“How much do you bench?” If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this, I’d definitely have some extra spare change laying around.
Some trends never die and the desire to increase your bench press isn’t going anywhere. Young men and women across the world still share the healthy obsession of an impressive bench press number. With powerlifting and CrossFit becoming much more mainstream, impressive strength numbers are only gaining in popularity.
So let’s tackle the king of gym bragging rights – the bench press. Increasing our bench press numbers isn’t always easy. Some people are born with the body structure and ideal limb length to naturally have an impressive bench press. The rest of us need to get creative and try new things to keep improving our number.
So where should you start? With these 5 Simple (and Unique) Ways to Increase Your Bench Press.
BENCH BOOST #1: Master Push-Up Variations
Have you ever seen someone do a 1-handed, feet-elevated push-up? I doubt it. What about for reps? No chance. Mastering advanced push-up variations can go a long way to increasing your bench press.
BENCH BOOST #2: Master Form
I see so many people in the gym who haven’t mastered the proper bench press form. It’s crucial to be a perfectionist when it comes to form for all exercises and the bench press is no different. YouTube is your friend and trusted resource for free videos that can demonstrate the proper bench press form.
BENCH BOOST #3: Bench Press More Frequently
Throw away the once-per-week bench routine. Bench press 2-3 or even 4 times per week to really get your body accustomed to benching and benching often. This doesn’t mean going all out each time – in fact I would stay away from failure sets. Instead, I would focus on form, explosiveness and progressive overload.
BENCH BOOST #4: Build Your Back
Have you ever seen a powerlifter with a small back? Nope. Having a strong and dense back can go a long way in generating power for your bench press. The same holds true for legs. Don’t neglect your back and legs – they can be very helpful in boosting your bench.
BENCH BOOST #5: Work On Grip Strength
Most people NEVER work on their grip or forearm strength. Plate holds, farmers walks and wrist curls can do wonders for grip strength. Experienced powerlifters tell newbies to think about pulling the bar apart when benching to help pull the shoulders blades together and create more explosion in your bench. Having a strong grip can do amazing things when trying to increase your bench numbers. Don’t neglect your grip strength!