Flex, February 2010 Excerpt: Blow Up Your Bench!

If the bench press is absent from your workouts, you could be cheating yourself out of a bigger chest... Here's an excerpt from the February issue of Flex!

Blow Up Your Bench

The Bench Press. Almost anyone who has stepped foot inside a gym has made the bench priority one at some point. After all, a big bench equals a big chest. And who doesn't want a massive chest that's the envy of all?

Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
Barbell Bench Press
Click Here For A Video Demonstration Of Barbell Bench Press.

So why has an exercise that was once an, ahem, benchmark for strength and size been kicked to the curb like yesterday's outdated software?

Most people will tell you that they steer clear of it for fear of a torn pec or rotator cuff injury. That's too bad, because the bench press is still the big daddy of upper-body exercises - as long as it's done the right way. That's where we come in. On the following pages, you'll find a step-by-step guide to performing this exercise for both monster chest growth and a jaw-dropping retort to the inevitable - and annoying - question, how much do you bench?

Included in this blueprint for the bench press, you'll discover:

  • Tips on form, timing and breathing
  • Where to fit the bench into your weekly workout routine
  • How to test for you one-rep max

Bigger Bench Pressentials

FLEX also turned to Paul "Tiny" Meeker and Shawn "Freakshow" Frankl for insight into how to up your bench. Both were double-crown winners at the 2009 Olympia Powerlifting Super Show. Meeker set a world record bench press with 700 pounds for 7 reps in the super-heavyweight division and Frankl set a world record in the 220 class with 600 pounds for 6 reps and 500 pounds for 11 reps. See what these iron superstars had to say about getting the most bang for your buck on the bench.

For a complete guide to blowing up your bench for a bigger chest, pick up the February 2010 issue of FLEX, on newsstands now.