A Fast Way to Get Stronger in the Bench Press!

TAGS: Stefan Waltersson, bench press

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I was about to compete in the bench press and needed to increase my strength pretty quickly. So, I trained in the bench press three times a week. I knew I needed to get stronger from the start position, I needed to get stronger in my assisting stabilizations, and I needed to get used to heavier weights. So, I would try to find a way to train all three parts every week without getting burned out in my muscles.


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For the start positions, I trained with dead starts from pins at different heights and always went for 1RM on Mondays. To get used to more volume with higher weights, I trained on what I called the “gym bench,” which means I got up to 3RM and bounced the bar from my chest. I did it on Wednesday. On Friday, I used a bamboo bar to become stronger in my stabilators. And I always put a lot of effort in my assistance work. I trained my upper back and core every session, as well as my posterior delts and triceps. I will give you an example of how you can try to do a similar buildup. I increased my competition bench with more than 40 pounds in one month when I did it the first time. I can’t promise you will make the same progress, but I think you will get close!

 

Week 1

Monday: Dead-stop bench

Start from pins 10cm above your chest. Exhale and relax before you build up the tension and push the weight away. Go for 1RM, and once you reach it, you’re done.

  • Dumbbell press on flat bench, 6x6 reps
  • Row with bands, lie on the bench in the power rack, and attach the bands at the top of the rack. Pull against yourself, and pause 2sec each rep, 6x6 reps
  • Reverse flyes with bands, lying on the back in the rack, 4x12 reps
  • Tate press, 6x6 reps
  • Tricep pushdown with band, 100 reps
  • Ab wheel with wide knees, 4x10 reps

 

Wednesday: Gym bench

  • Close grip bench with a bounce for 3RM; when you reach it, you’re done.
  • Standing cable chest flyes, 4x12 reps
  • Chins 3 x max reps
  • Facepulls with cable (rope), 4x20 reps
  • Scottcurls with barbells, 6x6 reps
  • Skull crushers with Z-bar, 6x6 reps

 

Friday: Bamboo bar bench

  • Bamboo bench, 4x10 reps
  • Incline dumbbell chest flyes, 6x6 reps
  • Barbell row, 6x6 reps
  • Standing dumbbell flyes (leaned forward) for the posterior delts, 4x12 reps
  • Tricep pushdowns with band, 100 reps

 

Week 2

Monday: Dead-stop bench

Start from pins 5cm above your chest. Exhale and relax before you build up the tension and push the weight away. Go for 1RM, and once you reach it, you’re done.

  • Dumbbell press on flat bench, 4x20 reps
  • Row with bands, lie on the bench in the power rack, and attach the bands at the top of the rack. Pull against yourself, and pause 2sec each rep, 4x12 reps
  • Reverse flyes with bands, lying on back in the racket, 4x12 reps
  • Tate press, 4x20 reps
  • Tricep pushdown with band, 6x6 reps
  • Ab wheel with wide knees, 4x10 reps

 

Wednesday: Gym bench

  • Normal grip bench with a bounce for 3RM; when you reach it, you’re done
  • Standing cable chest flyes, 6x6 reps
  • Chins 3 x max reps
  • Facepulls with cable (rope), 6x6 reps
  • Scottcurls with barbells, 4x20 reps
  • Skull crushers with Z-bar, 6x6 reps

 

Friday: Bamboo bar bench

  • Bamboo bench, 6x6 reps
  • Incline dumbbell chest flyes, 4x12 reps
  • Barbell row, 6x6 reps
  • Standing dumbbell flyes (leaned forward) for the posterior delts, 6x6 reps
  • Tricep pushdowns with band, 3x30reps

 

Week 3

Monday: Dead-stop bench

Start from pins 1cm above your chest. Exhale and relax before you build up the tension and push the weight away. Go for 1RM, and once you reach it, you’re done.

  • Dumbbell press on inclined bench, 6x6 reps
  • Row with bands, lie on the bench in the power rack, and attach the bands at the top of the rack. Pull against yourself, and pause 6sec each rep, 6x6 reps
  • Reverse flyes with bands in the rack, lying on your back, and pause 3sec in the stop position, 6x6 reps
  • Dips 3 x max reps
  • Tate press, 4x12 reps
  • Ab wheel with wide knees, 4x10 reps

 

Wednesday: Gym bench

  • Wide-grip bench with a bounce for 3RM; when you reach it, you’re done
  • Seated chest flyes in machine, 6x6 reps
  • Lat pulldown, 6x6 reps
  • Facepulls with bands, 4x20 reps
  • Standing bicep curl with bamboo bar, 4x10 reps
  • Skull crushers with straight bar, 6x6 reps

 

Friday: Bamboo bar bench

  • Bamboo bench, 3x20 reps
  • Incline dumbbell chest flyes, 4x12 reps
  • Dumbbell row, 6x6 reps
  • Standing dumbbell flyes at the sides for the middle delts, 6x6 reps
  • Dumbbell rollovers (pullovers/skullcrushers), 4x12 reps

Note: This program is not meant to be used all year but can be used to speed up your progression in the bench press a couple of times a year. If you don’t have a bamboo bar in your gym, you can still hang weights from a band on a regular bar. A weightlifting bar or CrossFit bar is preferred over a powerlifting bar due to its softness, as you want it to shake during the lift.

You can read Stay Focused and Watch Your Back for more as to why your upper back is important and how you should set up your training for it.

Also, if you want explanations as to why you should do specific reps, sets, and times in between, you can read Conjugate Powerbuilding 3-Week Split, which also has a three-week program for all of the big three that you can use for your ordinary program.

I hope you enjoyed my article. Please tag me on Instagram @seminoff, and show me your progress!

 

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