It feels like you’ve been stuck at this plateau forever, doesn’t it? Your bench press numbers aren’t moving up no matter how hard you train. Maybe the trick isn’t your training intensity, but rather some supporting factor. Or perhaps you’re neglecting some muscle fibers. Let’s look at a few tips and tricks for moving more weight on the bench press.
Eat More Food
You aren’t going to meet too many 150 pound monsters who can bench press 405 pounds. Sure, you’ll find the world-class genetic freak that is 4 foot, 9 inches tall who may fall into this category. But for the vast majority of us, the amount of weight you can lift is going to be somewhat related to the scale reading. If you keep your body fat levels the same, you will be stronger at 200 pounds than you will be at 150. So if you can’t get that bench press to move, try increasing your daily carbohydrate and protein intake. As the scale move up, your benching numbers will as well!
We all know that muscle growth – and strength increases – do not occur in the gym. They occur when you sleep. So if you can’t bench more than 315 and you sleep 5 hours per night, we may have just discovered your problem! Go to bed earlier, sleep in, take naps, and grow stronger! Turn off the television, and pick up a book on nutrition. You’ll be sleeping before you can say macronutrient…
Higher Repetition Range
The slow twitch muscle fibers – the ones which aren’t stimulated until repetitions 12 through 20 arrive – are often neglected by powerlifters and Olympic lifters. Cut the weight in half, and train with more repetitions. You’ll move far more blood into the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps than you ever have before. The result will be a greater number of muscle fibers stimulated, and presumably, suddenly able to develop some new muscular size and strength. This may translate to you moving more weight.
Hit Triceps and Shoulders
Perhaps your chest is capable of moving more weight, but your shoulders and triceps are the weak points which prevent you from benching more. This is very common with lifters on back exercises as well, when their biceps and forearms prevent them from deadlifting or rowing more weight. Whichever the case, building up these support muscle groups so that they do not become the failure points as the secondary point of stimulation, will be the key to success.
We can only do so much to create the anabolic environment within our bodies with food alone. This is why the vast majority of lifters will select some sort of bodybuilding supplement. Creatine will force your body to retain more water, resulting in fuller muscles which are sturdier under the bench press bar. Mesobolin can boost testosterone levels, making you more aggressive in the gym and better able to heal following workouts. Study the top popular supplements, and talk to your peers. These supplements are very popular because they do help many lifters to move up their bench press numbers.