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How To Instantly Increase Your Strength On The Bench Press

Mar 14, 2008
Want a method that guarantees you'll be able to instantly add weight to all lifts in your weight lifting routines?

Learn how to warm up correctly.

I don't mean just warming up before you begin your weight lifting routines, but warming up correctly all the way to your heavy sets.

In my opinion, most people do not warm up correctly before beginning their heavy sets in their weight lifting routines.

This could have a significant and negative impact on their ability to lift maximum weight and overload the muscles sufficiently.

If you don't achieve proper overload, there will be no new muscle fiber stimulation and no new muscle growth.

Not only will a proper warm-up lessen your chances of becoming injured, it will increase your strength the very first day you put this principle into practice.

Every single time you put your hands on those weights, it should be to either get stronger or more muscular. Not just for the act of bringing a weight up from a rack and to your chest.

Lifting weights do not have a direct impact on fat burning. It does have an indirect effect.

After all, the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you'll burn.

Weight training is anaerobic, not aerobic; so don't try to perform an aerobic workout by lifting weights. So, how does this relate to warming up correctly?


Most people spend way too much time and energy warming up in their weight lifting routines to the point when it's time to perform their heavy sets, they're too wiped out from their warm-ups.

This has defeated the purpose of weight training. Lighter weights lifted, less muscle stimulation.

This means less muscle growth as a result.

Take the bench press for example. Just the other day, I witnessed someone do the following in their bench routine.

This person started with the bar, which in most gyms is 45 pounds. They busted out a quick, easy set of 10 reps. They then put on 45-pound plates (135 pounds) and did another set of 10.

Then they went up to 155 pounds and did another 10 reps. Here's where they're starting to go wrong. They're beginning to use way too much energy on these warm-ups.

They then did another set with 175 pounds for 10 more reps, then 200 for a set of 8 reps. So far, 5 sets and this person hasn't even started their "heavy and intense" sets yet! They've wasted time, energy, and intensity all before it really even counted.

On the 6th set, they noticed they were starting to tire quickly and could only handle 210 for 5 reps. So this is where they stop the bench press portion of their workout figuring that since they are fatigued, they have worked the muscles sufficiently.

After talking briefly with this person, I realized they had been at this weight and unable to break past this plateau for months. They just assumed it's where they were meant to be, that they couldn't get any stronger.

If the only way a muscle will grow is through increased overload (weight) why expend so much needed energy on the warm-up sets in your weight lifting routines?

You need to save it for the productive sets, the last one or two of the set where the weight being used is the most you can handle for four to six repetitions.

I explained to him that in order to keep gaining muscle and strength, he would have to lower the number of warm up sets and instead, focus on improving his last few.

There you have a quick and easy way to increase the amount of weight you lift on your bench press. Lower the number of reps you do and you'll immediately be able to increase the amount of weight you lift.
About the Author
Shawn LeBrun is an online personal trainer and natural bodybuilder.
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