5 Ways to Increase Your Bench Press

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1. Gain weight – this is almost impossible to recommend right now. The whole world is on a skinny jeans kick and visible abs are “in.” What is also in-style is not being a narcissistic pussy. Performance trumps looks EVERYTIME. Just ask the next woman you sleep with.

2. Train your shoulders – Use the standing shoulder press as a main/core exercise and also supplement with things such as the Bradford press, incline press, standing dumbbell press and other full-range pressing movements. The best way to bench 400 pounds is to press 300 pounds.  This is not a dangerous exercise; don’t let the smoke screen fool you.  You can’t lock anything out that you can’t get off your chest. That’s just a fact.

3. Be patient – of the three big lifts, the bench press will go up the slowest. Despite the rumors being spread via magazines and other charlatans claiming things such as, “Gain 30 pounds on your bench press in four hours.” Patience will serve you well – empty promises will not.

4. Upper back/Lats – everyone knows that these things are important, but here is the Rx if your lats suck.

Do this for 2 years:

  • Chins: 3-4 times/week
  • DB Row/BB Row: 1 time/week
  • Chest Supported Row: 1 time/week

Sets/reps are NOV style, as is the days you do them. NOV style = by any means necessary. Because of this, no questions are to be asked. Strong lats and upper back are essential for tracking the bar properly, proper set-up and health.  Remember if you can’t do a chin-up it’s because of three things; you are fat, weak or injured. And all three of these suck. So get on it.

5. Train your biceps – I’ve seen numerous people increase their bench press by training their biceps. This is mostly because they neglected them for so long. So if you have been neglecting your biceps, do 5 sets of 10 reps with a straight bar one time per week on whatever day you want/choose.

Learn more about Jim.

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About the Author

Jim was employed as a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Kentucky, where he worked with several different teams including football and baseball. He played football and graduated from the University of Arizona where he earned three letters. Jim’s best lifts include a 1000 lbs squat, a 675 lbs bench press, 700 lbs deadlift, and a 2375 total in the 275 lbs class. View Jim’s Training Log HERE