If you want to get better at something, you have to spend more time doing it. PERIOD!
We all have things we are good at and things we are bad at.
It would be easy to only focus on the things your good at. If you were to just do the things you were good at then you would always be happy with the results.
Of course, there are the things that you want to be good at but aren’t. Although, you might not be good at something, that doesn’t mean it has to remain that way.
Have you ever heard the saying, “practice makes perfect?”
Perfection might not be the right word, but the saying is true in many ways. If you want to get better at something you have to spend time practicing it. The more time you put to something, the more efficient you will get at that task.
Now, where am I going with this?
I will be honest; I am not a great bench presser. In the past after every bench press workout I would end up angry at my performance. I would show up for my workout excited and leave with my head between my legs.
I played baseball my whole life so I never touched the bench press. I had no reason to hit the bench. It wasn’t going to help me become a better player; actually it could have done more harm than good for my shoulder.
When I stopped playing baseball and began lifting I went from never bench pressing to bench pressing being one of my main movements. My progress on bench has always been slow, and I struggle to get comfortable with the bench. The level of comfort that I have with the squat and deadlift has never been the same with the bench.
I am still not a great bench presser by any means. However, as I said before, just because you’re not good at something doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.
In last three month things have changed a lot and it is because I spend a lot more time benching. My numbers might not be incredibly high yet, but I am starting to feel a lot more comfortable under the bar.
So why is my bench press getting better?
The bench is about repeatability. Being able to repeat each rep every single time is huge in having success. The bench is a very technical lift. Things like set up, bar path, leg drive, and lockout are very important to practice every time. With the bench the littlest miscue can throw off the movement.
Paying attention to these technicalities has played a role in my bench press improving. For instance, my set up is the same every time, my bar path is getting more consistent, and I am able to consistently use my leg drive.
It has also gotten better because I am doing it a lot more. I am benching twice a week with a minimum of two bench movements in each workout. All the reps add up, spending all that extra time under the bar practicing and practicing, have enabled me to make progress.
Benching more is great, but it is very important to remember to try and make each bench press movement the same. Ingraining in your brain the movement so it becomes second nature.
If you want to become a better bencher, you have to bench more, period! Not only do I not dread bench day anymore, but I am having a lot more fun!