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How To Increase Bench Press?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Brenda Block
How To Increase Bench Press?

For those looking to build upper body strength, the bench press is a tried and tested exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. However, for many lifters, increasing their bench press can be a challenging and frustrating process. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned lifter, this article will provide you with tips and techniques to help you achieve your bench press goals. From proper technique and form to incorporating accessory exercises, we’ll cover everything you need to know to increase your bench press safely and effectively. So, let’s get started!

1. Mastering the Basics: Proper Bench Press Form for Maximal Results

Proper form is crucial for maximizing your bench press strength. Without proper form, you increase your risk of injury and limit your potential gains. Here are some tips to help you master the basics and perfect your bench press form.

Hand Placement

Your hand placement on the bar is essential in achieving optimal bench press form. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and positioned symmetrically on the bar. If your hands are too close together or too far apart, it can lead to discomfort and limit your ability to lift heavier weights.

Body Positioning

Your body positioning plays a significant role in proper bench press form. Your feet should be flat on the ground, with your back and butt pressed firmly against the bench. Your shoulders and traps should be tight, and your chest should be puffed out. This body positioning will provide a stable foundation and help you generate more power and strength.

Bar Path

The bar path should be a straight line from your chest to arms fully extended. Do not allow the bar to drift too far towards your head or feet during the lift as it will create unnecessary strain on your shoulders and wrists. Enlist a spotter if necessary for heavier lifts, which will help you maintain proper form and prevent unnecessary injuries.

By mastering proper bench press form, you will increase your strength and prevent injury. Practice these basic tips and watch your bench press strength soar.

2. Fueling Your Success: Nutrition Tips for Improving Your Bench Press Strength

Nutrition is an essential part of any fitness goal, including increasing your bench press performance. Here are some nutrition tips to help you fuel your success and improve your bench press strength.

1. Increase Your Protein Intake

Protein is vital for building and repairing muscles, which is essential for increasing your bench press strength. Aim to consume at least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day. Good sources of protein include chicken, turkey, fish, beef, eggs, and plant-based protein such as beans and legumes.

2. Eat Carbohydrates for Energy

Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for the body, and they are especially crucial when performing high-intensity exercises such as the bench press. Consume complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and whole-grain bread 2-3 hours before your workout to give your body the energy it needs.

3. Hydrate Properly

Staying hydrated is essential for optimal performance during workouts. Dehydration can lead to a decrease in strength and endurance. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water each day and consume electrolyte-rich drinks such as coconut water for added hydration and nutrient replenishment.

Incorporating these nutrition tips into your routine can help you fuel your body properly and lead to improved bench press strength. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before making any drastic changes to your diet.

3. Pushing Past Plateaus: Effective Bench Press Variations to Incorporate into Your Routine

If you’re hitting a plateau in your bench press gains, it’s time to switch up your routine and incorporate some variations to challenge your muscles in new ways. Here are a few effective bench press variations to try out:

Close grip bench press: This variation involves bringing your hands closer together on the bar, which shifts the emphasis to your triceps, shoulders, and upper chest. To perform this variation, grip the bar at a distance that is slightly narrower than your shoulder-width. Keep your elbows tucked close to your sides and lower the bar to your chest, then push it back up to the starting position.

Incline bench press: The incline bench press targets your upper chest and shoulders more than the traditional flat bench press. Set your bench to a 30-45 degree angle and perform the bench press as usual, focusing on keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your torso.

Paused bench press: The paused bench press involves pausing for 2-3 seconds at the bottom of your bench press reps, which helps to improve your explosiveness and power. Pause the bar on your chest and then push it back up explosively.

Incorporating these variations into your bench press routine will challenge your muscles in new ways, helping you to push past plateaus and continue to make gains in your bench press strength. Remember to use proper form and gradually increase the weight as you become comfortable with each variation.

4. Building a Strong Foundation: Strengthening Supporting Muscles to Boost Your Bench Press

To increase your bench press performance, it is crucial to focus not only on your chest muscles but also on strengthening supporting muscles. These include your shoulders, triceps, back, and core muscles. By targeting these muscles, you will not only improve your bench press strength but also improve your overall upper body strength and stability.

Shoulder Exercises:

To strengthen your shoulders, incorporate exercises such as shoulder presses, lateral raises, and face pulls into your routine. These exercises will target your delts and help you stabilize the bar during your bench press.

Tricep Exercises:

Your triceps contribute to approximately 60% of your bench press strength, so it’s essential to work on them regularly. Include exercises such as tricep extensions, close-grip bench press, and skull crushers in your routine to target your triceps effectively.

Back Exercises:

Your back muscles are essential for maintaining proper posture during your bench press, which helps with greater stability and reducing the risk of injury. Exercises such as rows, pull-ups, and lat pulldowns will target your back muscles and help you achieve a stronger bench press.

Core Exercises:

Your core muscles are crucial for providing stability and preventing injury during heavy lifts, including bench press. Incorporate exercises such as planks, Russian twists, and sit-ups to strengthen your core muscles, which will translate into improved bench press performance.

By targeting these supporting muscles, you will build a strong foundation that will help you lift heavier weights over time. Remember to incorporate these exercises into your routine with proper form and gradually increase the weight to avoid injury.

5. The Importance of Rest and Recovery: How to Properly Rest and Restore for Optimal Bench Press Performance

Rest and recovery are equally important as working out when it comes to building a better bench press. Adequate rest enables your body to repair damaged tissues, while recovery provides your muscles with the time and nutrients needed to prepare for the next session. In this section, we will discuss how to get the most out of your rest and recovery, so you can hit the gym with optimal strength and performance.

1. Sleep:

Getting enough sleep is crucial to your recovery process. Your body produces the highest amount of anabolic hormones during deep sleep, which helps in muscle growth and recovery. Chronic sleep deprivation can cause muscle breakdown, hormonal imbalances, and reduced strength and energy levels. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night to optimize your bench press performance.

2. Active Recovery:

Active recovery refers to low-intensity activities that help in improving blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and nutrient delivery to the muscles. Examples of active recovery include walking, yoga, stretching, foam rolling, or using a massage gun. These activities help with muscle relaxation, decreasing inflammation, and minimizing the risk of injuries by flushing out any lactic acid buildup.

3. Nutrition:

Your nutrition plays a vital role in your rest and recovery process. Eating foods that are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals can help repair and rebuild your muscle fibers. Also, proper hydration is crucial for optimal muscle function and recovery. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water daily to ensure your muscles are adequately hydrated.

In conclusion, proper rest and recovery are essential for optimal bench press performance. Ensure you get enough rest, include active recovery into your routine, and fuel your body with the right nutrition to maximize your bench press output. By taking care of your body outside of the gym, you can achieve better results inside the gym.

6. Mental Preparation: Techniques to Overcome Mental Barriers and Increase Your Bench Press Confidence

Mastering proper bench press form and incorporating effective variations into your routine are important steps towards improving your bench press strength. However, mental preparation and confidence play a crucial role in achieving your goals. Here are some techniques to help you overcome mental barriers and increase your bench press confidence.


Visualizing yourself successfully completing a heavy lift can help improve your confidence and mental preparation. Take some time to sit quietly and visualize yourself easily lifting the weight you aim to achieve. Imagine each step towards achieving the lift and focus on the feeling of success. Visualizing your success will help improve your confidence and increase your chances of performing the lift successfully.

Avoiding Negative Self-Talk:

Negative self-talk can sabotage your progress and damage your confidence. Avoid negative self-talk and instead, focus on realistic and positive affirmations. Repeat positive statements to yourself to boost your confidence, such as “I am strong and capable,” “I can do this,” and “I am making progress.” Positive affirmations will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

Acknowledging and Accepting Setbacks:

Setbacks and failures are a natural part of the process of improving your bench press strength. Acknowledge and accept these setbacks, learn from them, and move forward. Instead of getting discouraged by setbacks, view them as learning opportunities that will help you grow and improve your performance. Remember that consistency and patience are critical for achieving your goals.

Incorporating these techniques into your mental preparation routine can help you overcome mental barriers and increase your confidence in achieving your bench press goals. Mental preparation and confidence play a critical role in achieving your goals by helping you stay motivated, focused, and confident.

7. Tracking Your Progress: Strategies for Measuring and Monitoring Your Bench Press Progression

Measuring your bench press progress is essential to know whether you are making gains or not. It helps you stay motivated and make adjustments to your routine to reach your goals faster. Here are some tips on how to effectively track your bench press progress.

1. Keep a Workout Log

A workout log is a record of your exercises, sets, reps, and weights used. By keeping a log, you can identify weak areas in your routine, see your progress over time, and make necessary changes. It is also a great way to hold yourself accountable and help you stay on track.

2. Periodically Test Your One Rep Max

Your one-rep max (1RM) is the maximum weight you can lift for one rep. Testing your 1RM every few months will help you track your progress and set new goals based on your current strength level. To test your 1RM, warm up and then gradually increase the weight until you reach a weight you can only lift once. Make sure to have someone spot you to prevent injury.

3. Use Strength Standards

Strength standards are guidelines for how much weight you should be able to lift based on your body weight and fitness level. Comparing your lifts to these standards can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and provide context to your progress. There are many strength standard calculators available online that you can use for free.

Tracking your progress is important for achieving your bench press goals. By keeping a workout log, periodically testing your one rep max, and using strength standards, you will have a clear understanding of your progress. Remember, progress takes time, so be patient and stay consistent with your training.

People Also Ask:

1. What muscles are used in the bench press?

The bench press primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. However, it also engages the biceps, forearms, and upper back muscles.

2. What is a good bench press for a beginner?

For a beginner, a good benchmark to aim for is a bench press weight equal to their bodyweight. However, this may vary depending on gender, age, and fitness level.

3. How often should I train my bench press?

It is recommended to train the bench press 2-3 times a week, with at least 48 hours of recovery time between sessions. This will allow for proper muscle recovery and growth.

4. How can I increase my bench press without a spotter?

To increase your bench press without a spotter, you can perform exercises such as close-grip bench press, dumbbell bench press, and push-ups. Adding resistance bands or weight plates to these exercises can also provide extra intensity.

5. Should I arch my back while bench pressing?

Many powerlifters arch their back while bench pressing to increase their range of motion and engage more muscles. However, proper form and technique should always be prioritized over arching the back excessively.


Increasing your bench press requires consistent training, proper technique, and progressive overload. This can be achieved by incorporating different exercises, adjusting your grip width, and gradually increasing weight. Remember to give your muscles adequate rest and recovery time to avoid injury and achieve optimal results.

Albert Sisson

Albert Sisson

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, I've found my calling as a ghostwriter, weaving the stories of others into compelling narratives. Driven by the power of words, I'm passionate about giving voice to the untold tales that lie dormant, waiting to be discovered. With several acclaimed works under my belt, my craft lies in anonymously channeling my expertise to illuminate the brilliance of my clients, bringing their imaginative aspirations to life with every stroke of my pen.

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