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How To Increase Your Bench Press
In Three Easy Steps

If you are like most guys who go to the gym, you want to increase your bench press weight. I used to find bench pressing a frustrating exercise, because I was not naturally good at it. My lower back muscles were stronger than my pectorals, so I could deadlift respectable amounts, but could not manage much from a horizontal position.

I remember feeling annoyed seeing guys the same size as me, who were less dedicated to training, bench pressing more weight than I could handle.

All gym goers like to boast about how much they can bench, so it was embarrassing having to avoid the question when people inquired about my physical prowess. This inspired me to research different methods for improving my bench press. Following a lot of trial and error, I eventually developed three methods, which are outlined below. These methods have got me lifting more weight than I ever thought possible. Better still, they could do the same for you if you put them into practice.

Getting the Basics Right

Even if you are an experienced gym goer, chances are you are making numerous mistakes when performing the bench press. I have been working out since my late teens, yet occasionally I still fall into bad habits, which hamper my progress. Typically, this is because I am distracted by other thoughts, or I am just feeling fatigued.

Some people make mistakes because they are too busy showing off (see below). Notwithstanding, try implementing these three strategies to hone your technique. Then, you should find it easier to bench press more weight:

Grip the bar tightly -- Try to grasp the bar in a vice like hold. Squeeze it as firmly as possible -- just like you were attempting to pulverize it. Doing this will incorporate your tricep strength into the lift, which assists your pectoral muscles.

Keep the movement perpendicular -- Make sure you lift the bar straight up, at a ninety degree angle to your body. Avoid angling it towards your stomach or head, and position it over your elbows. You should aim for an up/down movement, similar to the way elevators travel in a straight line.

Tuck your elbows in -- Don't forget to keep your elbows tightly tucked in. This will facilitate your efforts to press the bar straight upwards. Also, it brings your back muscles more into the movement.

At first, you should focus on getting the action right, even if it means reducing the weight you lift. Trying to lift too much weight too soon will force you to use brute strength, which compromises your technique. Don't worry about impressing other people in the gym. Put your ego away, get the basics right initially, then the results will follow.

Follow a Weightlifters Diet

To cut a long story short, to lift large amounts of weight you require muscle tissue and energy. Human beings acquire energy and muscle tissue from food. Make sure you consume the right quantities of carbohydrates, fat and protein relative to your weight. This will increase your general strength and improve your performance in the gym -- including on the bench press.

Eating the right food is vital to get the maximum benefit from the time you spend in the gym. There's no point in putting in all that work, if you don't give your body the right fuel to function at its' optimum level.

Master Effective Breathing Techniques

When performing a lift, you should breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you breathe correctly when lifting, you are more likely to be able to increase the weight you can bench. When you bring the bar down to your chest, inhale through your nose, then exhale through your mouth as you push the bar upwards.

Doing this will allow you to maintain a steady pace while bench pressing, and you will find that you can progressively add more weight to the bar over time.

One piece of advice -- When rehearsing your breathing, commence with lighter weights until you become accustomed to it. When trying this technique, some people fail to breathe at the correct time and suffer dizziness.

Occasionally, people have been known to pass out as well, if they suffer from raised blood pressure. Nonetheless, anything worth doing requires a bit of persistence, so take your time and get comfortable with the whole procedure, before stepping things up a notch.

The three techniques described above have allowed me to increase the amount I can bench press considerably. I appreciate that using a customized bench press workout is another excellent way to make progress with this exercise.

Give these techniques a try for a month or so, and record your results. I think you will be pleasantly surprised by how much stronger you become.

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