Making progress on bench press can sometimes be frustrating. When we reach a training plateau in the bench press it really requires attention to details to break through and find that next PR on the bench press. Here are some steps you can take to work your way to a stronger bench-press.
Find your weak points: Find the things you are struggling with (would that be shoulder stability, bracing or lack of leg drive) to help you identity the areas you need to be working on in your bench-press.
Actually work on it: Put some effort and be conscious about your technique. Are your shoulders in a good position? Are you using your legs when you bench-press? Are you bracing correctly for the bench-press? You need to be aware of all those things that help you to maintain good position under the load.
Start taking videos of your lifts and start to look out for these issues and start addressing them from the very next set. Be honest with yourself, we all love big numbers when we bench-press but if the execution of the lift is just not right, your progress will slow down to a dead stop.
Add bench-press variations that will help to work on your weaknesses: Choose the exercise that will compliment your lifts, and most importantly, help you to really focus on the things you should be improving.
For instance, if you keep failing off the chest, then add a paused bench-press variation. If lock out is an issue, try adding bands. If you are struggling with shoulder stability you might add pin press or pause on your chest. If bracing or lack of leg drive is causing you to fail your lift then tempo bench-press would be a good idea.
If you are not sure how to address this to your current powerlifting or strength training program, then take a look at our training app and follow our technique development program, bench-press program or strength development program. These programs are designed and tested with 100s of athletes who have found great success.
Accessory exercises are not fun but we must do them: Add RDLs for better bracing. Doing pull downs or any row variations will help you to improve shoulder stability and get you a stronger bench press.