Bench Program Resumes
We will be on the Bench again picking up where we left off last week. This week, the rep scheme will go as follows…
- Quick off bench warm-up
- On bench warm-up: 15 reps (barbell) 10 reps (light weight) 5 reps (little more)
- Heavy Single X 3 rounds
- 5X3 at 85% of 1RM (don’t know your 1RM, don’t worry… just ask and we will tell you how to figure it out)
Proper Bench Technique
Keep Your Upper Back Tight/Shoulders Down and Back
All too often we see people flopped onto the bench, back totally loose, shoulder blades on either side of the bench, and shoulders rotating forward every time they push the barbell back up.
What does this mean? Well, if you continue benching like this (i.e. like most people) you will never come close to your true potential.
How we fix it: Sitting in your chair right now I want you to put your arms out in front of you as though you were about to bench press. Now, with your arms straight and your chest tall I want you to shove your shoulders down and away from your ears. Once you’ve done that try squeezing your upper back together as tight as possible.
Feel that? That’s exactly what your back should feel like throughout the entire movement. By keeping your back tight and your shoulders down and away from your ears you will:
Push Yourself Away From the Bar
Understandably so, most trainees tend to view the bench press as an exercise in which they should push the bar away from themselves.
However, not only do individuals immediately bench press more weight, but their form and technique drastically improves upon trying to visualize pushing themselves away from the bar and into the bench.
Keep The Bar Directly Over Your Wrists and Elbows
- Grip the bar as tight as possible
- Keep your wrists locked out and straight during the entire movement
- Tuck your elbows
Drive Your Heels into the Ground
For some reason, many people who don’t know how to bench press properly will either perform some sort of “happy feet” dance or put their feet on top of the bench during the movement.
Do not do this.
One of the most crucial components of a strong bench is learning how to stay tight. But how can you stay tight if your feet are performing their own personal rendition of the Cha Cha?
Where exactly you decide to place your feet is highly individual and ultimately depends on what works best for you.
However, the one common denominator regarding foot placement and the best benchers in the world is that they are all driving through their heels as hard as they possibly can.
By creating an enormous amount of pressure and driving through your heels throughout the entire movement you can produce an incredible amount of total body tension, thus making your body a strong and stable surface off of which you will be able to press an extraordinary amount of weight.