Hunched over, teeth showing, hair mangled, king of the congregation of beasts and broccoli. The hood’s coming off; it’s time to put an end to this monstrosity. We are taking back the bench press. Evolve or forever be forgotten, as you drown in mediocrity, among the half reps and sub 3 plate feats of strength. Become stronger, and build a chest that rivals any animal of the iron jungle with our 4-part “Big Bench Blueprint”. For today’s article, we asked Coach John Davies, founder of Renegade Training, to discuss the “bench” foundations that have somehow been forgotten.
The paradox for developing a better bench press and, ultimately, pectoral muscles starts not with the chest but the back. A strong back and stable shoulder capsule is the foundation of developing a bench press. To develop a powerful bench press, priority must be placed upon learning proper technique and developing the rear deltoids (and shoulder capsule), triceps and upper back.
Bench Press Technique for Bodybuilding
The first step of developing your Bench Press must be technique and ensuring optimal mechanical function which will lower the risk of injury. Once technique is secure and the individual possesses sufficient shoulder capsule and upper back strength, subtle changes with bench angles can have a pronounced effect upon muscular growth and development.
In my early training days, to learn proper control, a piece of balsam wood would be placed on the chest with firm instruction that the bar should touch but not break the wood. CONTROL the bar, do not let it CONTROL YOU.
Training the bench press within bodybuilding is generally best within a five day split, but I cannot say it enough; it is critically important to develop the shoulder capsule and upper back! In addition to pull-ups and chin-ups, a regular component to all Back training, the STS system, will greatly assist shoulder capsule strength.
Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 10-12 repetitions
Dips (angled bars | weighted preferable): 4 sets x 6 repetitions
Incline Flies (45°): 3 sets x 12 repetitions
Barbell (or E-Z curl bar) pullovers: 3 sets x 12 repetitions
Prepared by John Davies
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of USPlabs or any employee thereof. Examples used within this article are only examples. USPlabs is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the authors of this article. Content contributors are not employees of USPlabs. Authors may have been remunerated by USPlabs.
The information provided in this article, as well as this web-site blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice for any condition. Always consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. By reading this disclaimer, you hereby agree and understand that the information provided in this column is not medical advice and relying upon it shall be done at your sole risk.