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Rightly or wrongly, the bench press is the king of gym exercises. Tell someone that you’re an iron pumper and their reflex question is likely to be, “How much can you bench?” Unless you come back at them with an impressive number, they’re likely to smirk knowingly regardless of how peaked your biceps are or how defined your abs happen to be.

The bench press is also the most badly performed, overused and potentially hazardous move you can do in the gym. In this article, we deconstruct the bench press to provide the essential guide to conquering this classic upper body mass builder.

How to Perfect Your Bench Press Form

The bench press is the exercise that is most often done incorrectly in the gym. The reason, ironically, is often because people think that it is simple and natural. As a result, they don’t see the need to learn proper technique the way they would with a squat or deadlift. That is a big mistake!

The first thing to understand about bench press form is that you need to pull your shoulder blades together and tuck in the latissimus dorsi. This is based on Newton’s Law that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. So, when you press the bench press bar, that bar is also pressing back on you. To get the maximum force transfer, you need to get as much of your back as possible on the bench.

Ideal Setup

• Lie on the bench with a flat back, with minimal back arch.

• Place your feet flat on the floor and directly under the knees.

• Draw the shoulder blades together and down, expanding the rib cage and placing more of the lats on the bench.

• Your eyes should be directly under the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder level.

• Before unracking the bar, take a deep breath to maximize the amount of tightness in the body. This also helps to transfer force from the feet to the hands.

• Hold the bar with a thumb over the bar grip.

Ideal Performance

• Unrack the bar and position it over your eyes.

• Draw your shoulder blades back and down.

• Tighten the lats and lower body by squeezing your glutes and legs.

• Try to pull the bar apart as you lower it to your chest. This will maintain the tightness of the upper back and lats.

• Drive your heels into the floor and press the bar up as forcefully as possible.

5 Key Hacks That Can Add Pounds to You Bench

(1) Squeezing the Shoulder Blades – try to squeeze your shoulder blades in the middle of the back when you are in the bridge position. This will help tighten the core and also engage the back to create a coiling effect when the barbell comes down. The tightness achieved helps you spring the barbell back up once it touches the chest.

(2) Elbows at 45 Degrees – you want your elbows coming down at a 45° angle from your body. One of the most common mistakes lifters make when benching is to open up their elbows. If your elbows shift out to your sides near 90° from your body, you could get injured. It will also lead to inefficient pressing and not getting the most out of the lift.

(3) Dig In your Heels – pull your feet far under your body as possible and dig your heels into the ground. This will enhance your ability to drive with your full body when pressing. With every rep, dig in your heels, flex your glutes, and your legs will help you drive the weight upward.

(4) Fill Your Lungs with Air – you want your lungs to assist in generating the power to press. Breathe only during your rest between sets and not as you press; doing so will immediately and greatly deplete your pressing power.

(5) Contact Point – touching the bar just under your pecs will allow you to keep your elbows at 45° from your body. When the bar is further up the chest, the elbows tend to come out, and once your elbows come out, your shoulder blades spread out. Once your shoulder blades spread out, your arch tends to get lost and your power will diminish.

What Not to Do On the Bench

Here are 5 common mistakes that you MUST avoid if you want to conquer the bench …

• Bringing the bar too high – Do not bench to the neck. Doing so will way overstress your shoulder joint and could lead to rotator cuff surgery!

• Unsafe grip – do not use a thumbless grip on the bench press. Not only does it raise the possibility that the bar could slip out of your grip, it also hyperextends your wrist. When you are holding a maximum weight, the last thing you need is a compromised wrist joint!

• Thrust your hips – If you’re reading this, I’m assuming that you’re benching for pec development rather than simply to hoist a number. That being the case, you want to keep the stress on your chest, delts and triceps. To do that you need to keep your hips down throughout the movement.

• Use momentum – In line with the last point, you must avoid stealing the effect of this exercise from your working muscles by allowing momentum to carry the weight up. That means that you must never bounce the bar off your chest.

• Twist your spine – You need to stay focused at all times when you are benching. It doesn’t matter if there’s a holdup at the front of the gym; resist the temptation to twist your neck to see what’s going on. Finish your set first!


The bench press is a natural but not a simple exercise. Taking the time to learn how to do it properly will pay off big time in terms of getting your poundage up and maxing out your muscle gain results. Just remember that the biggest problem that most guys have with the bench press is their ego. Be sure to leave yours at the gym door on chest day!

Check out the products from Enhanced to help with your bench press. Enhanced is the home of Big Ramy, 2020 Mr. Olympia champion, 11x Olympia competitor Dennis “the Menace” James, and hundreds of other professional bodybuilders, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and biohackers.

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Failures in Business: The Unseen Stepping Stones to Success

Equally significant is the need for businesses to remain vigilant about broader shifts in both domestic and global markets. Macro factors, whether they’re economic trends, geopolitical events, or emerging global challenges, can have profound ripple effects, impacting even the most niche industries. By staying abreast of these larger market dynamics, businesses can better anticipate risks, adapt to challenges, and capitalize on new opportunities. In an ever-globalizing world, the ability to navigate both the nuances of one’s immediate market and the broader global shifts is what separates thriving enterprises from those that falter.

TACTICAL Takeaway: Stay sharp and monitor your industry’s trends. When things shift, being ahead in understanding consumer habits offers you the flexibility to adjust and succeed. Things can change rapidly and the sooner you have insight into consumer behavior changes, the more opportunities you have to pivot.


Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The sports nutrition industry is an interesting, fast-paced vertical where what’s old can quickly become new again but also what worked yesterday likely won’t work tomorrow.

It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s spot-on. Take creatine as an example. It hit the shelves in the early 1990s and quickly became a hit. Yet, a decade later, its demand had waned. Jump another decade to today, and it’s back more popular than ever.

TACTICAL Takeaway: The key for businesses is knowing when to go all-in on a product and when to ease off, as it’s the ever-changing consumer market that truly drives demand.

Never Rest On Your Laurels

Just because something “has always worked” doesn’t mean it’s going to continue to work (or continue to work as efficiently).

In the dynamic world of business, the saying “never rest on your laurels” holds more truth than ever. What propelled a company to success yesterday might not necessarily be the formula for its tomorrow’s success. Market demands, technological innovations, and consumer preferences are in a perpetual state of evolution. While a particular strategy or product might have been a game-changer at one point, there’s no guarantee that it will remain relevant or effective in the future. This inherent unpredictability underscores the need for adaptability and forward-thinking in any business endeavor.

This reality pushes companies to be proactive, always forecasting and adjusting to the next potential shift. Relying solely on past successes can lull businesses into complacency, risking obsolescence in the face of changing tides.

TACTICAL Takeaway: To remain competitive and relevant, businesses need to cultivate a culture of continuous learning, innovation, and agility. In essence, the past can inform and guide, but it’s the vision and readiness for the future that will determine enduring success.

Embracing The Journey

To any entrepreneur reading this: the road to success is rarely a straight one. At times, it may seem like every decision leads to a dead end. But remember, every misstep is an opportunity to learn, grow, and pivot.

The trials you face in business are not meant to discourage you. Instead, they are meant to shape you, refine your vision, and improve your strategy. As the age-old adage goes, “smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” It’s the challenges that will arm you with the experience and resilience necessary for long-term success.

So, the next time you face a setback, remember that your next big success could be just around the corner. Embrace failure as a part of the process, learn from your mistakes, and continue pushing forward with a renewed sense of purpose and determination.

Lastly, don’t forget to enjoy the journey. With so much time spent working and navigating challenges, it’s essential to find joy and have fun along the way.


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Mens Health

Negativity Is a Losing Mindset

By Marc Lobliner


‘A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.’

I coach my son’s U11 football team. I am just the line coach, but the dudes who coach with me are also in the same mindset as I am.

Positivity wins.

Let’s start off with last weekend’s game.

It’s 0-0, the opening kickoff is a short one and we fall on it.

You can hear our coaches getting our kids fired up and getting the offense ready for play. POSITIVE statements. A lot of “Let’s Go!” and energy.

On the other sideline, you hear the coaches angrily yelling at their players for the execution of the kick.

First play from scrimmage, our line makes every block and opens the outside for our running back to score.

You hear their coaches furiously yelling as we celebrate.

We celebrated and our fullback punched in the extra point.

After the kickoff, our defense held them to four and out. We got the ball again, touchdown. Extra point good.

14-0 in two offensive plays.s

Their coaches were still mad. Angry. Yelling.

We smiled, encouraged our kids, and ended up with a 42-0 mercy-rule win.

Our players are awesome, but not the biggest, not the fastest, not the strongest.

It’s all about culture and what you’re playing for.

We demand a lot of our athletes. Learn your plays, DO YOUR JOB, and we will win.

Every Tuesday after we win, I buy my linemen doughnuts and give them to everyone, telling them that a random lineman (changes weekly) said everyone deserves doughnuts. We don’t punish every mistake with extra running and up-downs. We focus on what we do RIGHT, and not what we do wrong.

The other game one of my linemen got called for a hold. He came off the field expecting to be scolded. I put my arm around him and said, “What happened?” He explained it and then I said, “You’re better than that guy, you don’t need to hold. Show the world how dominant you are!” He didn’t get one call the rest of the game and crushed it.

This is also my management style at work. Managers are usually garbage. You can do 1,000 things right and you mess up once and your manager attacks you.

556494762 fullsizerender 4


Employees typically respond better to positivity, and numerous studies have found that positive reinforcement and a positive work environment can significantly improve employee motivation, performance, and well-being. Here are some reasons why, supported by various studies:

Increased Productivity: According to a study conducted by the University of Warwick, happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers were 10% less productive. The research shows that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity.

Better Decision-Making Abilities: Research from the University of Pennsylvania’s Positive Psychology Center found that individuals who were induced to feel positive emotions were better at problem-solving and making decisions than those in a neutral state.

Boosts Creativity: Positive emotions widen attention and allow people to think more broadly and openly. This is discussed in the “broaden-and-build theory” by Barbara Fredrickson, which suggests that positive emotions broaden an individual’s momentary thought-action repertoires.

Enhanced Team Collaboration: A study from MIT’s Human Dynamics Laboratory found that teams that communicate effectively, with members actively reaching out and connecting with all other team members, were more successful. Positive interactions contribute to this dynamic.

Reduced Employee Turnover: According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), a positive work environment and culture encourages employees to stay longer in their jobs, thus reducing turnover rates. This is KEY at where our staff has mostly been there for 5+ years!

Better Health & Well-being: A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology found that positive work environments and low job stress are linked to better health outcomes for employees, which in turn can lead to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity.

Increased Engagement: According to Gallup, workers who are engaged and have high well-being are more likely to be attached to their organizations and are more productive.

Enhanced Learning & Flexibility: Research in the field of positive psychology has shown that positive emotions can facilitate adaptive thinking and flexibility in cognitive processing. This helps employees adapt to new situations and learn more effectively.

Higher Levels of Satisfaction: A study by BrightHR found that happiness is a key indicator of job satisfaction. Happy employees are more likely to report high levels of satisfaction with their jobs than those who report low levels of happiness.

Creates a Positive Feedback Loop: A study published in The Journal of Positive Psychology found that experiencing positive emotions leads to higher levels of resilience, which in turn leads to increased positive emotions. This positive feedback loop has a myriad of beneficial effects in the workplace.

How about parenting?

Same thing. PRAISE YOUR CHILD! Make sure they know you love them. While bad behavior should be addressed, be sure to also reward good behavior. Kid had a good day at school? Get him ice cream! Tell him you love him. Say you’re proud of him.

As my mother said, “You catch more flies with honey than with crap.”

And one can’t deny the lifelong impact of a good coach. As the sign in the office says, “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.”

Be positive and be a winner!

556494785 img 1682 2

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Instagram @marclobliner

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Panatta Super Rowing Page 1

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