There are certain techniques you can use to gain strength on the bench press. These include forced reps, negative only reps, and training your weakest part of a bench press rep. There is another great technique you can try that involves using bench press chains.
For many weight trainers, the toughest part of a bench press rep is the point where they lift the bar off of their chests after lowering it. For most of us, the easiest part of a rep is the last few inches, also known as the lockout. If you’ve ever tried a partial bench press repetition (just performing the lockout portion of the lift), you could almost certainly use a lot more weight than you can for a full rep. Using bench press chains will allow the overall weight you are lifting to get lighter as you lower the barbell, and heavier as you lift it.
Bench press chains are basically heavy chains attached to collars that you can put on each side of a barbell after you’ve put weights on it. When the barbell is one the rack or at arm length, only a small portion of the chains are on the floor. As you lower the barbell to your chest, more of the chains pile on the floor – which decreases the overall amount of weight. As you lift the barbell the chains come up off of the floor – which increases the overall amount. This means that when you are using bench press chains you will be lifting less weight at your weakest part of a rep, and more weight at your strongest part of a rep.
You can take advantage of using bench press chains to get stronger on the bench. With the change in resistance through a rep, you’ll be challenged throughout the entire lift. Try a couple of sets with the chains added to the barbell and you will feel the difference.