During the upward phase of the movement, push your lower back into the bench, while focusing on contracting your chest muscles.
Repetitions, Sets, and Weight:
The number of repetitions (reps) and sets you should do depends on your strength goals. In general,
works to increase basic function of the muscle and is the typical workout choice.
is important to people who participate in endurance activities such as running or biking, and
is beneficial for athletes who need to use sudden quick movements, such as sprinting, or playing basketball or football. Beginners should begin with a basic routine and gradually move toward a strength, endurance, or power routine.
1 set of 8 to 12 reps
1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps
1 to 3 sets of 15 to 20 reps
1 to 3 sets of 3 to 6 reps
Use a weight that is heavy enough to perform the desired number of reps and sets for your skill level using good form. When you are able to perform more reps and sets than is outlined in your category, try to increase the weight you lift by 2% to 10%. Your strength goals may change as you progress.
Barbell bench press. American Council on Exercise website. Available at: http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness_programs_exercise_library_details.aspx?exerciseid=5. Accessed May 30, 2017.
Barbell bench press—medium grip. Body Building website. Available at: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/barbell-bench-press-medium-grip. Accessed May 30, 2017.
Resistance training for health and fitness. American College of Sports Medicine website. Available at: http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/resistance-training.pdf. Published 2013. Accessed May 30, 2017.
Last reviewed May 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 9/13/2013