Breaking Through a Bench Press Plateau, Part 1: The Mental Side

Break through your Bench Press plateau to lift more weight with two mental strategies.

Complacency is the enemy of progress. To blast through a Bench Press plateau, it's important to consider the mental side of achieving your goal, and to take into account the obstacles and roadblocks that you face.

It can be very discouraging after months and months of hard work to see little improvement in your Bench. Use these mental strategies to help burst through your plateau.

The "Why Not?" Principle

Using positive reinforcement can allow a person to achieve what they thought was impossible. Incorporate what I like to call the "Why Not?" principle. For instance, if you can Bench Press 225, then why not 230 pounds? This technique builds confidence and propels you to challenge your body with weight that you would have previously avoided.

Blind Sets

Blind sets help you to end your fear of the weight and dismantle any mental roadblocks that were preventing you from progressing. Simply seeing multiple plates stacked on the bar can cause you to doubt your ability, and thus convince yourself that you are unable to lift the load.

In a blind set, you work with a partner who loads and unloads the bar. The trick is to close your eyes while your partner chooses the weight for you. Your partner may add weight or make a lot of noise as if adding weight. You will be amazed how your body tenses up and reacts to what you perceive as a huge amount of weight, only to find when you open your eyes that your partner has actually reduced it.

In the second part of this article, we will discuss the physical aspects of breaking through your Bench Press plateau.

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