Saturday, April 3, 2010

What You Must Know About The Bench Press

What You Must Know If You Ever Hope To Develop A Great Chest



You must read this article to learn what it takes to develop a great chest. Lots of guys dream about having a powerful chest but they don't have a clue where to start. Without a plan in mind they flail around aimlessly in the gym, make absolutely no progress then give up. But I'll let you in on a secret. It's not a secret at all, actually, but it definitely is something people often overlook. Developing an attractive and strong physique is not very difficult if you're willing to put forth the time and effort that are needed to get the results you want. The thing is that some people don't want to accept this fact. Those people will always fail. But not you. You're reading this article because you want to look better and become stronger than you are right now. You've come to the right place. Here you'll learn about exercises that will strengthen, tone and build your chest muscles.

There are a lot of exercises that target the chest muscles with the short list including the bench press, pushup, chest dip, cable flye and the dumbbell flye. Today I'll discuss the flat bench press, including how you should do them and why they're so important.

Bench Press

This exercise is great for working the chest, triceps and shoulders. It is best performed with a barbell or dumbbells although you can use resistance machines if they are available. The downside of resistance machines is that the body will not be able to go through a full range of motion, which cuts down on the training of the muscles. The bench press is important because it builds upper body strength which comes in handy for certain contact sports and some day to day tasks. Without a strong upper body it will be impossible to develop healthy chest muscles. One of the most effective means to increase strength, build size and mass is to challenge the body to perform tasks to which it is not accustomed. This will cause a several things to happen. One, your central nervous system will be forced to recruit more and more muscle to perform the action. And second, the muscle fibers will experience microscopic tears that must be repaired. In order for the muscle to protect itself from further "damage" the fibers will increase in number, thereby increasing strength. Finally, growth hormones will be released into the bloodstream stimulating the muscles to grow larger.

One Rep Max

To prevent serious injury it is important to know the maximum amount of weight that you are able to safely lift for one complete repetition. This is known as your one rep maximum or one rep max. After you have learned what this amount is, you will perform exercises at a percentage (less than) of the one rep max. As you increase strength, you will gradually increase the percentage of weights lifted so as to approach your one rep max. Over time your one rep max should also increase as a result of your increased strength. In order to test your one rep max, ask someone in the gym to spot you. This person should be strong enough to help you lift the weight back onto the rack if it becomes too difficult for you to lift alone.

Here's a formula for calculating your one rep max:

1 RM = [ (r/30) +1 ] x W

where r = the number of repetitions performed and W = amount of weight lifted

As you increase the amount of weight lifted (intensity), it's unlikely that you'll be able to complete the same number of reps that you would have at a lower weight. This is known as a decrease in volume and it is perfectly natural. Even as you continually become stronger you will experience this. The important thing to remember is to not overdo it when you're working out, this will have a detrimental affect on your recovery (the time that is required for your muscles to heal). You should try for a three day split where you work your chest and arms one specific day, back and abdominal muscles on a different day, and legs and glutes on a third day. If you don't allow for enough recovery time you'll constantly be tearing up muscle before it has a chance to repair. This means you won't get any stronger or larger.

Nutrition is also important for increasing size and strength. Throughout the day eat small meals that consist of protein (lean meats, poultry or fish), healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, flaxseed oil, fish oil) and carbohydrates (vegetables and fruits). Food is the fuel that keeps your body running. But in order to get bigger and stronger, you must eat enough food to get basic metabolic demand. Make sure to stay hydrated, too, because when you're performing a hard workout, you'll lose a lot of water which will have an effect on your electrolyte levels.

If you've never worked out with weights your body may feel so sore that you'll get a urge to stop. But don't give up. All of your hard work will pay dividends.

This finishes the discussion bench press workout for beginners. Look forward to more workout routines on my Great Chest Workout website. So what are you waiting around for? Get out there and do something!

"Great Chest Workouts - What You Must Know If You Ever Hope To Develop A Great Chest" copyright 2010 Great Chest Workouts. All Rights Reserved.


One-repetition maximum - Wikipedia