Do you Know How to Bench Press?

5 Simple tips and tricks to growing your chest and also your triceps, shoulders, and core.


Fitness tips by Austin Pray // Prayandaustin.com

When starting out, I had zero idea what I was doing! I would avoid the gym for this reason. I didn't want to look like an idiot. I was so blessed to have my dorm roommate be 'thee guru' of fitness and motivation. He was extremely knowledgable, extremely jacked, and natural.


Everyone who is a "guru" tend to be one of three types. A cheater with steroids, a mesomorph (born greek god with very minimal fitness), or very knowledgeable experts.


I wouldn't say I am a guru, but I am controlled in my results… especially as a 31 year old endomorph (naturally fat ass). These 5 things I have to do weekly or else I would blow up like a balloon.


#1 - What is your 'chest' time under tension?


Do you workout chest at least once a week? Twice? How many pushups do you do? How many dips? How do you stretch before and after?

- Time under tension is the time your chest is under stress so that it can build to repair itself into muscle.


#2 - Moderate your "social activities"


Do you go out and socially drink, smoke, whatever or do you do attach to your vice as a daily habit / not earned? When I have weeks where I don't moderately drink and go a little harder in the paint because it's vacation or something similar, I feel weak, sick, and unproductive. Dealing with stress or wanting to be social is a great thing, but in this way I believe it needs to be earned… by working out and also not abused.


#3 - Dumbbell press


Incline bench press dumbbells is my favorite and flat bench press is best for barbell. Incline is great to help form upper chest and a needed exercise every time. To prevent injury go as far down as you can without hurting your shoulders. 90 degrees is a great measure of a full lift, but if you are flexible like myself… you'll want to go deeper and get the full stretch.


#4 - Barbell chest press


This is how you stack weight and use all your muscles during this compound workout. If you want to grow you want to workout barbell chest at least once a week.

- Good form for myself is laying down with my heels driving into the flour while I press up through my lift.

- My shoulders are at even width apart and my palms strong on the bar. Very minimal bend, if any, in my wrists.

- My lats and back help me press up, a little bow in my lower back, trying to raise above the seat just a little.

- My forearms and triceps help finish my lift.

- The entire time I want my entire chest engaged.

Spotting is needed to prevent injury. When spotting, be ready and don't help too much unless needed. When I spot I just look for any favoring of each side and I lightly tap with one finger up.

#5 - How many push ups can you do at the end?


Alright, now that you are done, you will only know how hard you pushed your chest by how many push ups you can do a the end. If you can do more than 25 push ups without falling down, I'd say you didn't work hard enough in your workout.


Chest is the gorilla muscle and needed for both men and women, so do it properly.


For women, this helps get a natural breast lift if you are into that. For men, this helps with overall strength when doing normal day to day actions. Pressing actions only get stronger once your chest gets stronger.


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