How to bench press more weight quickly
This article provides tips on how to bench press more weight quickly. The main things to consider are your setup, range of motion and the strength curve of the bench press. Adjustments to those will enable you to bench press more weight quickly if that is your goal.
Avoid being greedy. You will get what you asked for
So you have started to bench press and grow some chest hair. Good, both will help you to become a man. With this, I don't mean that everyone who does not bench press and has no chest hair is not manly but two things will happen. Firstly, once you start growing chest hair, you are hitting puberty. Congratulations you are quickly turning into an asshole to hopefully emerge back out of that cave somewhere between 22 to 25. Some psyches just never make it out of that hole. Don't worry, though, the people who you care most about, potential girlfriends and your peers, won't notice as they are with you in that puberty cave. All the adults around you probably will notice, except the ones whose minds are stuck in that place where the sun of humbleness and considering others seldom shines.
The bench press and lifting can help you to become a man by humbling you and giving you an understanding what working towards your goals with precision and a plan means. 100kg will always be 100kg and the only person responsible for lifting or not lifting it is you. That is a good life lesson. If you are an adult, sorry for the tangent, but it is also very unlikely that you searched for something like "How to increase my bench press quick", as you do not want to impress your peers so much or do you?
"More" and "quick" is usually a recipe for injury when it comes to sports. As mentioned in my expert interview with John Lark who has been training rugby athletes for more than a decade, speeding up things always comes at a price. In 2016 I tried to combine the west side and Jim Wendler 531 training methods to progress quicker. My reward was a fucked up back that did not let me pull more than 140kg on the deadlift. This was a 50kg drop from my former one repetition maximum. I got what I asked for, avoid to make the same mistake. At the end of 2016, I was back at 180kg but had lost half a year of progress.
How to increase your bench press quickly
So what can help you to increase your bench press quick? Can you do a magical program which will add 50kg in two days to your bench press? A trip to the local supplement shop might yield a magical pill that instantly increases your bench press by 40%? Maybe let us just cut through all of this crap and just directly inject testosterone into the muscles to get fired up and make your balls shrink to the size of a pea? There are many ways to Rome and one of these might be it. Smolov Jr is a program that can increase your bench press considerably in a month. I tested it and had a 10kg increase from 140kg to 150kg. These approaches, however, all come at the cost of your health in terms of supplements or overly focusing your time on one lift only. The following methods can be incorporated without going too extreme and will increase your bench press immediately.
Your setup is probably the best point to begin with to increase your bench press quickly. If you want to maximize what you are moving and this takes priority, learn from powerlifters. These are the points you can fix in your bench press immediately to gain between 5 to 10kg for your 1RM max, if you are not using these techniques already:
- Build an arch
- White knuckle
- Thumb wide grip
- Hand and wrist in line
- Bring elbows closer to torso
- Pull in your shoulder blades
- Get a lift off from a spotter
- Break the bar
- Touch chest with bar just below nipples
- Wear wrist wraps
- Wear a lifting belt
I have discussed these points in more detail in another post where I describe how to bench press like a powerlifter. But these are the things you can implement right now to make your bench press better. Learn them one at a time and not all at once to stay focused during the lift. Add them gradually to your repertoire.
Manipulating your range of motion is another way of improving your bench press if all you care about is to name a big number when someone asks "how much can you lift?". If you limit the range of motion you immediately will be able to bench press more weight as the bar has not to travel as far. This can be achieved by doing pin presses, utilizing bench press boards or simply not touching the chest during the lift. While I would personally consider this cheating if you are a beginner, these can be good tools for more experienced lifters to break through their limits by focusing on a weak spot in their bench press.
Influencing the strength curve is another way of directly adding some extra pounds at the highest point of the bench press. This can be achieved by using a bench press shirt, a Mark Bell Sling Shot, chains or bands during the bench press. In a conventional bench press setup like you know from the local gym, the load stays the same during the entire lift from top to bottom. The mentioned gadgets will enable you to manipulate this. Bench press shirts and the sling shot work in a way that the load stays the same but the accessory helps you during the bottom part of the lift. This makes the lift easier for you in the parts where it is hardest and will, therefore, increase your 1RM immediately. My sling shot 1RM is 162.5kg at the time of writing while my raw bench press is 150kg. Some bench press shirts add as much as 50% to a lifter's 1RM if used correctly.
The isometric bench press is a tool which I personally like a lot and is not that commonly seen to increase the bench press quick without any of the "cheats" I mentioned before. You set up the pins in the range of your sticking point for the bench press. In preparation for your top set (the heaviest set of your workout) you push as hard as possible against the pins before performing the final set. This will give you a direct boost to your strength. The only annoying bit about this when you are alone is the setup time as you have to unload the bar, adjust the pins, perform the press and then redo your setup for your final set.
The sooner you get out of the mindset "I want everything now" the better if you want to stay healthy, be an adult and become one strong badass. The quest to beast mode will take you years, not months, therefore look at how you can progress steadily for decades rather than rapidly for months to outperform everyone around you in five years time.
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