How To Load The Bench Press
The bench press is one of the best exercises for developing upper
body strength and muscle mass. When performing the bench press, it is just as important to know how to load the
bar as it is to perfect your technique.
Loading the bar with an improper amount of weight can lead to decreases in strength and injury. In this article
I will briefly discuss proper bench press technique and then describe how one should load the weight for the bench
Read on to find out how you can make the bench press one of the most effective exercises in your workout
When performing the bench press, it is very important that the movement is fluid and controlled. As you move up
in weight, there is an increasingly greater chance for injury. At first, practice the technique with a low amount
of weight and go slow.
Start with your body firmly on the bench and your feet on the ground. This is how your body must stay throughout
the entire movement - do not lift your back off the bench or lift your legs off the ground. If you do, you will be
unstable and therefore unable to lift as much weight.
Your grip when performing the bench press will depend largely on comfort and the primary muscles you want to
work. A traditional bench press will start with you placing your hands about shoulder width apart on the bar.
If you want to target the triceps even more, try a close grip when you have the technique down. A wider grip
will reduce your range of motion and make it easier to lift more weight. This type of grip is great when trying to
beat personal records, but it can also take a toll on your shoulders. Once you have placed your hands where you
want them, lower the weight and keep the bar level and in control.
Keeping your core tight will help you stabilize the bar and keep your back on the bench. Lower the bar to the
middle of your chest and then lift the bar up in an explosive manner. Try not to bounce the bar off your chest, as
this will make the movement easier and you will not get the same effect as you would if you pause on your
When loading the bar for the bench press, you should follow the principle of progressive overload. This means that
you should be slowly increasing the intensity (weight or number of reps) each time you bench press.
This will overload your muscles and ensure that they continue to grow and your strength increases. Try to base
the amount of weight you lift each session off of your one-rep max. For example, if you one-rep max is 100 pounds,
and you want to do 5 sets of 5 reps, try progressively working up to 90% of your one rep max.
This means that your first set will begin with 50% of your one rep max – or 50 pounds. Your next set will be
60%, then 70%, until you reach 90% on your 5th set. Add 5 pounds to your last set every session to see incredible
gains in strength and muscle mass!