Why Is My Bench Press So Weak? (12 Crucial Things To Consider)
It’s great to get down to the gym or get the equipment to workout at home and start smashing out chest day.
However, for some reason, you are finding it difficult to see any progress with your bench press?
This can be very frustrating if you are seeing improvements in all other areas of your body.
So why is your bench press so weak? There are a few reasons why this could be, so let’s look to see how to rectify the problem.
Why Is My Bench Press So Weak?
There are a few possible reasons why your bench press might be weak. It could be that you have poor form, which can lead to injury and limit your ability to lift heavy weights. Alternatively, you might not be using enough weight or resistance when you train, meaning that your muscles aren’t being challenged enough to grow stronger. Finally, you may have an imbalance in your strength levels, with your chest and shoulder muscles being much weaker than your triceps and back muscles. Addressing these issues can help you to increase your bench press strength.
1. Why poor form can limit your bench press strength
If you have poor form when bench pressing, then you are putting your body at risk of injury.
Poor form will also kill any strength gains that you could be making.
Remember to grab a gym goers attention when you are bench pressing, as you should always have a spotter with you.
You should also focus on using a full range of motion, rather than just going halfway down.
Always lower the bar to the “ahem” nipple line of the chest to make sure you aren’t making the common mistake most people make when lifting and lower the bar too high up the chest, which then puts extra stress on the shoulders.
Bench press technique
Good technique is crucial to make sure you are working the correct chest muscles, as well as using the right muscles to move the weight.
Try to implement the correct movement and incorporate the correct muscle groups to reduce the risk of any injuries.
Make sure you have your feet firmly planted on the ground and that your back is flat against the bench.
You should also be tucking your chin into your chest to ensure you have a good range of motion and to stop any strain being put on the neck.
If you can bench press with good form, then you will instantly see an increase in strength as well as being able to move more weight.
Pinch your shoulder blades together and pull on the bar as if you’re trying to rip it apart.
There are several things to remember, but practice the above in your training program for better results.
2. Too Little Or Too Much Weight?
If you are using too little weight, then your muscles won’t be challenged enough to grow stronger.
You should be looking to increase the weight that you are using regularly to force your muscles to adapt and grow.
If you are using too much weight, then this can also limit the number of reps that you can do, as well as putting your body at risk of injury.
You should always start with a weight that you can comfortably lift for the desired number of reps.
If you are struggling to complete the set, then you may need to reduce the weight slightly.
To add weight gradually over time, you can either increase the weight by 2.5-5kg each week or add an extra rep to each set that you do.
If you are finding it difficult to increase the weight, then you can also look at changing your training split so that you are giving your chest muscles more time to recover between workouts.
3. Any Imbalance In Strength Levels Can Have An Impact
Your weak bench press might be down to some muscle imbalances that you have.
If your chest and shoulder muscles are much weaker than your triceps and back muscles, then this can limit the amount of weight that you can bench press.
You should look to correct any imbalances by doing more isolation exercises for the weak muscle groups.
Including some extra chest and shoulder exercises in your training routine can help to correct any imbalances and improve your bench press strength.
Some exercises that you could include are the shoulder press, chest flyes, and pull-ups.
Making sure that you are doing a good mix of exercises for all the muscle groups will help to ensure that there aren’t any imbalances in your strength levels.
4. Are Weak Muscles The Problem?
Can also be a result of injury, so if you have any previous injuries, then this might be the reason why your bench press is weak.
If you want to increase your bench press strength, then you should be doing some form of strength training.
This could be in the form of weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance training.
By doing some form of strength training, you will be able to build up the muscles that are used in the bench press and improve your strength.
A good way to ease back into bench press would be to do some body weight push ups, do this and increase your training volume before getting back on the bench.
If you have had any past injuries, then you should seek professional advice before starting to exercise again.
5. Have You Plateaued?
If you have been stuck at the same weight for a while, then you may need to change up your routine.
Doing the same exercises over and over again can lead to your body adapting and becoming used to the movement.
When this happens, you will reach a plateau in your strength gains.
To avoid this, you should regularly change up your exercises and routines.
You can do this by adding in new exercises, changing the order of your exercises, or increasing the weight that you are using.
By constantly challenging your body in different ways, you will be able to continue making strength gains.
6. Don’t Train Shoulders Or Triceps Day Before
One of the worst things you can do is train your shoulders or triceps the day before you bench press.
This will fatigue the muscles that you need to use for the bench press and make it harder to lift the weight.
You should always try to have at least 24-48 hours of rest between training sessions for the same muscle group.
Doing an exercise such as skull crushers the day before you train bench press is a surefire way to make your bench press weak.
7. Is Your Diet On Point?
Your diet plays a big role in your overall strength and performance.
If you are not eating enough calories, then your body will not have the energy it needs to grow stronger.
You should also make sure that you are getting enough protein as this is essential for muscle growth.
Aim to eat 1-2 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
So, if you weigh 200 pounds, then you should be eating 200-400 grams of protein per day.
Ensuring that you are getting enough calories and protein will help your body to recover from workouts and grow stronger.
8. Rest, Recovery, And Overtraining
It is important to make sure that you are getting enough rest and recovery.
Working out too often can lead to your body becoming overtrained.
When this happens, you will start to see a decline in your performance and strength levels.
To avoid this, you should make sure that you are giving your body enough time to recover between workouts.
Aim to have at least one day of rest per week.
You can also use active recovery days where you do some light exercises or stretching.
Muscle fibers need time to repair themselves and grow stronger.
If you are working out too often, then your body will not have enough time to do this.
9. Are You Warming up?
One of the main reasons why people have a weak bench press is because they don’t warm up properly.
Warming up helps to increase your heart rate and prepare your muscles for exercise.
You should always warm-up before you start lifting weights.
A good way to warm up is to do some light cardio or bodyweight exercises.
10. The Importance Of Mindset
A lot of people tend to focus too much on the weight that they are lifting.
This can lead to you getting anxious and stressed about the lift.
This can then hurt your performance.
Instead of focusing on the weight, try to focus on your technique and form.
By doing this, you will be able to lift the weight with much better form.
This will help you to increase your strength and avoid injury.
The moment you don’t think you can lift the weight can be an issue, if you can maintain a solid mental foundation, you will see massive improvements in your lifting.
Set Small Goals
When people first start lifting weights, they often have grandiose goals.
They want to be able to bench press 300 pounds or squat 400 pounds.
While these are great goals to have, they can also be very discouraging.
If you are just starting, then you should set small goals that you can achieve.
This will help to keep you motivated and help you to see progress.
As you get stronger, you can start to set bigger goals.
But, in the beginning, it is important to focus on small goals that you can achieve.
11. Grip And Positioning
One of the most important things that you need to focus on is your grip and positioning.
If your grip is too wide, then you will not be able to generate as much power.
You should also make sure that your elbows are in the right position.
If they are too far forward, then you will put unnecessary stress on your shoulders.
But, if they are too far back, then you will not be able to generate as much power.
You should also make sure that your wrists are in a neutral position.
If they are positioned too far forward or too far back, then you will not be able to generate as much power.
All of these things are important to focus on if you want to have a strong bench press.
Squeeze the bar
When you are bench pressing, you should make sure that you are squeezing the bar.
This will help to engage your muscles and generate more power.
A lot of people tend to just hold the bar without really squeezing it.
But, if you want to increase your strength, then you need to make sure that you are squeezing the bar as hard as you can.
A lot of people tend to use a very wide grip when they bench press.
But, this is not the best way to increase your strength.
Instead, you should use a narrow grip.
This will help to engage your triceps more and help you to generate more power.
Use your legs
When you are bench pressing, you should make sure that you are using your legs.
A lot of people tend to just use their upper body when they bench press.
But, if you want to generate more power, then you need to make sure that you are using your legs.
You should drive your feet into the ground and use your legs to help you lift the weight.
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12. Building A Solid Foundation
One of the most important things that you need to do is build a solid foundation.
This means having a strong base of strength and power.
The best way to do this is to focus on compound exercises.
Compound exercises are exercises that work multiple muscle groups at the same time.
Some examples of compound exercises are the bench press, squat, and deadlift.
These exercises are great for building a solid foundation of strength.
You should make sure that you are incorporating these exercises into your workout routine.
Doing isolation exercises like bicep curls and tricep extensions are also important.
But, they should not be the focus of your workout routine.
Focusing on compound exercises will help you to build a solid foundation of strength.
If you are having a weak bench press, then there are a few things that you can do to fix it.
You need to make sure that you have proper form, warm up properly, and focus on your mental game.
You also need to set small goals and focus on compound exercises.
Doing these things will help you to see massive improvements in your bench press strength.