The bench press has become an iconic lift in pop culture and just about everywhere you can think of, but why are people so infatuated with the bench press? What is the big deal? Whether you are at the gym, at school, or at football practice guys seem to always be asking each other “How much do you bench?”
This question seems to follow all athletic men wherever they are. Some people don’t consider this to be an important piece of information, but in reality the bench press is an important exercise for many different reasons.
The importance of the Bench Press
You are probably already familiar with the pride and admiration that comes from having a big bench press. For many athletes and bodybuilders this is a standard measurement of overall strength and manliness. You know that having a big bench press will get you respect and sometimes even attention. That is certainly worth a lot.
It is pretty widely accepted that the bigger your bench press the stronger and more in shape you are. You can use the bench press as a measuring stick to self-evaluate.
The bench press is also important because it can help increase muscle mass throughout your body. As you utilize this exercise and keep increasing your weight, the body will continue to add muscle mass in order to be able to handle the extra weight. The bench press also releases anabolic hormones into your blood. These hormones can also help you to get stronger and build more muscle.
It’s always fun when you can bench press much more weight than your friends or buddies at the gym, but this lift is about more than bragging rights. It’s also about more than just having a jacked upper body. If you can manage to do the bench press correctly (most people don’t) then you are working almost every muscle in your body—chest biceps, back, legs, triceps and shoulders. Does that sound important?
This type of compound exercise works your whole body at the same time. With an exercise like the bench press you are getting better results in less time. This is because you are working all the muscles at once. The bench press is a great stand by lift for those that have limited time at the gym. You can save some time while still getting an intense whole-body workout.
You can probably see now that skipping this important exercise would be silly. If you struggle with the bench press, do yourself a favor and face it head on. If you don’t, you will be missing out on those anabolic hormones and missing out on a critical exercise for gaining mass.
Improve Your Bench Press
There is one secret to improving your bench press. You must pay close attention to all the muscles you are using. Just think of all the muscles listed above. If you only focus on your chest muscles, you are bound to overuse them and thus lose strength. Be mindful of all the muscles involved and you will be much happier with then results.
Another common mistake is injury. Because the bench press is so popular and people are eager to impress, there is an increased chance that injury will occur. Do yourself a favor and know your limits. If you get injured badly it will only hurt your training regimen and it will probably make you look like a jerk. If you want to impress your friends at the gym there is an easy way to do it. You can invest time in building muscle so that you know for sure what you can bench press.