There are a number of things that can be holding you back from a big bench press.  In order to get your bench press moving in the right direction, here is a brief checklist of what your training should address:

  1. Practice proper technique.

There is a difference between training movements and training muscles.  When focusing on increasing your bench press, you need to practice the technique and aim to perfect the movement.  It pays to be as efficient as possible with your technique.  This means finding an efficient bar path, minimizing excess range of motion, and creating a stable environment to transfer force.  If you are utilizing the bench press to train the chest, you won’t make it very far in pressing big weights.  The technique used to “target” a muscle is going to much less efficient at moving heavier weights.  There are other exercises that can be better utilized for targeting certain muscle groups such as your pecs.

  1. Follow a properly planned program

If you are not following program of some sort, you are doing yourself a disservice.  There is so much information on training that is easily available these days, there is no excuse to not have a plan for each workout.  Progress takes patience.  You will not progress very much if you are testing your max every week.  It takes time to fine tune technique, build up strength, and adapt to the stresses of training.

  1. Increase muscle mass

There is merit to focusing some of your training to targeting muscles.  An increase in muscle size will almost undoubtedly increases that muscle’s potential for greater strength.  The larger the cross-sectional area of a muscle, the more contractile units it exhibits, therefore increasing its potential to produce more force when trained properly.  Therefore, do not completely neglect training bicep curls and chest flies.  Keep the primary focus of your training on strength but add-in some bodybuilding style lifts and sets to supplement your strength gains.  Personally, I prefer to end my strength workouts with a good muscle pump.

If you would like to learn from one of the best benchers in the world and you are in the greater Seattle area, be sure to make it out to EGO Strength and Performance in Everett, WA this Saturday October 10th to meet Adrian Larsen.  Adrian has held the world record for his amazing 585lb bench press at a bodyweight of only 220lbs.  He has an incredible story to tell as he has overcome much adversity in his life to achieve this goal.

Check out for more information.