In parts 1 and 2 of this “Bench Press Power” series
we looked at Bench Press technique and variations
of the Bench Press that you can use to bring up
weaknesses and prevent you from getting bored
in your training.
Today, we’re going to look at assistance
exercises for the Bench Press.
To Bench big you need strong Triceps, Lats,
Delts and Pecs.
Depending on your genetics you may develop
some of those muscle groups to a high level
just by Bench Pressing. However, you will
probably find some muscle groups don’t get strong
enough in relation to other muscle groups.
For instance, my back is very very strong, but
my triceps were never up to par. It was only
when I hammered my triceps with appropriate
assistance work that my Bench went through
You must do the same.
Identify your weaknesses and bring them up.
The Triceps can be trained with CLOSE GRIP
pressing movements and extensions. With that
said, here’s a list of assistance movements to
bring up your triceps:
– 3, 4 or 5 Board Bench Presses
– Reverse Band Bench Presses
– Close Grip Press Ups (add chains draped over
the neck or use bands for more resistance)
– Lying, Straight or Ez Bar Extensions. Lower the
bar to the forehead
– Standing Overhead Straight or Ez Bar Extensions
– Lying Elbows Out Extensions
– Lying Elbows In Extensions
Lat/ Upper Back Exercises
A strong back is required not only for a big Bench
Press but also for a big Squat, Deadlift and any other
compound exercise that you can perform in the weight
Here are some great choices for training your back:
– Pull Ups/Chins
– Pull Downs (various grips)
– One arm DB Rows
– Low Pulley Rows (various grips)
– Machine Hammer Grip Rows
– Shrugs (use a Bar or DB’s)
Your back is a complex area. Switch up the exercises
you use to train it every 4 to 6 weeks (or when boredom
Assistance Exercises For The Delts
Ignore any assistance movements for the front delts.
If you are doing a lot of pressing it is unlikely that
the front delts need any more stimulation and this
could in fact cause over-training and/or lead to injury.
The side and in particular the rear delts need a lot
of attention in most lifters.
Here’s some simple ways to train those areas:
– DB Side Delt Raises (seated or standing)
– Bent Over DB Raises (seated or standing)
– Single Arm Behind The Back Low Pulley Raises
Assistance Exercises For The Pecs
I am not a fan of DB Flies. They stress the Pecs for
sure but they also stress the delts and can lead to
To bring up weak Pecs focus on Wide Grip
movements and keep the reps to 6 or more. Two
movements that can easily be performed with a
wide grip are:
– The regular Bench Press
– Press Ups
In the past 3 days I have shared with you some
valuable information on how to improve your
Bench Press technique, various Bench Press variations
and some great assistance exercises.
As a lifter/strength athlete, it is your job to
figure out how to use this information in a
way that gets your Bench stronger. You have
to find your strategy. I’ve given you the tools to
For more help with your Bench, click below: