How To Destroy Your Bench Press Sticking Point Off Your Chest!


Most powerlifters are weak at the bottom part of the bench press. They have a hard time driving the weight off their chest and often fail in the first 1-4 inches of the lift.

If you want to build a huge bench press then you have to start training your sticking points like you mean it!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Josh Bryant’s Bench Press Strategies
  • Part 2: Louie Simmons’ Bench Press Strategies
  • Part 3: Charles Poliquin’s Bench Press Strategies

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you the best strategies for destroying your bench press sticking point right off your chest.

These strategies have been used by some of the world’s best bench press coaches including Josh Bryant, Louie Simmons and Charles Poliquin.

There are three main ways to eliminate bench sticking points off your chest:

  • Option #1: Use special training methods to overload the bottom part of the movement
  • Option #2: Use special bench press exercises to overload the bottom part of the movement
  • Option #3: Use accessory exercises to isolate and strengthen weak muscle groups

The first option is to use special training methods to overload the bottom part of the bench press. For example Josh Bryant believes that speed sets are one of the easiest ways to improve your strength off the chest.

Josh has his clients perform 3-10 sets of speed bench presses with 60-80% of their 1-rep max.

Josh tells his clients to explode the weight off their chest so they can produce as much force as possible and recruit more of the fast-twitch muscle fibers.

Here is the bodybuilder Jonathon Irizarry giving a perfect demonstration of the speed bench press:

Talk about an explosive set!

Josh Bryant calls this training method “compensatory acceleration training” because you are accelerating the weight off your chest as fast as possible.

Of course there are other special training methods like isometric training or accommodating resistance that you can use to build strength off your chest. All of these methods will be covered in this article.

Another great strategy for building strength off your chest is to use special bench press exercises that force your muscles to work harder in the bottom position. A great example of this is the floor press. For example:

The floor press is a favorite exercise of the world-class powerlifting coach Louie Simmons.

He says that the floor press works because you have to pause with your upper arms touching the ground. This eliminates the stretch reflex and forces your chest, shoulders and triceps to work harder to drive the weight of your chest.

Here is Louie Simmons talking about the benefits of the floor press:

“Lower the bar until the triceps are completely on the floor and relaxed before pressing the bar up. By relaxing the arms you break up the eccentric/concentric chain. This will build explosive strength as well as the bottom part of the bench press.”

The last way to strengthen your bench press off your chest is to use special exercises that target weak muscle groups.

The strength coach Charles Poliquin was a big fan of this training method. He believed that most people could improve their bench press just by strengthening their rotator cuff muscles.

The rotator cuff is a group of 4 muscles that help stabilize the shoulder joint.

One of Charles’ favorite rotator cuff isolation exercises was the seated dumbbell external rotation. For example:

Charles believed that if your rotator cuff was too weak then you would always miss the weight off your chest. He said the fastest way to fix this weakness was to add some rotator cuff isolation exercises to your routine.

Of course there are many other accessory exercises that you can improve to strengthen your chest and shoulders to attack a weakness off your chest. Some of the best options include overhead pressing exercises and bamboo bar bench presses. 

I hope you found this introduction helpful. Now let’s take a closer look at the bench press training strategies of some of the world’s best bench press coaches.

Note: if you have trouble reading the training routines in this article then check out this guide on how to read a training program. Now let’s get down to business…

Part 1: Josh Bryant’s Bench Press Strategies

Josh Bryant is one of the world’s best bench press coaches. He was the youngest man in the world to bench press 600 pounds and he coaches many of the world’s strongest bench pressers today including Julius Maddox.

Josh believes one of the fastest ways to get stronger on the bench press is to attack your sticking points.

If you have a sticking point off your chest then you have to design your entire workout to attack this weakness. 

Josh uses three different training strategies to attack a bench press sticking point off the chest:

  • Strategy #1: Compensatory Acceleration Training
  • Strategy #2: Powerlifting Style Isometrics
  • Strategy #3: Supplementary Bench Press Exercises

All three of these strategies are helpful for building a big bench press. However, if you really want to blast through your sticking point then I recommend you go “all-in” and use all 3 strategies in your workouts. 

The first strategy Josh likes to use with his clients is called “compensatory acceleration training.” This is Josh Bryant’s version of speed sets or the dynamic effort method.

You are going to perform several speed sets with about 60-80% of your 1-rep max. For example Josh often has his clients perform 6 sets of 3 reps with 70% of your 1-rep max.

The key is to perform these sets as explosively as possible.

Here is Josh Bryant’s client James Strickland giving a perfect demonstration of the speed bench press:

As you can see James is pressing the bar as hard as he possibly can on all three reps. This is the key – you want to press so hard that the weight flies out of your hands at the top position!

Speed sets teach you to produce maximum force right off your chest in the bench press. This is helpful for accelerating the bar faster AND building up maximal strength in the bottom position.

Josh has all of his powerlifting clients perform speed bench presses leading up to their powerlifting competitions. 

Here is what the start of a Josh Bryant bench press workout might look like:

  • A1: Bench press**, 1 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press**, 6 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest

**Performed at 90% of your 1-rep max

***Performed at 70% of your 1-rep max

After the speed sets you could perform some supplementary and accessory exercises for your chest, shoulders, triceps and upper back.

Don’t underestimate the power of speed sets for blasting through sticking points! It is easily one of the best training methods you can use.

Sometimes Josh works with a client who is extremely weak off the chest. They have strong triceps and can lockout almost any weight but they can’t get the weight moving off their chest!

For more extreme sticking points Josh Bryant likes to use powerlifting style isometrics. The basic idea is to bench press an empty 45-pound barbell into a pair of safety pins for 6 seconds.

Here is James Strickland giving a perfect demonstration of bench press isometrics:

It’s hard to tell but James is pressing the bar into the safety pins as hard as he can. His goal is to press so hard that he shatters the safety pins into a million pieces!

Research shows that bench press isometrics recruit up to 7% more muscle fibers and help you produce up to 15% more force than regular sets. They also let you target your exact sticking points!

If you are weak right off the chest then you would set the safety pins 1 inch above your chest like James Strickland. Research shows that all of the strength gains occur at the exact part of the range of motion where you are weakest.

If you are strong at the top of the bench press but weak at the bottom then you can use bench press isometrics so all of your strength gains occur in the bottom part of the exercise! How cool is that?

Josh Bryant’s favorite way to use bench press isometrics is to superset them with speed sets.

Josh has his clients perform 1 set of speed bench presses, rest 2 minutes, perform 1 set of isometric bench presses, rest 2 minutes, then perform another set of speed bench presses. For example:

Josh Bryant Isometric Bench Press Routine

  • A1: Bench press**, 1 x 2, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press***, 4 x 3, 1/0/X/0, 2 minutes rest
  • B2: Isometric bench press****, 4 x 1, 1/0/X/6, 2 minutes rest

**Performed at 90% of your 1-rep max

***Performed at 70% of your 1-rep max

****Performed with an empty 45-pound barbell

Josh likes his clients to perform 4 sets of speed bench presses and 4 sets of isometric bench presses.

Supersetting these two exercises is a powerful way to improve your strength off your chest.

The isometric bench presses teach your body to produce more muscle fibers right at your sticking point. Then when you perform your speed sets you will be able to produce more force than normal right at your sticking point.

The end result is you become stronger AND more explosive right off your chest. Talk about a win-win situation!

After the speed sets Josh likes his clients to perform 1-2 supplementary bench press exercises.

Here are some of Josh’s favorite supplementary bench press exercises for improving your strength off your chest:

  • The paused bench presses
  • The ultra-wide bench press
  • The dead bench
  • The spoto press

Paused bench presses are pretty straightforward: you pause for 1-3 seconds on your chest on each rep. These pauses eliminate the stretch reflex and force your chest and shoulders to work much harder in the bottom position to get the bar moving.

Ultra-wide bench presses are exactly as they sound: you grip the bar with an extremely wide grip. Josh recommends you have your pointer fingers wider than the smooth rings on the barbell.

Ultra-wide grip bench presses can be hard on your shoulders so make sure you are performing sets of 6-8 reps.

The dead bench is an exercise that Josh Bryant invented. It is a pin press where the bar is set 1-4 inches above your chest. For example:

Josh Bryant says that you should perform the dead bench for single repetitions only. This is the only way to eliminate the stretch reflex on every rep.

Josh likes his clients to perform 3-10 sets of singles with 30-60 seconds rest in between sets.

Another one of Josh Bryant’s favorite supplementary bench press exercises is the Spoto press. For this exercise you don’t let the bar touch your chest. Instead you pause with the bar 1 inch above your chest before pressing back up. For example:

This exercise is great for anyone who likes to bounce the weight off their chest in the bottom position. The pause forces you to stay ultra-tight and use nothing but your muscles to reverse the weight.

Now let’s look at a full Josh Bryant style bench press workout to attack a weakness off the chest.

This workout was performed by Chad Wesley Smith as he trained for a massive 500 pound bench press. Check it out:

Chad Wesley Smith Bench Press Workout

  • A1: Bench press (competition grip), 1 x 3**, 1/1/X/0, 4 minutes rest
  • B1: Speed bench press (competition grip), 6 x 4***, 1/1/X/1, 2 minutes rest
  • C1: Bench press (wide grip), 2 x 8****, 1/1/X/01, 2 minutes rest
  • D1: Dead bench, 8 x 1*****, 1/0/X/0, 45 seconds rest
  • E1: V-bar dips (forward leaning torso), 3 x 8, 2/0/X/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: DB flies, 3 x 11, 2/0/1/0, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: DB front raises, 3 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest

**Performed at 76% of his projected 1-rep max.

***Performed at 61% of his projected 1-rep max.

****Performed at 58% of his projected 1-rep max.

*****Performed at 59% of his projected 1-rep max.

Chad Wesley Smith had a big weakness off his chest so Josh Bryant designed a bench press program to attack this weakness. As you can see this workout is broken up into 4 separate parts.

First Chad performs a moderately heavy triple on the bench press.

Next he performs 6 speed sets on the bench press.

Then Chad performs 2 bench press supplementary exercises: the ultra-wide grip bench press and the dead bench.

Finally Chad performs some accessory exercises for his chest and shoulders.

This is an awesome way to design a bench press workout when you are weak off the chest. I highly recommend you give it a shot!

If you want to learn more about how Josh Bryant designs bench press programs for his powerlifters then check out the following article:

The Josh Bryant Bench Press Program!

Everything you need to know about building a world-class bench press is in this article.

Part 2: Louie Simmons’ Bench Press Strategies

Louie Simmons is the founder of the Westside Barbell training program. He is also one of the greatest powerlifting coaches of all time.

Louie Simmons believes the fastest way to overcome a sticking point on your chest is to use the Westside Barbell training program.

Louie has his athletes train the bench press twice per week using “max effort” and “dynamic effort” workouts. For example:

The Westside Barbell Bench Press Program

  • Sunday: Dynamic Effort Bench Press
  • Wednesday: Max Effort Bench Press 

Both of these workouts are absolutely critical for developing strength off the chest. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

The dynamic effort method is another name for compensatory acceleration training as used by Josh Bryant. You are going to use a moderately heavy weight and lift it as explosively as possible for multiple sets of 3 reps.

Louie Simmons believes the dynamic effort method is the single best way to build strength off your chest on the bench press. The faster you can get the weight moving off your chest the easier it is to push through your striking points.

Just take a look at the following video:

“Drive! Drive! Drive!” 

Louie Simmons may be an old man but he sure knows how to light a fire under your ass! 

Louie Simmons likes his athletes to use some form of accommodating resistance such as bands or chains for their dynamic effort sets.

Bands and chains are great because they make the top half of the exercise slightly heavier than the bottom half. This forces you to accelerate the weight EVEN FASTER off your chest.

If you don’t accelerate the bar off your chest then the bands or chains will pull the weight right back down to your chest!

Louie likes his athletes to perform 9 speed sets on the bench press followed by some accessory exercises for the upper body. For example:

Dynamic Effort Bench Press Workout Template

  • Exercise #1: Dynamic effort bench press, 9 sets of 3 reps
  • Exercise #2-5: Bench press accessory exercises, 3-4 sets of 5-20 reps

Louie Simmons has a lot of unique accessory exercises that I have never seen anyone use before. I will cover them below. But first we have to talk about the heart and soul of the Westside Barbell training program: the max effort method!

The max effort method is Louie Simmons’ secret weapon for building a huge bench press.

Every week his athletes work up to a 1-rep max on some type of special exercise for the bench press. Louie says that you should pick special exercises that target your weak points or your sticking points on the lift. 

Here are some of Louie Simmons’ favorite max effort exercises for improving your strength off your chest:

  • Floor Press
  • Low Pin Press
  • Foam Press
  • 1-2 Board Press
  • Incline Bench Press

The floor press is one of Louie Simmons’ all-time favorite special exercises for the bench press. The floor press is sort of like a bench press. The big difference is you lay down on the ground to perform the exercise.

Here is a great video demonstration of the max effort floor press:

This exercise is so effective for improving your strength off the chest because you have to pause with your upper arms touching the ground.

This pause eliminates the stretch reflex so your chest and shoulders have to work harder to get the bar moving.

Louie Simmons uses a variety of special exercises besides the floor press to strengthen the bottom part of the bench press. He also likes to use low pin presses, foam presses, 1-2 board presses and incline bench presses.

Louie has his athletes max out on one special exercise per week on their max effort bench press day. Every week they change the special exercises to avoid training plateaus.

Here is what a Westside Barbell max effort bench press day might look like:

Dynamic Effort Bench Press Workout Template

  • Exercise #1: Max effort bench press, 2-3 sets of 1 rep
  • Exercise #2-5: Bench press accessory exercises, 3-4 sets of 5-20 reps

With the Westside Barbell training program you always start your upper body workouts with the max effort or dynamic effort bench press. After the bench press you perform different accessory exercises for the rest of your upper body.

Louie Simmons uses 2 types of accessory exercises to strengthen a bench press sticking point off the chest:

  • High-rep dumbbell presses to failure
  • Bamboo bar bench presses

Louie Simmons believes one of the fastest ways to strengthen your bench press off your chest is to perform high-rep dumbbell presses to failure after your dynamic effort or max effort bench press work.

This is something I learned from studying the training logs of dozens of people who trained at the Westside Barbell gym in Columbus, Ohio.

The goal is to pick a pair of dumbbells and perform 2 sets to failure in the 15-25 rep range. You would use the same weight for both of your sets. You can also perform 2 high-rep sets to failure on any type of barbell exercise like the bench press, floor press, incline bench press etc.

Louie Simmons often tells his athletes to perform 2 sets to failure in the 20-40 rep range for barbell exercises: one set with a shoulder-width grip and one set with a wide grip.

For example here is Matt Wenning performing a high rep set of bench presses with bands and chains to failure right after his dynamic effort sets:

So why does this strategy work? Why would someone perform 2 high-rep sets to failure on dumbbell presses or bench presses?

The truth is I’m not 100% sure why it works. Maybe it helps with increasing muscle mass in the chest / shoulders.

Maybe it has a synergistic effect with the low-rep dynamic effort or max effort sets.

Maybe training to failure in the 20-40 rep range is a way to recruit the high-threshold motor units without blowing out your nervous system.

I don’t know why it works but I can tell you this strategy works EXTREMELY well. Many of my former powerlifting clients have broken through training plateaus in the bench press after using high-rep dumbbell presses to failure 1-2 times per week.

Even if you are not using the Westside Barbell training program you should give this strategy a shot.

Another one of Louie Simmons’ favorite accessory exercises for improving your bench press strength off the chest is called the bamboo bar bench press. Here is a great video of Louie Simmons performing this exercise:

The bamboo bar is a barbell made out of bamboo. It is very light and bends all over the place as you perform the bench press.

Louie Simmons likes to perform this exercise with kettlebells hanging from bands on either side of the bench press. This method is called the “hanging band method.” I talk about it in more detail in my article:

The Hanging Band Method: The Ultimate Guide!

The bamboo bar bench press is so effective because the weights fly all over the place as you perform the exercise. This forces all of your muscles to work harder to stabilize the weight as you press.

Louie Simmons started using the bamboo bar after he had shoulder replacement surgery. His surgeon said it would be months before he could perform the bench press again. Louie started using the bamboo bar and within a few weeks he was bench pressing 300 pounds!

Many powerlifters find that the bamboo bar is the fastest way to improve your strength off the bottom of the bench press. It strengthens your chest, shoulders and rotator cuff muscles extremely quickly.

The soreness you get in these muscles the next day is something you have to feel to believe!

I highly recommend you experiment with the max effort method, the dynamic effort method, high-rep dumbbell presses to failure and the bamboo bar for improving your strength off your chest. These strategies work like magic for Louie Simmons and his team and they will work for you too!

If you want to learn more about the Westside Barbell training program then check out the following article:

The Westside Barbell Training Program!

Everything you want to know about the Westside training style is covered in this article. I even give you a sample 16-week Westside Barbell bench press program!

Part 3: Charles Poliquin’s Bench Press Strategies

Charles Poliquin was known as the world’s greatest strength coach. He trained Olympic medalists in 24 different sports and countless professional athletes.

Charles believed a sticking point in the bench press is almost always caused by weak muscle groups.

One of the first things he did with all of his athletes was to perform an upper body structural balance assessment. This is a fancy way of saying that Charles tested his athletes on different exercises to figure out which muscle groups were weak.

Once he found the weak muscle groups he designed workouts to strengthen these muscles. As their weak muscle groups got stronger their bench pressing strength shot through the roof! 

Charles found that most powerlifters have 4 weak muscle groups that limit their strength at the bottom of the bench press:

  • Weakness #1: Rotator Cuff Strength
  • Weakness #2: Lower Trap Strength
  • Weakness #3: Overhead Pressing Strength
  • Weakness #4: Brachialis Strength

Let’s take a closer look at each of these muscle groups.

Weakness #1: Rotator Cuff Strength

Charles Poliquin believed that a weak rotator cuff is the #1 reason most people hit a plateau in the bench press.

The rotator cuff is a family of 4 muscles that attach to the shoulder. They are located underneath some of the other larger muscles like the deltoids.

The rotator cuff muscles are so important because they stabilize the shoulder joint during the big upper body exercises like bench presses and overhead presses. If your rotator cuff is too weak to stabilize 300 pounds then there is no way you can bench press that weight!

So how strong should your rotator cuff be? Charles Poliquin likes to compare two exercises:

  • The seated dumbbell external rotation with your elbow on your knee
  • The close grip bench press

Here is a great video of the seated dumbbell external rotation:

Nick Mitchell does an excellent job of explaining how to perform this exercise. You want to use nothing but your rotator cuff muscles to lift the weight.

Make sure you perform the exercise nice and slow and use a full range of motion.

Charles says that you should be able to lift a weight that is 10% of your bench press 1-rep max for 8 reps. In other words if you can bench press 300 pounds then you should be able to perform seated dumbbell external rotations with a 30 pound dumbbell for 8 reps with perfect form.

If you can’t do this then you need to start training your rotator cuff!

If you want to learn more about how to train the rotator cuff then check the following article:

How To Train The Rotator Cuff!

This is the world’s best guide on training the rotator cuff for a huge bench press. If you can find a better rotator cuff article then I will force myself to do the unthinkable: watching Eddie Hall dance around like a sexy ballerina for 12 hours straight *shudders*.

Weakness #2: Lower Trap Strength

The lower traps are another one of those small but very important upper body muscle groups.

The lower traps help you to stabilize your scapula, aka your “shoulder blades.” They play a huge role in helping other muscle groups like your rotator cuff to work properly.

If your lower traps are too weak then you will have a very hard time stabilizing your shoulders in the bottom part of the bench press!

One of the best exercises for the lower traps is called the “prone trap 3 raise.” Here is a perfect demonstration of this exercise:

Once again Nick Mitchell gives a perfect demonstration of this exercise. He was one of Charles Poliquin’s most successful students so you know he is demonstrating this exercise correctly.

To perform this exercise you first pull your shoulder blades down and back. Then you raise your arms up while keeping your shoulder blades down and back. You should feel an intense burning sensation in the middle of your back – this is what you want!

Charles says that you should be able to use dumbbells that are 10% of your bench press 1-rep max for 8 reps. In other words if you can bench press 300 pounds then you should be able to use 30 pound dumbbells for 8 reps on this exercise with perfect form.

Most men will struggle to use 5 pounds the first time they try this exercise! If that describes you then you need to start training your lower traps like you mean it!

Of course if you are really serious about improving your lower trap strength then this article is for you:

How To Train Your Lower Traps!

As usual I take a very simple topic and turn it into a 9,000 page article. The author of “Game of Thrones” took one look at it and said “nope – that’s too long for me!”

Weakness #3: Overhead Pressing Strength

Charles believed that most people spend far too much time training the bench press and not enough time training the overhead press. If your shoulders are too weak then you will always have a sticking point at the bottom part of the bench press!

Charles believed that you should be able to overhead press dumbbells that are 29% of your 1-rep max bench press for 8 reps. In other words if you can bench press 300 pounds then you should be able to overhead press a pair of 85 pound dumbbells for 8 reps with perfect form.

If you are not able to do this then you need to back off the bench presses and start working on your overhead press!

One of Charles’ favorite strategies to improve the bench press is to focus on the overhead press for 2-4 months.

During this time you would not perform any bench presses. Instead you would focus on different types of overhead presses.

Here is one of Charles Poliquin’s favorite ways to organize a 12-week training cycle:

  • Weeks 1-3: Standing 1-arm dumbbell shoulder press (hammer grip)
  • Weeks 4-6: Standing military press
  • Weeks 7-9: Standing behind the neck press
  • Weeks 10-12: Seated military press

After week 12 you would re-test your bench press 1-rep max to see how much progress you made. Charles often had clients improve their bench press by as much as 50 pounds in 3 months by focusing on different types of overhead presses!

This is a great strategy to use if your overhead press is weak and you have a sticking point near the bottom of your bench press.

Weakness #4: Brachialis Strength

This one may surprise you! Charles Poliquin believed that most people had a brachialis weakness which was limiting their strength on exercises like the bench press.

Strengthening your brachialis strength might not improve your sticking point in the bottom of the bench press but it will improve your overall bench press strength.

Charles used to say that your 1-rep max on the reverse grip ez-bar preacher curl should be 34% of your 1-rep max on the close grip bench press. In other words if you can close grip bench press 300 pounds for 1 rep then you should be able to reverse grip preacher curl 100 pounds for 1 rep.

If you cannot do this then you need to start training your brachialis like you mean it!

The best way to train the brachialis is to perform curls with an overhand grip.

Most people avoid reverse grip curls because they are not as strong with a reverse grip compared to an underhand grip. This is a big mistake!

The only way to bring up your lagging brachialis is to curl with a reverse grip.

Charles Poliquin’s favorite exercise to strengthen the brachialis is the 1-arm zottman preacher curl. Here is a perfect demonstration of this exercise:

As you can see the athlete lifts the weight with an underhand grip and lowers the weight down with an overhand grip. This lets you eccentrically overload the brachialis muscle with a heavier than normal weight.

This is a great strategy for training the brachialis because the brachialis has a large percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers.

If you want to learn the best brachialis exercises of all time then check out the following article:

The 5 Best Brachialis Exercises For Mass!

The bottom line is Charles Poliquin believed that a sticking point in the bottom of the bench press is usually caused by 4 weak muscle groups:

  • The rotator cuff
  • The lower trap
  • Overhead pressing strength
  • The brachialis

If you have tried everything under the sun and your bench press still won’t improve then I recommend you focus on these 4 muscle groups. Just adding some direct rotator cuff work to your program can make a big difference.

If you want more information on structural balance training then check out my article “Training For Structural Balance: The Ultimate Guide!

Charles Poliquin called structural balance training his “secret weapon” for designing training programs. As they say, you can’t argue with results!

Conclusion

There is nothing more frustrating than a sticking point in the bottom of the bench press. It seems like no matter what you try the bar always slows down and stalls as soon as it leaves your chest.

It doesn’t have to be like that!

In this guide I showed you how 3 of the world’s best bench press coaches attack sticking points right off your chest.

Josh Bryant likes to focus on speed sets and specific supplementary bench press exercises like the dead bench, paused bench presses, ultra-wide grip bench presses and the “Spoto press” to attack this sticking point.

With more advanced clients he sometimes uses isometric sets with the safety pins right above your chest.

Louie Simmons likes to use the dynamic effort method with bands and chains and different max effort exercises like the floor press, low pin press and the foam press.

Louie also likes to use some unconventional accessory exercises like the bamboo bar bench press and high-rep dumbbell presses to failure.

The strength coach Charles Poliquin takes a completely different approach: he focuses on strengthening weak muscle groups that contribute to a bench press sticking point right off your chest.

Charles believes that strengthening your rotator cuff, lower traps, overhead pressing strength and brachialis muscles is the fastest way to attack this sticking point.

Charles calls this “structural balance training” and it works very well if you have weak muscle groups holding you back.

You can treat these training methods like an all-you-can-eat buffet and pick and choose the strategies that work best for you. You can also pick one of these 3 coaches and go “all-in” on their bench press training philosophy. The choice is up to you.

Whatever you decide to do I think you will find these are some of the best strategies in the world for improving your pressing strength off your chest and building a world-class bench press. 

Here is one more quote by Louie Simmons to pump you up even more:

“Don’t be afraid to fail or look like a fool. These are necessary milestones on your way to the top.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen, PT, DPT

Thanks for checking out my site! My name is Dr. Mike Jansen and I'm the founder of Revolutionary Program Design. If you want to reach your size and strength goals faster then you've come to the right place. My goal is to make RPD the #1 strength training resource available anywhere in the world. So grab a seat, kick back and relax. There's never been a better time to lift weights or to learn the art and science of strength training program design.

Recent Posts