Kenneth Lo

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Variation of Bench Press

Personally, I believe that "Variety is a key for muscle grow." Strength Sensei said that if you repeat doing the same things all over the time, your progression will be stagnated. That's why we need to change small things.

When we are performing bench press, we can add weight of course, and also, we can change different grips to stimulate the same muscle group. If you are always doing wide grip, you are suggested to change to mid-grip. Certainly, the weight is little lighter, but its fine. Why? If you can improve the mid-grip for reps, you must improve your bench press 1RM with wide grip. That's for sure.

What kind of variation of bench press in spite of grip width?

Bench Angles: You can change bench degree into flat, inclined and declined.

Grips: You can lift dumbbells with pronated, supinated, neutral grip (semi-supinated) and rotating grip (from neutral to pronated).

Add chains. That is for Strength training.

For example, when you are squatting or pressing, you feel lighter at the bottom and heavier (more resistance) when you're going up.

Add bands. Put the bands at the bottom of squat rack, and put bands on the end of the barbell. When you are lowering the barbell, you feel lighter at the bottom, and heavier (more resistance) at the top of the range of motion.

Tempo. You can perform 4-10sec eccentric phase to improve your strength. Depends.

One and A Quartar Rep. That is a killer.

Lower down the barbell to the chest level, then press 1/4 range of motion,

then back the chest level, and press all the way up, that is one rep.

Shock the muscle. Then the muscle will grow!

Drop-set. Drop-set is the excellent program.

For example, after 10 reps x 80kg, drop to 65kg x 8-10 reps, then drop to 50kg x 8-10 reps.

Normally, I do this program after strength training.

After 5 x 5, or 8 x 3

I would like to get the "pump" when I am doing hypertrophy training.

To make sure I burn out my muscle and use my entire energy.

Close-grip

Mid-grip (Bi-arcromial/ Shoulder width)

Wide-grip

So, how to set up your position of bench press?

1. Eyes level to the barbell

2. Slightly arching your lower back, brace your abs at the same time.

(lower back should NOT be flat).

3. Tense your glutes

4. When your lower body is solid, then put your hands on the barbell, hand-width should follow the program design

5. In-hale, use your nose to in-hale and ex-hale during the eccentric phase, Never hold your breath when you're doing 4sec eccentric phase.

If 4sec eccentric, you should in-hale x 3 and ex-hale x 2.

6. Before you press, you should hold your breath and press.

Breath out when you finish the rep.

Never breath out when you're pressing.

7. Beware! Don't lift your lower back or butt off the bench when you are pressing.

And FULL RANGE OF MOTION (ROM)!

Got it?

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