Did you know that sticking points happen on the bench press? How many times have you had sticking points on the bench press? It may have been your shoulder, chest, or one of your other pressing muscles, but did you know that all of these are fixable? The sticking points on the bench press happen because of your bench press form. You may have a bench press form problem even if you have a great bench press strength. What you may not know is that these sticking points can be fixed.
Many lifters struggle to put on weight when they get to the stage where they are bench pressing 4-6 times a week. The training itself becomes more challenging as your body becomes accustomed to the routine, and the sporadic nature of the bench press in and of itself can be a deterrent to progress.
Bench pressing is one of the most popular exercises in the world. It’s also one of the hardest exercises to do. Most people have a bottleneck when bench pressing that limits their progress. The hanging during the bench press is the part of the range of motion where the bar slows down and you do not perform the lift. If you z. B. Always make a mistake when bench pressing. If the bar is 10 inches from your chest, that’s your drop point. Powerlifting coach Josh Bryant says attacking your release points is the fastest way to improve your bench press. If you are strong enough to press 400 pounds, but you can only press 300 pounds out of your chest, what will you press? The answer is: Three hundred pounds! In this comprehensive guide, I’ll show you the most effective ways to overcome your bench press deficiencies. The best way to lift lockout in bench pressing is to use isometric training methods, such as powerlifting isometrics and isometrics. Isometric training is very effective because it allows you to focus precisely on the point in your range of motion where you are weakest. Another good strategy is to use new supplementary or supporting exercises, such as the dead bench, reverse band bench press and triceps chain extensions. Here’s a summary of the rest of this article:
- Part 1: Isometric training
- Part 2: Extra exercises
- Part three: Practice with accessories
By the end of this article, you will have an idea of how to overcome the difficulties of bench pressing. Message: If you have trouble reading the workout routines in this article, check out this workout reading guide. Let’s get to work… Part 1: Isometric training Isometric training is the most effective way to overcome stagnation in bench pressing. Fitness trainer Josh Bryant even believes that isometric training is his secret weapon in helping world-class powerlifters break world records at the bench press. Here is an excellent demonstration of an isometric bench press workout: As you can see, a powerlifter presses an empty 45 pound dumbbell as hard as possible into a pair of safety pins for 6 to 8 seconds. He doesn’t just hold the dumbbell on the safety pins – his goal is to bench press so hard that he breaks the safety pins in half! So why would anyone want to train this way? In fact, isometric training has a number of advantages over traditional training methods. With isometric workouts, you can activate 7% more motor units and exert 15% more effort than with normal sets. However, the real magic of isometric training is that it allows you to eliminate the stumbling blocks. In isometric training, you can place safety pins at the exact point in your range of motion where you are weakest. When you’re 5 cm from the chest, that’s where you should place the pins. During the isometric series, press the safety pins as hard as you can for 6 to 8 seconds. That’s a huge amount of time to get the tension just right at the point where it’s stuck! In fact, research shows that most of the strength gains from isometric exercises occur at the joint angles you train. In other words, if you place the pins 2 inches above the chest, that’s where the greatest strength increase will occur. The only drawback to isometric sets is that they must be combined with full movement sets in the same workout. Fortunately, Josh Bryant has found a way to do it. Josh prefers alternating between isometric bench press and fast bench press, with about 2 minutes of rest between sets. For example:
- Set 1: Isometric bench press
- Sentence #2: Quick Bench Press
- Movement No. 3: Isometric bench press
- Movement No. 4: Quick Bench Press
By alternating speed and isometric sets in this way, you teach your body to transfer the isometric strength gains to the full range of motion bench press. Let’s take an example of bench press training with isometric exercises. Here you can see the first part of a workout performed by world-class bodybuilder Vincent Dizenzo. During this workout, Vincent trained for a 600-pound bench press. Look at this: Vincent Dizenzo Isometric bench press training
- A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3, 1/1/X/1, 4 minutes rest
- B1: Isometric compression**, 2 x 1, hold for 6 seconds, rest for 2 minutes
- B2: Fast bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
- C1: Overcoming isometrics in high position****, 2 x 1, hold for 6 seconds, rest for 2 minutes
- C2: Fast bench press (competition grip), 2 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest.
**Press an empty 45 pound dumbbell firmly onto a pair of safety pins for 6-8 seconds. Place the pins 5 cm above breast height. **Press an empty 45 pound dumbbell firmly onto a pair of safety pins for 6-8 seconds. Place the safety pins 2″ (5 cm) below the lock. After the initial exercises, Vincent performed a series of supplemental and supportive exercises, including the sling bench press, deadlift bench press, and various isolation exercises. As you can see, Vincent starts his workout with a heavy triple bench press. Then he moves on to isometric and fast bench press. Vincent actually performs isometric sets in two different places: 2 inches above the chest and 2 inches below the lock. It’s a great way to hit two different sweet spots in a single workout. Another good isometric training strategy to eliminate congestion in bench pressing is called functional isometrics. Functional isometrics was a popular training method of Canadian strength trainer Charles Polikin. Functional isometrics are essentially a combination of partial movement repetitions and overcoming isometric contractions. Here is an excellent video demonstration of functional isometric training: As you can see, the lifter performs incomplete repetitions between two pairs of pins. Here is the exact protocol for the functional isometric complex: Perform 4-6 reps with a partial range of motion. Firmly press the top pins for 6-8 seconds on the last repetition. Then lower the weight again and do another repetition with a partial range of motion. A full functional isometric workout consists of a total of 10 sets. Here’s the exact protocol:
- Perform 3 functional isometric sets in the lower third of the bench press.
- Perform 3 functional isometric sets in the middle third of the bench press.
- Perform 3 functional isometric sets in the upper third of the bench press.
- Perform a set of bench presses with a full range of motion.
Functional isometric exercises are very effective because they allow you to target tender points at three different points in the range of motion during the bench press. The combination of partial range of motion repetitions and overhead isometric contractions is incredibly effective in stimulating strength gains in your central nervous system. It is also excellent for down-regulating the Golgi tendon organ, allowing you to exercise your true power potential more effectively. Here’s a complete functional isometric workout you could try. Look at this: Functional Isometric Bench Press Training
- A1: Isometric functional bench press (wide grip), 3 x 6**, 2/0/2/0, 180 sec. Interruption
- B1: Functional isometric bench press, intermediate position (wide grip), 3 x 6**, 2/0/2/0, 180 sec rest
- C1: Isometric functional overhead bench press (wide grip), 3 x 6**, 2/0/2/0, rest 180 seconds
- D1: Bench press (Wide Grip), 1 x 6, 3/0/1/0, 180 seconds rest
- E1: fly 30 degrees, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
- E2: Rope curls with hanging rope, 3 x 8-12, 2/0/1/0, rest 30 seconds
**Performed as an isometric set for the bench press. Perform 6 reps with partial range of motion. Press 6. Repeat the top pins down as hard as possible for 6-8 seconds. Then lower the weight again and perform 1 more repetition with a partial range of motion. This is the traditional way to perform functional isometric training. However, this is not the only way. Josh Bryant has found creative ways to use functional isometrics as part of his regular bench press training with powerlifting. One of Josh’s favorite strategies is to use a set of pins placed directly under the blocking. You do 6 reps, touching and pinning your chest each time. On the last repeat, press the pins as hard as you can for 6 to 8 seconds. After an isometric contraction, simply lift the weight. Here is Jonathon Irizarry demonstrating this teaching method: Josh Bryant likes to use this exercise as a supplement to overload his triceps and practice the blocking points right after a lockout. Here’s the bench press exercise Josh Bryant gave Jonathan Irizarry when he was training for the 500-pound bench press. During this workout, Jonathan did functional isometric exercises and a bench press with a band to destroy his lockout trigger point. Look at this: Jonathan Irizarry Functional isometric bench press training
- A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 2, 1/1/X/0, 120 seconds rest
- B1: Fast bench press (hold match), 6 x 3, 1/1/X/0, 10 seconds rest
- B2: Tilt 30 degrees with chest support, 6 x 6, 1/0/X/1, 120 seconds rest
- C1: Functional Isometric Full Bench Press (competition grip)**, 2 x 5, 1/0/X/0, rest 120 seconds
- C2: Banded Bench Press (Competition Grip), 2 x 1, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
- D1: V-bar squats (front torso squats), 2 x 15, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
- E1: DB floor swing, 3 x 8-12, 1/1/0, rest 60 seconds
- F1 : Unilateral cable pumps (forearm grip), 3 x 8-12, 1/0/X/1, 60 sec rest
This is a high training volume, and for most people who train, it will be too much to recover from. Of course, Jonathon Irizarry is no ordinary intern! If you specialize in bench pressing and have a weakness in the lockout area, this type of training may be just what you need to make progress again. Part 2: Extra exercises One of the best strategies to overcome stagnation in bench pressing is to use additional bench pressing exercises. These are variations of the bench press where you can overload certain parts of the range of motion. Some of the best supplemental bench press exercises to improve chest strength are the dead bench press, the pause bench press and the extra wide bench press. On the other hand, some of the best supplemental bench press exercises to improve closing strength are the band press, chain press and sling press. Let’s take a closer look at each of these exercises. Bench press Optional exercise 1: Dead Bank The dead bench was invented by powerlifting coach Josh Bryant. The deadlift is a bench press performed from a deadlift position with the bars placed 1 to 4 inches above the chest. Here is an excellent video demonstration of this exercise: So why does Josh love this exercise? Many people have a stumbling block 1 to 4 inches above the chest when bench pressing. You bounce the rod off your chest, then it immediately slows down and freezes. The reason most people get stuck here is because they rely too much on the stretch reflex. The stretch reflex is the name for the elastic energy that builds up in the connective tissue during eccentric exercise or the downward phase. The stretch reflex will help you for the first 1-4 inches of bench pressing, and then disappear completely. The dead bench is designed to strengthen at the exact point where the stretch reflex disappears. Josh asks his athletes to perform 5-10 sets of individual exercises with 30-60 seconds of rest between each set. The dead bench forces you to use only your muscles to lift the weight and is a great way to train the supports directly above your chest. Josh Bryant says your max 1 reps on the dead bench should be 90% of your max 1 reps on the regular bench press. In other words: If you can do a 300 pound bench press in one rep, you should be able to do a 270 pound bench press in one rep. If you haven’t achieved this strength balance yet, I highly recommend incorporating a dead bench into your routine. Bench press Optional exercise 2: Bench press interrupted The bench press with break is one of the best exercises you can do to increase your chest strength. You just need to pause for 1 to 4 seconds on the chest for each repetition. Here is an excellent video demonstration: The escape bank works for the same reasons as the dead bank. This reduces or eliminates the stretching reflex in the bottom position of the exercise, forcing you to use only your muscles to lift the weight. Unlike the dead bench, the bench press can be performed with rest for multiple reps. This exercise is powerlifting coach Chad Wesley Smith’s favorite exercise to increase chest press strength. Bench press Optional exercise 3: Ultra-wide bench press handle The ultra wide grip bench press is one of bodybuilding guru Louis Simmons’ favorite exercises. To perform this exercise, grasp the bar with the widest grip you can without straining your shoulders. For most people, this will be much wider than your strongest hold. Here is an excellent demonstration of this exercise: Don’t worry if you have to use much less weight on the extra large bench press than on the normal bench press. This is perfectly normal. This exercise is designed to increase chest and shoulder strength rather than lifting as much weight as possible. I recommend performing this exercise between 6-8 reps to improve your bench press. The range of 6-8 reps is low enough to engage your fast twitch muscle fibers, but high enough to not overload your shoulders. Bench press Optional exercise 4: Bench press with chain The chain bench press is one of the best exercises for improving the lockout or strength of the upper half of the bench press. To perform this exercise, attach powerlifting chains to each side of the bar and perform a bench press. Here is an excellent video demonstration of this exercise: As you lower the bar to your chest, the chains fall to the floor. Then when you push the bar back until it clicks, the chains come off the ground. In other words: Chains make the dumbbell lighter on the chest and heavier on the block, which can cause you to overload the top half of the exercise. They also force you to accelerate the bar all the way to the end, as this is the only way to overcome the extra weight of the chain. The dumbbell press is often the best option over partial range of motion exercises, such as. For example, the Plank Press or Barbell Press, because they allow you to do exercises with a full range of motion. This means that the transition to the normal bench press will be much better. Bench press Optional exercise #5: Bench press with belt Bench pressing with bands is similar to bench pressing with chains in many ways. The bands make the exercise easier at the bottom and harder at the top. However, the bands give the exercise a very different feel than the chains. Here is an excellent video demonstration of bench pressing with the band: As you can see, large rubber bands or bungee bands are wrapped around the barbell. These bands pull the barbell down faster than gravity and make your muscles work much harder than normal. In my experience, bench pressing with a band is one of the best exercises to improve bench pressing strength. Depending on the bands you use, the exercise may be significantly more difficult in the lockout than on the chest. One of the biggest disadvantages of bench pressing with a belt is that it can be very difficult to recover from. Ligaments cause a lot of muscle pain and can seriously damage your joints if you are not careful. One of the best solutions to this problem is to bench press inverted with a band. Here is an excellent video demonstration by John Meadows: In reverse bench press, the bands lift the weight down instead of pulling it down. This makes the exercise even more difficult in the high position and easier in the low position. However, it gives the exercise a completely different feel than regular tires. Reversible bands are even kinder to your joints and connective tissue than regular straight weights. If you’re looking for the sweet spot around the lockout, but don’t want to put extra strain on your joints, the reverse bench press is a great exercise. Bench press Optional exercise 6: Slingshot Barbell Press The slingshot is a training tool invented by Mark Bell, world-class weightlifter. The slingshot is a pretty confusing tool to practice, so let’s watch the instructional video first. Look at this: The sling is a modified version of the powerlifting bench press jersey. It is made of elastic material that stretches when you get into a low bench press position. The sling can be considered a trampoline on the chest. As you lower the weight, the trampoline stretches and slows the movement of the weight. Then, when you push the weight off your chest, the trampoline propels the weight until it clicks. The slingshot is a great workout tool because it takes pressure off the joints and connective tissue in a low position, so you can work on your closing strength with super heavy weights. Unlike a regular bench press shirt, the Slingshot is incredibly easy to put on and take off. Mark Bell struck a blow with his invention of the catapult. If you have access to it, I highly recommend you try it to increase your blocking power! Part 3: Auxiliary exercises If you want to overcome the difficulties of bench pressing, you need to use the right assistance exercises. In other words: Supportive exercises should be chosen to address your specific weaknesses. If you drop the weight directly off your chest, you’ll need to strengthen your chest and shoulders to move forward. On the other hand, if you lose weight during the lockout, it means your triceps need special attention. There are a million different corrective exercises that can be used to correct these deficiencies. In this article, I want to show you the six best corrective exercises that you don’t use. These supportive exercises are favored by some of the best powerlifters in the world, including world record holder bench press Julius Maddox. Here’s the list: Six best bench press supporting exercises
- Bending with a V-bar
- Overland trip with break
- Hinge press with belt
- Triceps stretcher
- Skull crusher
- Skull crusher
The first three exercises are great for improving lower bench press strength, and the last three exercises are great for improving lockout strength. Let’s take a closer look at each of these supporting exercises. Auxiliary bench press exercise #1: Leans on cross member Dips are one of the best supported bench press exercises you can perform. They train the chest and triceps very intensively and are ideal for improving strength from the low bench press position. Many of the world’s strongest weightlifters, including James Strickland, who lifts 700 pounds, use the V-bar bend as a pressing exercise. Here, James climbs with a load of over 250 pounds on his waist: What an impressive number of dives! There are many reasons why bending over is so effective. Unlike most upper body exercises, flexion is a closed circuit movement. In other words: You have to move your whole body across the room to perform this exercise. This automatically means that you will gain more total muscle mass with this exercise. In addition, the chest and triceps are stretched tremendously in the lower oblique position. A growing body of research shows that exercises that force muscles to stretch deeply under tension are ideal for stimulating growth in size and strength. EMG studies even show that squat exercises work better on all three heads of the triceps than other compound exercises such as closed bar bench presses. If the barbell is structurally sound and doesn’t hinder your shoulders, I highly recommend making it one of your main support exercises. Auxiliary bench press exercise 2: Squat with floor break If your breasts are weak, you may need to do targeted breast isolation exercises. To those who follow the Westside Barbell training program, this may seem like heresy, but direct chest work has its place in a powerlifter’s bench press program. Powerlifting coach Josh Bryant has had great success with pec isolation exercises to eliminate chest stiffness. One of Josh’s favorite pec isolation exercises for powerlifters is the swing break. Here is an excellent video on this exercise: For this exercise, lie on the floor and look at the ceiling. You lower the weight until your arm touches the ground, pause for 1-2 seconds, and then lift the weight again until it snaps. Because you put your hands on the ground, you don’t have to worry about falling further and injuring yourself. Many of Josh’s powerlifters have had great success with this exercise to strengthen their pecs. Auxiliary bench press exercise 3: Bench press with strap Many powerlifters are locked out of the chest when bench pressing because their shoulders are too weak. If your shoulder strength prevents you from bench pressing, you should try the hanging band bench press. The basic idea is to hang weights on resistance bands on either side of the bar. You can use a regular 45 pound dumbbell or special dumbbells like a bamboo dumbbell or an earthquake dumbbell. Here is the world’s strongest weightlifter, Julius Maddox, training with a suspension belt and an earthquake bar: In the hanging strap method, the weights are shaken in all directions. This forces the shoulders and small rotator cuff muscles to work overtime to perform the movement. I think you’ll be surprised how sore your shoulders are after a few sets of this exercise. Many people find that their bench presses become much more stable after just a few weeks of practicing this exercise. Bench press Auxiliary exercise #4: Triceps Chain Stretch If you want to improve your closing power, training your triceps with different types of skull crushers is a good choice. Unfortunately, skull crushers can be very hard on your elbows. Josh Bryant learned that the hard way when he tore his triceps tendon during a 330-pound press session! These days, Josh is much smarter about the tricep exercises he offers his powerlifters. One of his favorite exercises to help the triceps is the triceps stretch with a chain. Look at this: In this exercise, most or all of the resistance is provided by the chains. The chains make the exercise easier in the low position and harder in the high position, so you can really overload your triceps without straining your elbows. Many powerlifters who struggle to feel their triceps, find that this exercise fires up their triceps on the first try. Stretching the triceps chain is also good for improving lock strength, as the hardest part of the movement is at the top, when you have to lock your elbows. Bench press Auxiliary exercise 5: Dead Stop Skull Crusher Dead Stop Skull Crushers were made popular by Dante Trudel, creator of DC Training and co-founder of the supplement company True Nutrition. Here is an excellent video demonstration of this exercise: As you can see, the Dead-Stop Crush is a triceps stretching exercise in the prone position where you place the bar on the floor behind your head between reps. This exercise absolutely destroys the long head of your triceps because it incorporates elbow extension and shoulder extension into one movement. Pauses between reps also force you to move the weight using only your triceps. This exercise should be performed with a slightly higher number of repetitions. I recommend you start with sets of 8-12 reps and work your way up. If you perform this exercise correctly, the next day you’ll feel like a bunch of angry ninjas beat up your triceps with a bamboo stick the night before! Bench press Auxiliary exercise #6: hanging skull crusher The Suspended Band Crossover is a popular triceps exercise performed by the Westside Barbell Powerlifting Team. The basic idea is to perform triceps extensions in the prone position using the suspension band method. Here is an excellent video demonstration: If you’ve never done this triceps exercise before, you don’t know what you’re missing! In this exercise, the kettlebells bounce in all directions. This forces your body to use more muscle fibers in the triceps than normal head kneads performed with a straight weight. Many Westside athletes swear by this exercise to strengthen the triceps. It’s also very elbow-friendly. Many powerlifters who can’t perform the triceps extensions in the prone position without getting pain in the elbow find that they can perform this exercise without any problems. If you don’t have access to a bamboo or earthen barbell, you can always hang weights from a regular 45-pound dumbbell. Supplement If you have problems with your bench presses, you need to stop what you’re doing and make a plan to eliminate them once and for all. Isometric training is by far the most effective way to eliminate the stumbling block of bench pressing. Isometric exercises are very effective because they allow you to target exactly the point in your range of motion where you are weakest. They also teach your body to generate more force and activate more motor units than traditional training methods can. Another good strategy to clear the blockage is to carefully choose complementary and supportive exercises. If you have a weak chest, the dead bench, break bench and ultra wide grip bench are good options. If, on the other hand, you are weak in the upper half, a chain sofa, band sofa or horn sofa is for you. When choosing the right assistance exercises, the most important thing is that you can feel the exercise in the intended muscle group. Josh Bryant says remedial exercises have an internal focus, and he’s absolutely right. If you have trouble feeling your triceps when you lie down to stretch, try a triceps stretch with a chain, a cranial deadlift, or a cranial knead with a hanging strap. With all these exercises, you can train your triceps without straining your elbows. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to create a new training program and solve your bench pressing problems once and for all! You are dreaming. You will. You can reach us. There will be obstacles. There will be skeptics. Errors will occur. But with hard work, with faith, with trust in yourself and in others, there are no limits. Thanks for reading and good luck with your strength training! Dr. Mike Jansen. I am the creator and owner of Revolutionary Program Design. I help advanced athletes take their training to the next level and achieve results they didn’t even know they had.
a link to Chad Wesley Smith’s powerlifting program! Chad Wesley Smith’s powerlifting program! Chad Wesley Smith is one of the brightest minds in the modern fitness industry. Chad was active in three sports at the highest level: Shot put, powerlifting and triathlon. link to Should I do squats with my heels up? Should I do squats with my heels up? There are many different ways to perform squats. However, one of the most popular variations is the high heel squat. There are several ways to do this: You can use special squat shoes, which are…
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