Increase Your Bench Press With Explosive Strength Techniques

January 29, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

I talk about increasing strength quite a lot on this site, as I think that should be your primary goal over trying to increase muscle mass. Besides, how are you going lift heavier weight without increasing your strength? Catch 22 right…

The main way to do this is by performing bodyweight exercises (sometimes with resistance). Over time you will build superior strength compared to most of your peers as long as you stick to your routines.

But one other way to do this is by using explosive strength training.

Scenario

  • You get into the bench press position.
  • Max out 2 sets of 3 perfectly.
  • 3rd set you reach a sticky point! You can’t seem to push the bar up (Which is now just a few inches above your chest).
  • You call on your spotter, he gives you a ‘slight’ assist and you carry on pushing just fine.

Sound familiar?

I already know it sounds familiar, because none of us were born Superman.

And I know you have all faced that at some point. This is the sticky point that usually requires the help of a spotter. But by using the explosive strength techniques that I’m about to show you, you can soon say ‘bye, bye’ to the spotter and blast through those sticky points and start setting some new personal strength goals.

Clap your hand push-ups

The routine

  • 8 sets of 3 reps using 50% of your 1 rep max (1 minute rest in-between each set)
  • 20 minutes – Once a week – For 3-4 months
  • Do not do any resistance training on this day (A good idea would be to perform them on your ‘off’ days from the gym)

Performing the routine this way allows you to develop force and speed, not so much strength. However, clapping your hands in-between each rep will ensure that you are using maximum speed and explosiveness. In fact, for those of you who will be just started out with this technique, you won’t necessarily need to do the ‘hand clap’ thing. The main thing is that you perform the exercise so explosively that your hands lift up from the floor.

Perform these on an exercise mat. That will help absorb the shock when coming back down to the floor.

The warm up

Ironically you will have to do push ups (The common warm up exercise) before performing the handclap push up routine.

  • Arm circles
  • Slow tempo push-ups

This will warm up your chest, shoulders and triceps. Then it’s time to start clapping!

Push up tip: Keep your elbows tucked in by your sides at a 45-degree angle from your torso at all times. This will put more stress on your triceps.

The reason why I’m giving you these tips is so that you maximize those strength gains, and possibly overcome some plateaus. Besides, bench press never was my strongest exercise and this technique helped me increase my bench press by 30kg within 4 months. But another reason is to satisfy the answer to that question you will inevitably get asked.

How much can you bench press?

It’s the ego, macho thing that all of us guys have. And I think it’s safe to say that we both know that answering the question with a ‘large weight’ and being able to show and prove that we can push the weight, will give us the big high 5 from our acquaintances.

Then the word will spread… time to go viral with the stats.

Explosive is the keyword here, and as long as you are just that, you will soon find your self to be unbreakable like our good old friend Bruce in the film with the same name.

See you in the comments.

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