If you have been benching for some time, you probably tried using chest supersets to help you gain strength and muscle. But if you are like most other weight lifters, you most likely combined bench press with exercises like dumbbell flyes. But why not to combine it with close bench press instead and take advantage of higher weights and shorter time between the two exercises?
Close bench press is widely used to improve both muscle gains as well as upper body strength. The primary used muscles are tricepses, shoulders and chest – the same as with regular bench press. However, given the close grip, you attack the muscles from different angle, yet using the same equipment.
This makes it perfect for chest supersets because you do not have to change station between exercises. After finishing your bench press set, your spotter will immediately remove some of the weight from the bar and you can start doing the close bench press. This intensifies the training much more than if you wasted time going from one station to another and also eliminates the need having ‘booked’ two stations in the gym (which may not go well with other people in the gym, who may want to use the equipment too).
The important thing to keep in mind is that after bench press set, your tricepses will already be tired, so do not use extreme weights for your close bench press. Many times, when you lift the bar from the rack, you may feel actually full of strength, however that is a false feeling and your tricepses typically give up unexpectedly. So always have a spotter available and always make sure the weights are reasonable.
The preparation for the chest supersets is important too. Always load the bar so that the spotter can quickly remove the weight as needed and never have to place any additional weight on the bar. This little planning will minimize the time needed to prepare the bar between sets, thus increasing the intensity of the training.
Chest supersets will test your strength and stamina, but you should never sacrifice the technique for weight or more reps. Don’t lift your head, keep your hips on the bench all the time and during the close bench press keep the elbow as close to the body as possible. If you fail, or if you want to stimulate your muscles beyond your strength, use your spotter to add 1-2 extra reps to each set. But be careful, as supersets are very intensive and adding extra techniques may cause over-training.
Close bench press is definitely a perfect match for your chest supersets. Combined with bench press, it is going to help you increase your bench press strength and give you quick muscle gain in no time for sure.
About the Author:
There’s much more to effective bench press routine. Don’t be stuck in the rut. Try the amazing, hard-core Blast Your Bench program, or the time-tested Critical Bench program. Not Sure which one to choose? Read my side-by-side review of both these great raw bench press workouts.