Trying to get a new personal record (PR) but seem to be stuck in a rut? We’ve all been there at one point or another. In most cases, it involves the bench press. If you’re one of these folks then I got a trick that may help you out. I tried this for the first time years ago and it helped me out. Before we get into the details, there are a few of things you should know first.

First, take three days away from training completely. The rest will be crucial so you have maximum energy to commit to reaching your new goal.

Second, make sure you have a spotter or training partner that you trust completely. It is IMPOSSIBLE to do this properly without a spotter to help you. You’ll see why in a minute.

Third, when you try this, make sure you attempt no more than ten pounds over your current max. This won’t help you add 50 pounds to your bench instantly so please be smart when attempting this.

Finally, this doesn’t work every time you max out so only practice this strategy when you’ve been stuck in a rut and need to break a plateau.

Ok, so it’s max day and you’ve rested up. Here’s what you do.

  1. Five minutes of warm up cardio at a low to moderate intensity. We only want to get the blood moving here and nothing more so don’t take it too serious.
  2. Five minutes of stretching and I mean the entire body. Stretch the pecs, back, legs, arms, and make sure you’re loose and ready to go.
  3. Hit the bench. Start with 20 reps using only the bar. Rest for 2 minutes.
  4. Get 10 reps with 50% of your current max. Rest for 2 minutes.
  5. Load 75% of your current max on the bar and perform 5 reps. Rest for 2 minutes.
  6. Here’s where you need your spotter. Load up 10% more than your max. If your max is 200 pounds, take 200 and multiply that by .1 and you get 20. So you would put 220 on the bar. Have your spotter give you a lift off and lower the bar under control until it touches your chest. Make sure your spotter is NOT helping you lower the weight. Once it touches your chest, the spotter should help you lift it back up to the starting position. Repeat this one more time. Then rack the weight and rest for 2 minutes.
  7. Load you new max attempt on the bar. If we use the 200 pound example then you should go for 205 or 210 at the most. Mentally prepare yourself, leave no doubt that it will happen, have your spotter give you a lift off, and go for it. I won’t guarantee that it always work because nothing is perfect but I’m pretty confident that you will get your new max.

Did you figure out why it works? After you warm up, you’re shocking your body by overloading the muscles with the extra weight. Every muscle fiber necessary has been recruited. After the overload set, your body is prepared to repeat that again so when you go back down to your new max attempt, you SHOULD be able to successfully complete the lift. Just make sure you follow this protocol exactly as it’s written. The rest, warming up, and spotter are all crucial to maximize your chances of success.

About the Author

roger rockridgeRoger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.

Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.