With the conclusion of the Call to Arms series you have been armed with knowledge to build bigger, stronger arms. Eventually, you are going to have to turn to the side that gives you two options: disappear or take the Branch Warren-route and build the biggest hood in the hood! “The Hood” is common jailhouse lingo for the chest.

Spoto Press — why the hell not just use a full range of motion?

Because the weight is levitating over your chest in open air, you have to stay tight, commanding complete control of the barbell and maximizing muscular tension. Any loss of tightness is a loss of tension and muscle tension is one of the primary driving factors in eliciting hypertrophy.

The Spoto Press maximizes muscular tension and teaches you to get tight.


Years ago, video surfaced of a former arm wrestling champion, Eric Spoto, bench pressing outlandish weights. Eventually he would go onto to set the all-time world record bench press with 722 pounds, which was just recently broken.

This phenom that just came out of the woodworks was explosive and handled the new frontier weights with relative ease. Theoretical warriors and keyboard pundits alike went ape for the fact that Spoto’s bench presses never quite touched his chest. Spoto would stop the barbell an inch or two off his chest, then pause the weight and blast it back up to lockout.

When Spoto finally took the platform, he bench pressed 700 pounds. Then at his second meet, he broke the world record with 722 pounds.

The learning curve, many anticipated, when he would finally have to go full range of motion ceased to exist.

Note Taken

While the principle of specificity is more important, it would be downright ignorant to not acknowledge and learn from Spoto’s success. Since then I have gone to use this movement with clients ranging from all-time world record holders in the bench press, elite bodybuilders, “regular” pro athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

The results have been astounding!

This movement forces getting tight, maximizing muscular tension, and builds bottom-end pressing power, which is the key to building a huge raw bench press.

The Spoto Press

Tyrus Hughes, Demonstrating the Spoto Press

Some Key Points

  • Stop the barbell one to two inches off your chest
  • Pause the weight one to two seconds in the bottom position
  • Do the movement toward the beginning of your training session
  • Use this as a supplementary lift
  • Can be used for any pressing movement

Final Thoughts

Whether you want to bench press new personal records or take pec development to the next level, the Spoto Press can play a pivotal role in your success.

Building the Biggest Hood in the Hood — Unchained Chest Mass