Workout Routines

The workout program to bench press 10% more weight

Add weight to your bench press in just six weeks by fighting the urge to "pile it on."

by
The workout program to bench press 10% more weight
Duration 20-45
Exercises 1-7
Equipment Yes

The secret to getting stronger isn't just about lifting as heavy as possible.

That sounds strange, we know. But repeatedly loading up the bar and straining your muscles only leads to injuries and burnout.

If you stick to this program, you'll be able to bench so much weight that the bar bends—but you’ll have to check your ego at the door for it to work. Do that, and you could increase your bench press max by 10% and up to 20lbs total.

How it works

You’re going to fight the urge to load up the bar and hold back a little bit on all of your bench press sets. You’ll still use challenging weights, but doing fewer reps than you’re capable of will keep you healthy and progress you gradually.

In Week 6, you’ll test your max—yes, you can go all-out then—and you’ll see where all of that extra energy you saved went. Note that some exercises are taken to failure. These are the ones we’re not as concerned about lifting heavy with—you'll use them to stimulate the muscles that support big benching, so only push hard where noted.

Directions

This program has you working on your bench press twice per week (Day 1 and Day 2)—except on Weeks 5 and 6, when you'll get the second day off. Perform your own lower-body training on the days in between.

Make the Bar Bend: Week 1 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
5 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
2 sets
2 reps
-- rest
Pause the bar at your chest for one second each rep.

Exercise 3.

Dummbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Flye thumbnail
3 sets
As many as possible reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

Inverted Row You'll need: Power Rack How to
Inverted row thumbnail
4 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 1 Day 2

Exercise 1.

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Dumbbell Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Overhead Press  thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B.

Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Shrug thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

Face Pull You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Face Pull  thumbnail
3 sets
20 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5A.

Tate Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Tate Press  thumbnail
5 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 5B.

Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
5 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 2 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
5 sets
4 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
2 sets
1 reps
-- rest
Pause the bar at your chest for two seconds each rep.

Exercise 3.

Chest Cable Flye You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Chest Cable Flye thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
4 sets
15 (each side) reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 2 Day 2

Exercise 1.

Neutral-Grip Incline Press You'll need: Bench How to
Neutral-Grip Incline Press thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest
Use a close grip.

Exercise 2A.

Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B.

Dumbbell Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Overhead Press  thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3.

Lat Pulldown You'll need: Cable Machine How to
Lat Pulldown thumbnail
4 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4A.

Tate Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Tate Press  thumbnail
6 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B.

Dumbbell Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Curl thumbnail
6 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 3 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
6 sets
4 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
2 sets
3 reps
-- rest
Pause the bar at your chest for one second each rep.

Exercise 3.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
3 sets
As many as possible, minus 1 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

Inverted Row You'll need: Power Rack How to
Inverted row thumbnail
5 sets
At least 15 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 3 Day 2

Exercise 1.

Floor Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Floor Press thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

1 1/4 Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
1 1/4 Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3A.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3B.

Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Shrug thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest
Use a barbell.

Exercise 4A.

Triceps Pushdown You'll need: Elastic Band How to
Triceps Pushdown thumbnail
5 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B.

Lying cable curl You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine How to
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 4 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
4 sets
3 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
1 sets
3 reps
-- rest
Pause the bar at your chest for one second each rep.

Exercise 3.

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
2 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
12-15 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 4 Day 2

Exercise 1.

Floor Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Floor Press thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
-- rest
Hold each rep for one second.

Exercise 2A.

Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Lateral Raise thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2B.

Dumbbell Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Overhead Press  thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
4 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4A.

Triceps Pushdown You'll need: Elastic Band How to
Triceps Pushdown thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4B.

Lying cable curl You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 5 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
2 reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
1 sets
1 reps
-- rest
Hold each rep for one second.

Exercise 3.

One-Arm Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One-Arm Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
12 reps
-- rest

Make the Bar Bend: Week 5 Day 2 - OFF

Make the Bar Bend: Week 6 Day 1

Exercise 1.

Bench Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
1 reps
-- rest
Take a few warm-up sets to prepare your body and then attempt a new one-rep max.

Make the Bar Bend: Week 6 Day 2 - OFF

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