How to Smash the 225lb Rep Max Bench Test?
The 225 pound bench press test is one of the most popular strength tests among athletes. It’s used for determining if someone has enough strength to compete at a high level or not. There are various ways to perform this test and it depends on your personal preference. You may choose any method that suits you best, but there are certain things that you need to do before performing this test.
First of all, you have to decide what weight you want to press. Some people prefer to use their bodyweight while others prefer using a barbell. You can even pick up some dumbbells and use them instead of the barbell.
Whatever method you choose, make sure that you’re properly warmed up beforehand so that your muscles don’t get too tight when pressing the weight. Also, make sure that your elbows aren’t locked during this exercise because it will affect your results greatly.
There are two types of exercises that you’ll be doing: concentric and eccentric. When performing these exercises, keep in mind that they should be performed with proper form. If you feel pain or discomfort while performing these exercises then it means that your form isn’t correct.
Make sure to pay attention to this issue when training yourself!
Let’s begin with the barbell. Since this is a test about bench pressing, the most obvious choice for you to use is the barbell. In order for you to start increasing your maximum weight in bench press, you should be using proper form when lifting the barbell.
Remember to always keep your back straight whenever performing this exercise and take a wide grip on the bar. When it comes to increasing your maximum bench press, you have 2 options: pyramid or wave loading.
The pyramid is a common approach used by most people. It involves increasing the weight slowly and steadily on a weekly basis. For example, you can start with 135 lbs for five reps on the first week.
Then you’ll increase the weight to 155 lbs for five reps on the second week. Continue increasing the weight in this manner until you reach your maximum weight capacity. Don’t forget to take one or two weeks of rest if you feel that your muscles aren’t yet ready for more training.
The wave loading approach focuses on training with the maximum weight that you can handle for that day. For example, if you’re able to lift 200 lbs for five reps, then your target for that training day would be 10 reps. Take a wide grip on the bar and do five reps with the 200 lbs.
After those five reps, take a brief rest and continue with four reps with the same weight. After those four reps, take another brief rest and continue with three reps, then two reps until you’re able to lift the weight for a single rep. Afterwards, increase the weight by 5% and start again from five reps. Do this every training day until you’re able to do 10 reps within three sets. When you feel that you can’t handle the weight anymore, increase it by 5% and continue with this process.
The dumbbell method is often neglected in tests like these. However, you should still include the dumbbell method in your training if you want to maximize your bench press. While the barbell is often versatile and useful for other exercises, it’s limited to only a few exercises.
The dumbbells allow a little more freedom when performing an exercise and can be used to complement the barbell training. One example would be incline dumbbell press.
Because we’re focusing on your maximum bench press, you shouldn’t need to train with the incline bench very often because it works on the same muscle group. Doing incline bench press before regular bench press would be a waste of time and energy because your muscles wouldn’t be recovered in time for your next training session. However, incline dumbbell press can be done separately from the barbell and is an excellent method for increasing your strength.
Beginners should start light when doing incline dumbbell press, as it can place a lot of strain on your shoulders if you don’t have the proper technique. The common error that most people have is locking their arms out completely at the top. This puts unnecessary stress and tension on your shoulder joints, so make sure to only lift the weight using your shoulder muscles.
As for your form, it should be the same as a bench press except using dumbbells instead.
You can perform incline dumbbell press with two separate weights or use a single weight and alternate arms. Alternate arms is the preferred method since you’ll be working each arm individually. This allows you to lift heavier weights and gives your muscles more of a break in between sets.
If you feel that your shoulders are strong enough to handle it, then you can try using two separate dumbbells. It’s best to at least have a partner there to help you put the weight on the higher knobs so you don’t have to waste time setting it up or taking it off.
For incline dumbbell press, you’ll train with lighter weights and higher reps than for regular barbell bench press. Because of this, triceps are trained much more than when the barbell is used. Beginners can do 15-20 reps on their first set, intermediates can do 12-15 reps and advanced lifters can do 8-10 reps.
When you can perform five sets of eight reps with excellent form, it’s time to move up in weight. However, if you can perform over 10 reps, then it’s time to lower the weight.
Incline dumbbell press is not a lift that you’ll be doing often. Unlike the other exercises, three sessions a month is plenty. If you find that your triceps are lagging behind despite incline bench and dumbbell press, then you can increase it to four sessions a month.
The final exercise for increasing your bench press is the close grip bench press. This is an isolation exercise in which you focus on solely your triceps, and doesn’t require the use of your back or legs to assist.
This exercise is done by placing your hands close together on the bar instead of keeping them wide apart like when doing the regular bench press. You’ll use the same weight that you would for a regular bench press, and can perform it with either a flat or an incline bench. It’s recommended that you begin with the standard flat bench and add the incline later when you’re ready for it.
Beginners should start with three sets of eight reps and intermediates can do four sets of six reps. When you can perform four sets of six reps with excellent form, it’s time to move up in weight. However, if you can perform over six reps, then it’s time to lower the weight.
Close grip bench pressing is an optional exercise. You can do it twice a week if you want, but I’d suggest to limit it to once a week at the most. Again, three sessions a month should be plenty.
If your triceps are lagging behind your other muscles, then you may also want to add in some exercises for them as well.
As you can see, there’s many different ways to increase your bench press max. It doesn’t have to be a mystery or something that you get frustrated over. By following the tips in this article, you can make sure that you’re always one step ahead of the game and able to increase your bench press as much as you possibly can.
This article has been reproduced with the permission of Men’s Fitness Magazine © Future Publishing Limited.
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