muscle and recover. This will allow you to increase the weight of your press and bench press with more power the next workout.