The bench press is one of the most important exercises in terms of measuring strength. When you are trying to improve your upper body strength, the bench press needs to be in your workout routine. That’s why many people have the goal to increase their bench presses. However, it isn’t as easy as doing a set or two every couple of weeks; to make genuine improvements, you need to be strategic. Fortunately, there are some simple tips for improving your bench press, which we have outlined below.
Making gains isn’t solely dependent on what you are doing with your physical body. It’s also about your mentality. You have to be mentally prepared before exerting your body through lifting. This isn’t just pseudo-science; one study from AUT University shows that pumping yourself up before a bench press set can increase your force production by eight percent. This research also found that lifters who were distracted decreased their force production by 12 percent. It’s important not to be distracted when you’re trying to make gains, so before you bench press, take a moment to focus and get excited. It can help to visualize yourself successfully lifting your goal weight as well.
Prioritize Bench Presses
This might seem obvious, but if you want to increase your bench press, you have to prioritize bench presses. Many people feel they aren’t making any progress in their bench presses, yet put it at the end of their workouts. If you want to make progress in your compound lifts like bench presses, it’s imperative to prioritize them first in circuit so you have the greatest access to your performance capacity.
Don’t Under or Over Train
The frequency and intensity of the “right” amount of training is widely debated in the fitness community. When it comes down to it, it’s quite simple. The lighter the weight and the fewer the sets, the more often you can train. The heavier the weight and greater the set, the less often you can train without causing injury. When prioritizing strength, it seems that the proper volume is more important than how frequently you workout. We recommend lifting 40 to 60 reps every five to seven days to maximize your gains.
Focus on the Upper Chest
Your bench press performance is significantly better if you have strong upper chest muscles, also known as your pecs. You can make sure these muscles get the attention they need by incorporating an incline press into your workout.
Vary the Width of Your Grip
The width of your grip impacts which muscles your strengthening. A wider grip uses the larger muscles, whereas a narrow grip uses the smaller muscles like the arms and shoulders. Vary your grip width so you can build up both these muscle sets. Include a couple of wide grip sets into your chest workouts, and a couple close-grip sets in your arm workouts.
At Fit in New England, we would love the opportunity to help you reach your fitness goals. If you are interested in taking your bench press to the next level, we can help at our Medford gym. Contact us to connect with one of our talented personal trainers or give group fitness a try.