Sunday, March 10, 2013


I was stuck in a meeting at work and started charting out what sort of assistance exercises I could do for my bench press, thought I'd pass on my notes here to inspire others. If you have followed my training, you know I train in my garage, and everything I own has been personally funded, which means I don't have nearly the variety of equipment available to me that most people in a well stocked gym do. That said, I found I actually could do 2000 different variations of bench alone based on what I had.

Here is how I broke down the variables available to me in order to develop variations

Flat bench
Incline bench
Floor (floor pressing)

Swiss bar

W/ fat gripz (for reference they also make an "extreme model" too if you want to open up your options)
W/o fat gripz

Grip width:
Close grip (BB/Swiss bar only)
Wide (BB/Swiss bar only)
Parallel (DB only)

Pause at bottom of movement:

Lockout reps at top:

Height of starting point:
No real way to put a number to this, you can go any number of inches/measurements off your chest (not applicable to floor press)

Method of height of starting point:
Chest (not applicable to floor press)
Chain suspended (BB/Swiss bar only) (not applicable to floor press)
Boards (BB/Swiss bar only) (not applicable to floor press)
Pins (BB/Swiss bar only) (not applicable to floor press)

Modifications to bar:
Reverse bands (BB/Swiss bar only)
Against bands

Basically, from here it's like chinese food. Just pick something from each column and you've built a bench variation to use.

One of the key things here is that some low cost/high effect things to get to increase your variability is some fat gripz and some resistance bands. Chains are awesome too, but not very portable.

That, and it doesn't take much to have a lot of variety available to you. Very minor modifications can result in almost totally new movements.

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