Heavy Dips – Shatter Your Bench Plateau!

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2 Ways to Shatter Your Bench Plateau

1. Bench Less. I know people that bench 2-3 times a week – actually I know someone that benches EVERY OTHER DAY in pyramid fashion. The problem is your body has adapted to the load and movement (law of adaptation explained).

Use the bench as your “testing exercise” and work in more bench variations – board pressing, close grip, band, chain, dumbbell, etc. Also spend this time to develop your back. Back muscles will not only get you thicker, but believe it or not your back and your chest muscles are connected. If you have a glaring imbalance in one, the other will suffer.

Add pull ups, heavy barbell rows, and resisted supine rows.

2. Get Strong Triceps. You know that little muscle on the back of your arm that a lot of people don’t see when they are doing their nightly mirror pose downs? That’s the muscle group you should be working on to fill up your sleeve!

I highly recommend two exercises in particular – close grip bench and heavy dips. On close grip bench, make sure to really tuck your elbows and then drive the bar back up.

Heavy dips are awesome….if your shoulders allow. If you have severe mobility issues or impingement, work on those before doing dips. Don’t be afraid to do 5-6 sets of 2-5 dips. Slap that weight on and get your bench up.

In the video below, it is no coincidence that Crazy Jeff can bang out dips with 140-185 lbs on his waist…his bench is also over 405 at a body weight of around 215.

– Joe Hashey, CSCS –

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