Q: I’m having trouble increasing my Bench. How can I quickly add more weight?
A: We’ve all been there. You consistently try to increase your Bench Press and fail to make meaningful gains, while your teammates keep piling on more plates. Fortunately, there are a few aspects of this exercise you can change to quickly build a bigger Bench.
The easiest way to add weight to the bar is to perfect your technique. Keep your elbows at the 4 o’clock and 8-o’clock position (assuming your head is at 12 o’clock), and pull your shoulders back to engage your lats. (Yes, the Bench Press also works your back.) When pressing the bar, drive your heels into the ground to get an extra strength boost from your lower body.
If these tweaks don’t help, it may be time to reassess your program. Do you perform the same number of reps with the same weight every workout? If so, you are failing to challenge your muscles. Try lowering the amount of weight and do three or four sets of 10 to 12 reps. You will be lifting a lighter weight, but believe me, you will be sore from the new variation. After three or four weeks, increase the weight and do fewer reps to finally add weight to your Bench Press. (Learn more about varying your workouts.)