Bench Press Exercise for Bigger, Sexier and Muscular Chest Muscles

Want a muscular, chiseled and sexy chest you will be proud of? Then master the Bench Press Exercise. Use the king of all upper body exercises to build bigger chest, should and triceps muscles in one single move.

How much do ya bench? A dollar for every time I am asked this question!

Bench press is undoubtedly the numero uno exercise for gym goers. But did you know that bench press is the best exercise to build bigger chest, front deltoids and triceps muscles in one single move?

Yes, bench press is a compound move that works the shoulder girdle and elbow joints giving you that gladiator look with broad shoulders and chiseled chest. Triceps get their fare share of stimulation too.

So get ready to build bigger chest and arms and look great in those half sleeve t-shirts or naked on the beach!

Lets build a chest you can stand a glass on, shall we?

Inside this article

Importance of Bench Press for the Bodybuilder

3 Benefits of Bench Press

Pressing, be it overhead or bench, is the fundamental move we do every day. Be in life or sports, be it pushing things or people, pressing is a functional move.

But for a bodybuilder, the reasons are different. We need to build a perfect symmetrical chest that looks great both naked and clothed.

Although there are exercises that can isolate, pre-exhaust and stimulate chest muscles more than bench press, none can bring the muscle building effects of bench press.

Bench press is a multi-joint move that when trained with perfect form:

  1. releases natural bodybuilding hormones like growth hormone and testosterone
  2. stimulates chest and front shoulders for bigger upper body look and
  3. targets the triceps and help build bigger arms

But there is a caveat! You need to train bench press with perfect form, using correct weights and rotating it with other chest exercises for best injury-free results. Therefore I insist you study the finer details on technique and performance.

Bottomline: Building a strong, muscular chest will give you the full, muscular, broad look every muscle builder craves for. Don’t get cute with isolation moves, bench press is the gold standard for building chest muscles. Period!

But before learning the technique, here are 3 obstacles for optimal bench pressing...lets address them first.

3 problems when performing Bench Press

There are 3 areas to look into before you bench.

  1. Shoulder health: Using a shoulder width apart grip and lowering to your chest repeatedly puts stress on your shoulder joints.
  2. Long arms for tall people means the bar has to travel a long distance thereby reducing loads you can lift
  3. Long legs and poor flexibility of lower limbs mean potential of lower back strain

Wow, bench press looks a challenge! Machine presses and isolation moves looks like a better alternative.

DONT! They are worse for building chest muscles.

And don’t worry, in the technique section you will discover how to overcome them and get best results from benching.

Bench Press Technique

There are many ways to perform a bench press. You can do Incline bench press, decline bench press, bench press with dumbbells and kettle bells too.

But remember your best bet is to concentrate on flat bench press and train them with maximum weights in the safest biomechanical way possible.

Incline bench press are a great variation you can do overtime you change workouts.

And please don’t be concerned with blasting your pecs from 5 different angles. Leave those to muscle mag nerds who fall for such claims.

Bench Press Grip

Your long arms are the first challenge to overcome. I have trained with variety of grips, and after learning biomechanics and seeing patents with shoulder impingements {I am a doctor remember?}, here's is what i have found.

A medium, shoulder-width grip to be the safest and most efficient way to train.

Narrower grip gets you more triceps involvement and a wide grip takes shoulder involvement out of the exercise.

So a medium grip is the best of both the worlds as it keep pectoral muscles targeted without undue stress on the shoulder ligaments.

The 4-Point Contact Test

Want to develop maximum tension in your body to blast off your pecs? Then use the 4 point contact position.

Here you place your feet flat on the ground, make sure your three other areas are in contact with the bench throughout the exercise:

  • Glutes
  • Upper back and
  • head

Keep your back slightly arches, shoulder blades pinched together and puff out your chest. Bring your feet closer to your body.

This ensures a perfect position to execute the bench press drill.

My 3 Steps to Awesome Bench Press

Once into position, use my 3 step method to bench.

Step One: Lower by actively pulling the bar to lower chest

Step Two: Get a full squeeze at the bottom 

Step Three: Press the bar by using your pecs

Step One: Lower by actively pulling the bar to lower chest

1. Grab the bar tightly using a narrow shoulder width grip, keep your elbows closer and unrack it from the bench press rack.

2. Take a deep breathe in, hold your breathe and lower the bar by actively pulling it towards you. Use your antagonistic back muscles to pull the bar but don’t let your back go off the bench.

Inhaling with the bar on your chest is a waste exercise as it reduces your power.

Get the bar up to 4 inches closer to your lower chest area. Do not go deeper than this or else you risk the shoulder impingement we talked about earlier.

Also this reduces your range of motion, still targets your pecs and allows heavier loads and more reps.

Step Two: The Squeeze and chest expansion

In the bottom position get a gentle squeeze of your back muscles and expand your chest/ribcage. 

How to get the perfect lowering length? Use a board. Board press is a great way to avoid going too deep on the bench press. 

Keep your elbows closer to your body for better pec stimulation and never relax your chest or arm muscles as it will take the tension away from your working muscles and less tension means less muscle growth.

My visualisation tip: As you lower the bar, Visualise as if you are puffing your chest out to meet the bar. This technique helped me a lot to target my pecs more in every rep.

Sidebar: If you have great shoulder flexibility and not overly long arms then you can touch the bar to your lower chest area.

Step Three: The Press off

Now press out as if you are trying to get the bar off your chest and trying to bring your arms together. This will target your pec muscles and make them work at their hardest.

Act as if you pushing the weight towards your feet. This reduces stress on the shoulder joint at pints where impingement can occur. Try it, its safer.

Your perfect rep is complete. Remember the tempo 4120, 4 seconds to actively lower, one second squeeze and 2 seconds to press off.

Can't feel your Pecs during bench press? We will fix it!

Pecs are easier to feel but you need to press correctly for that to happen or else it becomes an arm exercise!

Its easier to let your arms do all the work and make bench press a triceps exercise {which close grip bench press is!}

To feel your pecs:

  • Squeezing your pecs for 1 second at the bottom position gets your pecs firing
  • Don’t not let momentum take over and drop the bar, actively lower it in a controlled fashion

Bench Press Variations

As mentioned you can do incline and decline press in addition to flat bench press. You can also use dumbbells which are great for longer range of motion. You can even Press without a Bench.

I suggest you alternate workouts {every 4-6 weeks} with flat and incline press only. Decline press is unnecessary as the flat bench press stimulates the lower chest fibers well.

Also there is evidence that decline press leads to chest muscle sagging making chest resemble pecs.

5 Cool tricks to improve your Bench Press

Want to get the most out of benching? Then here are 5 techniques to make pressing even more effecient.

  1. Use the total body tension technique. Practice it and it will reward you.
  2. Balance your chest and back workouts as they are opposing muscle groups and need equal attention to avoid any muscle imbalance and strength deficits.
  3. Do bench press first in any chest workout unless you use the advanced pre-exhaust technique which is necessary for beginner and intermediate bodybuilders
  4. Add parallel bar dips, push ups and dumbbell flys to your chest workouts for adding volume
  5. Gripping exercises will make your wrists and fingers stronger and this leads to higher bench press loading.

How to Build the Perfect Chest

I worry the constant focus and attention chest muscles receive in gyms. Overworking the chest and under-working the shoulders is the norm.

You want a sexy, muscular, gladiator look? Then create a balance. A proportionate chest in line with the rest of the body with round sleek shoulders and muscular, cut up arms is the hallmark of the perfect men's body.

1. Adonis golden Ratio: Many muscle builders want the perfect greek adonis body with broad shoulders and chiseled chest. So don’t overtrain your chest muscles, instead follow the perfect golden ratio for men to look sexy and muscular.

2. Blast Your bench Program: Is it possible to blast your bench by 51 pounds in few weeks while adding muscle mass and strength to your body? Try the blast your bench program, I found it very useful.

3. NNMB Muscle Building Program: Why just build your chest when you can build bigger chest, shoulders, legs and arms at the same time. The no.1 program I recommend for muscle gains is the 26 week NNMB program for complete bodybuilding transformation. 

› Bench Press

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