Grasping the bar as tightly as possible will activate the neighboring musculature, initiating a domino effect of neuromuscular engagement throughout the body.
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 1: CAT Strength
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 2: Armed for Strength
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 3: Stop Stretching
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 4: More Sets - Fewer Reps
BENCH PRESS SEMINAR 5: Dead Bench
A tight, crushing grip imposed on the bar will ignite the muscles of the arms, rotator cuffs, shoulders, upper back and traps, creating intramuscular tension, which will account for more total force production. On your next heavy set, imagine crushing your fingerprints into the bar.
The bench press is an equal opportunity lift. The more muscle involved the better. A tight grip does the job and makes the weight feel lighter in your hands.
Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, is the owner of JoshStrength.com and co-author (with Adam benShea) of the Amazon No. 1 seller Jailhouse Strong. He is a strength coach at Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas, and holds 12 world records in powerlifting. You can connect with him on Twitter and Facebook or visit his website at www.joshstrength.com.
Next Week: Bench Press Seminar 7: Hand Spacing
Crush the bar – and your personal best on the bench – with this assortment of supps.
Whey protein 20 grams 30-60 minutes pre-workout; 40-60 grams immediately post-workout
Caffeine 200-400 mg 1-2 hours before workouts
Creatine 3-5 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 3-5 grams with breakfast
Beta-alanine 1-1.5 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 1-1.5 grams with breakfast
Ribose 5-10 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes; on rest days take 5-10 grams with breakfast
Taurine 1-3 grams with pre- and postworkout shakes
Tribulus terrestris 250-750 mg with breakfast and one hour before workouts; do not take it on rest days
Fish oil 4-6 grams in 2-3 divided doses with meals