Simplifying the Bench Press
By Ben Tatar
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to get their bench max up is training with lots of sets and reps! Strength gains come very easy, and so do personal records, as long as you keep the reps down and weight up while attacking your weak points on the bench press. I remember when I was younger; I thought I knew everything about Big Benching. Many people including myself have discovered that doing lots of reps and sets and eating clean will help you attain size and definition which will impress some women, (they all have their own style) but you won't get strong. You will only be able to dream of what it would be like to move a big weight.
I can't speak for everyone, but I didn't really like having a barrel chest, big triceps and having a weak bench press. That's when I decided to do some research on the Internet, which convinced me to perform sets of 3 reps fast with a weight half that of my max. I thought my bench would go up like magic because I was getting some speed strength (I was wrong). How can you get strong just repping 135 or doing 135 for 8 sets of 3 reps fast? If you do that, you won't have the tendon strength or any power at all to move a big weight.
I think that many articles on the Internet confuse beginners because they talk about hundreds of different kinds of training styles and methods and equipment such as chains, bands, board presses, floor presses, power racks, force reps etc. I think they are interesting because you have a personal record in each bench press area. They are very good training techniques to use accordingly to target your weak points, but people must remember that Training Hard is what gets you strong.
It's not specifically what you do but rather how much intensity you put into it! (Form is still very important.) You can train using any program you want but if you stay in a comfort zone, you won't get strong no matter what program you are using. Benching big weights is mostly in your head. The mind is way stronger than the body. Your mind decides how hard you train and this mental factor is one of the BIGGEST determinants of how far you can go. You can't fear a weight. You need to crush it and have the mind ready to go to the next level, and than to the next, and than to the next. Each time you progress you will get to a scarier and scarier level...Some guys can rack lockout around 900 lbs, so trust me you can you can amaze yourself. You will understand it when you keep going heavier and realize that you're still progressing. It feels great to see progress.
If it's easy then why do it at all? You'll never know how far you can go until you try! So for those of you who have been training with lots of reps and sets, you will need to lower the reps, up the weight, up the food and get Attitude to reach the next level. To get strong, you need lower reps for tendon strength and you will consistently get stronger. Getting stronger is NOT simple. YOU NEED TO KEEP OVERLOADING YOUR MUSCLES, STRENGTHENING YOUR TENDONS AND ATTACKING YOUR WEAK POINTS...The bottom line is...Get that magic #10-12 reps and lots of sets out of your head. Reach within yourself and find the confidence and attitude you need to accomplish anything. Push yourself beyond the limits and work harder than everyone else. Eat mass quantities of healthy food. When you do these things consistently, the strength gains will come very easily. You will get super strong, plain and simple.