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Bench Press cH;"yOkyH;

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Old July 21st 03, 01:19 PM
Fred Jones
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Default Bench Press cH;"yOkyH;


What's the best way to increase bench press power? This is by far one of the most

frequently asked questions I get. Based on what I see in gyms and hear from people,

many go about trying to increase their bench press in the wrong way. They try to bench

press more! What's wrong with that you ask? We'll get into everything you need to know

about increasing your bench press right now!

I just came from a competitor's website. They're trying to "sell" a bench press

program. The claim? "Increase your bench press by 50 pounds in 10 weeks."

There's no way you can predict the results of an individual. For example, my results

will not be the same as yours because my body is different than yours. It is possible

for some people to experience an increase this dramatic (i.e. teenagers) within 10

weeks, but it's rare assuming that you're 100% natural (steroid free).

Bottom line: Avoid anything that guarantees results or seems unrealistic.


The first and worse thing you can do to delay your bench press strength is to

overtrain. You're only breaking down the muscles and causing them to get weaker when

you overtrain. Remember, if you're not 100% healed or recovered by your next chest

workout, or any workout for that matter, you're overtraining and your muscular growth

will surely be delayed.

But I saw a pro bodybuilder's chest workout in a magazine and he was training his

chest 3 times per week?

Most of the magazine workout routines by top bodybuilders are perfect for steroid

users, but not for the natural lifter . . .


Be sure to get plenty of calories! Don't neglect the power of food! If you're 160

pounds, taking in 2,000 calories a day, and your body is using 2,000 calories a day or

more for energy, then you won't have enough calories and protein left over to repair

hard worked muscles. You're wasting your time!

So how much do I need to eat?

It depends on how much you weigh. For example, if you weigh 170 to 185 pounds, you

need at least 3,500 calories per day just to maintain quality strength and size.

Ideally, you want to get about 4,000 calories per day at a bodyweight of approximately

170 to 185 pounds.

It breaks down like this: If you were to eat 1 potato, 1 serving of lean red meat, 2

slices of bread, and at least 3 cups of juice at least 4 times per day, you're easily

fulfilling your requirement for calories needed per day. Remember, these numbers are

based on someone who weighs 170 to 185 pounds. Some people may need more, some may

need less.

How much protein should I eat after my workouts?

No more than you normally do! The body actually wants, and responds extremely well to

complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, etc. Complex carbs should

be the majority of "all" post workout meals for muscle-building and replenishing


Which supplements can I benefit from?

Be sure to focus on the importance of nutrition for strength and size! Of course you

can benefit from creatine, but a pure whey protein supplement and the amino acid

L-glutamine (powder preferred) are probably best for preserving and building muscle.

Both whey protein and L-glutamine supplements can be taken with or in between meals,

or even before you go to sleep. You'll definitely notice a strength difference with

this high-quality stack.

Additionally, the aforementioned supplements are recommended and considered legitimate

by all major personal training organizations.

There's one highly neglected supplement that I forgot to mention, and that's water.

Don't count this awesome supplement out! Water has unlimited functions including

aiding in muscle recovery and muscular development by transporting proper nutrients

where they need to go. Be sure to get plenty of water!


Training to increase your bench press is easy! As mentioned before, increasing your

bench press is not done by performing excessive sets on the flat bench. Instead, it's

important to increase strength throughout your "entire" body. In particular, biceps,

triceps, back, shoulders, and abs. Yes, even abdominals are a major contributor to

overall bench press strength! These are all "key" neglected secondary muscles used in

the bench press.

If you strengthen these secondary muscles, as opposed to solely trying to build your

chest strictly through bench pressing, I guarantee you'll notice a big difference in

upper body strength.

Strengthening the legs also helps to increase upper body strength. Huh? Yes, you heard

it right. Leg movements such as squats or leg presses can be a big help in creating

total body strength. I personally perform squats during my leg routines but do not

recommend them when there are alternatives such as leg presses and other leg machines.

They're much safer on your lower back and knees.

But how would training your legs make your upper body stronger?

Squats [in particular] and leg presses have a hidden growth element. These two

exercises actually work the "entire" body. The amount of work it takes to squat down

requires involvement from almost every muscle in your body, including abdominals. Most

wouldn't realize it, but you're actually flexing and tensing most of your upper body

[stabilizer or secondary] muscles just to get the weight up from the squatting

position. More testosterone than any other exercise is released as a result of intense

leg training.

The following is a sample rundown of how you should structure your weekly workout

schedule for strengthening your bench press:

Monday: Chest & Back

Wednesday: Abs

Friday: Shoulders & Biceps

Saturday: Legs

Tuesday (following week): Triceps

Notice how this schedule isn't based on what you can fit into 1 week. Instead, this

plan uses about a week and a half to finish the entire body. This ensures you're

getting plenty of rest in between workouts.

You can mix and match body part combinations if you wish. For example, instead of

chest and back, you could train chest and triceps. You could even switch the days in

which certain body parts are trained. For example, if legs are trained on Saturday,

you could train them on Monday of the following week instead. Experiment with

different training styles and combinations to find out which is best for your body


Bottom line: Before you try to increase your bench press, try to get stronger in your

secondary muscle movements. This is the secret to increasing bench press strength. You

want to train for at least 6 to 12 weeks before going for your one rep max (1RM).

How often should I train chest per week?

Some people train chest up to 3 times per week. These people are seriously

overtraining. Two days per week, per muscle group is pushing it, although some can get

away with it. The ones that train this way usually incorporate a light day and a heavy

day. This method can be extremely effective, but I don't recommend training any muscle

group twice within 1 week if you're goal is to build power. Instead, try training

heavy during one week, then light during another week.

Bottom line: Once per week is preferred, but some people may be able to get away with

training chest twice per week.

How many reps should I do?

For bench pressing, the best number of reps for size and power is about 6. Lower reps

(i.e. 1 - 3) is good for strengthening the muscles for extra "temporary" strength.

Higher reps (i.e. 12 and up) will flush your muscles, shock them into temporary growth

(i.e. the pump), and give them stamina.

Cycling reps is best. It's a very simple strategy. You lift light for about 2 weeks,

and perform about 12 reps per set. During the next 2 weeks, or the mid-phase, decrease

your reps to 8.

The week after the mid-phase, move to the power phase. Here, you're doing anywhere

from 1 to 3 reps per set. At this time, you should feel a tremendous increase in


Once the power phase is complete, you'll move back to the initial high-rep phase. The

amount of time you spend on each phase is optional. Typically, you want to stay on

each phase for about 2 - 4 weeks. Nothing more, nothing less!

The same technique used to build pectoral strength is the same technique you should

use on all of your secondary muscle exercises. Use the different phases to maximize

muscular strength and muscular growth.


The following is a sample 12-week program for someone who currently bench presses 290

pounds, but wants to be able to bench press 300 pounds. The poundage may be a little

high for some. If this is the case, use the same technique and modify this routine to

suit your personal needs. The number to the left is how much weight you would do, and

the number on the right is the amount of repetitions you would do.

45 x 20 fff 45 x 20 fff 45 x 20 fff 45 x 20
135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10
165 x 8 165 x 8 175 x 8 185 x 6
185 x 14 205 x 12 215 x 10 225 x 8
185 x 14 205 x 12 215 x 10 225 x 8

WEEK 5 fff WEEK 6 fff WEEK 7 fff WEEK 8
45 x 20 45 x 20 45 x 20 45 x 20
135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10
185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 6
215 x 2 225 x 2 225 x 2 225 x 2
235 x 7 245 x 6 255 x 5 265 x 4
235 x 7 245 x 6 255 x 5 265 x 4

fff WEEK 10
fff WEEK 11
fff WEEK 12

45 x 20 45 x 20 45 x 20 45 x 20
135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10 135 x 10
185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 6 185 x 5
235 x 1 235 x 1 235 x 2 235 x 2
255 x 1 255 x 1 265 x 1 275 x 1
275 x 3 285 x 2 295 x 1 300 x 1
275 x 2 285 x 2 Done Done


I personally don't use a spotter when I train, but I highly recommend them for

increasing bench press strength. Reason? If you train alone, you're not really pushing

yourself as much as you possibly can . . .

You may not realize it, but it's true. For example, if you're currently bench pressing

290 pounds by yourself, you can probably get 315 pounds if you had a spotter helping

you blast your strength to new heights.

Spotters enable you to train heavier and harder. They can also provide motivation and

help to boost intensity. They can hype you up!

Without the spotter, you have to be more cautious because it's only you controlling

the weight. The fear of getting stuck under the bar keeps you from going too heavy.

With a spotter, you can increase your workout intensity and test new limits, blasting

your way to record bench press numbers.

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