Has your bench press strength plateaued?

Plateauing in strength is very common when it comes to resistance training, and there are a few things you can try do to try to overcome this plateau. This blog will focus on bench press strength plateau.

Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training Drummoyne,Edgecliff,Marrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain today explore the how to break through a bench press plateau.

Plateauing in the bench press, just as every other exercise is very frustrating and can leave you unmotivated and confused to why you aren’t increasing in strength. Here are a few tips of mine which I recommend breaking through a plateau.

Technique:

  • It seems a bit simple, however for the bench press, it is a highly technical exercise demanding a lot of factors working together to make the movement more efficient. Certain areas of technique include:
    • Use of leg drive
    • Reductions in range of motion
    • Scapula and elbow position
    • Breathing
  • I cover the importance in some of these in my bench press tips blog (hyperlink), and I recommend looking into these first as a starting point.

Working on your ‘sticking-point’:

  • A Sticking-point is a moment in the lift (press-phase), where you find the bar slows a lot then pushes through, or where you tend to always fail the lift. Generally, lifters tend to have sticking points from the bottom of the press phase (from the chest), or achieving the lock out. It is a great idea to incorporate specific exercise to target these, on top of your regular bench press volume. These include:
    • Struggle off the chest:
      • Long pause (3-count)
      • Pin press (set the safeties to the level of your chest)
      • Spoto bench press (Stop where the sticking point is on the decent and then press)
    • Struggle at lockout:
      • Block press (place a block on your chest or on the bar)
      • Pin press
      • Spoto bench press

Working on the strength of muscles used within the bench press:

  • Within the bench press, the primary movers are the pec muscles, triceps and shoulders. Incorporating accessory exercises additionally to your bench press work is crucial to build strength in these muscles by directly isolating them. Some of my favourite exercises include:
    • Triceps – Skull crushers
    • Shoulders – Neutral grip shoulder press
    • Pecs – Dumbbell incline chest press

Increasing your bench press volume:

  • If you are only bench pressing once per week, look to increase it to twice or three times per week, if you have the ultimate goal of increasing your bench press. With this increase in bench press volume, be aware of your shoulder health as well so make sure to incorporate accommodating increases in volume in back training for appropriate load management.

The exercise physiologists at Longevity are experts in prescribing exercise – so if you are struggling with increasing your bench press or need some help with your training give us a call!

If you need help, please give us a call.

1300 964 002

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