3 Tips To Increase Bench Press

3 Tips To Increase Bench Press

TIP 1 Scapular Retraction

- Making sure the shoulder blades are retracted and pressed into the bench throughout the entire movement is one of the most overlooked aspects when it comes to bench press form.

 - If you can be sure those blades are retracted, you can offer your client a more stable base of support against the bench, which will decrease anterior forces through the shoulder during the lower position, in turn activating the pectoralis major more than they may expect.

 - Plus, by targeting the pec major rather than the anterior deltoid, they’ll optimize the mechanics of the target muscle here.

TIP 2: Programming: Periodization

There are two types of periodization (cycling through loads, reps, sets, etc.): linear and undulating periodization. 

- Linear periodization is great for beginners and considered the “classic” method, starting with a hypertrophy phase (8-12 reps for 4 weeks) and then cycling through a strength phase (5-8 reps for 4 weeks), a power phase (1-5 reps for 4 weeks), and a restorative phase (decrease in training or overall rest).

 - Undulating periodization is often used for those training multiple times per week and can be structured (tweaks in rep range) for daily or weekly needs

. - Daily: when on a 4 day training program lift of choice - day 1 10 reps/3 sets, day 3 8 reps/4 sets. 

- Weekly: 12 reps week 1, 10 reps week 2, 8 reps weeks 3 and 4. 

- Undulating not only allows for endurance/hypertrophy, strength/hypertrophy, and strength/power gains; but also a period of deloading, reducing plateau effect. 

Tip 3: Equipment, Implement Resistance Bands

- Research shows that implementing resistance band training into your free weight bench press increases press torque and power by 25% more than just free weights alone. 

- To effectively add resistance band training into the mix simply attach resistance bands to each end of the barbell, and depending upon the bench of rack you are using the bands can simply go under the bench/power rack. Some benches/ power racks even have specific spots for you to attach the bands to provide proper resistance

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  • Jesse Westover