Chances are, when it comes to how you've been taught to breathe during your weight training, you were advised to EXHALE throughout the concentric portion of an exercise (this is the phase of the re... more
Been stuck at 185 on your bench press for what seems like decades and looking to finally crack 200?
Well, no promises...
...but these 4 powerful little mental "tricks" COULD help you add an immediate 20% more to your bench press and break a new personal record!
BENCH PRESS POWER TIP #1
Focus on your BODY...not the BAR!
When you're benching, try to actually push your BODY away from the bar...NOT the bar away from your body. This trick works for the same reason when doing pullups, you focus on pulling your elbows down. Your brain sees the bar as an inanimate object outside of your control and it understands that the bar may "win". But your brain sees your body as an "ally" and within your control"...
...and is much more confident in your strength when focusing on moving your body.
BENCH PRESS POWER TIP #2
"Pull" The Bar Apart!
As you're lifting the bar, try "pulling" it apart as if your hands were moving away from each other. Your hands don't actually move...you just want to grip hard and imagine "stretching" the bar longer. This calls into play more "stabilizer muscles" to give you extra power in your upward movement.
BENCH PRESS POWER TIP #3
Visualize The Bar Going UP!
Do you know this "spotter" trick?
Whenever you're spotting someone on the bench press and they've hit a sticking point, most of the time all you have to do is place 2 fingers under the bar and it magically seems to raise again. No...you DON'T have the world's strongest fingers!
It's simply a total mental "mind f'er" where the lifter "thinks" he's getting help with the rep...but is actually doing it all on his own.
You can do this by yourself (or with a partner) just by visualizing the bar constantly moving upwards. When you reach that sticking point, play a mental movie in your mind and vividly see the bar raising. Your body will "believe" what you see and respond by making your "movie" a reality!
BENCH PRESS POWER TIP #4
Look To Your Dominant Hand!
Another "sticking point" destroyer...
Once you reach the point where the bar stops its ascent and you think you've been defeated, look without turning your head) toward your dominant hand (the one you write with). This is yet another mental "trigger" for your brain to associate strength and power with what it perceives as your strongest assetts in your "bench press battle".
Well, there you go!
Bring your brain to your next chest workout and load up a few extra plates because you're guaranteed to leave your wimpy old record in the dust once you try these easy tips!
Jeff Anderson is a 10 year veteran of the U.S. Army, a Master Fitness Trainer, and Master Instructor of Close Quarters Combat self defense. A full time fitness and self defense author, Jeff has trained thousands of men and women in the practical application of advanced military fitness methods as well as close combat tactics for "real life" self defense.
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