When you talk about working out, it's the first thing people ask. "How much ya bench?" And with your answer comes defeat, or triumph. The fact of the matter is that big poundage means big respect. That's the power of a big bench press.
For decades men have entered the gym to work their way up to finally being able to say that they benched 300 or 400 pounds! This feature article was created with those big benches in mind. And in order to give you the information that can get you there, Team MuscleTechTM went straight to the World's Strongest Bodybuilder - Johnnie Jackson.
Johnnie Jackson At The 2008 Arnold Classic.
Johnnie is not only rising in the ranks of the IFBB, but he also continues to compete in powerlifting meets during his off-season. There are very few other bodybuilders who do this. As Johnnie's mass will attest, his success and out-of-this-world strength creates a solid base for Johnnie to build upon as he continues to add more freaky size onto his massive frame.
Johnnie's training will switch dramatically when he is getting ready for a bodybuilding show. But when he's not training to step on stage, he's training for a powerlifting meet. All it takes is a few minutes of watching Johnnie train to realize that he lifts heavy!
With every set, Johnnie keeps loading on more and more weight until he can't lift anymore. By obliterating his muscles with heavier weights, Johnnie's strength shoots through the roof. And as anyone knows, more strength equals more weight. And more weight equals bigger skin-stretching muscle mass!
In order to push your muscles to the limit, Johnnie has provided some key tips that everyone should incorporate into their chest routines. These tips from Johnnie are what help him maximize his bench press strength and jack his muscle size through the roof! Johnnie has also provided a sample lifting plan that he follows so that you can train just like the World's Strongest Bodybuilder.
Johnnie's Tips For Benching 565 Lbs
Johnnie is living proof that with enough determination and dedication, no goal is unattainable. He's revealed some of his best tips to help get you the big bench that you've always wanted!
Related Video Jackson's Bench Press Tips
Watch The Video - 08:19
When you're setting up for your bench press, start by planting your feet solidly on the floor. Focus on the placement of your feet so that your heels are in line with your hips. One tendency is for people to go up on their toes, but you must force your heels to be flat on the floor.
This will allow you to generate maximum strength by summoning extra pushing force from your legs, through your core and into your chest. This is what Johnnie refers to as the "kinetic chain." By focusing on generating force throughout your entire body, you will be able to lift more weight than you would be able to by focusing solely on using your chest.
Once your feet are set, lie back and grasp the bar with an overhand grip. Johnnie recommends a grip that is shoulder width or wider. If you bring your hands too close together you're going to activate more triceps in the lift than you want.
Now that you're set, Johnnie recommends keeping a slight arch in the lower back. This will force an even deeper stretch in your chest when you reach the bottom of the movement for maximum muscle fiber activation.
Push Slightly Backwards
If you watch any of the pros lift you'll notice that they all perform bench presses the way that Johnnie recommends. After you have lowered the bar to your chest, begin lifting the weight as you normally would. The only difference is that instead of pushing straight up, you push slightly backwards.
This will help you use more muscles in your chest and will actually allow you to lift heavier weights. When lifting the weights, you want to push up as if you are going to rack the bar. When you reach the top of the movement, the bar should be in line with your upper chest. When you're at the bottom of a bench press, the bar should be in line with your lower chest.
One unorthodox movement that is often overlooked by bodybuilders is the old-school floor press. Johnnie built the foundation of his big bench with floor presses. This method allows you to lift a lot of weight and it works on the hardest part of the bench press movement.
To do this movement you'll need a spotter to assist with getting the bar off of the bench and into your hands. Set the bar up on a bench and lie down on the floor in front of the bench. Have your spotter hand you the weight and grip the bar with your hands slightly closer than shoulder width.
When you lower the weight you'll find that your elbows will touch the floor. Pause for a one-thousand count and then explosively force the weight up to the starting position.
This movement is perfect for working on the part of the bench press where most people require more power. This is also known as the "sticking point" where you feel like you have nothing left to push with. By throwing the floor press into your training program you can target a specific weak point and then pound it into submission!
Prior to working out it is critical to take in pre-workout supplements. Johnnie never trains without first getting a pre-workout shake that contains muscle-building and pump-inducing ingredients like creatine and arginine. His shake also will contain some caffeine to add an extra kick to his workout.
And, as any bodybuilder knows, ammonia is a negative by-product of working out. Johnnie incorporates supplements that aid in removal of ammonia from the body in his pre-workout stack. This dramatically increases his strength so that he can pull off huge bench presses like his personal best lift of a jaw-dropping 565 pounds!
After your workouts it is absolutely critical to ingest fast-absorbing carbs - dextrose being the best - and follow this up with a huge dose of anabolic amino acids.
Your recovery depends on proper post-workout supplementation to make sure your body can pack on pounds of new muscle so that every workout you can train to be bigger and stronger!
Johnnie never leaves for the gym without his post-workout stack so that he can take his first serving immediately after his workout ends. This capitalizes on the body's natural anabolic window for muscle growth faster than you've ever seen before!
Johnnie's 10-Ton Chest Assault!
Now that Johnnie has given you his tips for super-human strength, it's time to put a plan into action to blow your chest development into a whole new realm!
Johnnie is constantly bombarding his chest with massive weights and over the course of just one workout he will lift over 10 tons by the time he drops the last piece of iron. See the detailed chart below for Johnnie's 10-Ton Chest Assault to shock your chest with new muscle growth!
- Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Bench Press - On Floor
2 sets of 6 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets of 15 reps
Putting It All Together
To get freaky muscle mass like the pros, you need to push as much weight as possible! Take it from the World's Strongest Bodybuilder; Johnnie didn't get to where he is today by lifting the same weights and not pushing himself to extreme failure. The only way to grow and pack on as much muscle as humanly possible is to push your body to its limits each and every time you set foot in the gym.
As Johnnie's hardcore workout illustrates, he uses a progressive loading of weights and maintains a consistent rep range. Since Johnnie is a genetic freak, his body can withstand the massive weights he lifts at each workout.
You should tailor the weights to be suitable for your own program so that you can safely and effectively reach the desired reps on each set. If you try lifting too heavy then you're bound to get seriously injured, which will keep you out of the gym. So match your weights to the program accordingly and prepare to see yourself setting new records for your max bench press in no time!