Author Topic: Dave Tate's 12-step BP
Member # 147
posted October 06, 2004 10:17 PMOctober 07, 2004 10:17 AM
NOTE: I've edited out a lot of fluff and extra descriptions. Find the original article for more.
ANOTHER NOTE: See also Nugget titled "How to do a real bench press" - same concept, different wording
12 Steps to a Bigger Bench by Dave Tate
1 Train the Triceps
Training your triceps for a big bench has to involve heavy extensions and close-grip pressing movements such as close-grip flat and incline bench presses, close-grip board presses, and JM presses. Various barbell and dumbbell extensions should also be staples of your training program.
2 Keep your shoulder blades pulled together and tight.
When you pull your shoulder blades together you're creating a tighter, more stable surface from which to press. These techniques also change the distance the bar will have to travel. The key to pressing big weight is to press the shortest distance possible.
3 Keep the pressure on your upper back and traps.
Lie on the bench and line up so your eyes are four inches in front of the bar (toward your feet). Now using your legs, drive yourself into the bench to put pressure on the upper back and traps. Your eyes should now be even with the bar.
4 Push the bar in a straight line.
Try to push the bar toward your feet. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. By keeping your shoulder blades together and your chin and elbows tucked, you'll have less shoulder rotation when compared to the J-line method of pressing. Less shoulder rotation equals less strain on the shoulder joint.
5 Keep the elbows tucked and the bar directly over the wrists and elbows.
This is probably the most important aspect of great pressing technique. The elbows must remain tucked to keep the bar in a straight line as explained above. Keeping the elbows tucked will also allow lifters to use their lats to drive the bar off the chest. If the barbell is behind the elbow toward the head, then the arm position becomes similar to an extension, not a press.
6 Bring the bar low on your chest or upper abdominals.
This is the only way you can maintain the "barbell to elbow" position as described above.
7 Fill your belly with air and hold it.
For maximum attempts and sets under three reps, you must try to hold your air. Try to expand and fill the belly with as much air as possible and hold it. If you breathe out during a maximum attempt, the body structure will change slightly, thus changing the groove in which the barbell is traveling.
8 Train with compensatory acceleration.
Push the bar with maximal force. Whatever weight you're trying to push. If you can bench 500 pounds and are training with 300 pounds, you must then apply 500 pounds of force to the 300-pound barbell. This is known as compensatory acceleration and it can help you break through sticking points.If you can get the bar moving with more force then there won't be a sticking point. Instead, you'll blast right through it.
9 Squeeze the barbell and try to pull the bar apart!
The best way to get the body tight is by squeezing the bar. We've also found that if you try to pull the bar apart or "break the bar," the triceps seem to become more activated.
10 Devote one day per week to dynamic-effort training.
This method is best defined as training with sub-maximal weights (45 to 60%) at maximal velocities. The key to this method is bar speed. If you're an intermediate lifter, I suggest you start at 50% of maximal and see how fast you can make it move for three reps. If you can move 20 more pounds with the same speed then use the heavier weight. Eight sets of three reps. Use three different grips - two sets with the pinky fingers on the rings, three sets with three fingers from the smooth area of the bar and three sets with one finger from the smooth area.
11 Devote one day per week to maximal-effort training.
For the second bench day of the week (72 hours after the dynamic day) you should concentrate on the maximal-effort method. This is best defined as lifting maximal weights (90% to 100%) for one to three reps. This is one of the best methods to develop maximal strength. The key here is to strain. The downfall is you can't train above 90% for longer than three weeks without having adverse effects.
12 Train the lats on the same plane as the bench.
I'm talking about the horizontal plane here. In other words, you must perform rows, rows, and more rows.
People have never really seen true mastery, so they don't even know that they don't have it.