The secret to getting stronger is to not lift as heavy as possible. That sounds strange, we know, but repeatedly loading up the bar and straining just leads to injuries and burnout. We can help you bench so much weight that the bar bends, but you’ll have to check your ego for the next six weeks. Do that, and there’s a good chance you’ll add another 20 pounds or so to your max.

How it works:

You’re going to hold back a little bit on all your bench-press sets. You’ll still use challenging weights, but doing fewer reps than you’re capable of will keep you healthy and progress you gradually. In Week 6, you’ll test your max—yes, you can go all out then—and you’ll see where all that extra energy you saved went. Note that some exercises are taken to failure. These are the ones we’re not as concerned about lifting heavy with and use to stimulate the muscles that support big benching, so push hard where noted.


You’ll train the bench press and the muscles that help you perform it twice per week (Day I and Day II). Perform your own lower-body training on days in between

The workouts:

Make the bar bend: Week 1 day 1

Make the bar bend: Week 1 day 2

Make The bar bend: Week 2 day 1

Make The bar bend: Week 2 day 2

Make The bar bend: Weeks 3-6

Workouts Designed by CJ Murphy