Perhaps the first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when they hear the word “dumbbell” is a muscular man lying on a bench, holding a metal barbell above his head. This exercise is called the “bench press”. It is the basis of almost all bodybuilding and powerlifting programs. This is probably why the strength of the Iron Gulp enthusiast is often measured by the weight of the pole he lifts.
The bench press is a truly universal exercise that engages almost every muscle in the upper shoulder girdle, back, chest, abdomen, and even the legs. Its use helps to develop the muscles of the upper body and to “inflate” the hips and buttocks. And this is its undoubted advantage.
However, the bench press requires a lot of strength and if you also do, for example, deadlifts or leg lifts, the body does not have time to replenish its reserves between workouts. As a result, the athlete will not be able to gain more weight, and the development of strength qualities will eventually stop.
What should you do? How do you design a workout for the bench press to increase the athlete’s strength?
Bench press training program
First of all, you need to exclude from the training program all exercises aimed at developing strength, with the exception of the bench press. But do not forget that even with such a “mono approach” it will require a hitch and a warm-up.
Here is an example of a training program:
Several arm and shoulder warm-ups (swings, twists), then 1-2 sets of 5 reps with a weight that represents about 15-20% of the lifter.
Bench press exercises
5 sets of 5 repetitions, while in the first approach the weight should be 60% of the worker, in the second 70% and so on, up to 100% in the last set. On the second or third day of training, in the fifth set, the athlete tries to “take” not 100%, but 102.5%. As already mentioned, this result must be “supported” for several days in order to then increase the difference again.
The workout can (but doesn’t have to) be supplemented with several sets of crossover or dumbbell exercises.
Stretching exercises that help prevent muscle burns the day after your workout. Mental and physiological recovery after training allows athletes to show better results in the future and reduces the risk of injury. The focus should be on the chest, triceps, and deltoids.
Please note that the bench press should always be assisted by a trainer or training partner, and if you decide to increase the working weight, do not do without a trainer’s help (advice or action). Therefore, approach the choice of a gym carefully: experienced trainers who know the technique of performing strength exercises should work there.