Tip: How to Bench Big and Save Your Joints

Add this game-changing exercise to your push day. You'll build strength, build a bigger chest, and keep your joints happy.


To build a bigger bench press, you need to be benching frequently. The problem? To get the frequency needed to make strength and neural adaptations, it won't leave you with much spare volume to build your chest.

That's not to say you couldn't do an entire powerlifting-style workout to optimize strength, immediately followed by a bodybuilding routine to optimize growth, but it wouldn't be ideal. Not only would neither be "optimized," but your joints would end up feeling like glass.

If you want to bench press frequently while still being able to do the volume required to build your chest, rotate your bench press variations more frequently. Simply switching bars, grips, and ranges of motion will allow you to keep pressing heavy loads while giving your body a better chance of handling higher volume, muscle-building workouts.

This variation does all three:

A frequent rotation of bench press variations can help you put load across those tissues, but without subjecting those areas to repeated wear and tear.

Think about it like this: If the vehicle you drive were to always be turning left, then you'd expect your wheels to be worn more on one side than the other. It's no different for your body using the same angles, grips, and joint movements.

Bodybuilder Chest, Powerlifter Bench Press

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Gareth Sapstead is a leading strength and physique coach from the UK. He specializes in problem solving and breakthrough training techniques.

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