3 Bench Press Fixes to Help You Lift More Weight—instantly

Main bench press more weight now

Your workouts to this point have been highly effective. You’re looking lean and more chiseled. However, your weight hasn’t increased and your bench press hasn’t budged in weeks.

The solution: Rather than hammering away at chest workouts with more and more sets and reps; use these 3 weak-point-improving strategies to start seeing results today.

Issue #1: Your lats are weak

Truth is, even while benching, your back is engaged the whole time and your lats even help you move the weight. So without strong lats, your bench is doomed when it reaches a certain point, and may even go down due to other imbalances that arise from not working your back properly.

How to fix it:

Superset your bench press with bentover rows to give your back the strength it needs to keep assisting you with the bench press.

Issue #2: You get stuck

Have a buddy watch you or spot your bench press for a heavy set of 3 to 5 reps. Then have him tell you where he wanted to help you, as in where he felt you couldn’t complete the rep. There are three common places: getting the weight off your chest, pushing through the middle of the range of motion (after your elbows reach a 90 degree bend), and the lockout at the top of the motion.

How to fix it:

For the first sticking point, work on your form. Make sure your shoulder blades are pulled back the whole time, giving you a platform to press from. For the second one, try doing a floor press, meaning a dumbbell or barbell bench press lying on the floor. Lastly, for the lockout, work on your shoulders with the standing overhead barbell press.

Issue #3: Your shoulders hurt

The bench press puts a huge amount of pressure on the shoulder. Your desk job isn’t helping either. Add to this the fact your shoulders are probably already unstable in the front, leading to tightness in the back, and you’ve got serious problems. 

How to fix it:

Regularly stretching your pec minor muscle can alleviate all the before-mentioned conditions. To do this, set up as you would for a normal pec stretch and perform a pressing motion with the arm, keeping the arm on the wall, until there is a 30-degree angle between your neck and arm. Then lean away until you feel a stretch in the spot where your pec meets your shoulder.

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