Ah, the Bench Blaster: some call it the Sling Shot, some call it cheating, and some call it a gimmick hardly worthy of any respectable muscle head. Yet nobody can deny the results that the Bench Blaster has on improving the amount of weight a lifter can bench press.
If you’ve reached a plateau on your bench press, or are simply looking to add a bit of novelty to your routine, read on to discover how the Bench Blaster can help you press more weight.
What is a Bench Blaster anyway?
The Bench Blaster is an elastic device, similar to the bench press sling shot, which slips over the upper arms and aids in the bench press. The Bench Blaster helps create a ‘spring’ off of the chest, allowing the user to lift anywhere from 10-20% more weight. The Bench Blaster is a tool used to ‘overload’ the bench press, but unlike other overload techniques, it allows for a full range of motion while promoting perfect form.
As you can see from the picture below, as you lower the weight during the bench press, the Bench Blaster creates tension across the chest, effectively pulling the arms together. This allows you to safely lift more weight than you could under normal circumstances.
Who should be using a Bench Blaster?
While you may think the Bench Blaster is only for the highly-seasoned bodybuilder or powerlifter, that isn’t necessarily true. Yes, many lifters on the more experienced end will see improvements in breaking through plateaus, but the Bench Blaster can be used to great effect by new and intermediate lifters as well.
You see, the Bench Blaster doesn’t just increase the amount of weight one can press, but it also encourages proper form by limiting the flaring of the elbows. A common newbie mistake during the bench press is flaring the elbows out at any point during the lift. Instead, when performing the bench press, you should try to keep your elbows at about a 45-degree angle, below the shoulder.
The Bench Blaster reinforces proper form by limiting how far out you can flare your elbows, and through repetition and muscle memory you learn the correct form for the bench press.
The Bench Blaster can also help prevent shoulder injuries to the less experienced lifter, because it keeps the arms in the proper location at the bottom of the lift.
Benefits of using a Bench Blaster
There are a lot of benefits to using the Bench Blaster, with very few costs. Some of the benefits include:
-Helps maintain proper form: As we said above, the Bench Blaster will encourage you to use proper form when bench pressing, especially on heavier weights where we tend to cheat.
-Effective tool for overloading: The Bench Blaster allows you to increase the weight of your bench press or the number of reps completed, effectively increasing the volume.
-May aid in reducing injuries: Many lifters will suffer shoulder pain from the bench press, and will shy away from it as a result. Instead of using the barbell bench press, which is the most effective method for training the chest, they will substitute with dumbbells or machines. By removing some of the stress from the shoulder joints, the Bench Blaster can reduce shoulder strains and injuries.
-Can psychologically prepare you for lifting more: The concept behind this principle is simple: if you lift X amount of weight once, no matter if it’s with the assistance of equipment, the mind and body now expects to be able to lift that much weight. Using the Bench Blaster can prepare your mind and body for lifting heavier weights.
Which Bench Blaster should I use?
Now that you understand the Bench Blaster and seen its many benefits, you’re probably wondering which model is best for you.
If you’re just starting out with powerlifting or bodybuilding, or simply want to an easy-to-use option, try the Bench Blaster Reflex. The Bench Blaster Reflex will work for anyone training in the 30kg to 250kg range (65lbs to 550lbs). The Bench Blaster Reflex has more ‘give’ and less elasticity than the Original or Extreme, so will be easier to put on and more comfortable to use. The Bench Blaster Reflex can still be used for overload training, but is better equipped for lighter weights.
If you’re an Intermediate Lifter benching equal or greater than your bodyweight, or have no experience using a Bench Blaster, you should consider the Original Bench Blaster. The Bench Blaster Creates a 'spring' off the chest giving the advantage of overloading safely (a.k.a. using more weight). Most lifters see about a 10-20% increase in the amount of weight they can bench press while using the Bench Blaster.
Long-time powerlifters or bodybuilders may be looking for more support than the average person, and for them we’ve created the Bench Blaster Extreme. This is considerably more heavy duty, double ply and should only be used by lifters looking for the most extreme training experience. In most cases you will need at least 140 kg (305lbs) on the bar just to get the bar to touch when using! This is for the EXPERIENCED LIFTER. If this is your first Bench Blaster, we recommend you start with the Original/Reflex and work your way up to the Extreme.
Tips for using the Bench Blaster
Regardless of which model you choose, the Bench Blaster is simple, intuitive and easy to use. That being said, here are a few pointers for getting the most from training with your Bench Blaster.
The first thing you’ll notice while using the Bench Blaster is that it will be harder to get the bar to touch your chest. That’s because as the bar is lowered, the Bench Blaster will be pushing across your chest, and the elasticity will want to push it back up.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re tucking your elbows properly when the barbell is on your chest. This will allow you to create additional tension with the Bench Blaster. Be sure to touch the bar to the same spot on your chest every time you reach the bottom of your repetition.
The Bench Blaster is a valuable tool for any lifter whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, who is looking to improve their bench press. The Bench Blaster can help you improve your form, prevent injuries and bust through training plateaus.
Check out our line of quality Bench Blasters, choose the model and size that’s right for you, and we’ll see you in the weight room.