Bench Pressing

by Solomon
(New York)

How exactly do I increase my bench press weight? I weigh 165 pounds and I'm 5'10'' and I've been working out consistently for about one year straight.


I only increased about 20 pounds over the whole year on the bench press.

While I use pretty heavy weight for dumbbell presses and machines for chest, on the bench press I do very little weight ... Why?


Aaron's Answer…


You're obviously dedicated, and putting in the time. So lets get your time working for you.

First off, check to see that you have good form and how long your arms are. If you have naturally long arms in comparison to your body then it will be harder to increase your bench press - that's just how the genetic cards fall. And lack of good form can cause repetitive injury, as well as further biomechanic inefficiency for the lift.

Other than those, here are 3 possible sticking points you might be experiencing - and solutions to them!



Possible Sticking Points…


-- Lack of Good Nutrition and Eating Habits

Make sure you get your daily protein requirement, a good post workout drink, and that you're eating enough so that your body can put on muscle.



-- Muscle Trigger Points

If your pectoral muscles are sore because you put them through the wringer all the time, they might be too contracted to do much good. Try massaging them after your workouts.

And other tight and sore muscles in your arms and torso can reduce your bench press weight too. If you find tight, painful muscles then really massage them out so that they are relaxed again. Tight muscles all the time take away from your strength, give you an unhealthy 'muscle-bound' appearance, and simply aren't healthy.



-- Not Enough Rest

It takes a lot of energy for your body to put on muscle. And if you've been going at the workouts hard for a year, you might be overtraining. Try taking a week off, and then doing your workouts less frequently, and hitting your pectoral muscles less - 3 lifts for them is really too much for each workout session.

And don't worry about losing muscle by taking just a week off. It won't happen.

By correcting for these three issues, I really think you'll be able to push past this sticking point. While I know it's frustrating, you can overcome it.

I hope these tips help!

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Nov 04, 2015
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