Simple Tips On - How You Can Increase Your Bench Press!

The bench press is without a doubt one of the world’s most popular strength measuring exercises. Even if you are amongst the population of lifters who think deadlifts or squats are the king of the weight room, there’s no doubt in my mind that you started off your strength career asking folks “how much can ya bench?”. We’ve all been there. Building large weight numbers on the bench press isn’t all about cranking out as much volume as you can on each session.

Like anything gym related, only about 10% of what affects your performance actually happens within the gym setting, the other 90% depends on what you do outside of the gym. With this in mind, and since we’ve all still got a little something to prove, we’re going to be discussing the finer points of developing a strong chest, and creating powerful bench numbers.

We are going to cover 4 main areas you need to focus on how to increase your bench press and give you some sample routines that you can start to use.

4 Must-Haves To Bench More & A Killer Example Routine

Additionally, you need to become comfortable with the concept of increasing your weight each workout, a concept known as progressive overloading. Besides the number of sessions per week, it’s also important to track your volume, which we will get into later in this article.

Generally the more lean muscle mass you have, the more protein you need, so it’s not uncommon to see people with 200+ pounds of lean muscle taking in 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per body pound. There are some studies​ that suggest there is an upper limit on how much protein you can take a day before it loses its effectiveness, but the strongest people in the world take in 3x their body weight in grams of protein and sometimes I think the results speak for themselves. Ideally, this is done in incremental meals over the day of at least 20-25 grams of protein per meal, which is the golden range for ​muscle protein synthesis​. Ultimately though, keep it simple, try a few different ranges and see what gives you the best results.

Primary Exercises You Should Do To Increase Your Bench

5 Sets x 5 Reps Strength Routine

All exercises should be performed in the order they are listed for 5 sets of 5 repetitions, with 1 to 2 minutes of rest between each set. For the beginner, it’s best to pick a weight that you can confidently do for each of your 25 total reps. The important thing here is to remember that by the time you are on your fifth set, you need to be on the verge of failing on your fifth rep. If you get to the end of your 5x5 and you still have gas in the tank -- you need to increase your weight next session! Basic equipment need is a weight bench, dumbbells and cable pulley.

If you are an intermediate lifter and you want to add in another session per week, feel free to try out this accessories based routine:

  • Close Grip Flat Bench
  • Incline Bench Press
  • Cable Fly’s
  • Tricep Extensions/Skullcrushers

A note for intermediate and advanced lifters​:

You can dramatically increase the intensity of your secondary workout without increasing weight by swapping between barbell and dumbbell work, or by implementing close grip on any of your presses -- which I highly recommend!

Final Say On How To Get Better At Your Bench Press

You should perform your secondary session in the same 5x5 rep and set range as your primary session, and with the same philosophy that you should be exhausting yourself on the last 2 to 3 reps.

If you follow these 4 steps and this beginners routine to a T, you WILL get stronger. That said, there is so much more to bench pressing than what we’ve been able to talk about here today and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are other things advanced concepts that can help improve your bench press as well like: technique tweaks, advanced routine programming, and more, but we will save those for later. See you next time!

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