Muscle Building Bodyweight Workouts
Mike Thiga transformed himself from a scrawny 148 pounds to a massive 187 pounds. In slightly less than 6 months, he packed on 39 pounds of solid muscle, all without ever lifting a weight or going to the gym.
Learn how he did it in Build Muscle Without Weights
By Mike Thiga author of The Muscle Experiment
What a loaded title! No I am not here to sell you some potion to drink in order to increase your bench press. I am also not here to sell you some top secret tactic to increase your bench press without trying. What I am here to do is detail out my experience how I went from a plateau at the bench press for a few years to being able to increase my bench press reps without going to the gym or lifting heavy weights. If you want to increase your bench press or simply get stronger, keep reading this post!
Before I began to be an avid bodyweight exercise nut case, I use to workout the traditional way. I would go to the gym, hit the weights, do my classic 3 sets of x reps per muscle group every time. Just thinking back at that I am so glad I switched to 80% + on bodyweight workouts. The bench press was never my strongest lift. I am a tall guy with long arms, that is my excuse. But I could never lift super heavy, although I tried. I ingested various protein powders, creatine, and the like all to help me increase my bench press. I bet some reading this have done that very thing to increase your bench press. Here is the thing, I have not maxed out on bench press for probably over 8 years. I never really was a big max out on bench press or any weights kind of guy. When I left bench pressing and the gym lifestyle I was doing 6 reps of 225lbs. That was my ceiling, I tried to get to a full 7th rep many times but to no avail. Now that you know my history, where I stopped at, lets see how to increase your bench press with bodyweight exercises.
As I mentioned previously, my ceiling with the bench press was 6 reps of 225lbs. I also have not even done a bench press exercise in well over two years. One of my friends talked me into going to the gym with him to workout this past week. I try to stay away from gyms for various reasons. But hey, when your buddy has a free pass you might as well take him up on the offer and try to through some weights around right? He was focusing on chest that day and I figured I would do some exercises with him using weights. After I warmed up I was determined to see where I fell with my dreaded 225lb 6 rep max. I hoped on the bench and cranked out 11 reps, nearly twelve but I made it half way up and needed a spot. I increased my rep count by 5, and blew away my hanging nemesis! So how in the heck did I increase my bench press so much without actually using weights for my chest workouts?
I hope someone can replicate my results that I had with the bench press. If you want to increase your bench press without weights here is my advice;
You need to do push ups and pulls ups. Seems obvious right, but a lot of people would just focus on their chest. Big mistake, make sure to increase your pull up strength along with your push up strength by focusing on these muscle groups 3-4 time a week for a month or two. This will help build your foundation to increase your bench press.
Make sure to do plyometric and isolation exercises. I firmly believe that this was the catalyst for me being able to increase my bench press reps.
Stay away from doing bench press exercises during the time you are focusing on bodyweight workouts for your chest and back. However, you need to know where you are strength wise with your bench press, so make sure to document it somewhere.
Make sure to change hand grip positions for your push ups and pull ups. Also, pyramid style chest and back exercises work great to exponentially increase strength.
I noted just a few ways to increase your bench press in this post. I never tried to outright increase my bench press, but I did. You can do the traditional method to increase your bench press, hit heavy weights, do negatives, decrease and increase your rep counts etc. Or you can increase your bench press primarily by doing push ups and pull ups along with building explosive strength. Either way is fine, I am just giving you my experience. If your main goal is to increase your bench press, do what works best for you