Mark Bell, a top competitive powerlifter, and proprietor of the famed Super Training Gym in Sacramento, California, was recently asked to give a room full of NFL prospects the low-down on how to improve their bench press in preparation of the NFL combine's 225-pound rep test. He gave them plenty more: A full arsenal of tips on how to lift above their weight, a guide on how to use his game-changing Sling Shot bench press aid, a step-by-step on the mechanics of the bench press, and a few words on how to lift like you mean it.
Bell is speaking to potential NFL players, but his words hold true for all serious lifters: Think about lifting the barbell as you would about throwing a punch, he says.
"Your punch doesn't have to be so crazy from the start," he says, "but you want to end with something sharp. You want to end with a good snap.
"Be as aggressive as you fucking possibly can be," he says. "Even if you're not as strong as you want to be yet, think about being explosive. Think about being violent. Think about trying to rip the fucking bench apart."