Benching twice your body-weight has always been considered a sign of great strength. It’s a goal that showcases individual might and it’s no easy task to accomplish. In many man circles, it’s the gold standard for containing maximum strength for body size. Rather you’re 150 pounds trying to bench press 300 pounds or 250 pounds trying to bench press 500 pounds, it’s an impressive feat.
What’s the secret?
Natural strength is increased by increasing calories. If you’re goal is fat loss and you’re eating at a deficit, you can forget benching twice your weight. If you’re eating plenty, you’re off to a good start.. but it’s just the start. It’s time to put some serious work in.
Experience in the gym plays a significant role. If you’re new to lifting, understand that proper form can take many months to develop and perfect form might take even longer. You’ll have to have perfect form to achieve the goal of body-weight X2.
The legs are often underrated in the contribution they provide to the bench press. Watch any power-lifter muster out his one-rep max and you’ll notice that he puts a lot of leg into the lift. A proper max effort requires a synergistic effort by all the muscles of you body working together.
Practice with low-reps. You aren’t going to hit lofty bench press goals by continuing on with 10 to 12 reps in all your sets. Your workouts must be tailored to go as low rep as possible, testing your max lift with each chest workout. Be sure to use a spot. After warming up, do whatever weight will allow you to push out 6 reps max. For your second heavy set, shoot for 3-4 reps at 90% of your max effort and finish the third set with a 100% effort to lift your max one time.
Alternate barbell and dumbbell work on different chest days. Work in some incline bench, decline bench and flys. You need to hit your chest muscles from every angle when training for maximum strength.
Leave those machines alone. Machines are great if you’re trying to improve fitness. If you’re focused on strength, only hard, raw iron will do.
Work your chest at least twice a week and consider three times. You should never work the pecs less than twice a week if you’re working towards strength. Three times is for advanced athletes who feel no soreness two days after lifting their max.
Do negatives. Use a spot for this. Load 10-20 pounds more than you can lift for one max rep and have the occasional day where your spot helps you take the weight to the top and for one time only, let the weight fall as slowly as possible. Make sure your spot is strong else grab two guys.
Keep in mind that most guys who can lift twice their weight in the bench press have been training for several years. It’s no easy task for sure but if you can achieve it, you’ve likely got bragging rights for life over all your friends.