Welcome back! In volume one we discussed the importance of pre-hab exercises, warming up and grip position.
Now that you have a decent understanding of what you should be doing to ensure you don't run into injury - we want to ensure that we can grow stronger over time.
Growing stronger in the incline bench can be difficult. Due to the somewhat unnatural bar position, we should not overload the muscle frequently as this will stress the shoulder and lead to injury and lack of strength.
As such, we should look at training with progressive overload and very specific exercises.
Here are some of the best ways to ensure you are going to make progressive strength gains in the incline bench without running into injury:
As much as it can feel really gangster to lift heavy on an incline bench, the stress you are putting on your shoulder really just isn't worth it. To be honest, I wouldn't recommend going over your body weight on the incline bench.
Instead, you can work with slower rep ranges, more volume and higher set schemes.
This is my personal favourite way to train the incline bench. In fact, training with the 5-8 rep range is perfect for those who are looking for strength improvements but do not want to overload the shoulder and chest too much.
TOP TIP: When training within the 5-8 rep range you should be using a weight at around 70-85% of your max lift.
Parallel bar dips and straight bar dips are some of the best exercises you can use top provide strength on deloading days as they have a very similar position on the bar. Dips are also a great exercise you can use to warm up for incline bench as it will target many of the same muscles.
This is perhaps the biggest thing that many people avoid when they are training for bigger lifts. Targeting the long head of the triceps will allow you to push through with power when you are in the lowest bar position.
In order to train the long head, you should complete exercises where the resistance is overhead - like overhead triceps extensions or skull crushers.
To keep your training specific try to maintain the same rep schemes as what you train on the incline press. This will help to add a specific touch to your workouts.
The last aspect to consider is frequency. Although the incline press is an awesome exercise, this is one that would be considered more of an accessory lifting movement behind your flat press or dips - as such you should only be training this exercise 1-2x every 2 weeks.
If you are after a great exercise to build strength in the chest and shoulder be sure to check out the incline press.
Not only is it one of the best pushing exercises and measures of strength, but it is also one of the better exercises for working into a deep range of motion at the shoulder.
Take your training slowly and be sure to monitor the stress you put on your shoulder and chest. Your Form is seriously important in every big lift, but even more important in the incline bench.