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  1. #1
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    WEEK TWENTY-TWO :: What Program Is Best For Increasing Your Bench Press?

    TOPIC: What Program Is Best For Increasing Your Bench Press?

    For the week of: April 8th - April 13th.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "How much do ya bench?" Oh, if we only had a dollar for each time somebody asked us that! With it being so important, it is no wonder that people are constantly trying to increase their bench. Nothing feels as good as adding another plate to the bar when it's your turn to use the bench in your gym.

    So what type of program should you follow if you want to add some serious weight in the shortest amount of time possible? Should you do some type of periodization program to work up to your next max-out? Should you perform different bench press variations? Should you concentrate on other exercises and bodyparts as well?

    Give a detailed bench press strength program including what to do each day, how many days of the week to workout, how many reps and sets you should perform, and any other tips that will help somebody break their gym's bench press record!

    BONUS QUESTION: Today you decide to try to beat your one-rep max record. What is the best method to prepare for this big lift? What type of warm-up? What can you do mentally? Should you change your nutrition plan that day?

    BONUS QUESTION #2: How much do ya bench? How long did it take you to get to where you are now? What is your bench press goal?

    Show off your knowledge!

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  2. #2
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    I think in order to increase your bench you need to be less concerned with constantly maxing out and more concerned about strengthening the muscles that help out during the bench. It goes along with the saying "you are only as strong as your weakest link" which I find quite appropriate because its hard to bench press properly and heavy if your shoulders or triceps go out first.

    A good program consists of good solid power moves. Meaning bench press, shoulder press and close grip bench. All of which pack on strength to your chest, shoulder and tricep muscles. Also, you have to include a good assortment of other exercise because there isn't just one muscle in each of those groups. I would include a lateral, front and rear delt raise for the shoulders as well as a few rotator cuff exercises to strengthen the shoulder girdle. For the chest, I would include pushups, incline, flat and decline bench press and a dip for the chest and triceps. For the triceps, I would have a close grip bench, bench dips and a press down.

    To bench press properly you must perform and practice good form. You can't set a new personal best if your injured. Good form requires the lifter to take the bar down to the lower chest and as they are lifting the bar upwards arch it a little to the upper part of the chest and stop at near lockout. and repeat.

    As far as training sessions go I would do 75-85% max while trying to build up and when those percentages get easier to lift within 8 reps I would work in between 85-90%. Once I hit 95% of my max for 3 or more reps I would wait until next bench press training day and try a new max out. If I got a new max out then I would start all over again at 75-85% max.

    Nutrition wise I would probably just carb up and take in some creatine before I went in to max out.

    About me. I don't really care about my max bench press anymore because of a couple reasons. For one, I have had a sprained rotator cuff and cannot use ridiculous amounts of weight anymore and also I feel that if I am using a challenging weight and am pushing myself that is all that matters. I use dumbbells instead of a barbell because it makes my shoulders feel better.
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  4. #4
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    What Program is Best for Increasing Your Bench Press?

    Let's face it, everybody wants to increase their bench press, but gym regulars and bodybuilders eventually hit a plateau and struggle to raise those bench press numbers. Put down that magazine article on "how to increase your bench press by 20lbs. in 1 week," and listen up!

    Hit the bench while your fresh
    I see this happen many times at the gym I attend. Gym regulars come in and do a few sets of bicep curls, pushups, sit-ups, pull ups, and then proceed to the bench press expecting to move mountains. Why is this not a proper way of training for a big bench press? Well, the bench press is a compound movement;meaning your entire workout should be based around these mass and strength building movements. You also want to be "fresh" for the bench press, so you can put in maximum effort. In other words, start off your chest workout with the bench press followed by other exercises you have designated to perform on that day. As always with any exercise, make sure that you have adequately warmed up to prevent injury and get the blood flowing.
    Nutrition
    Many avid bodybuilders have made statements in the past about nutrition being 80% of bodybuilding, whilst the other 20% is geared towards training. It's pretty plain and simple, you can't expect to increase your size and strength through the roof if you eat like a bird. Analyze your nutrition regimen and make sure you're getting in a sufficient amount of calories, protein, carbohydrate, and fats. Once you start increasing your calories, you'll easily increase in your own body weight;meaning you will just as easily be capable of making an increase on your bench press numbers.
    Avoid Overtraining
    Overtraining is simply defined as engaging in excessive training or training too much, which results in an imbalance between training and recovery. This will truly diminish your dreams of increasing on the bench press. Some of the symptoms of overtraining to look out for are constant fatigue, lack of motivation, depression, irritability, decreased performance, injury, and constant muscle soreness. If you're overtraining, there is a remedy: take some time off. This will give your body time to recover and grow.
    The program for that BIG bench press
    Now that we covered the tips that I mentioned above, let's move onto the program for unlocking that massive bench press. This program is exclusively for strength, but as we know, strength gains can equate to size gains. First let's start off with a list of exercises that can assist or aid you in reaching that impressive bench.

    Tricep Pressdowns
    Tricep Extensions(Skullcrushers)
    Closegrip Bench Press
    Barbell/Dumbell Shoulder Press
    Tricep Dips

    The reason I have selected these exercises as "assisting exercises for your big bench" is primarily because the muscles that are being worked on the bench press besides your pectoral muscles are your triceps, and deltoids. The exercises I listed above all target the muscles recruited when bench pressing; meaning if you focus on these exercises, the muscles being used when benching will be stronger and will result in a bigger bench press. Let's now tackle the split you can use that will deliver you a bigger bench press:

    Day 1: Legs and Abs
    Barbell Squats 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Leg Press 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Stiff-legged deadlifts 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Lying Leg Curls 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Standing Calve Raises 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Weighted Crunches 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Day 2: Rest
    Day 3: Shoulders and Traps
    Dumbell/Barbell Shoulder Press 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Side Dumbell Lateral Raises 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Cable Side Lateral Raises 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Bent over Dumbell Raises 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Dumbell/Barbell Shrugs 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Day 4: 20 minutes of Cardio
    Day 5: Back and Biceps
    Pull-ups 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Lat Pulldowns 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Barbell/Dumbell Rows 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Barbell Curls 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Preacher Curls 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Day 6: Rest
    Day 7: Chest
    Bench Press 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Dumbell Incline Press 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Weighted Chest Dips 2 sets of 3-5 reps
    Dumbell Flys 2 sets of 3-5 reps

    This split will not lead to overtraining, and it stresses the important principle of rest. The choice of exercises depends on what you prefer. Keep the rep range generally low (in the 3-5 rep range) as this will encourage gains in strength. Do you know what gains in strength for supporting muscle groups on the bench press will result in? A bigger bench press. Also, be sure to warm-up to prevent and avoid injury. Again, this program is primarily for strength gains, but some gains in the size department will be produced. Follow this program for 4-6 weeks, and then perform a max-out (single rep) on the bench press, and be amazed how much it increased!

    BONUS QUESTION: Today you decide to try to beat your one-rep max record. What is the best method to prepare for this big lift? What type of warm-up? What can you do mentally? Should you change your nutrition plan that day?

    Today is the day you enter the gym with confidence to break that old bench press record. The best way to prepare for this big lift is simple. As soon as you awake in the morning, tell yourself over and over again that you can do this. Make sure your nutrition is in check, as it should be for everyday. Consume a pre-workout meal 60 mins. before working out consisting of an adequate amount of carbohydrate, protein, and fats to fuel your body for the lift. Do whatever it takes to get you pumped up mentally before attempting the lift. Listen to your favorite song, relax, or even try supplementing with some caffeine to get you alert and ready! To warm up on the bench press, simply do 2-3 sets just to get the blood moving. Do not warm-up with a weight that you struggle with! This will exhaust you before you try to max-out. Have confidence in yourself, make sure your nutrition program is in line, and warm-up the right way to break that old record!

    BONUS QUESTION #2: How much do ya bench? How long did it take you to get to where you are now? What is your bench press goal?

    Currently, at 152lbs, I bench press 220 for one rep. It didn't take me too long to reach a 220lb. bench. I simply followed all of the guidelines I mentioned above, and allowed myself ample time for recovery. Last year at about this time, my max bench press was 160. Thats's about a 60lb. increase in one year! The most important principle to unlocking an impressive bench press is rest and recovery. I cannot stress this enough. Nutrition also goes hand in hand with recovery, as it is just important. My goal on the bench press is to max-out at 250 by November, and by following these guidelines, I know I can do it.

    Good luck!
    Mike
    Last edited by mivi320; 04-10-2005 at 09:14 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Many people who are trying to increase their max bench often feel discouraged due to plateau's and lack of progress. Increasing your bench press to a significant degree is a task that is possible with proper bench pressing techniques, proper nutrition, recovery, good attitude and a sound strength program.

    Bench Pressing Technique
    Learning proper bench pressing techniques is vital to having a massive bench. I see regulars at the gym trying to increase their bench by bouncing the weight off their chest and only going down half the way.These methods are counter productive/dangerous and can lead to injury. Below is a list of basic benching pressing techniques that once you use and incorporate in your bench training, will help you get a bigger bench!

    1 Bench position
    Right off the bat before you even grasp the bar you have to make sure that you are in correct position on the bench itself. being to far towards the top of the bench can be dangerous because once you unrack the bar you are not in a position to press properly which throws you out of rhythm. Being too far from the top is worse because you will have be in a awkward position to lift off the bar which could again knock you off balance. The best position to be in is when you are lying down on the bench, have your eyes directly underneath the bar. You will have a better lift off and start your set much more confidently.

    2 Have your feet placed evenly on the floor
    Make sure your feet are planted evenly on the floor approximately shoulder width apart. This foot positioning will help you generate power and have a solid foundation. You can even further drive your feet into the ground in order to create more power.

    3 Grip
    Grip the bar as hard as you can! A hard aggressive grip will help you feel in control of the bar as well as help the power from your triceps, shoulders and chest be transferred to the bar much better. Also wrap you thumb around the bar. This gripping technique helps take tension off the wrist and allows you to use your forearms. As a caution, always make sure you have a spotter when using this grip or if you have a power rack, make sure that safety pins are in place. Make sure your wrist stays straight and firm. I have seen many people do severe damage to their wrists due to faulty grip. As for determining how far apart your hand should be varies from person to person. Some people are better with a wider position, well some other people who prefer a narrower grip. I think the best way to determine the best grip for you is to get into a push up position and see how far apart you put your hands that gives you maximum comfort and better performance. I personally use the o-rings and place my pinky fingers around them. Too wide of a grip will cause most of your force to be pushed outwards and too narrow will put most of your force inwards. A balance in between those two will put all your force upwards.

    4 Rep Tempo
    The lowering part of the rep should be executed controlled and medium paced. Lower it down to the nipple region. Avoiding bouncing the weight off your chest as it is dangerous and counterproductive. The concentric part of the rep should be done in a fast and explosive matter. This way you can recruit more fast twitch fibers.

    5 Shoulders and back in a retracted position
    Most people who first hear this technique get confused. You can practice it by leaning up against a wall in a push up position with your feet at a angle to the wall. Put both of your hands against the wall. while keeping them on the wall, try to pull you arms as far back as you can. This is a retracted position, when benching this is how it should feel. Your shoulders will be put in a position where you can handle a lot more weight!

    6 Squeeze your Glutes
    This helps add to the stability to your body, enabling you to handle more loads. Using this technique along with keeping you feet firmly planted on the ground can produce very good results.

    7 Adequate Rest between sets
    On heavy sets, make sure to have at least 3-5 minutes of rest between sets in order to let the muscles fully recover from fatigue and get ready for the next set.

    8 Breathing
    Probably one of the most important aspects of all training but often disregarded is breathing techniques. As the bar is being lowered to your chest, inhale deeply through you nose . As you explode the bar upwards, hold your breathe until you get the bar moving, as you reach the top of the rep, exhale. This takes practice as can seem awkward to some at first, but once you get used to it has tremendous benefits.

    Proper Nutrition:
    Everyone knows the importance of nutrition in any sort of physical training. If your diet is not up to par, your chances of increasing your personal bench record are not very good. Make sure you are eating in a calorie surplus mode, taking in proper amounts of protein, carbs, and fats. Six-eights times a day and don’t forget to drink lots of water. Supplements can help you such as Creatine, BodyOctance,weight gainers and protein powders. But remember that supplements can only supplement your diet. If your eating habits are not up to par, supplements can prove to be almost worthless.

    Recovery
    Like proper nutrition, recovery is as a must in achieving your performance goals. Remember to give your body enough time to recuperate and recover from the last workout so you can be ready for the next one. You can do this by having ample amounts of sleep (7-9 hours), proper nutrition habits, avoid over training and try not to be stressed out. Avoid training every single day for more then 60-85 minutes. Training at high volumes does have benefits, but most of the time the exercises are performed at a medium level intensity. Most strength programs require all out intensity thus most people can’t train longer then 45 minutes with maximum effort. Our lives are busy, full of stress. Try to take it easy and not get to over worked on everyday situations. If stress is a problems for you there are a few things you can do to help. Massages, sauna’s or a hot bath can all help.

    Proper mind set:
    As each day passes, more and more coaches and athletes are starting to realize the importance of the mind and what it’s impact on performance. Weightlifting perhaps is the probably one of the sports that are more mentally demanding compared to others. Which would explain why most people who try never quite make it to the level they wanted to. When you go into each of your workouts, you gotta have the mentality where you feel like nothing can stop you. What? you are adding 10 lbs to this lift or you have never done this weight before? so what who cares kick it’s ass! You have to have the confidence in yourself ability to perform and go above and beyond. Champions believe in themselves and know that they have worked hard enough to move on and are not afraid to go above and beyond, average trainers will say in their heads “I don’t know man, I have never done this before.” Self doubt is the first step to failure. You can’t be afraid of failure. Sure it happens to all of us, maybe you didn’t hit all the reps you wanted. Champions will take their faults and learn from them, while average trainers will feel unconfident and give up. Bottom line, believe in what you want, make the effort, and it will happen.

    The Workout:
    This is a 8 week program designed to specifically hit the muscles used in bench pressing. You can incorporate it in your current routine if you would like. You hit your chest triceps and shoulders twice a week. Most folks go with Monday and Saturday. You will be benching every workout, while varying up for assistance excercises.

    Rep/set Ranges:
    In order to produce strength you have to dip into low rep ranges, usually nothing less then 6. This program incorporates a light/heavy day with varied rep ranges andfollows a periodilization plan.

    Progressive Overload:
    This programs main principle is progressive overload. Always strive for more reps and added weight. Once you complete the certain amount of weight that you planned for the certain amount of reps, go heavier. You must put the muscle in a state where it fears it’s survival so it get's stronger in order to adapt.

    LR=Laterial RAise Workout 1-heavy
    CBP=Close grip bench press Workout 2-light
    BP= Bench Press
    WD= Weighted Dip
    SP= Shoulder Press

    Workout 1(Mon) Workout 2(Sat)
    Week Excercise Sets/reps Excercise Sets/reps
    1 BP,WD,SP 3x6 BP,LR,CBP 4x9-10
    2 BP,WD,SP 3x6 BP,LR,CBP 4x9-10
    3 BP,SP,WD 3x5 BP,CBP,LR 3x8
    4 BP,SP,WD 3x5 BP,LR,CBR 3x7
    5 BP,LR,CBR 3x4 BP, SP,WD 3x7
    6 BP,LR,CBR 3x4 BP,SP,WD 3x6-7
    7 BP, CBR,LR 3x3 BP,WD,SP 3x6
    8 BP,CBR,LR 3x3 BP,WD,SP 3x6
    Bonus1- I would suggest pyramiding up to you max as a warm up. start with lighter weight and work up to your max. Make sure to eat lots of carbs for energy.
    Bonus2- I haven't maxed in a while (1 year) but last time I did it pushed 250, I have been training for 2 years.
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  6. #6
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    Cool

    I had to edit mine down to hell because I had over 1000 extra characters, ah wel best of luck to every1!
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by soufi
    I had to edit mine down to hell because I had over 1000 extra characters, ah wel best of luck to every1!
    You're allowed to have it in more then one post.
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  8. #8
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    dammit I should have done that, I took out alot of detail.
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    Originally Posted by soufi
    dammit I should have done that, I took out alot of detail.
    here this will help you put it back in...lol

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/teen/anthony14.htm
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    Originally Posted by bubba g
    here this will help you put it back in...lol

    http://www.bodybuilding.com/teen/anthony14.htm
    haha copy cat. he got caught even before the competition for this week ended. Good job bubba g !
    i suggest deleting ur post before u get banned.
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  11. #11
    Registered User soufi's Avatar
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    How would you come to that conclusion? becuase my coach happens to tell me to squeeze my glutes and everyone knows to retract shoulders? I have never read that article in my life. I seriously hope you are joking.
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    Originally Posted by bigcalves
    haha copy cat. he got caught even before the competition for this week ended. Good job bubba g !
    i suggest deleting ur post before u get banned.
    dude... if his article was copied, there woudln't have been as many spelling mistakes as i saw, and soufi coaches me and tells me all that stuff day after day so seeing that article or not thats the way he pushes me and thats the way his coach pushes him. Don't be jealous that he knows how to do it properly
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    ye no **** brian , like he doesn't even go over nutririon, recovery, mindset, or even give a example workout(or explain how a strength cycle should be structerd and why) mine just has two techniques that his has (glutes and retracted back) that everyone knows and automatically I copied? they aren't even worded similarly.
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    If you did copy, which it looks like you did, thats pretty low man....don't ruin the contest for the rest of us.
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    Originally Posted by Ironman88
    If you did copy, which it looks like you did, thats pretty low man....don't ruin the contest for the rest of us.
    how does it look like he copied? two things are the same which is two techinques everyone knows. OH NO two things are the same out of what 10 different ideas he wrote about. common dude its not copied stop trying to get him cut cause his was good.
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    What Program Is Best For Increasing Your Bench Press?

    In this article i will focus on power, rather than building muscle. Sure muslce will come, but that's what we're here for. We're here to blast our bench press




    Reps and Sets

    The first thing we're going to talk about is your training. The reps and sets performed play an important role in icnreasing your bench. Our goal is power, and mass is secondary so our reps will be different form normal bodybuilding programs for size. Our sets will on the bench will go down by 1 or do because the intensity will go up. Also our reps will go down. Instead of the regular 6-12 rep range for size, after we warm up our rep range will be 2-5. That effects the muscle fibers that are responsible for power, and that's the best way for your bench. Always remember to stretch before you start, and always perform a warm-up, other wise you will not be able to lift with your maximum power, and the chance of injury, especially with heavy weight increases dramatically.


    Overall Summary/Review
    - Always stretch before lifting.
    - Perform a warm-up, before the heavy lifting.
    - Keep rep ranges low, 2-5 reps will be enough, excluding warm-up.
    - Heavy weight, requires less sets.
    - Keep intensity level up.



    Overtraining

    Sometimes when we really want to get big, we attack a certain muscle group in hopes of blasting it, and making it huge. Well it doesn't work that way. Your body grows proportionally to some degree, and working out your chest every other day will not help. Actually it will be really bad for you. Overtraining results in two ways. Either you did alot of sets on one day and your body has no way to recover for that, or not giving your body time to recover from last days workout. Both are bad. And both will get you nowhere with your goal to be big and powerful. Your chest if like any other muscle group, it needs time to recover. I would say that working chest more than once a week is bad for your. I say hit it once, and hit it right. When you get one good workout, with great intensity, you won't be able to train chest in the same week. So don't over-do it. By getting a workout and giving it time, you are giving power and mass to your chest. Taking supplements such as L-Glitamin will give you faster and better recovery time, and are wise in your quest for a powerful bench. Train for 45 minutes to 1 hour for chest alone. Remember intensity, not time is the key.


    Overall Summary/Review
    - Train chest once per week.
    - Always go with maximum intenisty.
    - Give it time to rest, dont overtrain.
    - Take L-Glutamin for faster recovery.
    - Don't over-do workout, keep them short and intensive.



    Nutrition

    Although overlooked, nutrition plays a big part in yuur goals of becoming big and powerful. Without the right fuel, you cannot perform to your max, meaning on those hard low reps, you wouldn't be able to do your best. Eating a balanced meal, such as 30% protein, 20% fat and 50% carbs, with 300-500 calories over maintinance level will help you achive results. You will gain strenght, some size, and all the lb's on your lifts will go up. By having good nutrition you won't be out of power, feel lazy, or gain extra fat during your journey to a monster bench. Have you heard the expression " eat everything to get big", well it's not true. Yes you need a large amount of calories but eating junk won't get you big, or powerful.


    Overall Summary/Review
    - Eat healthy.
    - Eat 300-500 calories above maintinance level.
    - Don't eat alot of junk food, thinking that calories will mean muscle.
    - Do not abuse your metabolism with empty sugars.
    - Eat 4-6 small meals through out the day.



    Don't overlook other body parts

    Sorry to break it to ya, but when benching your not quite using your chest. Your shoulders and triceps do alot of the work in benching, and sometimes too much (ever see kids arching like there's no tomorrow?). Your goal here is a monster max bench. To get that you must develop thick cannonbal shoulders, and powerful horse shoe triceps. In cooperation with your chest, that is the recipe for a huge max. By working your tri's and shoulders you will notice that your stabalizers are stronger, and you control of the bar is stronger. The chest works up to a certain part, where the triceps and shoulders kick in to help. So trining your triceps and shoulders is not only smart, but esential for a big bench. You obiously need a split. A schedule to workout your whole body, usually in the coarse of a week. That will help you to your maximum potential.


    Overall Summary/Review
    - Train shoulders.
    - Train triceps.
    - For a monster max on the bench you must take every other msucle into concideration.
    - Have a split dedicated to your whole body, legs too!



    Sample Split

    Before i show a sample split you need to know the basics of each muscle, and the basic workout for it.
    * I will focus on workouts for these days, since they are important to your max bench.

    *ADD WEIGHT TO YOUR BENCH EACH WEEK.(no matter how much, you need
    Progression


    MON-Chest
    Warm Up with bar
    *Chest- Bench 4x 8 6 4 4
    Incline Bench 3x 6 4 4
    Decline 3x 4 4 2
    Incline Fly's 3x 6 4 4


    TUE-Legs


    WED-Shoulders and Traps
    Warm Up with bar
    Shoulders- Military Press 5x 8 6 6 4 4
    DB Press 4x 6 6 4 4
    Side Raises 3x 8 8 6
    Front Raises 3x 6 4 4


    Thur- Back and Biceps


    Fri- Triceps, abs and calves
    Triceps- Close Grip Bench 4x 8 6 6 4
    Push Downs 3x 8 6 6
    French Press 3x6 4 4
    Skull Crushers 2x 4 4

    SAT-CHEST ROUTINE FOR SUCCESS
    Warm up each week before benching.

    On Flat Bench:
    Week 1- 4 sets, enough for 8 8 4 6 reps
    Week 2- 4 sets, enough for 8 6 4 6
    Week 3- 4 sets, enough for 6 6 4 6
    Week 4 - 4 sets, enough for 6 4 2 4
    Week 5- 4 sets, enough for 6 2 4 2
    Week 6- 4 sets, enough for 4 2 4 2
    Week 7 - 4 sets, enough for 2 4 4 2
    Week 8- 4 sets, enough for 2 4 2 1
    Week 9 - 3 sets, enough for 2 4 1
    Week 10- 3 sets, enough for 2 1 2
    Week 11- 3 sets, enough for 1 2 1
    Week 12- Test week to see how much you've gained on bench.

    SAT- OFF


    TO CONTINUE . . .
    Last edited by bigcalves; 04-11-2005 at 01:48 PM.
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    CONTINUED . . .





    Supplements

    Although you shouldn't rely on them, supplements can boost up your routine. Performence and recovery are can be effected positively by supplements. Since we are trying to gain strength supplements will help. By increasing recovery you will grow faster, gain strength faster and your performence will increase, which is what we want. If your worried where you can get them, bodybuilding.com/store is the perfect store for supplements, they offer the best prices around.


    Creatine

    Creatine can dramatically increase your performence. It increases ATP energy stores, which can promote performence and increase your power, which is perfect for our goal to increase our bench. It makes you gain lean mass, reduce bodyfat and it helps with recovery. Creatine is said to be the best supplement ever found for the sports world. Most people load up, but i feel that's a waste. Take 5 grams before and 5 after your workout for best results.


    L-Glutamine

    L-Glutamine is an amino acid that helps boost your recovery. After an intense workout, your muscles are all torn up and now it's time to feed them and wait for them to recover. L-Glutamine gives you a boost in recovering and keeping lean tissue. It increases muscle hardness and hydration to your muscle cells. Although found in veggies, it is best to supplement it since in most cases its not enough. Take 10 grams before bed for best results.


    ZMA

    ZMA. Zinc, Magnisium, and Vitamin B-6. What does that do? Well ZMA is taken before bed. It helps boost your natural testosterone, also it makes you fall asleep easier and have a more restful night. Since Magnesium Aspartate is a muscle relaxer, it's very good for you. Follow directions and dont take calcium with ZMA.


    Whey Protein

    You need to eat protein to grow muscle/strength. Most of the times you cannot get enough protein from your normal food. You also need a quick digestive protein after your workout, and Whey Protein wins! Feel free to take 100-150 grans of whey per day.


    Multi-Vitamin

    Let's face it you cannot eat everything you see. So you'll end up not getting your daily values of vitamins. Even sedentary people need vitamins, imagine how needed they are for athletes. Take 1 or 2 vitamins per day in the morning.



    Progression and Consistency

    Big benchers, didn't become big benchers overnight. You have to want it. Meaning following your routine, and not giving in. You won't increase your max in two weeks, or not dramatically. Set a goal, and don't give up. Of course it has to be reasonable, but challenging at the same time. Be consistant with your workout, and have a positive attidute. Otherwise you will get no where, and most likely quit. Also, be progressive. Always add weight every two weeks, to each workout. Even if it's 1lb on each side of the bench, it's an improvement. Progression will force your muscles to be able to press more. That will lead you into a monster bench. Many people get discouraged, quit or see no results. To sum it up, follow these 8 steps/tips for success, and you too will be able to show off your new bench to your buddies.



    1.) Set a goal

    Be realistic, but also challenge yourself. Don't pick anything too easy, or don't go overboard and say 350lbs. Set a moderate, challenging goal such as 30lbs more than your bench now.


    2.) Have your diet in check

    Let's face it if you eat bad your not going to get a monster bench. Diet is key in achieving any type of strength and size. Make a food journal and follow it for success. Have a cheat meal every once in a while but otherwise maintain a strict diet.


    3.)Don't Overtrain

    Imagine trying to stand and sit at the same time. It's impossible. Just like training too much and then trying to grow. Give your body the rest it needs to grow, othewise you will be faced with futile results.


    4.) Keep Reps Low

    Our goal is to be powerful. By keeping repetitions low, you are forcing different types of muscle fibers to work, the ones responsible for strength. Read up on powerlifting techniques and use them in not only chest, but back and leg muscles.


    5.)Be consistent

    Consistency is the key. Don't give up. Achieving the impressive results we are aiming for won't come in 2 weeks of training. If you look at most of the strongmen, it took them years, even decades to come to were we are. Sure your not aiming for the world's strongest bench, but being consistent is the key to seeing results in the weightroom.


    6.)Progress

    To keep getting stronger you need progression. Make a log and record the weight of your sets each time. Every 2 weeks or so add more weight. It might be 1lb or 21/2lbs, it doesn't matter. If there is progression, there will be strength.


    7.)Determination

    Be determined. Know your goal and make yup your mind on achieving it. Find quotes by random people that inspire you, it might be Arnold, or someone else. Post them in your room and make up your mind about what you want. Look at any successful person, at least once before they made it, they pictured themselves on top. The same stand for you.


    8.)Proper Form

    I cannot stress this enough. Proper form is not only the key to actually achieving something, but the key to staying healthy and injury-free. Witht his program we will be using heavy weight, and if your form is not in check, your chances of getting injured are very big. It's almost bound to happen, so before starting the routine, get your benching form down to perfection.


    Bonus Question 1
    Today you decide to try to beat your one-rep max record. What is the best method to prepare for this big lift? What type of warm-up? What can you do mentally? Should you change your nutrition plan that day?


    Preparing for Lift: Physically and Mentally

    - Prepare your mind.
    - Focus for the big event, clear out your minds from distractions.
    - Watch a inspirational movie such as Pumping Iron, or Rocky.
    - Don't do anything stressful before your event, physically or mentally.
    - Get enough rest, be fresh and alert on the big day.


    Warm-Up

    - Don't over do it, the point is to warm up and prevent injury.
    - Remember to stretch out before and after the event, after your big press, live still goes on, so stretch afterwards too.
    - Warm up with light weight. Start off with the bar and then put some plates that you can do 10-20 reps with.
    - Do 2-3 sets for warm-up, with each getting a little heavier but never going below 10 reps.
    - Be focused on what you do, and remember safety always first.


    Nutrition for max-out day

    - Take in lots of carbs before the day of the event.
    - Continue taking carbs on the day of the event.
    - Don't eat or drink alot 2 hours before the event, don't want to get full and feel heavy.
    - Carb loading is perfect for maxing out.



    Bonus Question 2
    How much do ya bench? How long did it take you to get to where you are now? What is your bench press goal?

    My Experience

    When i started bodybuilding, 3 years ago, i managed to max out at a whooping 95lbs. Now that i recall, i was pretty happy. I maxed out with two big plates on each side (Yes 25lbs was big for me). Then as time passed i started a program to increase my bench. Soon, within 6 months, i was maxing out at 135. I was so happy the day i benched the two big plates (45s). I started braging to my classmates on my accomplishment. Soon i found out that they were benching more than me. I set a goal for myself to reach 200lbs. After 1 year of training, i was maxing at 185. Still not happy, i was consistent and pushed myself everyday, and soon i hit 200lbs, but on the day i did it, i found out that it was too easy. i added 5 more pounds and did that, then 5 more, to equal 210lbs. I pushed hard, at the middle it kinda got stuck, i thought this is it, but i didn't give up, with remembering all the pain and dicipline i've gone through the past year, i pushed and i got it! 210lbs, not much now but then i was the kind of the world. I felt so happy i can't even describe it as i type. Nowadays i'm benching around 250, and i'm still climbing up. My ultimate goal is 365, the max that Arnold ever benched. Coincedence? Maybe, or maybe not. I'll let you decide. There's nothing like making a long term goal, meeting your little goals as you go along, and one day finally benching your long term goal, it feels great.

    Hopefully you've read the article, processed the information and put it on your own use, and hopefully you will achieve your goal. Good Luck!
    Last edited by bigcalves; 04-11-2005 at 07:40 PM.
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    Cool

    Originally Posted by bsyr
    how does it look like he copied? two things are the same which is two techinques everyone knows. OH NO two things are the same out of what 10 different ideas he wrote about. common dude its not copied stop trying to get him cut cause his was good.
    would have been way better if I didn't narrow it down, I cut out so much theory, evidence and studies. I didn't even explain the importance of dynamic days, ah well. Just left in the basics.

    Guys, let's drop this, it is taking up useless space for no need, I did not copy it from any other article, all the ideas listed were taught to me by my coach. Let's focus on the task at hand. Btw some good articles guys!
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    Originally Posted by soufi

    Guys, let's drop this, it is taking up useless space for no need, I did not copy it from any other article, all the ideas listed were taught to me by my coach. Let's focus on the task at hand. Btw some good articles guys!
    No hard feelings
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    Looks like bigcalves has this one in the bag for now......but if im allowed to enter it might be a different stroy .
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    Me personally I hate the bench press, but i know in todays world of sports you need high numbers in certain lifts and test to succeed. it just so happens that the bench press is one of those lifts. when i started weightlifting i couldn't even bench the bar 10 times, now i hit the gym and out bench grown ass men. its a great feeling. anyway let me explain my methods.

    of course warm up. i warm up with 3 sets of 5 at 135. its light but enough to get my blood flowing

    I think the perfect combo to that amazing bench is "pasue bench" sets, followed by bench negatives
    i like to do two heavy sets of 5, a heavy set of 4 and a super heavy set of 3 of pause bench. i personally thrive off pressure so i have my ways of gettin attention when i bench for the extra adrenaline. ask some hot girls boyfriend for a spot, that alwayz works. anyway this next one might require two spotters. 3 sets of 5 for bench negatives. get some spotters you can trust becuase its good to go heavy on these for ex, i bench 275 but do my negs with 315.
    workout gets easy from here( i like to tell myself that anyway).
    miltary press...very important secondary lift that will give you that edge on bench. do pause bench and negs just like bench. for you cats out there chasing that high of sore shoulders this is your solution.
    dips!!! you can do any chest tri or shoulder workout you want after the lifts i stated. but it they have to be followed by full range dips for reps. dont ever cheat yourself
    i do this twice a week. make sure your muscles are fully repaired for the best results. monday and thursday are my set days.
    two days a week for four weeks and you will see your max shoot. now here some secrets on max days
    BONUS 1
    MAX DAY
    get your max at night. ive alwayz had better results at night. anyway get a good brefast, lunch. before you max get a filling meal and down some "honey", great for adrenaline. bring a couple friends with you for fear of failure. on max day i warm up with 3 sets of 8 at 135.if your not ashamed take another gulp of honey.now its time to pick your fruit for all that hard work.i find a way to get angry.its helps trust me.(just dont embarass yourself) get your grip and give your spotters the nod. down! up...feels great dont it...put another plate on there, it'll feel even better.
    BONUS 2
    perosnal acheivement
    i started lifting in 6th grade at the age of 13. my first max was 85. i am very passionate about football so i have a very exceptional work ethic. this being stated i never cheat myself which is part of my success. by the end of my 8th grade year i was benching 185 which isnt bad for a 135 15 y/o. my first summer with my highschool was great. an intensity level i never seen. running hard, working hard, good coaches. but i came in benching 155 which was less than my max in middle school, i recovered in a couple months with hard work though.by the season i was benching 205 and starting tail back for my highschool for my exceptional speed.the end of my sophmore year i finally got four plates pushing up 225 while weighing 155. i made my biggest jump since then. im heading into the end of my junior year weighing 185 and pushing up 275. for things to be great, i need to weigh 195 and be pushing up 6 plates(315). my ultimate goal under the bench is 350. that bench, my speed, form and leadership will make me the first person in my family ever to go to college.
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    I think i'm going to enter this contest. It might take me a couple days because I have to check my content and spelling so does anyone know when this contest closes and do you just post your article?
    Please order through this link every time your order a product from bodybuilding.com Thank you

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    The contest closes on April 13th for this week's question.

    Yes, you can enter the contest again if you won last week!

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    Cool

    Originally Posted by bigcalves
    No hard feelings
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    Good Luck to all.
    by the looks of it, you got it so far. The whole bolded letters add to the effect.
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    I think the admin wants a powerlifting routine and not a bodybuilding routine. There are hundreds of things wrong with what said or seriously debateble. Just to give a few examples you DO NOT stretch before training, Intesity isn't always the key, training once a week wont do it, things like frequency and volume should be taken under more concideration. Just training with low reps doesn't make it a strength routine...
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    How to Increase Your Bench Press


    Ok lets start with the basics. Proper warm up, and the use of perfect form are without a doubt the two most important factors in increasing your bench safely and effectively. I have seen people instantly add as much as 25lbs to their bench press simply by warming up correctly and using proper form.


    Warm Up


    Warm up should start before you even touch the bar. 10 to 15 minutes of light cardio weather it be treadmill, stationary bike etc. this will bring up your core temperature and warm all of your muscles and joints. Now seeing that the flat Barbell Bench press has probably claimed more rotator cuffs than all other exercises combined, It is a great idea to do a couple sets of at least two of the exercises listed in this article prior to not only your max attemp but whenever performing the Bench press http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/luis4.htm All right now that your entire shoulder girdle is nice and warmed up. you'll want to move over to the bench and put on half the weight you plan to max out on and do 10 easy reps. Wait a couple minutes then bring the weight up to 70% of your expected max and do 5 easy reps, Wait two more minutes then bring it up to 85% of your expected max, and do 3 easy reps. now you are thoroughly warmed up. and ready for your 100% effort 1 rep max.

    Proper Form


    But lets make sure we are using proper form. to do this the first thing you want to do is retract your shoulders. This is done basically by pulling your shoulder blades back and squeezing them together. this will give you a good solid platform. The next thing you want to do is make sure your feet are planted firmly on the floor. (no resting them up on the bench) now you want to slightly arch your back so that your shoulder blades are planted firmly into the bench. now grab the bar with a slightly wider than shoulder width grip. ok now you're good to go.
    Have a spotter help you bring the bar into position. now inhale as you bring the bar down. do not let the bar bounce off your chest once the bar touches the bottom of your lower chest explode the weight back up as fast and as hard as you can as you exhale. sounds simple enough right? With a little practice and you wont even have to think about it.

    Technique for Increasing Strength & Power


    Although their are many techniques available, I have found one to be the most effective. For me that is the use of partial reps. partials are one of the best ways to increase the strength of your joints and connective tissue. to do partials. you will need a power rack. slide the bench into the power rack. now set the safety pins so that you are only able to move the bar 6 inches (the top 6 inches of your range of motion). after performing the warm up I outlined above. load the bar with 150% of your currant 1 rep max. Now crank out as many reps as you can. Don't bounce the bar off the pins power it up. Do this for 3 sets flat, and 3 sets incline. this will really increase the strength of your triceps, especially if the top part of the bench was your sticking point. If the lower part of the lift is your sticking point. Partials can be done for this as well. just set the pins so that the bar can come down as close to your chest as possible. and perform the lower half of the bench press, exploding up with every rep, but stopping at the half way point. There are many way to use partial reps. you can increase intensity by either adding weight, or increasing the range of motion. I have used this program to increase my strength and add tons of mass. Here is one example program I have created where I increased my intensity by increasing my range of motion . I was stuck at a plateau of 275 for 5 reps with a 1 rep max of 315 for a couple months prior to creating this routine for myself.

    The Routine


    week 1
    pin 10....... 6 inch range of motion 3 sets of 20 X 350lbs

    week 2
    pin 9..........14 X 350lbs 3 sets

    week 3
    pin 9..........19 X 350lbs 3 sets

    week 4
    pin 8...........13 X 350lbs 3 sets

    week 5
    pin 8..........16 X 350lbs

    week 6
    pin 7............8 X 350lbs

    week 7
    pin 7...........15 X 350lbs

    week 8
    pin 6............6 X 350lbs

    week 9
    pin 6............9 X 350lbs

    week 10
    pin 6............11 X 350lbs

    week 11
    pin 5............4 X 350lbs pin 5 is all the way to my chest... so I did 4 times 350...

    week 12
    pin 5............5 X 350lbs

    week 13 Judgement Day


    OK time to put my program to the test. on week 13 of my program I benched 400 for a single. I felt I could have done slightly more, but I was completely satisfied with my accomplishments. and seeing that I am a bodybuilder and not a power lifter I felt it was safest not to attempt more.
    so this program that I created by combining a couple techniques allowed me to increase my bench press 85lbs in 13 weeks. after being stuck at the same weight for a couple months. I performed no other chest or tricep work while doing this routine and frankly it wasn't needed.

    Mental Preperation


    The mental preparation for the lift starts the second I crawl out of bed. I start to tell myself that there is no way I can fail, no way that weight will beat me. I think about it all day and psyche myself up for it. by the time I make the attempt I am ready to explode. I can't wait to make the attempt. I put some Pantera or Korn in the CD player and crank it as I perform all of the warm up techniques I outlined earlier in this article. After I am good and warmed up I sit on the bench and I visualize myself making the lift. when I lay back and position myself for the lift I look at the bar and I put myself into a rage I focus all of my aggression at the bar. now I grip the bar really hard, I tighten up every muscle in my body. I signal to my spotter I am ready. I let the weight drop at a controlled but quick rate. once it hits my chest I explode the weight back up, with every ounce of strength and power I have.

    Residuel Effects


    One more thing I would like to point out is my strength increased every week for a couple months more then it had previously. In fact I was surprised every week... I think mostly do to increased connective tissue and joint strength.
    while performing this routine You must eat like you have never eaten before, or you will over train. Partials are very very demanding on your CNS (central nervous system). try to take in 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight carbs should be about the same, and make sure you take in plenty of essential fatty acids. I take in 3 tablespoons of olive oil a day to lubricate my joints, as well as to keep my heart healthy

    Bonus Question: Nutrition


    As far as nutrition goes the day I attempt a one rep max I make sure I take in a lot of slow burning carbs. For me I feel oatmeal works best but Brown rice, sweet potatoes etc. will do just fine. I like to get in 3 meals before attempting any max lift. my last meal I will eat approximately 45 minutes before my attempt, and will include some faster burning carbs. Pastas, white rice, regular potato etc.

    Bonus Question 2

    My current 1 rep max on the Flat Bench press is 435. it took me almost 3 years of consistent training to get to this point. My goals are mainly to build mass so increasing my 1 rep max at this point is not as important to me as moving heavy weights for slow and controlled reps. I can now slowly bench 350 for 11 reps. and increasing that weight to the most my genetics will allow is my ultimate goal.

    Ok I will finish here by wishing you good luck on improving your max bench press. I hope that I gave you some new ideas as opposed to rehashing the same old routines. also I hope that my article helps you on your quest.
    Last edited by bubba g; 04-11-2005 at 12:44 PM.
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    How to increase your benchpress!

    Introduction:

    As someone that has absolutely loved bodybuilding and powerlifting over the last few years, I really respect the people with the serious bench presses. I have seen some of the most impressive lifts in history that were taped and put online, and some in person. I once saw a man under 165 pounds, at the ARNOLD CLASSIC bench almost 700 pounds. The most impressive thing about this is that he was a little person, around 4 feet tall. I havenít been more impressed in my life.

    First things first, it isnít how much, but how you do it!

    One of the worst things I see when I go to the gym are guys not knowing the basics of how to bench press. Many people bench press weight, and donít do it correctly, leading to injury.

    How to bench correctly:

    1. Have a spotter on hand. You always need a spotter, no matter what.
    2. Approach the bar knowing that at anytime you can get hurt not following all steps.
    3. Have feet flat on floor
    4. Have shoulders squared flat at the center of the bench.
    5. Have hands positioned on bar with just a bit wider than shoulder width
    6. Keep your butt flat on bench, keep your head down.

    Now we got the position right, letís lift the weight!

    1. Take deep breaths, this is where relax, and start psyching myself up. I think about horrible things that I have happened in my life, and then I take slow big breaths, and then focus on getting the weight up.
    2. I hold the bar as tightly as I can, ask for my spotter to give me a lift off, and I start to lower the bar, slowly.
    3. I allow it to touch my chest, with shoulders, head, butt, and feet (pressing against the floor) motionless, not moving at all.
    4. I arch my back and start pressing towards the sky as soon as I feel the weight touching my chest. The key thing is to allow it to touch your chest, if youíre going to do it, your going to do it right!
    5. After pressing it, I have my spotter pay attention as much as possible; he should be able to rescue you as you reach your breaking point if needed.
    6. Once you complete the lift, hold it in the locked position for about a second then have your spotter help put it in the correct resting position.
    7. You have completed a lift.

    Trick Dís exciting process of increasing your bench:

    I have been lifting for 7 years now. I have a love for power, but I do not have the best body for it, but I do not allow this to effect me too much. With over a 74 inch reach, and only being 68 inches tall, I definitely donít have the best genetics for bench pressing. But to put up serious numbers, and being happy with yourself is the key. One thing to remember that patience is the key, it isnít going to increase over night. The other P to remember is persistence. You have to go every week and workout, missing workouts will set you back. This is what I do when I train for power.

    I like to start off with 5 sets of flat bench, when training chest. I train chest just once a week, to prevent injury and over training. I also do not do any other muscle groups on chest day. On each rep, I pause at my chest for 1 full second, to keep myself from bouncing the bar. I then explode to the top, and bring it back down and pause. I do 5 sets starting with 10 reps and decreasing it by 2 until I get to 2 reps. So 10, 8, 6, 4, and then 2. I feel that it is a necessity to lift extremely heavy weights when you want to increase your bench press fast. I would also suggest doing 1-2 lift warm-up sets and of course fully stretching before trying any heavy weights. With me benching around 250, I start off with about 155 x 10, 185 x 8, 200 x 6, 210 x 4, and 225-230 x 2.

    The second exercise I like doing is incline bench press. I normally do 3 sets, and donít really worry about doing pauses for these, because I am already tired. I do 3 sets of between 6-10 for incline bench press.

    For my third and last exercise for chest, I do lockouts. This is where you put an extreme amount of weight on the bar, one you can barely handle and push it from your chest, to your locking point. To me your locking point is where your triceps start taking the brunt of the weight, and where most people start struggling. Then I also like doing a set or two where I just hold a lot of weight and shock my muscles, so they can get use to lifting such heavy weight.

    While training for strength, I think it is important to do no more than 12 sets. I think that anymore and you are running the risks of injury.

    Lifting on the other days:

    The key in increasing your bench press is to train the muscles you use to bench press. These muscles include shoulders, triceps, back, and even legs.

    I always do Legs right after chest, because my muscles are so fatigued (triceps, shoulders, and chest) and I definitely donít want to have an injury. I normally then take a day off and do shoulders or triceps on this day.


    Shoulder day:

    Machine shoulder presses- 2 sets of 10 for a good first warm up exercise
    Arnolds- I do 3 sets of Arnolds, where I do a shoulder press with dumbbell and twist as it goes up
    Frontals- 3 sets of frontals where I lift the dumbbell from my thigh keeping my arm straight and lift it straight out. Do 10 reps with each arm for 3 sets.
    I also do exercises for rear and side deltoids. I change these exercises quite frequently.

    Triceps day: (note I normally do these with biceps and always my last workout of the week if I did bench first)

    Triceps pushdown: I always feel this is a good exercise for triceps. I normally do 3 sets

    Close grip bench press: Great exercise for increasing triceps strength and also chest strength. I do 3 sets with a lot of weight. Start with 10 reps, and then go down to 8 reps, then 6. Increasing weight with each set.

    I normally finish with another triceps exercise, Most of the time with dips. I feel that close grip bench press is the best exercise you can do for improving your triceps to be ready for benching a lot more.


    Workouts:
    I normally workout 4 times a week, with 2 on 1 off, 2 on then 2 off. That way I get my weekends free to repair my aching muscles, and to prevent injury. Also it allows me to have a life with my friends and my girlfriend.

    Nutrition:

    Nutrition is very important. Always eat a lot of protein (at least 1 gram per body pound). Also a lot of carbohydrates are good right before you make a good lift. It was aid in energy.

    Supplements:

    1. Multivitamin: always take one. Being an athlete you need more than the average person. Donít forget!
    2. Glutamine: Great for recovery
    3. Creatine Ethyl Ester: Great for strength gains, and packing on muscle, after taking axis CEE from Bodybuilding.com I almost got 255 @ 160, and this was after losing 5 pounds because of the flu. I was only benching 250 @ 165 before the weight loss. I contribute the CEE to helping me get back just 3 weeks after the flu.
    4. Protein: I consider this a food, but make sure you get it!

    Bonus Question:

    If I was getting ready to get into a competition in bench pressing, I would start training extremely heavy 4 weeks out, I would be practicing with 6 reps and less. I would do the workout I told you above for every week until there is one week left. I would take a week off from doing chest, so that I would be 100% going into the competition. The first lift would be something I know I could get, something like 90% of what I can bench. Right now I would probably go with something around 235.

    When getting ready to lift, I always think of death that is what psychs me up. I have had many friends die, which in my opinion died way too young. I start thinking about them, and how they could have had a great life. This pumps me up, and gets me angry, then I take a few big breaths to refocus on the lift. Then I am mentally prepared to lift.

    Nutrition wise, I wouldnít change anything that much. I would eat a good meal before hand, about 2 or 3 hours before my scheduled lift. I would also consume a lot of protein and maybe an energy drink (caffeine and carbs) within 30 minutes of lift. Other than that I would keep it normal.

    Bonus Question #2.

    The most I have ever benched is 250 @ a weight of 163. That is 153% of my body weight. The biggest bench divided by bodyweight percentage I have achieved was 155% when I was 145 pounds and benched 225. All of these were raw benches performed without a bench shirt.

    It has taken me 7 years off and on to get to where I am now. When I started lifting weights, I was 5í6 and weighed 102 pounds. I have a fast metabolism and until recently I had problems filling out. At least 5 or 6 of the years that I worked out I were doing everything wrong. I had no nutrition or weight lifting scheme. Now that I am smarter and have better nutrition, there is no one that can stop me!

    My goal in bench press is to bench press 100 pounds over my bodyweight. I also have a goal of benching 300 pounds without being over 200 pounds. Either way I will be extremely happy, and I feel both of these goals will be passed within the next year and a half or so.
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    So You Want To Master The Bench Press?

    The bench press is an exercise that has been long used as a basis of judgement for an individual's overall strength. This statement could not be further from the truth. We must remember that although the bench press is a great compound lift with profound muscle building effects, we must also work out the rest of the body. To many people today will start out lifting just to get "big arms" and/or a "big bench press". This is a huge mistake, so just remember to take into account how important other forms of exercise are in conjunction with the bench press. With that aside....Who doesn't want to be able to show off a tremendous feat of strength such as a 350lb bench press? The answer: Nobody I know. So in this article we will learn step by step what is neccessary to improve and build upon the bench press, and hopefully by the end you will have a deeper understanding of how to achieve a great bench press.

    So what type of program should you follow if you want to add some serious weight in the shortest amount of time possible? Should you do some type of periodization program to work up to your next max-out?

    The first thing we must realize is that all of us are unique. Meaning that we will all respond to different training techniques differently. So the only way to find out what will work best for you is to experiment with several different types of training techniques. Below are several different training methods that have given me success.

    1. Training for increased speed

    If we are to someday reach an extremly high bench press we must realize something. That speed development is fundamental to increasing the amount of weight we are able to lift. It's simple physics. Power is equal to force multiplied by distance divided by time, or Power= Force x Distance/Time. Distance divided by time is the same thing as speed so we are able to define power as Strength X Speed. So because strength and speed are components of power, increasing one while neglecting the other limits total power development...this is important to remember.

    To explain this is simple terms I will use the following example: Say an athlete scores a 4 on a strength part of an exam and a 4 on there speed test too. So there power would equal 4x4 or 16. Now say they train for strength only for several months and then score a 8 on the strength part of the and keep a 4 on the speed part. There power would equal 8x4 or 32. Now lets say they trained both instead of just focusing on one part. This person now scores 6 on there strength test and 6 on there speed test. So there power now would equal 6x6 or 36. Now think about that. In the athlete that trained for strength he/she had a 100% increase in strength alone and only totaled an overall 32. Now the athlete who trained for both increases each by 50% and scores a 36, higher then the athlete who trained for strength alone.

    Now you might be thinking...How do I train for speed in the bench press?What is this guy talking about? These questions are completely understandable, and I will elaborate on what was previously stated. The way to train for increased speed on the bench press is to use lighter amounts of weight then usual(in the range of 45 to 60% of your 1RM). Work on exploding upward in your positive movement of the bench press when training for speed. I recommend trying this technique out when you are an experienced lifter who had come across a plateau or struggling with progress. I would not recomend this type of training for beginers at this point.

    2. Pyramid Training

    Pyramid training is a very basic form of training, and is very popular in reguard to the bench press. In this method of training a low weight with higher reps is started to build the base for this "pyramid". The weight gets progressively higher and the reps will get progressively lower as the sets continue on.

    Here is an example:

    warm up
    x lbs for 12-15 reps
    x lbs for 10-12 reps
    x lbs for 7-8 reps
    x lbs for 4-5 reps

    3. Low Rep Training

    Training with very low reps(2-5) can be very beneficial to adding large amounts of strength to the the bench press. In my opinion, and in the opinion of many others, is that training at these very low reps with very high weight can be very dangerous. The chances of injury are increased dramatically. So unless you are going into competition I would not recomend going below 5 reps. The benefits of doing this are not worth the risk of injury in the long term in my opinion.

    4. The 5x5

    The 5x5 Training method has been used by bodybuilders and powerlifters alike for one reason....It packs on the mass and works! This technique is probably the most effect for me. In this method there are 5 sets of 5 reps of the same weight. Works exceptional.....A must try for all those looking to increase there bench press.

    Example of the 5x5:

    warm up
    x lbs for 5 reps
    x lbs for 5 reps
    x lbs for 5 reps
    x lbs for 5 reps
    x lbs for 5 reps

    Should you perform different bench press variations?

    Yes, and there are many. One of them is the incline bench press which is done by elevating the bench that you are pressing on you shift emphasis to your shoulders. As the bench becomes more inclined more tension is placed on the deltoids. The opposite can be done to make a decline bench press, which is also a must. Another variation is made by people who focus on the bench press only for the purpose of increasing mass in the chest. They wish to minimize the involvement of the shoulder and triceps and even the lower body. For this variation you should lift your legs off the ground and keep them bent or crossed in the air to eliminate their involvement with the movement, so that only the chest is being worked. So if your goal is to just pack on mass on the chest this is a good variation for you. Another variation that should be used is simulating the movement of the bench press with dumbells. This is often refered to as the dumbell press, and is great for packing on mass and strength on the bench.

    Should you concentrate on other exercises and bodyparts as well?

    Yes I can not stress this enough. This is one of the major factors that can make or break your bench press. The compound lift of the bench press involves many muscles which are: triceps, anterior delts, pecs, lats, and much more. Some of the most important muscles involved in the bench press are the Triceps and Pecs. It is important to train triceps if you wish to have a good bench....weighted dips are great for this. We must also remember that we need to work out the rest of our body as well. So remember to have a good 3-4 day split intact.

    Continued........
    Last edited by Ironman88; 04-12-2005 at 09:16 PM.
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    Continued......

    Give a detailed bench press strength program including what to do each day, how many days of the week to workout, how many reps and sets you should perform, and any other tips that will help somebody break their gym's bench press record!

    Now the optimal results for each person will vary from person to person so remember experimenting with different techniques is very important.

    A very good split I have used and recomend can be seen below.

    Monday - Chest/Triceps
    Warm up (5 min jog / jump rope etc.)

    Chest-
    Warmup

    Bench 5x5
    75% of max for 5 reps
    75% of max for 5 reps
    75% of max for 5 reps
    75% of max for 5 reps
    75% of max for 5 reps
    1 set incline for 10-12 reps
    1 set decline for 10-12 reps

    Triceps-

    2 sets of 12 reps pull downs
    2 sets of 10 -12 reps skull crushers
    1 set till failure weighted dips

    Tuesday - Abs / Cardio

    Wednesday - Biceps/Back/forearms
    Warm up (5 min jog / jump rope etc.)

    Biceps-

    2 sets of 10-12 reps curls
    1 set 10-12 reps concentration curls
    1 set 10-12 reps cable curls

    Back-

    2 sets of 8-10 reps Deadlifts
    2 sets of 10-12 reps Lat pulldowns
    2 sets of 8-10 reps Shrugs
    2 sets of 10-12 reps on T-Bar
    1 set of 10-12 reps weighted pull ups

    Forearms-

    2 sets of 10-12 reps zottman curls
    2sets of 10-15 reps wrist curls
    1 set of 6-8 reps power cleans

    Thursday - Abs / Cardio

    Friday - Shoulders/Legs
    Warm up (5 min jog / jump rope etc.)

    Shoulders-

    2 sets of 10-12 reps foward raises
    2sets of 10-12 reps side raises

    Legs-

    2 sets 15-20 reps squats
    2 sets 10-15 reps leg presses
    1 set of 15-20 reps leg extensions
    3 sets of 10-15 reps calve raises

    Saturday - off
    Sunday - off

    Tips and Advice on certain aspects of the Bench Press

    The key to all success is consistency and dedication. So remember stay dedicated and keep a consistent workout routine and you will be well on your way to success. You just have to set a goal and be determined to reach it. Setting a high goal does nothing, the road to get there is what counts, so remember stay the course and work hard.

    A great item to add to your bench pressing weapons arsenal is a benching shirt. When used correctly these shirts can prevent injury as well as boost performance of the bench press greatly. As much as 10-20% in some cases. Do not expect a bench shirt to magically raise your bench press by 50lbs the first time you throw it on. It takes time to get used to and to fully figure out how to take advantage of it.

    Supplements

    There are many supplements out there on the market today some work, some don't. In this part of the article we will discuss the supplements that are worth buying in hopes of increasing the bench press. We must remember though that supplements are exactly that; supplements. They should not be used in place of, but rather used along with a solid diet.

    Whey Protein

    Whey protein is an essential to all good bodybuilding diets. Simply put it's the best protein there is. It's great for adding on mass and aiding in recovery. Not to mention how cost effective it is against other protein sources. When on a diet and routine bodybuilders need to consume, as a rule of thumb, at least 1g of protein per lb. of bodyweight. This is a great way to do just that.

    Creatine

    Creatine, and all of its forms, is a great supplement for bodybuilders. Supplementing with creatine leads to almost immediate increases in LBM and lifts. So creatine is a great supplement to add to any type of routine, it is also a great tool when used to break through benching plateaus. A personal favorite of mine is Creatine-Ethyl-Ester, commonly refered to as CEE.

    A good Multi-Vitamin

    Because we bodybuilders live a very strenuous life style we must provide our body with the vitamins and minerals it needs. Any supermarket brand won't do. In my opinion one of the best multi-vitamins on the market is Universal's Animal Pak.

    ZMA

    In my experience a hard workout split can deplete my body of zinc, thus leading to plateaus and overtraining becoming a problem. You may ask yourself is the amount of zinc in my multi-vitamin enough? No, the answer is it is not. ZMA has many other benefits as well...It's a great supplement to look into.

    Other supplements

    There are several other supplements whose worth are still in debate. One of these supplements is glutamine. It is an amino acid that aids in performance and recovery. Many people believe that oral supplementation with this supplement simply doesn't work....In my opinion and experience i believe it works to an extent, but is not very cost effective.

    Overtraing

    One thing we must try to aviod at all costs is overtraining. Overtraining can slow, stop, or even reverse progress on the bench press as well as gaining mass. There are several tools we can use to help aid in the fight against overtraining. One of these tools is rest. We must make sure to get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep per night. Another is supplements, as they aid in recovery. A proper diet rich in protein will also help in the fight against overtraining. Overall the most effective tools we have to fight against overtraining are: Rest and Proper Diet, these are a must. Remember to much time in the gym can damage your gains, keep to your split.

    Proper Form

    We must also remember to use good form and grip when attempting to max out on the bench press. In just form and grip alone a 5-10lb increase can easily be seen in some cases. So remember to use and practice good form always.....Leave your ego at the door.

    Always remember to keep proper form both when maxing and doing sets. If you cheat your only cheating yourself. A brief description of the proper bench press technique would be: back straight and level on bench, feet flat on ground, have proper grip, no bouncing off the chest when you bring the bar down, keep control of the weight when sending it back up.

    When maxing some people use a method to increase there max bench. It is known as back arcing. In this method you arc your back to shorten the distance from the bar to your chest as well as to put yourself into a position where you can exert more force upwards on the bar. I disagree with this method. Although it is very benificial to the amount of weight you can bench, the risk of injury placed on your lower back while doing this is to great.

    BONUS QUESTION: Today you decide to try to beat your one-rep max record. What is the best method to prepare for this big lift? What type of warm-up? What can you do mentally? Should you change your nutrition plan that day?

    Believe it or not maxing out on the bench press can be greatly altered by mental approach. Some days when you dont feel like working out at all you might be down 5, 10 or even 15 lbs off what your normal bench max is. This effect can also work the other way. If you are in a great mood all pumped up and ready to go with energy you may lift 5, 10 or even 15lbs heavier then usual. So get yourself prepared mentally before you attempt to max bench.

    The warm up that best suits me is a very low weight(about 35-40% of your max) for about 10 reps. Then stretch out a bit, and loosen up...you know get the blood flowing. Then go for a heavier set(60-70% of your max) for about 6-8 reps. After this it's all mental preparation...You just gotta get hyped up and ready to go.

    Another great way to help you bench max go up to its full potential is a stimulant. Some of the great pre-workout stimulants I have tried include: NO Xplode, Ready4War, and just pure caffeine. They all are good choices so if you are going for you max on a specific day I would recomend changing your diet for the day by adding a pre-workout stimulant.

    BONUS QUESTION #2: How much do ya bench? How long did it take you to get to where you are now? What is your bench press goal?

    Currently I bench 285lbs raw, 310 shirted. Before my last football season I was maxing out just above the 300lb raw mark but I hurt my shoulder during the season and about a month after recovery I could hardly rep 225. I have been stuggling to get back to a raw bench of 300 for several months now and hope to achieve it by summer. I started training at 14, my freshmen year of high school. I am now 17 in my Junior year of highschool. So it has taken me a little over 2 years(about 1 1/2-3/4 serious) training to get where I am at today. My ultimate bench pressing goal is to pass the 350lb mark before i graduate next year.
    Last edited by Ironman88; 04-12-2005 at 09:22 PM.
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  30. #30
    Registered User Moosehead's Avatar
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    Increasing your bench press

    I take a three pronged approach to increasing my bench press.

    The first prong consists of training on the bench press. This training has three phases. The preliminary phase where I work my bench with sets of five reps. This phase is good for building a foundation. I use this phase for roughly six to eight weeks. I start out with a warm-up set and increase the weight untill i get to a weight that I really have to work with to get my five reps. I increase the weight when I can do three sets of five reps. For the next four to six weeks I then train my bench press on triples. Triples in my opinion are a lot safer than doing sets of five with a heavy weight. I follow the same plan for increasing my weight as I did with the sets of five reps. After the four to six weeks are done then I start to work in some singles into my Bench Press routine. For my singles I start with a weight that is 75 percent of my max. The reason that I start so low is that I want to train my body to do an all out effort.

    The second prong of my training consists of training my pushing and pulling muscles. My experience with the bench press has taught me that the bench uses all of the muscles of the upper body. For the pushing muscles I train with various presses. I do the standing press, dumbell press, push press, power jerk and kettlebell presses. For the pulling muscles I do various chin-ups, cleans, power snatches and pullovers. I try to maintain a even ratio between my pushing and pulling muscles.

    The thrid prong of my training for the bench press is to be flexible. I do this by hanging on a chinning bar and by doing some stretches. I think that this can re-juvinate the muscels in the body after a hard workout.

    Just so you can know my best
    Bench Press: 460 lbs (200 bwt)
    Incline Press: 405 lbs
    Standing Press: 305 lbs.

    Good luck to you and enjoy your training. I know that I do.
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