5 Ways of Utilizing Chains to Bench Big

Chains are a great tool to add what is called accommodating resistance to your lifts. This means as you move through the range of motion of your lift, the load is in constant change. As you near the weakest portion of your lift the chains deload onto the floor and as you reach the strongest portion of your lift the chains are almost fully off the ground adding extra weight to the movement. Deload where weakest, load where strongest, it has been a proven formula for adding strength and power

These 5 exercises are a great use of chains to build up a strong bench!

1. Floor Press w/Chains

The floor press as a stand alone exercise is great for building lockout strength. To perform the floor press you lie on the floor of a power rack and bench from the floor. This is a partial range of motion lift as your elbows hitting the floor prevent you from touching the chest with the bar. Most the lifting is occurring through the triceps. When you add chains to this exercise it just enhances the lockout portion of the lift where the chains are adding the most weight. It makes it a much more proficient exercise at building the lockout strength of the bench and should be a staple in an equipped benchers routine

2. Chain Flys

Chain flys are best used as an accessory exercise after a few bench specific main movements. It is a great way to finish a bench workout with a great chest pump. It is also a great way to stretch out the muscles of the chest a bit. The chains deload on the floor and allow you the ability to safely create a stretch in your chest 

3. Speed Bench w/Chains

The original use for chains and bands was for additional accommodating resistance during speed work. You'll use a lighter percentage of your 1 rep max on bench such as 55-65% and add chain resistance. In the bottom you'll have that deload so you're using about the 55-65% weight and at the top you have closer to 75-85%. This has been shown to increase power production and make the athlete more explosive

4. Bench w/Cascading Chains

This is something I have played around with on my volume bench day. I have hooked up 3 chains on each side of the bar on different slots of the EZ Loader Strap. When the chains are hooked up higher there is a greater load on the bar, when they are hooked lower there is less. I would limit rest between sets and slowly drop the chains down a notch each set for about 5-6 sets. The drop in chains allows you to continue hitting the desired reps with limited rest in between sets. The same idea as a drop set with bar weight but rather with chain weight

5. Push Ups w/Chains

Push ups are a great way to add volume to your upper body pressing without fatiguing you too much. People are able to tolerate hundreds and hundreds of push ups throughout the day and train effectively just fine. This not only builds up upper body strength but it keeps the joints healthy. Adding chains to load push ups are a great way to get push ups into your bench training routine. It works great as an accessory exercise such as chain flys. The chains deload a bit as you lower your chest to the floor allowing you to explode off the floor and build lockout strength at the top 

Add chains to spice up your routine! Give these a try and I know you will be adding great strength to your bench press. If you would like to get coaching for your bench press, contact me at coachben@bigbenchas.com. I have helped numerous athletes increase their bench and I can help you too

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