The Barbell Bench Press is an exercise I don’t have to explain, I’m sure! This classic powerlifting technique is going to help you get more out of it in terms of muscle mass but also strength out of the bottom.
For this one, you will need a power rack as you’re going to be pressing off the safety rails on each rep (this is also known as pin pressing).
At the bottom of each rep, you’ll be completely relaxing your chest, arms and shoulders, taking all the tension (and specifically the elastic tension) from the muscles.
This takes away any rebounding help that you get out of the bottom due to that elastic tension, forcing your muscles to do all the work.
Use a moderate weight for this style of training as starting from a dead stop is a whole different ballgame than regular training.
The first step is to get those safety rails set in the right place. Use just the empty bar for this. Set the rails about where you think they should be then get under the bar and test it. At the bottom of the rep, the bar should be just slightly above your chest (this is with your shoulders back and chest expanded, just like you would have at the bottom of a regular bench press rep). You want everything in your body position to be exactly like you would normally have it in a press.
Once you’ve got that pin position, put some weight on the bar. I’m using 225 lbs in this set (use a weight you could normally do for at least 10 to 12 reps). Go for about 4 to 6 reps or so per set. You want to focus on developing tension in the chest and shoulders then exploding out of the bottom.
Get everything set and tight then power the weight up.
Lower the bar back down to the rails, set it completely on the rails taking all the tension off the muscles (but keeping your grip on the bar) then repeat.
When you start to get into the slower, grinding reps, it’s time to end the set. We’re not trying to push to failure here or near it. We’re looking to develop explosiveness and power out of the bottom.
It’s a very simple technique and VERY effective for increasing bench press numbers. Simply sub in this style of training the next time you’ve got bench pressing on the schedule.
Nick Nilsson is known in the fitness industry as the “Mad Scientist of Muscle,” and for good reason! For more than 28 years, Nick has been creating unique, new exercises and training techniques and putting together some of the most innovative muscle-building and fat-loss programs available anywhere.