It’s one of the first things you do when you bench press you lie down and then grip the bar but when was the last time you paid any real attention to how close or wide your grip was? Let’s look at the grips of two of the best bench pressers of all time James Henderson (322.5 kg / 710 lbs comp best) and Eric Spotto (327.5 kg / 722 lb comp best).
You can see when they hold the bar at their chest their wrist is almost directly over the top of their elbows with their forearms at “12 oclock”. To get your grip width simply set up like you do normally for bench press then accomplish these three things.
1 – Be able to start directly over the part of your chest where you touch.
2 – Bring the bar down in a straight line
3 – Have your forearms at 12 o’clock in the bottom position.
When you can accomplish these three things you have the correct grip width for that set up.
2 – Not getting any leg drive
This one’s pretty straight forward most people think of the bench press as an upperbody only affair when they have their feet on the floor…
Having your legs driven into the floor should help to make you feel both more secure/locked into position whilst also giving you a much stronger drive off the chest.
To get a better leg drive try the following –
1 – When Setting up your arch try get your feet as close to your head as possible (you should feel tension through your back at all times).
2 – When you come off your chest squeeze your glutes and push your heels through the floor!
3 – Instead of thinking of pressing the bar think of pushing yourself into the bench/floor using the bar.
3 – Not Paying attention to their breathing or Rep Speed
This has to be one of the easiest ways to add reps onto your bench without having to get stronger. People either a) pay zero attention to their breathing or rep speed and just muddle on b) Pay far too much attention to their breathing taking breaths every rep and locking/pausing each rep at the start expending far too much effort.
To make the most out of your efforts on a touch and go bench press rep set try and do the following.
1 – Take in as big a breath as you can and hold it!
2 – Knock out as many reps as you can as fast as you can holding the same line.
3 – Soft touch and go lock out don’t hold it there.
4 – When you get a slow rep or need to take a breath hold the bar at the top and settle yourself.
5 – When your ready to go again try and get 1-3 reps fast.
6 – By the time you have to repeat this 2-3 times the set is probably over.
Here is an example of what I mean.