Pro Tips | Bench Press

February 02, 2016


The bigger the bench, the harder they fail.  I’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. Hell, even your mom has probably seen the fail videos of someone pressing way too much with horrifying form that comes hurdling down at speeds faster than the Man of Steel himself to fold you up like 3rd grade origami project.   It’s not pretty, and although you may be an online certified bench press judge, what separates the pros and the Monday Double Cheese and Fries Super Club is experience and continued education.  We spoke with 5 of our top athletes to help you bench like a PRO.  Pay attention and get ready to push some real weight.


“Grip the bar like it’s life or death, like if you don’t break the bar, Odin will smite you with all of his might… a primed grip translates to the Central Nervous System and prepares you to handle significant load whether it’s work sets or maximal lifts. “Bending The Bar” with that grip creates a bracing sequence to allow appropriate engaged Range Of Motion for the press.” – Rob Saeva, Professional Strength and Conditioning Coach and Amateur Powerlifter


“Push your body up to the bar when the bar starts to descend down. ‘Meet’ the bar, don’t just wait on it to come down….” – Joey Smith, World Record Bench Press Holder


“Don’t over think hand and/or feet positioning. Practically every person you talk to will give you different advice. The best thing you can do is find a comfortable set up position for you and build on that.” – Frank Gonzalez, Record Breaking Powerlifter


“Envision “bending the bar” and tucking your elbows on the descent of the lift-activating your lats, pulling the bar to your chest. Think of this as loading a set of springs that will launch the bar back to the start position. Once the bar has made contact with the chest, fire through your heels, and throw the bar off your chest using the lats as the spring board. Once you are 3/4 the way up, externally rotate from the tucked elbows position and use your triceps to lock out the press.” – Colby Strunk, National Level Powerlifter and Strongman


“As I was asked many years ago by an aspiring coach who in time has done quite well; to bench more weight, bench more. Albeit that sounds confusing, it is a simple explanation of long-term potentiation, ostensibly the process of more frequent workouts with the same movement that will increase the muscular efficiency within said exercise. To Bench more, BENCH MORE.“ – John Davies, Founder Renegade Training™


Bookmark these tips to view on your smart phone next time you’re at the gym.  If someone has a problem with you being on your phone while training, they won’t after they see show much you bench.


TEAM USPlabs Dustin Starr


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.


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