“What do you bench?” is one of the most asked question in gyms across the world. Even if you are not a powerlifter most gym junkies put a lot of emphasis on having a strong Bench Press. However there is a big difference in training methods for a strong bench compared to training for a big chest, so here are 3 things you should not do when training for strength in the Bench Press.
Too Many Warm-up Sets
A Bench Press warm-up should be just that, a warm-up. You should not be doing so many sets that you are dripping in sweat and feeling fatigued. Completing too many reps with light weight will lead to the failure to achieve your maximal potential.
Instability on the bench
If you are sliding around the bench, feet lifting from the floor or sliding around then you are not generating maximum power in your Bench Press. For a strong Bench you need to set up with a strong stable positing, feet should be pressed firmly into the floor, head, shoulders and glutes should all be firmly in contact with the Bench. If you are sliding around during training then this is your ego taking over, lower the weight and get your form fixed (A qualified Coach is Ideal for getting for problems sorted out). When your form is good in training then you will gain the most benefit from the training that you are doing and it will minimise the chance of failure in competition due to a technical fail (Lifting or moving feet, lifting glutes, lifting head)
Maxing Out to often
Attempting to test your one rep max every few weeks, places the body under tremendous stress. Most top competitive powerlifters will only max out in competition 3 -4 times per year. Trust your program (you are following a well written powerlifting program ?), a good program customised for you, will get you the bigger 1 rep max your looking for in your Bench Press without putting yourself at increased risk of injury.