Barbarian Strong: The Bench Press

Greetings Barbarians! Long days and pleasant nights!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic holiday!

Upper body strength and development was never my strong suit, I always dread bench press days. I have a genetic predisposition to suck at benching, I have long slender arms and puny wrists. My personal best on the bench press is a meager 110lbs. It is what it is, it is not much but I’m very proud of reaching that number. 

Regardless, I’ve always grind myself on the bench. I’ve always been diligent and I always believe in doing things that are difficult for me or things that I suck at. A controlled amount of stress or difficulty is an essential component of growth. But before we talk more about the bench press, if you like this topic, give this post a thumbs-up. If you still haven’t subscribed, click on the follow button to join the horde. Your continued support means so much for this blog and ensures more future content. 

Benching has been a favorite for a lot of people and with good reason. It is a great exercise for developing upper body strength and chest size. Due to its popularity, countless programs use the bench press for upper body training. 

When trying to learn how to bench, it is vital to bench with a spotter or in a power rack for obvious safety reasons. Bench press could get heavy pretty quick as the load progresses. The spotter’s job is to assist in the racking and re-racking of the bar. Thus, it is important to have a spotter who knows what they are doing. 

For the bench press, it is crucial to start each session with an empty bar whether you are a seasoned lifter or a novice. It is vital to practice the movement in full range of motion before attempting it with weights.

People tend to over-complicate the bench press, especially when it comes to its safety. Safety and longevity should always be the primary concern of every lifter. Yet, someone in some gym is benching right now with no formal coaching and having great success with it. 

I am in no way saying to avoid the bench press; in fact, I recommend it. Shoulder injuries are often associated when benching in bad form. Tightness is crucial in the bench press, upper back pressed on the bench, lower back arched. Plant your feet into the floor and imagine trying to squat the weight. Maintain body tightness when the bar is moving, relaxing when the bar is at rest. 

Keep the shoulder blades tucked behind you. Try to make your shoulder blades touch together with little space together on the bench. This changes how the movement’s effect on the shoulder thus decreasing the risk of injury. 

Another thing to keep in mind is to keep your elbows tucked. This enables an optimal transfer of force from the shoulders to the arms. Doing so allows you to move heavier weights without the risk of injury. 

The bench press is a great way to strengthen your upper body, as well as having a massive chest size. It is also a great exercise to develop strong shoulders and triceps. While others may call it vanity, but benching is an excellent way to look great with or without a shirt on. 

A lot of people around the world swear by the bench press due to its effectiveness. There is a lot of great upper body exercise out there but nothing beats the simplicity of the bench press. I’m not dismissing the value of other exercises, but many indeed deem the bench press as a staple because it works. 


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6 thoughts on “Barbarian Strong: The Bench Press

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  1. Back day today. I am a power lifter, but for the longest time I could not break the 225 mark on the bench. I could reps out 10 presses with ease at that level, but 235? Not one. A year later 236 was reached one time. Within 6 months, 315 was the new norm. Muscle strength is compounded, not linear. It is based on memory and repetition. Thank you fellow barbarian in gentlemen’s clothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, it gets harder and harder as the load gets heavier. Sometimes one has to step back a bit in order to move forward. This comment made me miss going to the gym even more! Thanks Dr. maples!

      Liked by 1 person

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