As much as I’d like to tell you the bench press doesn’t matter I. Just. Can’t.

It does. (Not sure why) but it’s always been the ultimate measure of a man who goes to the gym. You can total 1000 lbs on the squat and deadlift, but if you bench 135 and have 2 fully functional, injury-free arms, you’re still considered weak as hell.

Like it or not, it’s the unfortunate world we live in.

If you’ve been at the same weight on the bench press for months, maybe years, watch today’s video for a few things that could be stopping you from adding weight to the bar.

Video Summary:

[1] Check Your Ego. If it feels too heavy. It probably is. Start using a weight that allows you to get all the reps in your prescribed sets. Keep your body rigid and focus on your form.

[2] Keep Your Body Rigid. The tighter you keep your entire body, the more force you can put into the bar. This means tight grip, lats, glutes, hamstrings, and driving your feet into the floor while pushing your body away from the bar.

[3] Don’t Bounce the Weight Off Your Chest. (…and don’t let your spotter do all the work). If you’re bouncing the weight off your chest in a uncontrolled, spastic way you’re doing it all wrong. Check your ego and lift what you can without the bouncing.

[4] Go ALL the Way Down. Yep, I said it. Get that full stretch AND full contraction, and use enough weight that allows you to do so safely.

[5] Try Other Pressing Variations. Life doesn’t begin and end with the bar bench press. Try different pressing variations. Heavy dumbbells (especially with Fat Gripz) work GREAT for boosting strength. Another one of my favorite exercises are weighted dips. They work everything in the upper body. Chest, Shoulders, Lats, Triceps. Work on building the ability to do dips and eventually weighted dips and you’ll see how quickly your upper body jumps in strength.

[6] Vary Your Rep Ranges. Don’t just stick with sets of 8-12. Start doing sets of 4-6. Basically, whatever rep range you’ve been doing, do the opposite. If you’re doing high volume, low weight, try low volume high weight and vice versa for a few weeks. Throw your body a curve ball and let it try and adjust to the new rep and set ranges.

[7] Work the Supporting Muscles. Even though it’s done on chest day, the bench press is not just about the chest. Simply put, if you improve your strength and build muscle mass in your shoulders, upper back, and triceps along with your chest, you’ll see big improvements in all your upper body pressing movements.

[8] STOP MAXING OUT EVERY FUCKING WORKOUT. There. I said it. Stop it. Stop working up to 1 rep all the time. You know as well as I do, you’ve been stuck at the same weight (225 ring a bell?) for the last few years…and the sole reason is because you’re constantly working your way up to that 1 (usually awful) rep. Stop it. Start following tips 1-7 and reap the benefits. Remember, before you can implement any of these tips it all starts with Number 1: Check Your Ego.

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