Learning how to increase your max bench press will not only increase the amount of weight that you can bench. Using these techniques will also boost muscle performance and muscle size. Here are the best ways to increase your bench press naturally:
6 ways that help you to increase your max bench press
1. Drink enough water during your workout
You feel that burning sensation in your muscles when you lift heavy weights because of a chemical called lactic acid. Lactic acid is released during heavy loads of muscle work in order to stop you from overexerting yourself and causing more damage than what the body can recover from. Lactic acid is released via urination and is cleared using oxygen in the bloodstream. By drinking enough water, you expand your blood vessels (by increasing blood volume) so that more nutrients like oxygen and amino acids can reach the muscle tissue. Increased blood volume also helps negative by-products of exercise like lactic acid to be removed from the muscle more efficiently.
Have you ever noticed that your muscle look bigger after a good workout? This happens because they expand so that they can recover faster. By drinking enough water, you allow the muscles to get all the nutrients that they need.
2. Do a few warm-up sets before your actually bench press set
Bench press half of your target weight for the same amount of reps for about two sets before you do your actual bench pressing set. This will help the muscles to prepare for the coming workload. Warm-up sets increase blood flow to the right muscles, tense muscles so that they can exert a greater force, reduce the amount of fatigue that they feel during exercise and decrease the risk of injury.
If warm-up sets are so effective, why don’t we do them for every exercise?
Warm-up sets are extremely effective. You are more than welcome to do them for every exercise that you do. The reason why most people reserve warm-up sets for the most important exercises is that they take a lot of time. If you do them before every exercise, you could end up doubling the amount of time that it takes to finish your exercise routine. For this reason, it is best to reserve for the exercises that matter most – and the exercises that post the highest risk of potential injury. These exercises are mostly compound movements like the squat, bench press, overhead presses, and rows.
3. Give yourself enough recovery time
Doing the right exercises will cause muscle growth. Doing them too often, however, will break muscle fiber quicker than what it can recover from. This is known as overtraining. If you train your muscles too much, you risk halting your progress – or even worse – reversing the positive, anabolic effects of the exercise.
This also goes for supporting muscle groups as well. If you train your chest muscles once a week but train your triceps or shoulders three times a week, your supporting muscle will be too weak to support your chest muscles during the bench press. another great way to increase muscle recovery, if done right, is by using the steam room.
4. Check your nutrient intake
This is one of the first things that I check with people who want to take their muscle growth to the next level. Our muscles need nutrients to grow. Many people try to burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Although this is possible, it can be quite challenging because you need to restrict nutrients to burn fat, but your muscles need nutrients to grow bigger. One of the first nutrients that people restrict is carbohydrates. These nutrients are extremely important for muscular performance. Sugar (the building blocks of carbohydrates) gets converted into glucose in your bloodstream. Glucose is converted into glycogen. Glycogen is your muscle’s primary fuel source when you are doing non-aerobic exercises like lifting weights.
One of the reasons why muscles grow bigger through resistance training is because muscle glycogen stores increase as a response to that kind of training. It is also important to get enough protein. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and trace elements are also important for optimum muscle function. For example, calcium is needed for your muscles to contract and your muscles cannot recover from training without magnesium.
5. Increase the strength of the bench press’s supporting muscles
The bench press stimulates more than just your chest muscles. It also stimulates your triceps and your shoulder muscles. If these muscles are too weak, they could be reducing the amount of stimulus that you put on your chest. This happened to me a few years ago. My triceps were so weak that I couldn’t stimulate my chest enough to grow more. I had to focus on increasing the strength of my triceps before I could increase my max bench press.
You can increase your supporting muscle groups in a variety of ways. The way that I do it personally is to work my triceps and shoulders to exhaustion after every chest day. This causes them to grow stronger and therefore assist my chest muscles to move more weight under the bench press. Other people work their triceps and shoulders on other days. Doing this helps them get more muscle stimulation per weekly training cycle. This can also work if you give each of your muscles groups enough rest.
6. Increase the strength of opposing muscle groups
This point is extremely important. Antagonistic muscles are the ones that work against a movement to keep it stabilized. Biceps are the antagonists of exercises that involve the triceps. The back muscles are antagonists of chest-related exercises. If you work out your chest muscles (vie exercises like the bench press) more than you work out your back muscles (via exercise like pull-ups), you will cause a muscular imbalance. This imbalance will lead to reduced performance because the opposing muscle won’t be strong enough to support the movement. This is how focusing on your back, biceps and rear shoulder muscle groups will ultimately increase your max bench press.
By following these steps, you can increase your max bench press in no time. Which one of these tips was your favorite? And can you think of any other tips that could increase your max bench press? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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