Is it your bench press technique that is holding you back, or is it muscle weakness? Is it a weak muscle that puts you in a bad position, or bad technique that puts your muscles in a compromised position? Truth be told it is probably some combination of all of the above.
So if your technique is locked in, then you should start to look for a muscular weak link. Obviously the major muscles used to bench are triceps, delts, chest, and lats. And it is quite possible that one of these muscles is holding you back. However, there is group of muscles that I left off that list. It is something that you never think about, but grip strength plays a major roll in your bench press technique and strength.
Don’t believe me? Try this experiment. The next time that you are in the gym pick a weight that is 70-75% of your max. Take a weak grip on the bar, do not squeeze the bar any more than is necessary and perform a rep or two. Rest a second and try to figure out how that weight felt so heavy. Now this time when you set up to bench try to squeeze the bar as tightly as humanly possible. When you perform your reps while squeezing the life out of the bar you will feel how much of a difference it makes. Kind of surprising isn’t it? It’s little things like this that can make a big difference.
If you think that your grip strength might be effecting your bench press technique, thick bar training may be the key. Adding thick bar training into your routine can quickly address your grip issues. Hopefully you are blessed to have access to some thick handled equipment. If not you can pick up some Fat Gripz. Either way, adding thick bar training to you bench workouts can take your benching to a new level.
Just remember, the next time you are at the end of a grueling set and need one more rep….SQUEEZE THE BAR!!