Barbell bench

Grasping the bar as tightly as possible will activate the neighboring musculature, initiating a domino effect of neuromuscular engagement throughout the body.


BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 2: Armed for Strength

BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 3: Stop Stretching

BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 4: More Sets – Fewer Reps


A tight, crushing grip imposed on the bar will ignite the muscles of the arms, rotator cuffs, shoulders, upper back and traps, creating intramuscular tension, which will account for more total force production. On your next heavy set, imagine crushing your fingerprints into the bar.

The bench press is an equal opportunity lift. The more muscle involved the better. A tight grip does the job and makes the weight feel lighter in your hands.

Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, is the owner of and co-author (with Adam benShea) of the Amazon No. 1 seller Jailhouse Strong. He is a strength coach at Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas, and holds 12 world records in powerlifting. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website at

Next Week: Bench Press Seminar 7: Hand Spacing

Bench 9 19 C



Crush the bar – and your personal best on the bench – with this assortment of supps.

Supplement                Dose

Whey protein              20 grams 30-60 minutes pre-workout; 40-60 grams immediately post-workout

Caffeine                       200-400 mg 1-2 hours before workouts

Creatine                      3-5 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 3-5 grams with breakfast

Beta-alanine              1-1.5 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 1-1.5 grams with breakfast

Ribose                         5-10 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 5-10 grams with breakfast

Taurine                        1-3 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes

Tribulus terrestris    250-750 mg with breakfast and one hour before workouts; do not take it on rest days

Fish oil                         4-6 grams in 2-3 divided doses with meals