As one of the best strongman athletes in the world, Robert Oberst knows a thing or two about successful bench pressing techniques. He recently decided to share some of that wisdom with his fans, to help them score better lifts.
During his time in the sport, Oberst has established himself as one of the most popular athletes in all of strongman. While he has not reached the same heights as others in the sport, he has endeared himself to fans with his everyman attitude and funny personality.
The last few years have seen Robert start to shift his focus into helping others hone their craft and improve their skills. This was seen in full force when he offered his tips to improving your front squat technique a few weeks back.
However this was not the end of the education from Robert Oberst. He recently took to his YouTube to give tips to improve your overall bench press game, and add to the weight that you can press.
To sum it up, these tups can be broken down into three parts: bending the bar, controlling the weight, and using different hand positions. He broke down these three tips in detail, so you can add the tips to your repertoire.
“For me, I don’t consider bench to be the most important. I am obviously and overhead enthusiast, and I make sure that my shoulders are strong. I do believe there is space in strongman for the bench press,” Oberst said.
Step One: Bend The Bar
The first step towards having the best bench press possible comes before you even start moving weight. Robert Oberst says that the first step is to build up torque and tension in the bar, also known as “loading the springs.”
“Basically, you want to put your body in a position, where the easiest choice for your arms and for your chest is to push the weight away from you.”
Oberst explains that the first thing you do is tuck in your elbows while you wrench in the bar, similar to what you would do if you were trying to bend the bar. This acts like a hydraulic pump of sorts, which sets up your elbows.
Robert does not arch his back as much as some powerlifters do, but he does have a small bend. While flexing the lats, and bending the elbows in, he is able to keep everything tight during the press.
Step Two: Control
Next up, Robert Oberst says that the second step to improving your bench press is having complete control over the weight. This seems like a basic, no-brainer but it is of the the upmost importance to maximizing your numbers.
“Control is huge. It makes all the muscle fibers that are in charge of stability, in charge of balance, the muscle fibers that are in charge of firing to keep everything in place, it makes sure that all of them are engaged and all of them are being properly used.”
To help with your control, Oberst suggests making slow and deliberate movements with the weight, while on the way down. Then he says to have an explosive movement when throwing up the weight.
Robert attributes the slow drop as the source of his strength. He says that this keeps him consistent, while not trying to push himself beyond what he is capable of benching.
Step Three: Hand Positioning
Oberst makes it clear that the third and final tip to increasing your bench press, is putting in the work to do the reps. However it is more than that, as he says that it is equally crucial to do the reps with a variety of different hand positions.
“We make sure we get the reps, but we switch up positions.”
Oberst then breaks down a suicide set that he does, where he changes the hand position as he gets tired. He will go from a wide grip to a close grip, making sure that you hit every muscle group.
In his set, Robert does ten reps with a normal grip, before doing ten in a close grip, and ten with a wide grip. That said, he explains that the numeric value of the reps is irrelevant, as long as you are pushing yourself and switching grips.
At the end of the day, Robert Oberst says that it all comes down to putting the time in the gym, and improving day over day. With that in mind, if you add these tips to your toolbox, you will be certainly taking steps in the right direction.