Increase your Bench! If You Want to Bench More You Have to Bench More.


In celebration of the first blog post ever written, I am going to lay out a program for you that is guaranteed to increase your bench. Here is the deal; all too often lifters will see their bench stall because they are stuck benching once a week. While an argument can be made that progress can still occur while keeping bench frequency at once a week, the simple truth is that it is easier to increase volume and increase skill by increasing frequency. in the following example program the lifter will bench three times a week. There will be a Max Effort day, a "supplemental day", and a Dynamic Effort day. This is a conjugated style of training that uses max effort and dynamic effort to get the lifter comfortable handling heavy weight and producing as much power as possible. 

Here is the program:

 

The Max Effort days start with close accessory exercises that can be loaded pretty well and are still compound movements with significant carry over to the bench press. The first four weeks work by establishing a 3 rep max for those accessory movements, then working with lighter weights and more reps. We see the accessories get dropped after week 9. Week 8 we take a bit of a break from heavy presses to ensure we get some back work in there. The assumption is that the lifter is incorporating pulls in their accessory work with this program. After, this break we move to very specific work towards the bench press with tempo reps. A heavy 3 count pause done correctly will keep your shoulders safe and prime the body towards performing a single rep bench press when you test on the 13th week. Accessory work on Max Effort Days should include various specific movements to the pecs, anterior delts, and triceps. This could include DB bench press variations, flys, push ups, skull crushers, etc.

The supplement day works to ingrain technique and allow the practice of heavier low rep work (>80%). Everyone wants to feel comfortable handling heavier weight and this day can be paired up perfectly after a squat or lower body session. Work up slowly to the top set prescribed and then go about your day. Ideally some back accessory movements could be done afterwards or only the main work completed as part of ultimately a lower body day.

The Dynamic Effort day is all about power baby, you want to use light bar weight and chains heavy enough to slow you down a tad. These reps should be controlled but able to be done swiftly. This might mean you use one chain, or it might mean that you have to utilize 2 Chainz or more. After 6 weeks ideally you want to increase the amount of accommodating resistance. Accessory movements after this main work should include rotator cuff, lat pulldowns, row variations, etc. You can even throw in some arms. Just to be clear you will use one chain weight with the different bar weights for the first 6 weeks and then increase the chain weight and use the new chain weight with the alternating bar weights from there on. 


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