Improve your benchpress

How to Improve Your Bench Press: Techniques and Tips

Are you looking to boost your bench press performance and break through plateaus? Whether you're a seasoned lifter or just starting out, optimizing your bench press can lead to significant strength gains. Here are some effective techniques and tips to help you enhance your bench press.

1. Bench More Often
To see improvements, frequency is key. Instead of bench pressing just once a week, try incorporating it into your routine twice weekly. Schedule your bench press sessions on Mondays and Fridays, giving your muscles ample time to recover in between. This increased frequency helps in reinforcing muscle memory and strength.

2. Improve Your Form
Good form is crucial for an effective and safe bench press. Proper technique minimizes the distance the bar has to travel, making your lift more efficient and allowing you to handle heavier weights. Focus on:
- Keeping your feet flat on the ground
- Arching your back slightly
- Keeping your shoulder blades retracted
- Ensuring the bar touches your chest at the bottom of the lift

 3. Add Weight
To build strength, you need to lift heavy. Consistently challenge yourself by adding weight to the bar. Lifting only half of your potential won't help you progress. Aim to lift near your max capacity to stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.

4. Lower Reps
Instead of performing sets of eight to ten reps, switch to sets of five reps. Lower rep ranges allow you to lift heavier weights because your muscles fatigue less quickly. This method is especially beneficial for building strength rather than endurance.

 5. Micro Load
Microloading involves making small, incremental increases in weight. Adding less than 2.5kg (5lb) per workout can help you overcome performance plateaus. These small increases may not seem like much, but over time they lead to significant strength improvements.

6. Rest Longer
For advanced lifters, taking longer rest periods between sets can be beneficial. Rest for about five minutes between heavy bench press sets. This extended rest allows your muscles to recover more fully, enabling you to lift heavier weights and perform more reps in subsequent sets.

7. Improve Warm-Up
Warming up is essential to prepare your muscles and joints for the heavy lifting ahead. Start with lighter sets to get your blood flowing. Begin with two sets of five reps using only the bar, then gradually increase the weight with each set until you reach your working weight. A proper warm-up reduces the risk of injury and improves overall performance.

8. Multiple Reps per Breath
Try to complete multiple bench press reps within a single breath. Aim for up to three reps on your first breath. This technique helps maintain tightness and stability throughout the lift, contributing to better performance and control.

9. Add Pauses on the Bench
Incorporate paused bench presses as a key assistance exercise. This variation involves a brief pause of two to three seconds at the bottom position of the lift. Pausing at the bottom helps build explosive strength and reinforces proper form, making it an excellent addition to your training regimen.

By incorporating these techniques into your bench press routine, you'll be well on your way to improving your strength and performance. Remember, consistency and patience are key. 

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