Increase Bench Press

The Best Ways To Increase Bench Press

You’ve been hitting the weights hard and pushing yourself to the limit. The problem is, you’ve hit that undesirable “plateau” and just can’t seem to increase bench press numbers anymore.

Increase Bench Press

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Well, there could be a couple of reasons for this. I personally have had first-hand experiences with this problem.

Sometimes it’s hard to attribute what’s holding you back to just one issue because it could be a number of different factors. It could be your not eating enough, you’re not eating correctly, not sleeping enough.

Perhaps you’re doing the same routine over and over with literally no change up (don’t do this by the way).

Bottom line, you need to figure out where you can make improvements to start seeing changes.

The first tip I am going to check off the list for you is going to be…

Get enough sleep!

How To Increase Bench Press Tip # 1: Get Proper Rest

When it comes to building muscle in general, this is THE MOST crucial step of all. If you are not getting adequate rest, you are most likely going to see any potential gains you could have go right down the toilet!

I hate to be so blunt, but this is the truth!

Define adequate rest you ask?

When incorporating ANY strength training program, on the days you’ve worked out you need a MINIMUM of 7-8 hours of rest, PERIOD!

A study was done comparing students who received 6 hours or less, 7-8 hours, and 8 hours or more of quality sleep to see what effect it had on muscle strength and hypertrophy. Although there were no real differences between the 7-8 and 8 hours or more groups, there was however a significant difference in muscle strength in the 6 hours or less group (1).

So, obviously, you need to sleep enough if you want to increase bench press.

This can be more difficult for certain individuals as some people may have a harder time falling asleep and also staying asleep.

Here are some tips that may help you:

  • No electronics an hour before bedtime (T.V., cellphone, computer, etc.)
  • Limit caffeine intake no later than 8 hours before bedtime
  • Use blackout shades
  • Remove digital clocks and all forms of light in the bedroom (complete darkness)
  • Keep the bedroom temperature between 60- 67 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Go to sleep and wake up at consistent times
  • Don’t drink alcohol
  • Take a hot shower or bath before bed
  • Try taking melatonin as a sleep aid

You do not have to follow all of these tips, although the more closely you do the better-quality sleep you will have.

How To Increase Bench Press Tip # 2: Eat Right Increase Bench Press

Another very important factor in seeing strength gains to increase bench press. This may sound like common sense, but if you are in a calorie deficit, it’s going to be VERY difficult to see any increases in strength.

I made this mistake for years before I finally corrected it.

If want hypertrophy (muscle growth) to occur, you need to be consuming more than you are eating.

A good way to know if you are doing this correctly is by using a TDEE-calculator, or a Macro-calculator.

I’m not much for counting calories, but I will say you need to do it at least once in a while to see if you’re getting close to your needed caloric intake.

More importantly than enough food is the RIGHT KIND of foods.

You want to be consuming nutrient-dense foods such as lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and fats consisting mostly of mono and poly-unsaturated fats.

For proteins, you want sources like:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Tilapia
  • Whey Protein (low carb)
  • Plant-Based Protein (low carb)
  • Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Lean Ground Beef

For your carbohydrates:

  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yams
  • Brown Rice
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Oatmeal
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans

Lastly, your fats:

  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • All-Natural Peanut Butter
  • All-Natural Almond Butter
  • Avocado
  • Fish Oil
  • Flaxseed Oil
  • Coconut Oil

You also want to make sure you are getting in 1-2 servings of fruit per day and AT LEAST 3 serving of vegetables.

How To Increase Bench Press Tip # 3: Lift Correctly

There are all different types of ways you can exercise these days. You’ve got HIIT, upper-lower splits, full body workouts, circuit training, and CrossFit. Whichever you decided (I prefer splits), you need to make sure you are doing it the right way.

What do I mean by “right way?”

Well, to maximize strength gains, you need to get proper rest.

Didn’t we talk about this already?

I’m not referring to how much sleep you get, I am talking about how much rest time you give yourself between sets!

For building strength, you are going to need longer periods of rest than you would in comparison to an athlete looking to build up endurance.

For strength building, you want anywhere from 3-5 minutes of rest in-between sets.

Do you think you know how long that is?

Don’t guess on this, make sure you use a clock or a stop-watch of some sort to ensure you are getting your rest time correct.

Along important key factor is not only rest time, but how many reps you are performing. Since you are looking to increase bench press overall, you want to aim for the 1-6 rep range. I would aim for closer to 6 on the first set, and adjust the weight slightly for your 2nd, 3rd, and perhaps even 4th set.

How To Increase Bench Press Tip # 4: Switch It UpIncrease Bench Press

What is the definition of insanity again?

Keep repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

Again, I say this from personal experience.

If you hit a plateau, switch it up!

Don’t just focus on barbell bench press, bench press, bench press. Sometimes, the BEST thing you can do is walk away from it for a week, or even two weeks and revisit it again.

Here’s what I like to do. For one week, I’ll switch up my exercises ranging anywhere from doing more push-ups all the way to doing free weight chest presses for that week.

When the week is over, I come back to using the barbell to be pleasantly surprised I am no longer STUCK in the dreaded plateau.

That wraps up all the different ways you can increase bench press!

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