Increase Your Bench Press

How to push your best bench press yet!


  • A1 45-Degree Incline Bench Press with Chains | 7,7,5,5,3,3 REST: 120 seconds
  • A2 Sternum Chinup SETS: 6 REPS: 5–7 REST: 120 seconds
  • B Seated Rope Rowing to Neck SETS: 4 REPS: 6–8 REST: 90 seconds
  • C1 Low-pulley One-arm External Rotation SETS: 3 REPS: 8–10 REST: 75 seconds
  • C2 DB Powell Raise SETS: 3 REPS: 8–10 REST: 75 seconds

I really like chains for developing explosiveness. By overloading the end portion of the lift, the chains encourage you to move the bar quickly at the start. If you look at the technique of the top bench pressers, you’ll see that they tend to be extremely explosive at the start, which helps them drive the bar through the sticking point.

Whereas in Phase 1 you perform the subscapularis pullup, in Phase 2 you take it up a notch by progressing to the sternum chinup, a great exercise for not just the
lats but also the scapulae retractors.

Popularized by Vince Gironda, this chinup variation requires you to hold your torso
 in a reclined posture throughout the entire movement. One key technique point is
 that as you pull yourself to the bar, extend your head back as far away from the bar as possible and arch your spine; toward the end of the movement your hips and legs will be held at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. Keep pulling until your collarbone passes the bar so your lower sternum makes contact with the bar and your head is parallel to the floor. You can use either a supinated or a pronated grip.


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  • A1 Flat Bench Press with Bands* SETS: 6 REPS: 2–4 REST: 120 seconds
  • A2 Parallel-grip Chinup SETS: 6 REPS: 2–4 REST: 120 seconds
  • B1 V-Bar Dip SETS: 6 REPS: 2-4 REST: 120 seconds
  • B2 One-arm DB Row SETS: 6 REPS: 2–4 REST: 120 seconds

*Use bands only on the 1st, 3rd, and 5th workouts.

Band work provides the most intense form of training on the neural system and really forces you to concentrate on accelerating the bar off your chest. Because of its intensity, I don’t recommend using bands for two workouts in a row, as it can easily cause tendinitis.

Again, it’s essential to follow the sequence provided for this program to 
work, as the workouts build upon each other. Do it right and you’ll see both your bench press and your muscles grow bigger.


For a lateral raise machine to match the strength curve of the deltoids in this exercise, the machines must be designed so the resistance decreases as the joint is flexed. However, pulley designs vary among machines, so despite the manufacturer’s best efforts, the fact that human anatomy varies from person to person means that some lateral raise machines will feel more comfortable to some people than to others. Thus, the more types of lateral raise machines a gym has, the better.





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