If you are trying to increase your bench press, you might think the best way to do this is to dramatically increase your weights, but this is not the best way to achieve your goal.
The reason is quite simple. Let’s say you increase your weights by 20% for the same number of sets and reps. You may get through the first few sets without too many problems, but you will soon start to struggle.
The mistake you’ve made is that you’ve bumped up the stress level all in one go, and your body is just not able to cope with that. Secondly, you are more likely to get an injury as a result of the additional stress.
Gradual progression is the answer
It is more effective and safer to initially increase the number of presses per bench session than to go ahead and bump up the weight being lifted. For example, lets say you currently do 5 reps lifting 200lbs. Instead of trying to suddenly do 5 reps at 210lbs, try my technique.
I advise you to reduce the weight you normally use by about 20%, but increase the number of reps, dividing them into sets. If you are already doing a high number of reps, don’t go overboard with the increase. On the other hand, if you are doing very few reps, you might want to double the number.
Every individual will be different, and your level of fitness will determine what you are comfortable with when you start this routine, so you may need to experiment. The key is to find a starting point that pushes you but does not cause you to burn out too soon.
Once you are comfortable doing the required amount of sets and reps with your starting weight, you start to gradually increase it at the next session. Try adding 2.5 lbs to each side, and then do the same number of sets and reps.
Stick at this weight until you can comfortably do all the sets and reps. Then, increase the weight by another 5lbs. The key is to stick at a weight until you can complete all the sets and reps at that weight.
This is an excellent routine that shows you how to increase your bench press sensibly, but you must always keep safety in mind. The aim is to get fitter without doing yourself an injury or over-training yourself. The first thing you should always do is warm up.
Never go straight into routines without warming up. For this routine, I recommend that you start with quite low weights and do a few reps. Gradually increase the weight, doing a handful of reps at each new weight. You want your warm-up to give you a good workout, but one that does not leave you too tired to carry out the actual training routine.
Now that you know how to improve your bench press in the most effective and safest way, all you need to do is get pressing. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you progress.