In order to build muscle and develop the best chest possible, the bench press absolutely must be included in your upper body workout program.
The bench press is basically the ‘king’ of upper body lifts as it’s going to work the chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps all in one movement. You’d really be reducing your results if you do not include it, or if you are not doing it correctly.
Remember the correct form of performing an exercise can virtually make or break the results you get because if you aren’t executing it correctly, you aren’t hitting the individual muscle fibers the way you should.
Here is a list of 7 bad habits that may affect the growth of your bodybuilding and tips to fix them.
1. Continue the process of creation and evaluation
It is impossible to drive in the first gear and simultaneously reverse it also. Similarly, you must not try to follow a program and tweak it as you go along. You run the risk of trying too hard and getting overly frustrated.
How many times have you followed a program than to look at your notes and realized you didn’t really follow it. You used it a guide, but you made it up as you went along?
Creating a Program:
– incorporate new ideas
– bring about changes, not in the current program
– take fundamental ideas and add to them in unique ways
– Evaluating a program:
– Analyzing the same and judging
– Picking the ideas apart and then sorting them into good, bad, useful and not so important
Almost any program will work for anybody, most of the time. But not all programs will work optimally for a given person in a certain situation. This is where evaluation comes into play.
Every fitness expert is going to tell you the secret to success. And they’ll tell you everybody else except a few of their “friends” is leading you astray. It’s common in any field full of experts. It’s what we do.
If you have questions, ask them! If they cannot provide answers, ask them who can or jump on this wonderful Internet and do a little old school, 6th-grade homework type research. But rarely should you take somebody’s word for it, especially if you aren’t sure.
2. Fear of Failure
“A failure is an event, never a person.” – William D. Brown
Failure is a necessary step to success. The worst part is, if you actively try and avoid any type of failure in your nutrition, lifestyle or training, you’ll also avoid success.
Want to increase your chances of success? Make more mistakes! Forget about how you look at the gym or if you are too skinny to workout. Maybe you aren’t a master of the Squat technique. Your diet isn’t perfect… yet. By making the mistakes, correcting them over time, you will increase your chances of success and keep up the motivation factor.
Some of the greatest workouts you will experience compensates for the multiple mistakes you are likely to make.
3. Insufficient confidence
Understand that some concepts seem a bit crazy initially, that you may fail in the attempts the first time, but that failure is a part of the learning and ultimately what you thought impossible will be easy. When you grasp those concepts, you are going to become more confident in addition to being creative in your pursuit of your goals.
Other than dividing the concepts of building muscle (or burning fat) and fitness into possible and not possible, split it into what you’ve tried and what is yet to be tried. There are multiple ways to success.
Therefore, double checking the form you’re using is well worth the extra effort.
Here are seven tips to focus on when doing the exercise to ensure you are getting the most from the movement.
4. Concentrate On Breathing
If you aren’t breathing correctly, not only do you develop more intra-abdominal pressure, but you’ll also see a decrease in the sheer amount of weight you are able to lift.
Being sure to fully exhale when you press the weight upwards and then inhale while you are bringing it down to the chest will help to maximize the amount of weight you are able to press and therefore increase your ability to build muscle.
5. Watch Your Lower Back
Next, you must be sure to try and keep your lower back as flat against the bench as possible since this will help to prevent lower back pain.
If you let the back come up when you press or lower the weight, you will create an unnatural arch in the spine, putting a great deal of pressure on the vertebra.
6. Alternate Your Grip
Another way to maximize your bench press and ability to build muscle is to alternate your grip from time to time. The standard grip is really going to hit the pectoral muscles, while a close grip will focus in on the triceps muscles.
Finally, if you choose to use a reverse grip, you’ll work the biceps a little more in addition to the chest and triceps.
7. Use both the Full Range of Motion and Half Sets
While most of the time you want to move through the full range of motion, moving all the way down to the chest so the bar almost touches your collar bone, other times it is okay to use half reps to really push the last little bit of effort out of that muscle.
Half reps, utilizing either the lower half (much more difficult) or the upper half can be a good way to help build strength when you just can’t quite increase the weight for the full range of motion yet.
Bodybuilders often make the serious mistake of eating whatever they feel like in the phase where they have to bulk up. Eating in greater quantities is not the idea and will not help with muscle build up either. Excessive eating will only increase the fat ratio, whereas eating quality food will help in building the great body that you always wanted.
So, the next time you’re at the gym doing a chest session, stop and think about your bench press a little more. Far too often we go to the gym and just ‘go’, not really thinking about form all that much. This is when bad habits develop and once they are developed, they can be hard to fix. Keep yourself in check before they start and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
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