Get a Better Chest Through Bench Press.
The majority of men use the bench press as a measure of strength, power, and sometimes even athletic ability. The bench press is the king of strength exercises regardless of the popularity of functional training, kettlebells, cross training, or yoga. It matters little that leg strength is more important than upper-body strength in most sports. The bench press is usually considered the benchmark of a man’s strength.
Next time you go to the gym, see what people do when they see a guy bench-pressing 300 or 400 pounds. Usually, conversations stop and everyone watches in envy as the strong man benches the mammoth weight. The other guys in the gym seem almost embarrassed as they struggle with 165 pounds. The sad part is, they could bench press big irons too, if they used a good bench-pressing technique and followed a scientifically-designed training program.
You can add at least 100 pounds to your bench press in only 12 months if you work hard and consistently, develop proper technique, use a training program that develops your muscles and nervous system, and follow a scientifically sound nutrition program that builds muscles and provides energy for intense training. Follow the advice in this article and you will be the guy people watch in envy.
The Bench Press is a Whole-Body Exercise
Lesson number one is that bench-pressing heavy weight is a skill– just like hitting a tennis ball, throwing a baseball, or shooting a basketball. The nervous system develops motor patterns based on practice and “rewinds” these nervous patterns when you perform the skill. You must learn and practice skills precisely to maximize performance. Your goal is to increase your bench press. Therefore, you must learn a precise motor pattern that will allow you to bench press a lot of weight for just one rep.
Lesson number two is that the bench press is a whole-body lift. Most guys approach the bench press very casually and pay little consideration to factors that determine success in the lift. They lay down on the bench, hoist the bar over their chest, and do the exercise without thinking about grip, proper placement of the feet, butt, shoulders, elbows, or hands, the path the bar follows during the lift, or the cadence of the exercise. They use the wrong bar or bench or choose incompetent spotters. Learn proper technique and use the right equipment and you can increase your bench press by 25 to 50 percent in a few weeks. Your new bench-pressing persona will serve as the foundation for truly remarkable gains in the future.
Weight training books describe the bench press as an upper-body exercise that builds mainly the pectoralis major (chest), triceps brachius (back of the arms), and deltoid muscles (round shoulder muscles). While these muscles are certainly important, building a big bench press also requires strong legs, abdominal, and back muscles that act as stabilizers during the lift. Also, you need to build strength and flexibility to maximize the height of the chest and minimize the distance you push the bar during the lift.
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