Quick Tips for Making Gains on the Bench Press

One of the most fun things to do as an American male is to max out on the bench press.  However, there needs to be a basic outline to follow to ensure the max effort bench press is productive and leads to impressive “manly” gains!  

    1. Plan out an 8-12 week program.  With a full blown plan, there can be proper structure set in place that will enable the body to adapt to heavy weights and allow for optimal recovery to set up a max effort attempt at the end of the 8-12 week program.
    2. Find what rep schemes work best.  There are various forms of rep schemes that can stimulate muscular coordination, thus leading to greater performance on the bench.  Figure out if wave loading (5/3/1/5/3/1) works best for nervous system stimulation or contrast methods (6/1/6/1/6/1) or even a classic pyramid rep scheme (8/6/5/3/1).  All of these schemes work well and force athletes to adapt to heavy weights but each one can have a different impact on the athlete, depending upon their muscle fiber make up.  
    3. Use explosive movements. Simple movements such as clap push ups or depth push ups can lead to impressive gains on the bench.  Teaching your body to move weight fast is imperative to increasing maximum effort output!
    4. Have a max day plan. Often times, lifters just head into the weight room on max day without a plan or even goal in mind.  Lay out your warm ups, make a goal and plan backwards from that goal to ensure your body is fully stimulated when the max effort attempts are taken.  Even using a few sets of clap push ups can lead to a fully potentiated nervous system! For instance, the first time I benched 500lbs, I followed this simple max day plan: Clap push ups 1 x 5, bench 135lbs as fast as possible 2 x 3, 225lbs AFAP 2 x 3, 275lbs AFAP 1 x 3, 315 1 x 3, 365 1 x 2, clap push ups 1 x 5, 405 1 x 1 focus on explosive punch, 440 1 x 1, 475 1 x 1, 500 x 1.  This plan was coordinated prior to the session and set me up for a great training session!

Another vintage GS training video to get you going ...

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