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Increasing Your Bench Press

Stuck in a bench press rut? Unable to increase the weight or number of reps? You may be suffering from the “bench press blues” – a common aliment among serious lifters.

Experiencing a bench press plateau can be frustrating and annoying. Don’t let it bring you down.

Follow these simple tips and tricks to improve your bench and get back on the road to breaking personal records!

The first thing that can result in a dramatic increase in your bench press is eating more. A caloric surplus is essential for building stronger and more powerful muscle. Try adding around 250 calories to your diet at first. If you don’t see any increase in strength, you may want to add 500.

Many fitness professionals recommend what is called a “deload” week if you are having trouble with your bench. A deload week is basically a week in which you lower the weight and intensity but still get a good workout in.

This is thought to decrease the effects of overtraining – just in case that is why your bench has stalled. Proper rest is essential for your body because without it, your body will be unable to heal fully from your workout sessions. You will also feel mentally and physically fatigued.

To blast through plateaus, you can also try to increase your intensity in different ways.  Doing more reps with a lower weight, decreasing your rest time, or performing drop sets (start with a given weight then immediately drop the weight by 5-10 pounds). Sometimes, increasing the total volume of your workout can help increase your one rep max significantly.

muscle gaining secrets

Another thing you should consider when trying to increase your bench is how many times per week you work your chest. If one of your main goals is to increase your bench press, you should probably be performing this exercise at least twice per week. This is called the principle of specificity.

If you want to improve on an exercise you need to do the exercise. If you are going to be benching more than once a week, make sure you have scheduled enough rest in between sessions to recover properly and plan your workouts so that one is high rep low weight and another is high weight low rep.

Isolation exercises should also be added to your routine if they are not already. Your triceps and deltoids are the two muscles (besides the pectorals) that are involved in benching. Strengthening these muscles can help increase power and strength and get you through sticking points – or points during the bench press movement where you usually get stuck. Tricep extensions and shoulder presses are great isolation exercises to add to your routine.

Finally, your hand placement on the bar can make quite a difference on how much you can bench. A close grip will place more emphasis on the triceps, which will make it harder to bench more while a wide grip decrease you range of motion and makes it easier to lift more weight. Experiment with different hand placements and go with what works for you.

Hopefully these tips and tricks will help you increase your bench press fast and effectively. Be patient and consistent – results will come!

critical bench

critical bench

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