T Nation

Bench Help

Hey fellas, I’ve noticed when I bench press I struggle at the halfway point. The top half is always easy compared to the midpoint. I don’t know much about advanced techniques and such, so if anyone has some suggestions I’d much appreciate it.

At the top half your triceps do most of the work. At the bottom, your pecs (chest).

Obviously your triceps are a lot stronger than your pecs.

Try going down slowly and staying in the bottom half of the movement. Instead of going all the way up, do half reps. This’ll directly hit your pecs.

This will help bring your chest up to speed.

Of course, push ups, flyes, cable crosses will all hit your chest and help make it stronger.


The Bench can be a complex subject. It depends on what your main goal is in the bench.

I would definitely work the hell out of your upperback as well as reardelts. Both muscle groupings can blast your bench as well as help during the transition phase…chest–>midpoint–>lockout. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed and locked in. Keep the bar from moving or shaking around. Squeeze your glutes and rip the bar apart. These tips will all help you get through the mid-stick.

You can also do some rack lockouts from the midpoint. I would not suggest doing too much emphasis on the “lower half.” Going from chest to midpoint can really stress your shoulder girdle and all the intrinsic muscles in there.

Develop a big back, strong tri, have great technique, and your bench will zoom.

Hit sets of 5 strong yesterday,

There are a ton of things that you can do to improve your bench…
First make sure that your technique is good. Have someone watch you and point out any weak spots.
Second (and was mentioned below) work out other chest exercises religiously. A lot of people only bench press and do not do flys or hit the dumbells for pressing.
Third REST Do not do heavy bench presses more that twice a week.
Fourth Try this old school technique of adding chains to the outside of the bars. The bigger the links the better.
As you raise the bar you also raise the links adding additional weight throughout the entire lift.
Good Luck