Preparation to Worlds – Cycle 2 Week 1

The past weekend at SPO was awesome but crazy busy! We’re really proud of all the Atlas athletes that competed!

I started the new cycle of my program last week. In my previous blog post, I talked about how programming and proper planning could help in bringing your numbers up. One of the most frequently asked questions from that post was on setting up for the bench press, so I figured I will cover it in this blog post.

As I train at the Elevate Barbell Club, I have the luxury of using the best training equipment in Singapore, as all the weights, bars and racks I use are competition standard. However, plenty of our athletes do not have a similar luxury and the benches they train on can vary in terms of sizes, width and length.

In order to make this post useful for you, I am going to share some pointers on how to get the most efficient set up regardless of which equipment you train on.

Regardless of which bench you use, you need to make sure your shoulders are fully retracted. This will help to keep your chest up, and back tight. With this, you will be creating the most stable base to push the weight from.

Here are 5 pointers (in order ) that you can run through in your mind when you are setting up each time.

  1. Rhomboids have to be squeezed together. You must visualise your two shoulder blades trying to reach for each other. You must feel them on the bench press.
  2. With your legs on the floor, drive your body up like a hip thrust. Tuck your neck in and try to get the back of your neck as flat to the bench as possible. At the same time, pull the bar down like a straight arm pulldown.
  3. Now you will have rhomboids and lats engaged. Keep the tension and slowly put your butt down.
  4. Maintain tension and push the bar up to feel some feedback against the bench.
  5. Once you are ready, slowly bring the weight out to the starting position.

Now with all 5 points taken care off, you should be able to have a more steady bench with legs constantly kicking to support your arch. Leg drive in the bench should be a constant activation to help you maintain the arch. In this style of set up, you are maximizing the arch, keeping your chest high and shoulder blades tight and locked on the bench. This is something that I’m focusing on for my bench at the moment in order to ensure my butt also stays on the bench!

There you go, a tight bench set up to follow that will help keep you the most stable you can be regardless of the equipment you train on! Stay tuned to my next blog post as I will be discussing more about the new cycle of training!

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