Next onto drop sets, but once again we defy convention: we won’t be lowering the weight. Typically, drop sets call for you to rep to failure, then lower the weight by 20-30 percent and continue repping to failure. For this advanced technique on the close-grip bench press, you’ll need four, two-inch thick pieces of wood or compressed Styrofoam.
Load a barbell with about 60 percent of your bench press one-rep max (1RM). Grip the barbell with an overhand grip, hands shoulder-width or less apart, and start the exercise with the weight fully extended above your chest and your elbows in a locked position. Slowly lower the bar until it touches the top of your chest, then quickly press the weight back up. Repeat for five clean repetitions but don’t rack the weight – keep holding it pressed above you at full extension.
Ask your spotter to place one board lengthwise on your torso (so that the board runs from your belly to the middle of your chest). Repeat the exercise for another five reps, lowering the barbell until it touches the board. After each five reps, your partner will add one board to the stack. Little by little, this shortens your range of motion — working more muscle fibers through a progressively easier range of motion – until you finish with four boards stacked lengthwise on your chest.