This is a 6 week week bench press program based upon the Prilepin chart. As it only utilizes two bench press training days per week, I’d probably recommend it for more advanced bench pressers that are not able to recover from three bench press training days per week.[Read more…]
Best Bench Press Programs for 2021
A bench press program is a training routine designed to increase an athlete's upper limit strength in the bench press, their work capacity with the bench press, or a similar goal.
Powerlifting programs specific to the bench press are a great way to make gains. By training the paused bench press, spoto press, close grip bench press, dumbbell accessories, and more - these bench press routines will have you adding weight onto the bar in no time.
Best Bench Press Routines:
- Kizen 12 Week Bench Press Program
- Candito Advanced Bench Press Program
- Kizen 6 Week Bench Peaking Program
- Russian 6 Week Bench Press Peaking Program
- Brad Gillingham 12 Week Bench Program
- Sling Shot Bench Press Program
- Mdisbrow Deathbench Program
- Greg Nuckols 28 Programs (Recommended: 3x Intermediate Medium Bench Press Program)
- Benching the Monolith
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The latest bench press programs are also available below.
A bench press pyramid is a method of bench press training wherein volume starts high with low intensity and ends low with high intensity. This pyramid shaped change in volume and intensity can occur within a single training session or across multiple training sessions.[Read more…]
This is Mark Bell’s 5 week Sling Shot bench press program, also known as the “Stronger in 30 Days” program. It’s a relatively straightforward bench-only program that gradually decreases volume while increasing intensity before attempting a new PR on week 5. Pretty classic linear periodization leading into a peak. [Read more…]
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This is a no nonsense 6 week bench press peaking program styled after the infamous Russian Squat Routine. It is a 3 day bench press program that accumulates volume around 80% to 85% of a lifter’s 1 rep max before tapering down volume and increasing intensity. It ends with completing two singles at 105% of the lifter’s beginning 1 rep max. [Read more…]
Following his advanced deadlift program and advanced squat program, Jonnie Candito’s advanced bench press program is a bench-focused program for athletes looking to bust through stubborn plateaus. The program is explained in great detail in this PDF. I have pulled out some of the most important parts in the below overview [Read more…]
This is a variation of Tactical Barbell programming combined with the GZCL program framework. It only programs the bench press and squat movements. Deadlifts are not included. This is ideal for athletes that are either unable to deadlift or looking to focus primarily on improving their bench press and squat. [Read more…]
Frequently Asked Questions about the Bench Press
How do I increase my bench press one rep max (1RM)?
If an athlete is trying to increase their one rep max in a relatively short period of time (e.g. 4 to 8 weeks), then a bench press peaking program is most effective for increasing the 1RM. If the athlete is trying to increase their 1RM gradually over time, then the answer depends more heavily upon the development stage of the athlete. Novice lifters likely do not need to be concerned strictly with the bench press and should progress all lifts on any well designed beginner powerlifting program. An early intermediate should still see regular progress on a linear progression program like Madcow 5×5 or Texas Method. Later stage intermediates will likely need to introduce more variation in rep ranges and intensity, such as with Greg Nuckols Medium Load Intermediate 3x Weekly Bench Press Program.
How many days per week should I bench press?
The bench press uses smaller muscles than other compound movements like the squat or deadlift and therefore can be trained more frequently. Novice lifters should start out benching two or three times per week, while many intermediates respond well to benching three or four times per week. It’s generally best to start on the lower end of these ranges (so if you’re a novice, starting at two bench press sessions per week) and seeing how the movement responds. If plateauing occurs or approaches (i.e. reps become very difficult to complete, even if they are not missed) then adding another bench press session to the training week can be an effective strategy for continued progression.
What are the best bench press accessory exercises?
The best bench press accessories are the ones that help an individual athlete improve their bench press. Often times, simply adding additional volume on the bench press is enough to improve an athlete’s one rep max. Still, accessory movements can be productive more helping work through an athlete’s sticking point (i.e. the point at which they “miss” a rep). Athletes that miss off the chest can benefit from accessories that place additional emphasis on the lower portion of the lift, such as the spoto press, t-shirt press, or pin press. Athletes that miss in the lockout portion of the lift, around midway through the concentric portion of the lift and up, often benefit from close grip bench press and other tricep strengthening movements.