The bench press is a common strength-training exercise that can be performed by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Athletes such as football players commonly perform a bench press test involving maximum repetitions with the weight set at 225 lbs. This strength test is designed to test the athlete’s muscular strength and endurance. As a result, increasing reps with 225 lbs. can be accomplished through dedicated training that incorporates specific workouts. Consult a doctor before starting a program and follow the instruction from a certified strength coach.
Record the bench press workouts in a training manual. Plan a three-week cycle with bench press workouts two to four times per week followed with one week off. Each workout should follow the “progressive overload” principle that relates to gradually increasing the amount of weight and repetitions. For example, week one may include a workout using 185 lbs., while the following week will include the same workout using 190 lbs.
Use proper form during every workout and every repetition. To perform the maximum number of repetitions, proper form allows you to use energy and force efficiently while reducing wasted motion. Proper form involves keeping both feet planted firmly on the floor, back arched, shoulder blades squeezed together, inhaling as the bar is lowered and exhaling as the bar is pressed.
Perform a total body warmup for at least 10 minutes before every workout. The warmup should include a series of body-weight exercises such as pushups, cardio exercises such as running and flexibility exercises such as chest stretches. The goal of the warmup is to prepare the body and muscles for the upcoming workout.
Perform the test every two to three weeks. This is the best way to learn what to expect during the test along with improving the overall number of repetitions.
Perform heavy bench press workouts weekly to increase strength levels. Example workouts include five sets of five repetitions, three sets of three repetitions or seven sets of one repetition. Always use a weight that is more than 225 lbs. or near your one-rep maximum.
Perform lightweight bench press workouts weekly to increase muscular endurance. These workouts will use weight that is lighter than 225 lbs. with the goal of performing a maximum number of repetitions. For example, use 185 lbs. and perform three to five sets of 10 to 30 repetitions.
Use resistance bands for variable resistance workouts. The bands will add resistance to the bench press and force you to practice fast, explosive movements during every repetition.
Perform auxiliary lifts to build local muscular strength and endurance. These auxiliary lifts include dips, lat pulldowns, incline bench press, decline bench press, triceps training, pushups and pullups.