Last month, I discussed the one way you can improve your bench by periodization
or cycling. We also discussed the "seven sins" of benching that should again NEVER
HAPPEN. This month, we're going to discuss how to setup a workout geared to increasing
your bench fast. This is the major part of increasing your bench and its the most
important as well.
Most people when they go to increase their bench they work their chest three
times a week figuring more work will mean more gains. There is more to the bench
than just the chest. On May 19th, I met with Bill Kazmaier who held a meet as well
as a seminar. He told us that you should work the muscles that work the bench.
Hence, the delts and triceps. He also mentioned using controlled explosion from the chest
while benching since getting out of the bottom is where a majority of lifters have
trouble at. Now going on what he said and what I'm saying, we are going to setup a
workout that will improve the bench...hence THE TWELVE COMMANDMENTS OF THE
1 Never work the chest on the same day as triceps.
The reason why I say this is because the triceps is the indirect muscle
being worked and if are done on the same day as the bench,
you'll be cheating your triceps of the work they need.
2 Work your delts with Dumbbell Press, Front Shoulder Press, and Behind-the
neck Shoulder Press.
These exercises work on strengthening the delts. The lateral raises
can be thrown in but they are not needed for increasing the bench.
3 Work your chest with not only bench press but with Dumbbell Bench Press,
Incline Bench Press, Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, Decline Bench Press,
and Decline Dumbbell Bench Press.
Notice a pattern here. They are all barbell and dumbbell movements.
Meaning, you have to go back to "old school" to get your bench up.
No machines here!!
4 Do SQUATS and/or DEADLIFTS!!!
These two exercises produces the most testosterone amongst any exercise
and they aid in helping to increase your bench. The effort you put out
in these movement(s) is so much that when going back to benching it
no problem. Leg Presses are a substitute for the squats.
5 Use Close-Grip Bench Press and Tricep Extensions for the Triceps.
These two exercises will aid greatly in making your triceps stronger for the
bench press and need to be done at least 48-72 hours after working the
chest and delts(if you choose to work them together).
6 Work the chest, delts, and triceps no more than twice a week.
Too much work leads to fatigue and I would recommend that any
lifter to work the three only once a week and hit them hard.
7 Do about 3 sets of 8 reps for the chest, delt, and tricep work (except for the
bench which will be periodized) and 3 sets of 12 for the lower body.
Increase the weight when you complete 3 sets of 8 reps by five pounds
but stay at the same weight if you have trouble.
8 Work your best angle on the bench utilizing your hand position or grip.
This is a major factor that helps to improve your bench. Everyone is
familiar with the hand spacing or the link-like space on the Olympic
bars. Well, where you have your fingers is useful in helping what
muscle to utilize on the bench.
- use the pinky finger on the link if your triceps heal faster than your biceps.
- use either of the middle fingers if your chest heals fast.
- use the index finger if your biceps heal faster than your triceps.
With the pinky finger, you'll be a what powerlifters call a "tricep
bencher". You'll be using your triceps out of the bottom of a bench
press. With the index finger, you'll be utilizing your back in the bench
press. I'm not sure how this is done and only index fingered lifters can
do it. With the two middle fingers(doesn't matter which one) you'll be
utilizing your chest.
9 Keep cardio down to once or twice a week.
You don't won't to expend too much energy when increasing your bench
press. You'll need all the energy you can get to keep going up.
10 Workout no more than three times a week.
When increasing your bench, Rest and Recovery are the most important
two that is utilized. If you don't feel like your recovered take can extra
day off and go the following day with what you planned.
11 Work the Forearms
Having "Popeye" like forearms really help the bench press in maintaining
and controlling the bar. Do Hammer Curls...heavy!!
12 Do Rows
Rowing is on the same plane as pressing, so it makes more sense to do.
rows when you work your back. Dumbbell, Barbell, or Cable Rows,
Pulldowns, and Shrugs for the traps.
There it is in a nutshell. If you want a idea on how to schedule your bodyparts
here's a good schedule to go by: (this is with two exercises per bodypart)
Remember the number of reps and sets for everything. Keep the weights
moderately heavy, but not too heavy. Well, that's it. You have everything needed to
increase your bench from the technique on down to the workout its self. If you need any
more additional help, go to my new website below and inquire about my services. Until
then, stay big.
- Monday- Chest, Delts, and Back
- Wednesday- Legs and Traps
- Friday- Biceps, Triceps, and Forearms
Back To Curtis Dennis Jr.'s Main Page
Back To The Articles Main Page.
The Six-Week Bench Press Solution!
5 Big Bench Strategies Excerpted From 'Bench Press: The Science'
5 Front Squat Variations You Must Try