5 steps to improve your chest press with the Barbell Bench Press

Flat Barbell Bench Press is considered a basic exercise to develop upper body muscles for men.

All young people who come to the gym want to have a muscular chest, broad shoulders and strong arms. There are many shared tutorials on how to do chest press exercises with the right technique.

However, there are still many people who have difficulties when exercising such as chest muscles not developing, shoulder pain, neck fatigue, etc.

BAC would like to give you 5 steps to help you improve the effectiveness of this exercise. Note that these instructions are not intended for beginners with less than 1 year of training experience.

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1. Barbell Bench Press preparation pose

Lie flat on a chair with your back against the chair, feet on the ground, hands grasping the bar. Lift the bar off the rack, lower it until it's almost touching your chest, then raise the bar, inhaling as you lower it and exhaling as you raise it.

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In general, the instructions on the Internet are in the same form as above. Some exercises can be more detailed such as the distance of the hands so that when going down the barbell, the elbows form a 90 degree angle, do not let the bar touch the chest, do not straighten the arms when lifting the weight.

Are the above guidelines really optimal for developing pectoral muscles when working out with barbells? Let's take a look at the movements of some professional athletes when doing Barbell Bench Press:

So, professional bodybuilders are doing it wrong? Or are the theories we know wrong? For the time being, I only mention 1 most obvious difference here is the distance between the two hands placed on the bar. With the distance of the handle when doing exercises lying on the chest with barbells, it can be divided into 3 types:

The effect of each type on the muscles.

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Through the analysis of BAC, you must have understood why Normal Grip is chosen for beginners in the gym. However, each person's Normal Grip is not the same and in the way of determination there will also be deviations.

The most basic way you will often encounter it is to estimate by lowering the weight so that the elbows form a 90 degree angle. This is a good way for beginners to help reduce pressure on positions such as shoulders and elbows.

However, if you have been training for a long time and find that your breasts are underdeveloped. Let's start by changing the new hand position to work on the weak chest and experience the difference.

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2. Choose the wrong weight

One of the most basic principles for building muscle when working out is to train hard.

Use heavy weights to damage weak muscles and compensate with nutrients through meals to build new, bigger, stronger muscles. Especially, with compound exercises like Barbell Bench Press.

Using heavy weights will be the optimal solution for men when they want to develop upper body muscles.

However, according to a survey from BAC, in Vietnam, up to 80% of men choose inappropriate weights. This leads to spending a lot of time practicing, reducing efficiency, injury ...

One thing that needs to be clarified in the above rule is the weight of the weight. Heavy weight here refers to the weight that can only be performed from 6 to 8 times per set (according to Joe Weider's bodybuilding theory).

In addition, when performing the exercises, the practitioner is required not to cheat (no cheating). Cheating is the act of performing a movement half-heartedly, using other muscle groups for support or asking for help from others. Cheating behaviors cause muscles not to be really activated compared to the amount of weight used by the practitioner.

This leads to a situation where many gymers train very hard but their muscles are poorly developed or do not develop, in some cases causing serious injuries.

The advice for you is to choose a suitable weight, start with a weight that you can do 10-12 times. Gradually increase the weight when you can do more than 8 reps, if less than 8 then you should stop and do not cheat.

Don't be too impatient, because you will soon get stronger and the weight will increase over time. What you need to focus on is your muscles, not your or someone else's weight.

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3. Haven't done the entire course of the exercise

Full range of motion is a keyword that you can search for more information on this topic. This is also one of the tips emphasized by fitness legend Arnold, who is considered to have the most beautiful breasts in history.

Not only Barbell Bench Press, but all compound exercises you should practice the habit of practicing full range of motion to ensure effectiveness.

Rooted in impatience, the desire to accelerate with heavier weights. Motivated many young people to choose the solution of lifting weights superficially, not all the way. On the contrary, this action only accelerates closer to the risk of injury rather than building muscle.

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4. The number of sets and repetitions is too small for compound exercises.

Usually when going to the gym, young people often have the habit of being impatient. Therefore, they often choose to do a lot of exercises with a small number of reps and sets.

A very wrong thought of many longtime exercisers is to train all muscle groups in the body. This inadvertently made each training session last for hours with dozens of different exercises.

However, in practice to optimize muscle growth in terms of size, the advice is to use compound exercises with more reps and sets.

For example, when doing the chest push with the bar, you're not only working your chest, but also your shoulders and back arms. So instead of wasting time with tons of exercises, focus on compound exercises.

Specifically, if you spend 15 exercises for the day to practice chest, shoulders and arms, after each exercise only 3 sets of 6-8 exercises. A more optimal option is to do 5 to 7 compound exercises and do 5 to 7 sets of each exercise.

As for reps, you should do 12-15 reps for light weights and 6-8 reps for heavy weights. As mentioned, when doing compound exercises like Barbell Press, the shoulders and back arms are activated, you only need to do 1 or 2 exercises for the shoulder group and the back arm.

Note that with heavy sets, you should practice from 6 to 8 reps, if you practice less than 6 reps, you should stop. Because at this time, the possibility of muscle overload is very high, there can be risks, so have someone to support when doing heavy exercises.

Using compound exercises like the Barbell Bench Press with 5 to 7 sets at the beginning of the workout is an optimal choice for muscle growth.

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5. Poor muscle feel

“Weight training shoulder pain” is wrong or “weight training back arm pain” is wrong This is a correct idea but not enough. As BAC shared above, you can see that the 3 impact positions when lying down are the chest, shoulders and back arms.

That way, whether you like it or not, there's still a lot of pressure on your shoulders and arms after a chest workout. So, if you do chest exercises and hurt your shoulders or back, it's not necessarily wrong.

However, if doing chest exercises that only affect the shoulders and back arms, the chest will be very difficult to develop. This factor is often shared with the name muscle sense.

A long-time practitioner will be able to direct the impact of the exercise to the right muscle group. Meanwhile, newbies can often only simulate the movement in the first months.

This is probably the last factor, but it is the most important one. The advice for you at this point is to start by following the movements as directed by the coach.

After 6 months to 1 year, if you still cannot feel your chest muscles, consult a professional. Or you can try the above variations for the barbell bench press. Choose a prep position, change grip distance, increase reps and sets.

Hope that sharing from BAC will bring useful information to you. Note that this article is only for those who have at least 1 year of practice experience. In the process of reading the article and implementing it, please consult a professional. Don't forget to follow and share your thoughts on the latest articles.

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