Looking to bulk up? Get to work with these surefire tricks

Want to look like Chris Evans from Captain America? Get these insider tips on how to bulk up

Tarek Yacoub
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Want to look like Chris Evans from Captain America? How about getting pecs like the mighty Jason Momoa from Conan the Barbarian?

Step into a gym and the first thing your fellow weight-pushers will usually ask is: “how many reps can you pull?” Not-so-surprisingly, looking like bulky actors is not based on how many reps you can pull, but how you pull.

Bench pressing is a workout that requires no contemplation when it comes to how many Olympic weight plates you can stack right before someone volunteers to spot you in case your hands started to shake on that first repetition.

Let’s face it, it’s the machismo work out for men. You can tour the gym for an entire hour through all the machines but you’ll inevitably have to face your ultimate challenge with the barbell.

The beauty of bench pressing is not only does it work the whole upper body but it also stimulates the growth of different muscle groups. One of which are the deltoid muscles (shoulders) which are segmented into three parts – the front muscles (Anterior), middle muscles (Lateral) and rear muscles (Posterior).

Aside from increasing the strength and mass of the shoulders, bench pressing will also concentrate on your triceps, lats and of course the entire chest region. The magnitude of how much growth is involved will of course depend on your training regime and consistency.

Here are five tips to help increase your bench pressing technique.

Warm-ups (to get that blood flowing)

What’s the first rule before any work out? Warm up, right? There’s a reason for that - whether it’s a ten minute cardio session or a quick jog on the treadmill you’ll need to keep your circulation flowing for leaner muscle tissues.


If you don’t warm up, you’ll be more susceptible to getting injuries. Another reason to warm up is to ease your arteries into carrying a lot of oxygenated blood from the heart to the rest of the body, hence boosting cell functionalities and your overall responsiveness during your workout.

Mix your sets

Start off with two to three sets and 20 percent more weights than you usually take. If you’re new to the world of dumbbells I would suggest sticking with doing Myofibrillar Hypertrophies. The next round would be alternated to three sets to gradually increase the weights to 45 percent of what you did in the last session – then rinse and repeat. Remember that the only way for your body to grow is to continuously be under tension.


Take resting periods (seriously)

Another important factor to help stimulate muscle growth is the ability to give “rehab time” to your body. So nourish it with nutrients, supplements and most importantly, rest. You need to give your body time off when you’re training.

Alternate grips

The closer your hands are to the center of the barbell the more stress is induced on your triceps, the further the more you’re going to work the shoulders and pecs.


Correct posture is important as you don’t want to be getting a tennis elbow early in the week, so take your time in this. If in doubt, use a Smith machine.

Tag a work-out buddy

Many studies show that if you hit the gym with a friend your motivation and commitment level will be higher, contrary to just plugging in some earphones and going at it by yourself. What better way to tap into those extra reserves of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) than to stride in with a fitness partner who shares the same enthusiastic energy as you.


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