I have no idea how much I can bench.
Most people are surprised when I say that, but to me, the Bench Press simply is not that important. I care more about my Deadlift and Squat.
You can build the big chest you want without having to stray away from simple push-up variations.
RELATED: 15 Advanced Push–Up Variations
Brad Schoenfeld, the Hypertrophy Specialist, points out three key components for muscle growth:
- Muscle damage (volume).
- Metabolic stress (intensity).
- Mechanical tension (time under tension).
Without all three components, you won’t reach your full potential. Training volume is pretty straightforward: more sets, more reps, more muscle. Metabolic stress, brought about by high intensity work, is also quite simple, especially given the fitness industry’s recent love affair with high intensity interval training. Need workouts that’ll cause extra metabolic stress? I’ve got you covered.
But Schoenfeld’s third component, tension, is another story.
Many lifters struggle with time under tension because they’re too busy pounding out “explosive reps.” This is not inherently bad, but if you don’t take time to slow down and focus on mechanical tension, you’ll miss out on gains—no matter how many protein shakes you down.
RELATED: 6 Wild Push–Up Variations You Probably Shouldn’t Try
Slow down. Get big.
Even the most basic movements can be taken to another level by adding more time under tension. Each of the push-up variations shown in the video above focuses on time under tension.
- Slow Eccentric Push-Ups
- Archer Push-Ups
- Typewriter Push-Ups
Work all three into your workout program to build a bigger chest. Check out the video player above for a demonstration of each variation.
RELATED: Time Under Tension: The Secret to Building More Muscle