One of the most commonly asked questions between men at the gym is, “How much can you bench?” Yet, for the most part, many guys are losing vital poundage from their big lifts by neglecting areas of their fitness which can be worked on very easily. Today’s post will teach you how to improve your bench press in three quick moves.
While having a big bench press or squat is not inherently important to the overall results you can achieve with your physique in the gym, it remains a hotly discussed topic in most gyms and is used by most men as a barometer of how well their training is going.
Increasing the three big lifts (chest press, deadlift and back squat) is often a game of working muscles that most guys neglect, such a forearms. The following three techniques will help you to get maximum results in minimum time:
1. Focus on bettering your grip strength.
2. Utilize time-served techniques such as Hulk warm-ups.
3. Negative reps allow you to focus on a portion of the exercise where the biggest strength gains can be obtained from.
Not many people understand the true importance of grip strength when it comes to your big lifts. But make no mistake about it, a good grip makes for a more impressive move. In fact, you are generally doing something wrong if you don’t feel your forearms giving way before you legs and back on an exercise such as the deadlift. Given that it is a significantly smaller and less powerful muscle than the others which are involved in the exercise, it is easy to understand why it is usually the first one to go.
Exercises such as plate grips, wrist curls, reverse wrist curls and reverse curls with an EZ bar will prove to be huge assets in improving your grip.
Of course, your grip also plays a hugely underestimated role on exercises like chest press. Learn how to focus on ‘pulling the bar apart’ as you do the exercise and you will begin to notice how much more you can derive from every repetition.
A reverse warm-up, otherwise known as a Hulk warm-up due to the fact Lou Ferrigno used the technique frequently, is another great way to boost any big lift. This involves using your warm-up set to go heavier than you plan to go in your working sets, thus tricking the body into recruiting more muscle fibers in the build up to your proper sets. While this might sound odd, it is a time-served technique adopted by many power lifters the world over. For example, if you plan on lifting 100 kg in a squat, try performing a set consisting of fewer reps with 110 kg (with a spotter, of course). Suddenly, that 100 kg lift seems remarkably easier than it normally would. This is because the body has reacted to your reverse warm-up by recruiting many more muscle fibers in the areas you are hitting, allowing you to push past things which were previously difficult.
If you use this particular technique quite sparingly, you will notice it becomes a very valuable tool when you reach sticking points on your journey to building the type of body you want.
The final compound improving technique is eccentric reps, or ‘negatives’ as they are more commonly known. A negative rep involves a spotter or training partner helping you to perform the lifting (concentric) phase of the exercise before leaving you to slowly perform the lowering (eccentric) portion by yourself. Around half the muscle building results in compound lifts are hidden away in the negative portion of the exercise, so it makes sense to focus on this aspect from time to time.
Focus on using a weight heavier than you would usually go and have a spotter to help you do the concentric portion of the exercise before leaving you to do the negative phase on your own. Take your time on each rep.
If you adopt the three techniques in today’s article you will undoubtedly see an increase in any big lift on the gym floor. If you have been wondering how to improve your bench press and were performing endless assistance exercises such as dumbbell flyes and cable crossovers, you may be surprised to find that the techniques today involve simple things such as grip and reverse warm-up sets. However, each of the methods is proven and very, very effective.
More information: Successful personal trainer Russ Howe PTI teaches you how to improve your bench press with these cutting edge tips. Discover how to build muscle with the great tips on his fitness and dieting website today.