Is there really any other way you measure yourself against your fellow bros than the bench press? No, there isn’t, unless you are Tom Brady and have six Super Bowl rings and are married to Gisele then no there is no other way to stand out on top as Alpha Dog than being stronger in the bench press.
Sadly, for many bros out there they have yet to hit that magical unicorn mark of 225. It is not for lack of trying nor for the lack of hammering out countless reps every Monday on International Chest Day.
Yet, for some reason, you can’t get it up (that’s what she said)
You might wanna take a little break from benching as heavy as you can and add some exercises that help you build more power.
Heavy lifting is usually slow and grinding unless you are the Mountain from Game of Thrones, and then you lift whatever you want because you are a freak beast. For us mere mortals, however, we have to grind it out at times. The bottom of the lift, the portion where your chest meets with the bar, can be a weak point for most people. Training for power can help you to activate more of your type-2 muscle fibers or your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Accessing your type-2 muscle fibers quicker will allow you to produce more power, which will lead to you being able to produce greater force.
Training for power also gives your central nervous system a break as well. This might actually be the tiny ninja of destruction that is preventing you from hitting those big bench press numbers. Taking a few weeks to train for power alone can help your nervous system recover and reset itself and when you hit the strength again you may find yourself refreshed and stronger.
When you train for power, you will be working with weight at 40-60% of your one rep max. You will be lifting for more sets here but lower reps with rest periods staying under 90 seconds. A bench press power session may have you completing 9 sets of 3 at 50% of your one rep max with 60 seconds of rest.
ALWAYS, maintain proper form even with lighter weight on the bar. Yes, you are lifting the weight as fast as possible but losing your form will be detrimental to your progression over all. What is the point in working on becoming more powerful if you do it with bad form?
You can use more than just the bar alone to develop some power in your chestical region. A few of the exercises below will also help build power in your triceps which if you don’t know are your wingman on the bench press. We all need a strong wingman.
- Lying Medicine Ball Chest Pass (you can use a partner here to keep the ball from getting away from you)
- Floor Press (can be done with a dumbbell or barbell)
- Single Arm Cable Punch (aka Falcon Punch)
These accessory power exercises can be implemented on a specific power day or as warm-ups or finishers for your strength day. Add in some power based chest exercises on your training days to help spur the power within! Plus who doesn’t want to stand in the gym and imagine you are Captain Falcon punching Kirby in the face, that smug looking little wingbag had it coming!