How to Increase Your Bench Press (FASTEST WAY!)

JEFF: What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, Today we’re going to talk about the bench-press.
We’re going to talk, again, about how to increase the bench-press by, guess what? Not actually
doing the bench-press. Not just doing the standard, traditional bench-press. You see, a while back – actually, a year
ago – K C Mitchell, that one-legged monster, came into this gym and shared something with
me that was very interesting. Things that we’ve known about here, at ATHLEANX for quite
some time. That is that his biggest gains on the bench-press
came from, not necessarily doing bench-press, but by doing accessory movements that would
help him to perform the bench-press better. As a matter of fact, he shared that time – as
you can see in this video – that he performed these accessory movements more often in a
given training block, than he did the bench-press itself. There’s good reason why these work.
They allow us to work through our weak points to get better at the overall standard performance
of the lift. Now, we had KC come back again, and this time
I put a video out a couple of weeks ago about some main points, and some main tips that
you can apply to the bench-press. However, he brought back some additional accessory
movements. I wanted to cover those with you because I
think sharing these, and why we do these, and why KC did them as well, is going to help
you in your lifts. Let’s go through those one by one. First up is a bench-press, but
with a variation. That is the pause-bench. We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of pause-squats. In this case, the pause-bench is also providing
its own. Namely, the time that you have to overcome a non-moving object. Overcome the
force of inertia to get that object moving again. It’s going to require a lot of strength to
perform it. That’s one of the main benefits you’re going to see KC talk about here, but
in addition to that, we’re also talking about going back to that video I mentioned, the
importance of leg drive. When you have that weight sitting on your
chest, waiting to be lifted off, you’ll find that if you struggle with leg drive you’re
going to instantly see how easy it is to recruit everything in your body to get that weight
off you, if you incorporate pause-bench. Now I want to show you how KC does it, and
I want him to be able to share with you some of the finer points that he’s thinking about
as he performs it. KC: So, pausing. Everything’s the same, you
guys. Everything’s the same. You get yourself setup the same. You’re setup. One, two, three.
And then you come down. Then it’s up to you on how long you want to hold the weight. Some
guys do three second pauses, some guys do five, some guys do seven. Honestly, after
seven I feel like you’ve kind of- JEFF: Exactly. KC: You’re exhausted. Then, the one thing
I was telling Jeff earlier that I’ve realized is, when I was doing bench-pauses like this,
I realize that what happens is, my brain is like – right now, this weight is just sitting
here for a long period of time. And it’s obviously fatiguing my chest fatiguing my triceps. So, to get it to move the way I’m wanting
it to move, as you can see, leg drive is starting to move me. I’m going to engage this leg drive
really, really hard. Just like that. Do it again. Five, four, three, two, one. Like that.
Again, you can see the legs are really coming into play. Even more so than when I was just
teaching leg drive. Just because I feel like that weight is just
sitting on me and the muscles are getting tired. JEFF: Yeah. KC: So, the legs aren’t getting fatigued sitting
there. JEFF: When it comes to – we know that acceleration
of the bar is going to be a great tool for incorporating and recruiting more muscle fibers
in that, too. KC: Absolutely. JEFF: So, the thing about that is, when you’re
in that pause, you’re going to have to recruit a lot of power and force to be able to get
out of that hole. But you’re not necessarily taking advantage of a stretch reflex. KC: Right. JEFF: Right? Which is going to give us that
opportunity to do that and accelerate the bar. This is done from that dead stop. So,
because of the fact that it’s done as a reaction to that intimidation of the bar resting on
your chest- KC: Right. Absolutely. JEFF: To get it off, it almost does it automatically. KC: It’s the intimidation of that weight sitting
on you. JEFF: All right, the second exercise for your
bench-press is going to be the dumbbell floor press. Now, it should look similar to something
KC and I covered in that previous video, which you can see here, which was the barbell version
of the floor press. It does provide us with an opportunity to
work that lockout portion of the bench-press to help with a weak point if triceps are impeding
you from getting into a good, full, strong bench-press. But I’ll tell you this: it has
some additional benefits when we employ the dumbbells here. Number one: it’s a little
bit easier to perform in a gym. The setup here is going to be much easier
to grab some dumbbells and get in position, than it would be to do it in a rack, like
KC was doing. Beyond that, we have a couple of other things. We know that the adduction
benefits of the dumbbell bench-press is always going to be higher than it is with a barbell. A barbell is going to require a fixed hand
placement on a single bar, whereas a dumbbell is allowing us to approach more adduction,
more activation of the chest as we bring those dumbbells up to the top. Additionally, we
have a good safety net. Whether we’re using the barbell or a dumbbell,
the safety net provided to us of the floor to decrease the risk of any kind of AC joint
injury that we could get from a bench-press that goes too low, or uncontrolled. Finally,
we do need to know how to get these dumbbells into position. That’s something that KC went
on to show. Again, the ease of doing this. Something that
Jesse struggles with mightily, as you’ll see, and of course, he’s going to tell you how
the benefit of getting those elbows into the right position because the floor press demands
that to make sure the elbows are supporting the wrists. So, I wanted to share those two tips with
you here, so you can hear how he feels, or how he thinks about this as he performs it.
So, let’s show them how you do it. Some people don’t even know how to get in. KC: Right. So, basically- JEFF: Like Jesse. Jesse? JESSE: Hey. Come on, now. KC: I asked Jesse to get these weights for
me and he just couldn’t do it for me. JEFF: So, show us. KC: Basically, I get the dumbbells, I put
them right here by my quads, set them up, and basically just grab one. Go here, right
up high on my hip. Grab the other one, set it up high on my hip. Then all I do is get
myself ready. I get myself tight because once I go back,
I’m there. I’m in position. So, I get my lats nice and tight, I roll back with it, and I
twist and set up. It’s very simple. JEFF: Right. KC: It moves right into motion, once you setup.
Once you’re here, just press up, just like a bench-press. Then down. Right here is basically
where you want to get. If you watch, it’s right where the cut of your triceps hit. JEFF: I find that the floor press barbell
or dumbbell, it grooves the proper positioning. KC: Absolutely. JEFF: Because your elbows stay tucked more
naturally than it does any other way. KC: Absolutely. Yep. JEFF: Just to support the weights. That’s
awesome. KC: Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than
the barbell. JEFF: Yeah. KC: For sure. JEFF: So, the loads down here are comparatively
– you’re a lot lighter. KC: A lot lighter. Yeah. I can do 300 plus
on the floor press barbell here. I can maybe get up to about 120, 130 each arm. Significantly
lower. Again, it’s the whole control, and everything like that as well. JEFF: Our third, and final accessory lift
here for the bench-press is the incline static dumbbell press. This is something that KC
showed me and introduced to me, and you can see we did it here together. Synchronized,
inclined, dumbbell static presses. It’s a new sport in the Olympics. But I’ll
lose if they judge based on the amount of weight lifted, if I have to compete against
KC all the time. The fact is, here’s what it does provide. You’re going to hear him
and watch him perform it. Strength isn’t just necessarily about having
more concentric strength. Having eccentric control of a weight and increasing your ability
to control a weight eccentrically is an important part of overall strength development. Isometric strength and being able to control
a weight isometrically is another part of building the overall strength profile. This
exercise combines elements of isometric strength and concentric strength, and also demands
the performance of your concentric strength in a fatigued state. So, I want you to see how it plays out in
action here. Again, listen to KC as he describes how it feels and what his mind is thinking
as he’s going through this. KC: So I started incorporating these as the
heavy lifts that I do, and accessories that I do. I feel like I just humped out quite
a bit. JEFF: Yep. KC: It’s very hard to do. Again, the strength
is – you’ll see what I’m talking about here when I do them. JEFF: You’ve got 100s here, right? KC: We’ve got 100s. Let’s see how they go. JEFF: All right. And Jesse got these for you
again? All right, here we go. KC: What I do is, I like to go up for one,
and then what I do is, I come right here, and I hold one here while the chest is still
engaged. It’s not here, guys. It’s not here. It’s just here. Then this one, I’m moving. Then come down,
hold. JEFF: Which is crazy. Guys, do you know how
difficult this is? KC: Then I come down. JEFF: Yeah. The pecs are constantly being
challenged here. Even in that bottom position. You could have paused at the top. KC: Yes. JEFF: When you pause at the top you’re literally
– it’s not even the same- KC: The muscle’s not engaged. JEFF: Not like it is when it’s all the way
at the bottom. KC: Not like it is when I’m holding it right
there. So when I first did that, I was like – that was obviously one of the first things
I did. I was like, “Oh, I’m just going to hold it here.” JEFF: Right. KC: Then when he had me bring it down and
I was squeezing – because when you’re here, to hold this weight here you’ve got to squeeze
that. JEFF: Right. KC: That pec. JEFF: Yeah. KC: You’ve got to. So, it’s engaged. Now,
if it’s here, I don’t have – my shoulder, all this will work it out. There’s nothing- JEFF: We talk about that a lot of times. When
gravity is basically acting straight through that. KC: Absolutely. The same here. This isn’t
engaged. The chest is no longer – now, if I’m here holding the weight, you can see the
chest is actually getting engaged. So, it’s challenging. JEFF: It’s interesting that everybody wants
to pick a school and stick with one school of thought. So, if you’re a power lifter,
body building is not something you can dip into. I’ve never been that type. Especially when you’re training an athlete.
You need to have a lot of different tools. KC: Right. JEFF: It’s interesting that you’re of that
same mindset. KC: Yeah. JEFF: You can take from different areas and
things that you know are going to work. And for you, this has helped you. Even with control,
I’m sure this carries over to that pause-bench as well. KC: Absolutely. There’s a lot of control in
that right there, if you didn’t notice. That carries over. Period. Anytime you can build
some control, it’s going to carry over into the bench-press. Absolutely. JEFF: So, there you have, guys. There are
three accessory lifts here to increase your main lift. Your bench-press. Remember, the importance of accessory lifts
in that pursuit of a bigger bench can never be understated. If you want to increase the weight that you’re
lifting on your bench-press, you’re going to have to, at some point, start to address
the other lifts that help you, not just work on those weak points, but realize the true
strength you have by working through the bench-press, into its components. Breaking it down into its individual lifts
that target better portions of that lift individually, to allow you to thrive at every single point
in that lift. That is what an accessory lift will do for you. If you’re looking for programs where we never
overlook the value of those accessory lifts as they relate to the bigger picture, and
when it comes to building strength, realizing that we want to build true strength from the
ground up throughout our entire body, so when we get into those bigger lifts we’re strong,
confident, and not going to breakdown. You can find them all in our ATHLEANX programs.
If you’ve found the video helpful, make sure to leave your comments and thumbs up below.
Let us know what else you want me to cover and I’ll do my best to do that for you. If you haven’t already done so, please click
‘subscribe’, and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when we put one
out. All right, guys. See you soon.


  1. NOTIFICATION SQUAD GIVEAWAY – Alright guys, I’m giving away a complete 30 Day Workout program to 100 lucky clickers within the first hour this video is published! Remember, this is NOT THE FIRST 100, but those randomly selected WITHIN the first hour the video is published. So don't b*tch if you're not one of them 🙂 Just try next time. Click the link to see if you’ve won. Good luck!

    If you don’t win, no worries. Just be sure you have your notifications turned on so you can get to my next video quickly and try again. Good luck and thanks for being a loyal subscriber…

  2. Can someone help me? I’m failing the most in the middle of my bench and I don’t know why, maybe it’s normal, I’m getting them up but it’s hard for my one rep max in the middle, I’m gonna try doing the floor bench and floor dumbbell press this week and see if it helps

  3. Hey Jeff! Hopefully you read this. I was wondering if you could make a video about German Volume Training and what's your opinion on it. if you cant make an entire video would you please reply to this just so I can better understand if it's a beneficial excersise routine. Thank you Jeff!!

  4. Central nervous system is the key. Not mass or muscle. Explosive strength comes from the brain and the nervous system. If explosive strength was the answer, the biggest, strongest men in the world would also be the fastest sprinters.

  5. Jeff you guys don't imagine how much you're helping me. I have a 10 months AC joint in a cycling accident, and 5 years with a Slap lesson on the same shoulder (tennis). Terrible struggling with this while Working on inside rear Indycar tire changing, is not the best sensation.
    Learning allot following you guys!

  6. Back, shoulders, and triceps always gave me MORE power to press more. sometimes your triceps give out before your chest does 😑

  7. Thanks to Jeff I learned that when you bench your strength is not nearly as important as your set-up and form. The moment I realized this and implemented it, I was doing 225 Lbs for reps. Something I could never do. I had the strength all along I just did not know how to use it. Thank you Jeff, I really appreciate it!

    Help support my Youtube channel:
    Subscribe, like, share, comment or just view and enjoy!

  8. I'm in senior high school right now, and I'll be taking physical therapy in college(then be a strength coach).

    Jeff is my inspiration… I hope I can work for Jeff in the future 🙁

  9. It is really painful everytime I look at my calves compared to the rest of my body parts. Please make a video on that!

  10. I. Love your advice but please keep it simple, seriously some exercises you suggest are mental like a floor bench press, that's fine if you have your own gym but you can't go in to a gym and do this.

  11. the last example is what my boxing coach had me do to deal with fatigue – by holing the weight straight out in front for time and then changing from over hand to underhand position

  12. Once again. Science being taught. And not just in exercising, but body building. I've come to see and understand that there is a difference between weight lifting and body building. Right on Jeff. Keep teaching.

  13. Jeff, KUDOS to you! Years and years you have been doing this and every video you have is always something to learn and unlike others. The best! Thank you! John, Philippines 🙂

  14. I just incorporated this to my chest work out, I walked out with a HUGE chest pump, and a smile on my face from ear to ear, can you please advise between these to routines are best combinations, Chest & Triceps or Chest & Biceps, I hit this twice a week…

  15. Best way to increase bench press is to bench with someone stronger than you. You will always be chasing them, getting stronger with each rep and workout.

  16. If you want to get stronger at bench press, all you have to do is… do more mutha fuckin bench press!!!! Put in that work!!

  17. Yo bro I like ur vids and I was hoping u could help me. I'm starting eating well and hitting the gym. But I don't know how many calories I should eat. I'm 39 y / 95 kgs. Plz help me bro

  18. I really struggle with leg drive….I feel like if I try to do it I'll push myself off the bench and fall. But my gym partners tell me the weight of the bar wouldl stop that from happening. It's a hard mental block to get over thou.

  19. good tips as far as actual procedural actions, Casey definitely should have mentioned high doses of exogenous hormones though. thats honestly what worked best for me, gear up and lift weight

  20. Question 4 whoever. What do suggest 4 the frequency of doing these. Like throw em in somewhere once a week or every 3. Looking 4 a general consensus ..ty

  21. This is the way everyone should approach their career field. He put his pride to the side as the "Fitness Guru" and opened his ears to listen to another persons perspective. EVERYONE needs the ability to do this once in a while.

  22. “Do you take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?”

    “I do.”

    “And do you take Jeff Cavalier,, to be your lawfully wedded husband?”

  23. This is my week routine can some one comment back and tell me if it’s good?

    Monday: chest
    Tuesday: bicep and tricep abs
    Wednesday: rest
    Thursday: back and shoulders
    Friday: legs abs
    Saturday: cardio
    Sunday: off

  24. Wow love those dumbbell presses never thought about that……sick movements,have incorporate this in my routine….
    Thanks for vid

  25. If you haven't ever won a giveaway or even know someone who's won, hit like.
    Jeff's giveaways are like the Holy Grail. Mythical and yet pursued by so many.

  26. Iv been benching years its never done anything for my chest in terms of size im pretty shoulder dominant but iv been pressing bumbell about a month and the difference in size is crazy! In a month!

  27. How would I go about incorporating these into a push workout? Should I do all of them or rotate them each session? Should I include the bench press or leave it out of my workouts for a few weeks while I do these?

  28. Hi Sir Jeff! I am from India. Can you tell me what is the distance between rings on the bar which Mr. Mitchell is using to bench press? Is it 810 mm or 910 mm? I am curious about his grip width. I am a beginner lifter lifting 1.1xBW and I am not very clear bout grip width.

  29. I have a question for those bench presses with the long pause, should they only be done for singles or could you do them for a set of say, 3 or 5?

  30. I'd like to see a video on how to incease power in a softball swing and other sport specific training. I think you'd get a lot of views for that.

  31. Eddie hall mentioned in a past video when the bar is static it gives muscles a chance to ping off or in other words tear from the bone / tendon. Is this due to the massive weight he is pulling or is that a genuine risk of this static exercise? I trust jeffs expertise tho and i am quite eager to get my bench press up 🙂

  32. Hello jeff
    Myself Dr Akash( orthopaedic surgeon) from New Delhi, India. I wanted to thank you for your efforts to help people like me with your expert guidance. I have watched all your videos and I can say that I have learned so much from you and that definitely improved my workout efficiency. My weakest part has always been my chest and I have started working on that. Thanks.

  33. Set up better, bench frequently and learn programming. Plenty of ppl have gotten to 405+ bench without any other exercises. I would say rows, pullups, facepulls and some over head pressing for shoulder health has a universal carry over to everyone. My arm span is 6'6" and I benched 405 at 22. I could of done this a lot sooner with more knowledge. More you learn the more leverage you have to get to your goal. I was stuck at 240 for 4 years until I dived into programming books. More volume isnt always better and frequency is key till you hit 405+ and your CNS gets to fatigued to catch up and tendons. Try benching 2 sets every other day adding 5 pounds every workout. When you plateau chop 10% off and add another set. Don't be greedy and add dips, ohp, chest fly's, tri work, etc it will only fatigue the main movers for bench the next workout. Add that stuff when you see a glaring weakness and actually need it.

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