Sunday, February 12, 2012

Loading Errors: Bench Press- Instant Increase in Your Press

For some reason, everyone loves bench pressing. Personally, I hate it. My arms are a mile long and I have the wrist complex of an 8 year old girl. This makes pressing heavy weight and constant progress very hard/frustrating. I don't care though because I have to bench due to it being one of Powerlifting's three disciplines. Also, I need to keep up my street cred with the local meathead gangs that wonder the streets at night:

See what I did there?

Regardless of my giraffe like physique, I bench press anyway and so do you and everyone you know, most likely... if they don't, de-friend them immediately, get your shit together, and start hanging out with decent human beings. Besides, if someone doesn't care deeply about their bench press, they are probably a communist.

Even with every ones love affair with the bench press most lifters do everything all wrong. Just a reminder of good bench set-up coaching cues:

-Shoulder blades retracted as hard as you can for the entire duration of your set. Once you think you are as tight as you can possibly get... get tighter than that.
-Keep your ass on the bench. Nothing awesome was ever done in a position that mimics a sick cat taking a shit.
-Guide the bar with your elbows, not your hands. Tuck your elbows slightly during the eccentric, press YOURSELF AWAY FROM THE BAR until the bar is completely locked out.
-Bar path (straight up or back over your face) is a very individual variable. Do whatever causes you to move the most weight.
-When set-up, drive through your legs, hard. Focus all of the tension in your body onto the top of your traps/back of your neck. This combined with keeping your scaps retracted should make it so someone could drive a freight train into your gym, crash into you head-on, and, once the disaster management team cleans up all the dead people that were on treadmills, you will still be in a strong pressing position. In other words GET TIGHT!!!!

The rest of this post is broken up into 2 videos. Both show corrections for load errors and will INSTANTLY put pounds on your press.

Part 1:

Part 2:

There you go. Hope this helped. Now there is no reason to not go smash some big weights.

Solum Per Exitum.


  1. Great post Mike. I really appreciate you taking the time to put this stuff together. However, if benching doesn't go well on Wednesday, I hold you personally responsible.

    1. Ha! Fair enough. Thanks for reading. I like putting this stuff together if for no other reason than, hopefully, to give people something to think about. I'll have one up for squattting later today.

      Thanks again.