The complete guide to *STROGER* bench/dumbbell press
If you want a stronger, bigger chest, bench/dumbbell press is something you’ll want to consider.
In the next article, you will learn everything you need to know about proper technique, and how to continue making progress in the weight you are lifting
“How much do ya BENCH???”
If you training for quite some time you may have come across this question.
The fact is that bench/dumbbell press is one of the best exercises for your upper body.
If you read this article then all this is certainly not new to you. You are here because you want to know how to get the maximum out of your chest development, right?
So let’s start with the technique.
How To Perform A Press With The Right Technique
At first, it seemed easy to do. You lie on the bench, take out the bar, lower it to your chest and straighten your hands back. Well… it’s a bit more complicated than that. Especially if you work with heavier weights.
So first of all, try as much as possible to stay away from Smith machines because it does not help much in gaining muscle mass and strength like a bar/weights.
One of the best ways to perform a bench/dumbbell press is by someone who will spot you, but if not,
This way is great if you have the option to use this bench in the gym:
So once you’re ready:
1.Lie back on the bench and make sure your eyes are under the bar.
2. Lift your chest up and push your shoulders blade back and squeeze them together.
3. Lift the bar slightly wider than shoulder width. Keep your palms straight to avoid pressure and pain in the wrist area.
4. Keep the angle approximately 90 degrees between the elbow and the palm.
5. Arch your lower back and keep your feet on the ground just below the knees.
6. Keep your elbows positioned at about 50-60 degrees from your back. This will not risk your shoulders and prevent a chance of injury.
7. Lower the bar until you touch the chest (keep it somewhat on the nipple line).
8. As soon as the bar touches your chest you’re ready to lift it back up.
9. The bar should rise back up in a slightly arch.
Variations for bench/dumbbell press
A dumbbell press helps you work on each side of the chest separately and is excellent as a substitute for a bench press with a bar.
You can use this, for example:
Perform 3-4 sets of incline bench press, 3-4 sets of dumbbell press, 3-4 sets of parallel + weight for 8 weeks and then change it to 8 weeks of 3-4 sets of upper chest compressions With a rod, 3-4 sets of bench press lying down with a rod, 3-4 sets of weighted dips.
Bench press with a narrow grip
A narrow grip causes your triceps to work harder, and with a stronger triceps, your bench press is stronger.
With a narrow grip, you want to make sure that your grip is a little more narrow than shoulder width and not too narrow because it can increase the risk of shoulder and wrists injuries.
Here, too, the same principles from the bench press is compatible with a narrow grip.
If you feel discomfort in your hands or shoulders at the bottom of the movement, simply widen your grip a finger away and try again.
If you are not comfortable yet, you will widen your grip again at the distance of another finger and try again.
Incline bench press
Do you really need specific exercises for the upper chest?
Is there such a thing as an upper chest ?!
There is a part of the chest muscles that we call “upper chest”
Proper development of the chest muscles requires a lot of emphasis on the top (CLAVICULAR HEAD) for 2 simple reasons:
It’s a stubborn little muscle that takes time to grow
The best exercises to develop it are also excellent exercises for developing overall chest muscles.
The best way to work on it is by adding incline presses.
I prefer a 30-degree incline in the bench because that’s how you put less pressure on your shoulder muscles and work more with your upper chest.
Again, the same principles of the bench press, only when the bar has to cross the chin and touch just below the collarbone to maintain (some) vertical line path.
And with dumbbells:
Bench/dumbbell press in reverse grip (supinated)
Excellent exercise for the upper chest, causing much less pressure on the shoulder muscles.
To find out what your level of strength is, you can use this site:
6 proven scientific ways to strengthen your bench/dumbbell press
Although the correct technique is very necessary and important but even with the best technique the moment will come and you get stuck. so the following 10 ways will help you overcome this.
Get in the right mood!
If you arrive mentally prepared and very focused you WILL raise your chances of lifting up more.
Studies show that if you do this it will increase your strength and vice versa, if you have too many distractions this will lead to a decrease in your strength output.
So before you start a set, concentrate, put on your headphones and focus your mind on the set and nothing else.
Another great technique is to use the imagination and visualize the set before you do it.
I know it may sound strange but studies show it works.
Lift heavy weights
Usually, this is between 80-85% of your RM 1, or 4-6 repetitions.
An example would be:
Incline bench/dumbbell press (4 sets of warm-up) and 2 sets of 2-3 reps (90% of RM1)
Incline bench/dumbbell press 3 sets of 4-6 reps (80% of RM1)
Bench/dumbbell press: 3 sets of 4-6 repetitions or: 2 sets of 8-10 reps or 10-12 reps (70% of RM1)
Use EXPLOSIVE REPS!
Many people will perform their reps and sets very slowly, but studies show otherwise.
In addition, this study also shows that lowering the bar fast (1 second) without stopping, then lift quickly seems to create a better force than a slower drop accompanied by a stop and then a rapid increase.
Do not make the mistake of beginners who throw the bar on the chest and lift back up. This is called “Cheating” and increases the chance of being injured.
Work on bench/dumbbell press more frequently
So if you are currently doing it once a week, simply doing twice a week or even 3 times a week can improve your strength.
However, it is important to note that you do not do too much until you become over-trained.
Make sure you eat enough
Usually most people complain that they do not grow, do not get stronger, it’s mainly because they do not eat right or do not eat enough. Here’s a fact that many people forget when they try to increase muscle mass:
If you want to build muscle mass and gain as much weight as possible then you will need to eat enough calories. If not, you will not build any muscle or gain weight.
So it’s an easy way to gain weight and strength. But be aware that you do not eat too much to avoid excess fat. You can learn more in this article:
Use mini plates
Small mini plates can help you keep moving when you get stuck and can not add those small plates that you have in your gym.
For the full article, click here.
A simple and effective bench press program
Incline bench press
4 sets of warmup
3 sets of 4-6 reps (80-85% from RM1)
Incline dumbbell press
3 sets of 4-6 reps
3 sets of 4-6 reps
Narrow grip bench press
3 sets of 4-6 reps
3 sets of 8-10 reps (70-75% from RM1)
Shoulder press (standing or sitting) with a barbell
3 sets of 4-6 reps
Rest for 3-4 minutes between sets: This will give your muscles enough time to recover fully and accumulate sufficient strength for the following set.
If you do this correctly, bench/dumbbell press is the best thing you can do to develop strength in your upper body. But, if you do it wrong, it can be very dangerous. So take the time to learn and do it with the right technique, use the ways I gave you in this article to keep moving forward and most importantly – stay patient. It takes several years to build impressive power even if you do everything right.
What do you think about the article:
“The complete guide to *stronger* bench/dumbbell press”?
Do you have anything else you’d like to add or ask?
I’d love to know, in the comments section below.
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