It is the first thing that comes into people's minds when a conversation has anything to do with weightlifting. It is the first question that people ask. "How much can you bench?"
If you are on this site and have lifted for longer than one day, you have probably been asked this question at least once. We all know that bodybuilding is more than one lift, but chances are you want to answer that question with a decent number.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of plans, workouts, and studies done that can help you with this. I just want to give you the absolute musts to reach a new max quickly, and most importantly, safely.
Before You Do Anything Else
Get a spotter to help you. A spotter serves a number of purposes. Number one is safety. If you get stuck, they can help you move the weight and lessen the chances of you getting injured. It is a good idea to use the same spotter every time you go heavy. The better you know the spotter, the safer you will be.
Secondly, a spotter can check your form. The spotter will tell you if your butt comes off the bench or if you arch your back too much, or if you shuffle your feet. By the way, you shouldn't do any of those things. Third, the spotter can motivate you either by just the fact he is watching or by pumping you up before the big lift.
Set a goal. How much do you want to lift and when do you want to do it? A goal and a deadline makes coming up with the plan that works for you much simpler. There is not much to saying to yourself, "I want to bench 300." There is a lot more purpose in saying, "I will bench 300 by July 1!"
Most bigger bench plans have these exercises included because they can help you as supporting exercises to get your bench up. Keep these exercises in mind when putting your routine together.
Other Things To Keep In Mind
- Make sure you train the rest of your body, especially legs. Although the bench press is primarily a push exercise, you want the entire body to be in balance.
- Eat, eat, eat. If you don't provide your body with the nutritional support, then it isn't going to get stronger. You would think this is common sense, but a lot of people do not take nutrition into consideration.
- Water, water, water. Same as the eating. You have to have it. A gallon a day is fine.
The "Get A Bigger Bench" Training Plan
Side raise, lat pulldown, and leg extension are for warming up - go light. No shoulders during this program with the exception of the side raises.
Flyes, shrugs, leg presses, cable curls, and pushdowns are 3 second negatives (the lowering portion of the lift). Bench, row, and squat - go progressively heavier on each set. Set of two should be very difficult. Once you can do 2 reps, add weight next time.
Nutrition Plan For A Bigger Bench
6-8 healthy meals a day
- One source of protein (egg whites, chicken, protein powder, etc.)
- One or two source of carbs (fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, etc.)
- Healthy fats (essential fatty acids, peanut butter, flaxseed oil, etc.)
One Gallon of water a day
- A glass with every meal
- A glass every hour you are awake
- Protein powder
- Pre-workout and post workout Protein and Vitargo supplements optional. If you can't afford it, don't worry
Sample Nutrition Plan
Now, after reading this, there should be only one question that you need to answer. "Can I do this?" The answer is quite simple. D@mn right you can do this!
If you want it that bad, if you are willing to do what it takes, you can do anything you set your mind to. This is going to hurt. You will be sore more than once. Deal with it. You will doubt yourself at least once because you will have a bad day in the gym. Get over it.
Overcome the adversity, overcome the doubt. This is your time to succeed. People are watching you. Those that care about you want you to do this. Suck it up and go full speed ahead for it. This is a challenge. This is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to prove to others and especially yourself that you can do what you say you are going to do.
Failure is not an option. If by chance, you don't meet your goal by the deadline, it just means you haven't succeeded yet. You can do this...you will do this.