Like it or not, the bench press is the main measure of upper body strength – and that isn’t going to change any time soon. Truth is, there’s no better upper body lift than the bench press. Can you name any other upper body lift that activates your lats, delts, pecs, triceps and requires a good amount of leg drive? Didn’t think so.

What about a lift that has more functional applications such as football, basketball, or baseball? Yah, that’s what I thought. Hell, just walk into any gym or tell your friends you are starting to lift, and one of the first things they will ask you is “how much can you bench?”.

It’s a very common question that I get asked all the time. So, I’m going to give you my top 5 tips for increasing your bench press. Hopefully these tips will help you bust through those plateaus and add some inches to your chest.

Top 5 Increasing Your Bench Press Tips:

1:Use Correct Technique

When someone has REALLY bad technique on the bench press, it is pretty obvious. I mean, anyone that has any idea what they are doing will look at that guy and think WTF?? And of course nobody helps him, it’s bad gym etiquette. Plus it’s entertaining to watch – that is until his sternum finally caves in from being used as a barbell trampoline or he dislocates his shoulder. The bench press is a simple exercise – don’t make it complicated. Here is one of my favorite videos on the correct bench press form given by Dave Tate:

2: Pyramid

Without fail, every week I see guys walk up to the bench press, toss on a couple plates and squeeze out a few reps. And when I say squeeze out, I mean barely get the weight up. No warming up, no stretching, just BOOM! They go for their max weight right out of the gate.

To start at your max weight is ridiculously foolish. You should always start with a warm up weight and then pyramid up in large increments. For example, you might do 135 for 12 reps, 185 for 10 reps, 225 for 8, 275 for 6 and then go for 315 for 1. No matter what the increments or reps, you should always pyramid the weight up.

3: Avoid Over-Training

I’ve been there. I know it’s tempting. You want to train more often because you think the more you train the bigger you’ll get. You have to get out of that mind set and start thinking “less is more”. Focus on the quality of your reps, sets and exercises. Stick to training your chest once or twice a week, there’s no need for more – not even if you are trying to hit your personal max!

4: Get Plenty of Rest

Getting enough rest is an essential aspect of building muscle and increasing strength. Muscle gets damaged at the gym but gets repaired and grows while you sleep. Get at least 8 hours sleep and plenty of rest between workouts.

5: Use Supplements

Supplements are the best way of delivering the nutrients your body needs and delivering them fast. Proper supplementation, in my opinion, is essential to increasing bench press. Check out our huge list of pre-workout supplements, post-workout supplements, intra-workout supplements and creatine supplements. A proper supplement protocol will help you not only improve your strength, but also your endurance and recovery.

About The Author

Brian E. is from southern California and has worked for names like GNC and Vitamin Shoppe as a supplement expert and consultant. He currently lives in Utah and is studying marketing.

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