Bench Press For Women
Last fall I competed in a charity powerlifting meet held at my gym. Coming out of retirement was the best thing I could do to challenge myself. Powerlifting consists of three lifts, the deadlift, the squat and the bench press.
Amongst women, squats are universally beloved, deadlifts are enjoying a CrossFit resurgence, but the bench press’ popularity is about the same as Congress. I’m here to say it’s time to take back the bench. Push-ups are not enough, you need variety to challenge the muscles including the chest. Ignoring muscles groups is not a good idea if you want to fire up your metabolism.
Get the form down first. Go super light, by using just the bar or even just a broomstick. There are a variety of angles you can use by adjusting the bench from decline (hitting the lower portion of the chest) to flat to incline (hitting the upper chest) and with each, your form needs to be on point. Avoid relying too much on your secondary muscle groups – shoulders and triceps.
StrongLifts has a terrific definitive guide to the bench press. Read it here.
Again, start with light weights. Don’t add more weight until you can hit 12 reps with good form. Hitting PRs (personal records) on the bench is an incredible confidence boost because it takes a more mental focus and the numbers don’t go up as fast as the other big lifts. Keep notes on your phone to track your numbers. PRs are motivational and it’s fun to see how far you’ve come.
It looks like I’ll be competing in July at my home gym – LiftVT. This time I come armed with experience and better resources, who said age matters? I’ve been relying on tips from the fail-proof Charles Poliquin. Focusing on my bench, I turned to Charles and found this ditty to move past my plateau on the bench. I’ll also be working out with trainers to
As usual, we’re focusing fast productive 30-40 minutes workouts to get this done before the workday, so it’s a piece of CP’s recommended workout, not the entire routine.
5 sets, Heavy 4-6 reps Supine Reverse Grip Incline Dumbbell Press– rest 10 seconds Decrease weight 30% for 10-12 reps
Dumbbell Press-rest 90 seconds
Supine Grip Chin-Ups 6-8 reps
5 sets, Dips
Kneeling Cross Cable FLYS 8-10 reps
Instagram is an amazing resource. Lots of folks are sharing
The Strength Sensei Himself.
If there is one area where advice in strength training is more often than enough moronic, it is for warm-ups. You know the type that recommends this to warm up: cariocas to warm up for squats, having intercourse with foam rollers for hours on end, twenty minutes on the cardio bike at 70% of max heart rate, cluster sets on the dance pole… Here 3 simple rules to warm-up properly and make sure your warm-up doesn’t take twice as long as the actual workout #strengthsensei #warmup #workout #training #simplerulesforsuccess #playtowin #gaincity #strength
Also, Powerlifting Stefi Cohen who can deadlift 500lbs worth of Owen Wilson heads!