Search
  • Michael Andreini

HOW TO ACTUALLY INCREASE YOUR BENCH......



How much can you bench? This is likely the most popular question circling around high schools and commercial gyms so I figured I would kick off my first blog covering the bench press and how you go about increasing it.


As a beginner you will likely start out by hitting one body part each day you visit the gym. For example, Monday is chest day, Tuesday is leg day, Thursday is shoulders, Friday is back. This program will get you results for the first 3-12 months as a beginner, but is it the right program? That's for another day.


In order to get stronger in the bench press you first need to know what your 10RM, 5RM or 1RM is so you know where your starting point is. For argument sake we will say your 1RM bench press is 185lbs with a goal of 275lbs. Now that you know how strong you are we will look into the frequency, volume and load progression you need to follow in order to make this goal a reality.


Frequency is defined as the rate at which something occurs. So unless your a genetic freak, bench pressing once a week will not cut it. For most beginners I would recommend bench pressing 2 days a week at first. I only recommend 2 days at this point because your 3rd pressing day is for your overhead press and shoulder days. Remember to keep a well rounded program even though your focus might be on one particular lift during this cycle of training.


Volume refers to the amount of reps and sets you are completing during your training sessions. An example is 3 sets x 10 reps x 130lbs (3x10x130). 3 sets of 10 will give you a total of 30 working set reps that day. Most of us in the beginning stay with 3 sets for every day of lifting no matter if your completing 10,8,5,3 or 2 reps for an extended period of time. This is one of the mistakes new lifters make. Are body will adjust to the volume of 3x10, 3x5 or 3x3 eventually, so in order to avoid plateauing you not only need to worry about increasing the weight but also your volume. This is usually accomplished by increasing your total sets and/or by adding an additional day of training for that particular lift.


Lastly, when it comes to how much weight to add each week to your lift the theory many new lifters hear is that they can add up to 5-10lbs per week. This is not a realistic answer because then everyone would be adding 260-520lbs to their lifts each year. Its more realistic to have a goal of adding 5lbs to your lifts every 2 weeks.


My last tip is that you need to focus all your attention on your main lifts, do not worry about saving your strength for the dumbbell chest press and cable fly's. Those are accessory lifts, I would much rather you hit your numbers on the main lift (bench press) and lower the weight on the accessory lifts if your fatigued. Your chest accessory lifts (dumbbell chest press, fly's and back work) should be done with 3-4 sets between 8-15 reps.


Example bench session with a focus on the chest for accessory lifts.

a.) Bench Press

b.) Chin-Ups

c.) Dumbbell Chest Press

d.) Cable Fly's

e.) Dips

f.) Tricep Cable Push Down


Below is an example template for your first 3-6 months of training the bench press.


Example week of bench press for the first 4-8 weeks of training-


Monday: Volume Bench - 3 x 10 x 70% (70% of 1RM)

Tuesday: Leg Day

Wednesday: Shoulder Day

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Back + Heavy Bench Day - 3 x 5 x 80%


*Test your 1 rep max every 4-6 weeks*


Example week of bench press for the next 8-16 weeks of training-


Monday: Volume Bench - 4 x 10 x 70% (70% of 1RM)

Tuesday: Leg Day

Wednesday: Shoulder Day

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Back + Heavy Bench Day - 4 x 5 x 80%


*Test your 1 rep max every 4-6 weeks*


Example week of bench press for the next 12-24 weeks of training-


Monday: Volume Bench - 4 x 10 x 70% (70% of 1RM)

Tuesday: Leg Day

Wednesday: Shoulders + Bench Day - 5 x 5 x 80%

Thursday: OFF

Friday: Back + Heavy Bench Day - 4 x 3 x 87.5%


*Test your 1 rep max every 4-6 weeks*

0 views

FUNCTIONAL FITNESS - CIRCUIT TRAINING - NUTRITION - WEIGHT LOSS - STRENGTH TRAINING - CORE STRENGTH - H.I.I.T TRAINING - ENDURANCE TRAINING

© 2014 by ANDREINI FITNESS