There is undeniably something very addictive about bench pressing and being able to visibly and physically track your gains and progress. Being such an all-encompassing and core functional exercise, you can quickly see results as you are using so many of the major muscle groups including anterior, posterior, and lateral!
Pretty much every which way it goes. Bench pressing is not just about increasing the size of your chest. You have to fire up your core, stabilize through your legs and heels to drive the power, and engage your shoulder, chest, back, and arms. A bench press really does deliver a full upper body workout, and so with regular practice, your reps and your weight will definitely increase as your strength and fitness levels are improved. It’s one of the frequently asked questions among the fitness and bodybuilding community, especially when they are just getting started.
So, how to increase bench press by 100 pounds? The short answer is, practice, perseverance, and consistency, but let’s review the subject in more detail and put forward some valuable insight and recommendations.
Work on building your overall strength
When anyone starts out with a new exercise program, slow and steady is generally the name of the game in order to make progress further down the line. Even if you are physically fit already, undertaking something entirely new, like weight training, requires your body to go through adaptations and transformations as your muscles and fibers respond to new ways of being stimulated.
One of the very first systems to be affected when you start bench pressing is that of the neuromuscular system which increases the number of motor units required to function throughout the exercise. The more responsive your motor neurons become, the more you will begin to build and continue to develop the strength you will require to increase your bench press target by a further 100 lbs. if that is your ultimate goal.
How long does it take to see significant gains?
Realistically, you are looking, with consistent training and by that we mean at least three sessions of body weight training per week, to increase your strength by a minimum of 25% up to a maximum of 100% (depending upon how responsive your individual body is). The time frame required in which to achieve that will be a three to six-month period.
If we were to apply that same rationale to how quickly it will be before you can increase your bench press by 100 lbs., let’s consider that a beginner might set out at a modest weight of 45 lbs. Within three months they should very happily be at a point of having increased that to over 100 lbs. just by adding on 5-lbs. increments per week.
The other important consideration is proper form and technique
It’s also true that you can increase your bench press to 100 lbs. by focusing on adopting the correct form and technique. Starting out we recommend that you get some guidance from a fitness professional so that you don’t get into any bad habits that might end up causing unnecessary injury. There is nothing that is more guaranteed to hinder your progress than an injury, and that really can be avoided by deploying the correct bench press technique.
You should select the right height for your bench to ensure that your feet can reach the floor in a fully flat position. This is important as you will be using your heels to really drive and power the upwards movement and that can assist in keeping you grounded and stabilized. When it comes to physically holding the barbell, you need to adopt a wide overhand grip, with your arms positioned slightly wider than shoulder width. Imagine your natural position if you were doing a push-up on the floor and then expand that position by about three inches.
Next, you are going to need to really focus on squeezing together those shoulder blades and engaging your lats. This will naturally cause your back to arch and your chest to rise up which is an excellent stance to adopt. Ensure that the bar is positioned directly over your chest centrally, then lower the bar down so that it reaches the bottom of your sternum and pause, ready to begin the active movement itself. Do not bounce the bar off your chest or try and deploy too rapid or jerky a movement.
Engage that core, power through those heels, retract your shoulders and raise the bar upwards. If you are using a heavier weight than usual or aren’t confident, then also ensure that you have a spotter by your side. Keep practicing this technique with a moderate weight, and you will soon be ready to add on incremental load as you work towards that goal of increasing your bench press by 100 lbs.
Get targeted and be specific and consistent with your training
If your goal is specifically to increase the amount that you can bench press, then follow a consistent and targeted program. Look to complete three to five separate sets of about five repetitions each time your bench press, followed by a couple of other complimentary chest specific exercises. Great additional activities you might combine in your chest session would be an incline bench press along with a dumbbell press.
Remember that your body can plateau if you stick to the same routine so it’s also good to switch up your program so that your body is encouraged to respond to a new stimulus which will result in building the extra strength you require to add on that extra 100 lbs.
Don’t forget to train your other ancillary muscle groups
The action of carrying out a bench press is called a compound movement which means that it does automatically require the inclusion and engagement of a range of other additional muscle groups. If your secondary muscle groups are weak, this can seriously prohibit your gains, so it’s an excellent idea to also focus on training and strengthening your triceps and your shoulders, paying particular attention to your rotator cuffs in order to avoid unwanted injury.
Follow all of these best practices and become consistent with your weight and strength training sessions and you will be bench pressing an extra 100 lbs. in next to no time.